The earth shook, the winds blew, the air itself caught fire and the clouds ran away as the sacrifice rose up into the air while glowing with an intense red light. The human Warlock that had just finished performing the Offering dashed out of the ritual site with all haste. He broke through the swirling red mist and collapsed on his knees before Zone - the one who had gotten him so far behind enemy lines in the first place.
“It’s done!” he shouted. “Get us out of here!”
The female Monk swept the man up in a princess carry, unfurled her wings and departed the scene with all due haste. They had mere seconds before the guest of honor arrived, after which his legendary temper would do all the work for them. The summoner’s MP would have only been enough to fuel the demon’s rampage for about 10 minutes at most, but to those elves on the ground, it would be the longest 10 minutes in their lives.
For with a fiery explosion strong enough to shake the entire city, the Overlord of the Flaming Legion made his entrance onto the battlefield.
“TREMBLE, MORTALS, AND DESPAIR! FOR NAGNAMOR HAS COME!”
Standing at well over 7 meters tall, with smoldering wings the size of fields, a half-molten demonic skull for a head and with a glaive large enough to cleave houses in half, the demon formally announced his arrival. After making sure he had made a sufficiently cool entrance, the Overlord began taking in his surroundings. He sensed the presence of his summoner, who was retreating through the air with truly commendable speed, even if it wasn’t his own. Normally Nagnamor’s first order of business would be to make sure the trifling insect that called him forth from the Beyond was sufficiently squished, but today was an exception.
He directed his infernal gaze away from that cowardly gnat and scanned over the city’s rooftops. All around him he felt the presence of Republic soldiers - thousands of mortal souls ripe for the taking. Even more fodder was situated further south, concentrated around the edge of the city. Those would be the Imperial troops that planned to dump him on their enemies and indirectly make use of his power while avoiding his wrath. They clearly saw him as nothing but a mindless brute and clearly underestimated his intelligence if they thought he wouldn’t catch onto their little scheme. It was an insult any fiend worth their horns would return by squashing them flat for their insolence.
But none of those were of his immediate concern. Right here, right now, well within his reach was the one who had made a fool of him not so long ago. The only being to have humiliated him so thoroughly that the whole event amounted to nothing more than the mighty demon being bullied by someone vastly inferior in every way possible. The worst part of it was that it had happened because that annoying box had stumbled onto a completely idiotic loophole entirely by accident. Being bested by blind luck rather than through wit or might had made the Archfiend unbelievably salty over the whole ordeal.
And now was the time to get some payback.
By using the images he saw through the Boxxy Show broadcast in the beyond and cross-referencing them with the scant landmarks around the place, he was able to almost instantly determine his mark’s approximate location.
“MORNINGWOOOOOOOOOOOD!” he bellowed with a voice like rolling thunder. “I’M COMING FOR YOU, YOU INSUFFERABLE LITTLE BUG!”
Nagnamor broke out into a sprint. Like a mad bull, he crashed through or trampled over the single or double-story buildings in his way. His bottomless hate and thirst for revenge manifested themselves as raging black flames that enveloped his entire body as he made a beeline towards Keira’s last known position. The unwitting Republic soldiers, conscripts and reserves caught in his wake did their best to get out of the way, but it was a futile effort. His sheer speed combined with the ungodly intensity of his flames turned wood, stone and people alike into naught but ash and cinders, leaving nothing but a smoldering black trench in his wake. A number of them had made a reflexive action to fight back, launching arrows and Spells into the unstoppable demon as he charged by. But, much like the raindrops falling on their heads, the projectiles evaporated into nothingness before they could even reach him.
Just as he was about to trample over the central plaza and take out the nerve center of Republic operations in the area, a streak of golden light zoomed straight at Nagnamor’s face. The Overlord felt a dull impact against the side of his skull, one powerful enough to knock him off-balance and send him careening into a nearby empty grain silo. His unexpected shift in momentum caused him to trip over his own cloven feet, and he fell over like a gigantic boulder, landing into a vacated residential block. The demon immediately rose to his feet while swinging his glaive in a wide circular motion, causing the massive weapon to release streaks of semi-solid fire that mowed down and burned away everything in their path. It took but a moment to instantly flatten everything within 30 meters of his location.
“WHO DARES STAND IN THE WAY OF NAGNAMOR’S WARPATH?!”
“It is I, demon!”
Floating several meters in the air stood a man clad head-to-toe in radiant, golden armor. A pair of majestic, hawk-like wings sprouted from his back, while a halo positively brimming with holy energy surrounded his head. In his hands was a massive warhammer with an intricately covered shaft and head, a weapon that shone with a light both beautiful and terrible at the same time.
“My name is Alduin Lichter! Grand Crusader of the Blessed of Nyrie and guardian to the people of the Republic!”
The elven Paladin had ignored his orders to lay low and safeguard his own skin in order to confront and contain the rampaging Overlord.
Caring little for trifling mortal titles, Nagnamor swung his massive weapon at Lichter with frightening speed and accuracy that no mere mortal could have hoped to contest.
“I say thee nay!”
And yet the much smaller Paladin caught the demon’s glaive with his own holy warhammer, stopping it dead in its tracks.
The demon’s flaming eye sockets burned with an even brighter flame as he rebuilt his stance and reassessed his puny opponent. The holy energy oozing out of the mortal’s equipment in particular gave the Archdemon pause. He surmised that armor seemed to be what was giving this mortal his unreasonable strength, and guess rightfully that this power was a terribly temporary arrangement.
Indeed, the ability to stand toe-to-toe with a demonic Overlord was due to Lichter’s Ultimate Skill, Divine Regalia. It imbued his weapons and armor, raising their performance to that of the ephemeral Divine-tier equipment and boosting his combat abilities several times over. The price for such power was that it consumed the Paladin’s accumulated Faith (FTH) while active, and any equipment he wore would crumble and break from the stress placed upon it once the transformation had subsided.
A clause that, embarrassingly enough, also included his underwear.
“IMPRESSIVE,” yelled the Overlord with a hint of delight in his voice. “I DID NOT EXPECT A WORTHY CHALLENGER TO SHOW UP, BUT MY BUSINESS IS NOT WITH YOU, HOLY MAN! STAND ASIDE SO THAT I MIGHT FULFIL MY PURPOSE!”
“I will not!” declared Lichter, his voice booming loud enough to rival the demon’s own. “I will not let you endanger the lives of my comrades any further! Whatever your dark purpose, you shall not pass!”
“HAH! AHAH! AH HAH HAHAH! AHAHAHAAAAH!”
The High Elf braced himself as the demon laughed menacingly. If the circumstances were different, Nagnamor would have definitely stayed around and played with him. It wasn’t often he got a worthy fight out of the physical realm’s denizens, so this sort of thing was almost like a rare treat. However, he was short on time. With every second he was delayed, that insufferable little box was surely getting farther and farther away. The demon needed to get this self-righteous elf out of his way, and he knew just how to do it.
“THEN LET US SEE HOW MUCH YOU TREASURE YOUR COMRADES, FOOL!”
The demon raised his glaive above his head while staring intently at the nearby City Hall building, causing Lichter to momentarily panic. That large circular slash the demon had made earlier revealed that the range of his attacks extended far beyond the reach of his weapon, so there was no doubt in the Paladin’s mind as to what would happen next. The High Elf’s body moved with the same blinding speed as before, placing himself firmly between the demon and the Republic’s command center. It seemed he made it in time to block the incoming attack, but there was just one problem.
It was a feint.
Instead of striking at the building full of mortals, Nagnamor’s weapon stuck the ground beneath the Overlord’s feet as if it were a shovel, digging deep into the dirt and rock. He gripped the long handle with both hands channeling his power into the ground while the Paladin was flying pointlessly around.
“RIIIIISE…” groaned the demon.
Realizing he’d been tricked, Lichter charged towards the Overlord with a yell.
The elf swung his hammer at the demon’s face, but was far too late to stop him.
The black flames protecting Nagnamor’s body suddenly rose in intensity. The fierce rush of hot air blew Lichter back, causing him to temporarily lose control of his flight. The earth shook fiercely and buildings fell over seemingly at random as hundreds of cracks bubbling over with lava appeared all over the surrounding area. The Paladin could only watch in abject horror as countless soldiers made out of molten rock and stone began emerging from the flaming abyss. Although they looked like molten golems, these monsters were actually a species of especially malevolent demons called the ifrit, and each and every one of them was Nagnamor’s subordinate. And, true to their demonic heritage, they began indiscriminately attacking everything in sight.
The Flaming Legion existed only to extinguish the life of others.
“You… What have you done!?” shouted Lichter at Nagnamor.
He charged at the Overlord dead on, only to be swatted out of the air by the demon’s backhanded swing. He was sent flying through a building and crashed into the ground with a cloud of dust. Nagnamor pulled his weapon out of the ground as he gave the pitiable mortal one last glance. He was sure those divine armaments kept the gnat out of death’s door, but his subordinates would make sure he was far too busy fending them off to get in his way again. It was a bit regrettable he wouldn’t be able to enjoy a proper throw-down with someone worthy, but as stated previously, he had other matters to attend to.
When he turned his gaze southward once again, however, the Overlord saw something clearly out of place. Much like at his own arrival spot, the clouds in the sky seemed to have been punctured clean through, and a thick, light-blue mist had gathered directly underneath it.
“NO… NO NO NO NO NO!”
With a tiny flash of light and almost no sound, a white mass of something shot up into the air. Although from a distance it looked like a geyser throwing up an incalculable volume of snow, Nagnamor knew for a fact it was something infinitely more dreadful than powdered, frozen water.
It was a deluge of millions upon millions of pure white, ball-like spiders, each no larger than a thumb and sporting a set of eight, smooth legs. They rose high up into the air and caught an unnatural gust of icy-cold wind that sent them all flying straight at Nagnamor’s location. They loomed overhead like a heavy mist, then started converging into a single spot. Their slender arachnid legs and impossibly thin spider silk wove and intermingled together as they rapidly combined into a singular form.
A form that looked like someone had glued a 17 year old girl’s upper body onto the back of a large spider’s head, and then supersized the gruesome-yet-alluring combination until it was large enough to be on Nagnamor’s eye level. Both the arachnid carapace and human-like skin were ivory white and completely smooth, while the girl’s long, silky hair hung down to her waist and draped over her body like a loose robe. And while both the girl and the spider halves looked like they had eyes of their own, all ten of them were tightly shut.
After forming in a matter of seconds, the gigantic construct landed squarely in front of Nagnamor. It touched down so softly and silently, that one wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it was an illusion or a cloud.
“Yo, Nagnamor. How ya doin’?”
The girl’s doll-like face cracked a small smile and a youthful, playful voice rang out around her, even though her alabaster lips remained firmly sealed.
“LIUSOLRA!” bellowed Nagnamor at his fellow demonic Overlord. “WHY ARE YOU OUT HERE?!”
“Uhm, duh?! Because I was, like, called out? That’s just, like, how the rituals work, fam!”
“DID THAT INSUFFERABLE GNAT BRING YOU OUT HERE?!”
“Who the what now?! I’ve no idea who you’re, like, talking about! The one that rang me up was, like, totally polite and sweet and junk.”
Nagnamor straightened his posture and pointed his weapon threateningly at Liusolra’s head.
“ARE YOU HERE TO GET IN MY WAY?!”
“Like, no way, fam! I just got invited to come out and play around for a bit, knowwhatimsayin?”
The skin on the girl’s arms began to crawl and shift as the Endless Swarm rapidly reconstructed her hands into a pair of long, crystalline blades.
“And I like to play rough!”
With those indignant words, Liusolra’s avatar swung the scythe at Nagnamor’s neck. The Archfiend easily deflected the blow with his weapon and immediately counterattacked, cutting the white spider-girl-thing’s arm clean off. Countless white strands shot out from both ends of the severed arm as it instantly reattached itself, while the other was already making a stabbing motion with an icy dagger that appeared out of thin air.
“FUCK OFF, YOU OLD HAG!” demanded Nagnamor as the Stalker’s blade smashed against his armor.
“Make me, loser!” came the indignant reply, accompanied by a barrage of magical ice spikes.
“AT LEAST FIGHT FOR YOURSELF INSTEAD OF USING A PUPPET!” he demanded while using his flames to ward off the ice.
He then swung his glaive and cut said puppet’s head clean off, but the face merely stuck its tongue out mockingly at him before the neck reattached itself to the shoulders.
The real Overlord of the Endless Swarm had not shown herself for millennia, nor did she intend to be seen. Just because she was the oldest and arguably the most powerful of the four demonic Overlords didn’t necessarily mean she had to make a personal appearance. Nor did it mean she necessarily had to be all big and flashy like a certain hot-headed loudmouth. In fact, Liusolra’s actual appearance and form did not differ in the slightest from that of the millions of remote-control clones that currently made up her avatar. It truly boggled the mind how a frame that small could handle so much power.
As for where said main body was, it was currently tucked away in the darkest, dankest little corner of the city where nobody would ever find it.
As for why exactly Liusolra was so readily standing up to Nagnamor, it was precisely because Boxxy had asked nicely. That was really all there was to it. She also didn’t have a habit of instantly eliminating her summoners since, much like a certain enterprising Mimic, the Stalker Queen understood the value of ‘repeat business.’ In other words, so as long as the summoner treated her respectfully and provided her with ample entertainment, she wasn’t particularly against sparing him.
And this particular instance was a truly special occasion, as it wasn’t often that she got to taste her fellow Overlords’ magical energy. To a Stalker, magic aged much like fine wine, so an ancient relic like Nagnamor was seen as little more than a delectable vintage she wanted to sink her mandibles into.
All 300 million of them.
As the two demons’ battle raged on in the middle of the city, the poor mortals caught in their wake could do little than weather the storm. They either got swept up in that Archfiend’s glaive-swinging or caught up in the Stalker Queen’s wide-range ice magic. The Flaming Legion unleashed by Nagnamor was doing its best to rampage through the Republic’s ranks, while clouds of the Endless Swarm crawled over and devoured any Imperials they came across. Both sides had given up on fighting against each other by that point and focused entirely on surviving their respective plights until one or both of those Overlords finally ran out of juice and departed the mortal realm. There were even cases of soldiers on both sides teaming up against the demonic hordes, despite being on opposite ends on the conflict that spawned them.
And amidst all the chaos that surrounded them, atop the flat roof of a particularly tall building, stood the monster responsible for bringing one half of this demonic clash to the physical realm.
“Oh! He broke out of that glacier so easily!” commented Boxxy.
“Well duh,” said Kora indignantly. “What sort of Overlord would let something like a bit of ice tie him down?”
“Yeah okay, fair point. It’s just that, it was hard to tell when we first met, but Punchy is a lot stronger than I ever gave him credit for.”
The Sandman and Kora were currently seated half-a-kilometer away from the spot where the two Overlords are fighting and enjoying the titanic bout with glee. ‘Who would win in a fight between Punchy and Frosty?’ had been a question in the back of the Mimic’s mind ever since it left the town of Bootlick behind, so it was quite interested in the outcome. Its pet fiend, on the other hand, was simply enjoying the fight for what it was - a clash between powers well beyond her grasp.
“Woah, did he just throw her? What move was that?!” asked Boxxy excitedly.
“That’s called a suplex, boss! It’s really fun to do and- Wait, is he going for a double suplex!?”
“He is! Look at him go! Wait, he still hasn’t let go of her abdomen!”
“Could it be! Oh, baby, a triple!”
“Frosty isn’t giving up though!” pointed out the Mimic. “Look - she’s about to bash him over the head with that flying ice golem!”
“What a cheeky cunt!”
“Holy shit! Where did that lightning bolt come from?! It completely broke off uncle Naggy’s horn!”
“That High Elf Wizard’s joined in - see the little spec over there, just in front of that small volcano?”
“Uhn… I think so? Why would she butt into their fight, though?”
“That’s actually a very good question.”
The vast majority of people in the war zone had either gone into hiding or were busy fighting off either the Flaming Legion or the Endless Swarm. Imiryl did not strike Boxxy as the particularly righteous one either, which made her interference even more confusing. Following a hunch, the Mimic activated the Eagle Eye Skill it acquired earlier that day, courtesy of Keira’s Ranger Job reaching Level 35. The monster’s vision zoomed in somewhat on the Republic VIP, allowing it to just barely confirm its suspicion.
“Yep, she’s being mind controlled. I see a whole lot of Frosty’s brood all over her neck and head.”
“Ohh! Then what about that flashy yellow guy?”
Zooming out a bit allowed the Mimic to catch sight of Lichter, who had suddenly reappeared and was streaking towards the two Overlords. However, rather than strike at either of them, he instead used a fully-powered Exorcism Spell to force the alien’s presence out of Imiryl’s mind. He then caught the unconscious elven Wizard and flew her off to safety.
“Noooo! Give me back my afternoon snack!”
Liusolra’s screeching voice was loud enough to shatter pretty much every pane of glass in the entire city.
“WHERE ARE YOU LOOKING AT?!”
Nagnamor took advantage of her momentary distraction and drove his armored fist clean through the fake Stalker Queen’s chest. He then funneled his black flames into her unprotected insides, incinerating a significant portion of her clones in an instant.
“Oooh, that’s gotta hurt!” said Kora with a nasty smile on her face. “You go, uncle Naggy! Show that manipulative bitch how WE do things!”
“Uuuuuu… No faaair!” whined Drea through the telepathic link. “I want to watch Lady Liusolra’s fight, toooo!”
Having her limbs mangled and her body catapulted beyond the city’s borders by that Psionic had left the Stalker momentarily stranded somewhere the Rainy Woodlands. It was only natural she’d want to see the throw-down of the century for herself, but she was far too crippled to make it back to the city in time to catch either of the Overlords. Not only that, but her Master had just expended all of its MP on the Offering ritual, so it wouldn’t be able to resummon her to its position for quite a while.
“Wait, that’s it! There’s no way this isn’t airing on the Boxxy Show! Master, can you send me back to the Beyond? You have to do that later anyway, right?”
“Hmm? Oh, sure Claws. Off you go.”
Your familiar has been dismissed.
“Yeaaaaah! Get rekt, you many-legged cunt!” cheered Kora as the battle raged on.
“You know Nagnamor is technically the enemy, right?” pointed out Xera.
The succubus was also on that rooftop, although her interest in the two Overlords duking it out was quickly diminishing. She still looked on with a sort of bemused curiosity since it was an extremely rare event, but didn’t feel as personally invested as a certain braindead fiend. That wasn’t to say she had no stake in this, however.
“Nagnamor clearly wants to kill the Master. And since we are but things that belong to the Master, he is our enemy by proxy.”
“Don’t care! He’s still my kin! Fight on, uncle Naggy!”
“For fuck sake, will you at least keep it down!? It’s not like he can hear our telepathic link in the first place!”
“Yeesh, what a buzzkill. Boss, can you just screw the bitch already so she mellows out?”
“Oh yeah, I did say I’d motivate her, didn’t I?” remembered Boxxy. And since it was currently taking a break anyway, it judged now was a good a moment as any.
Several tentacles suddenly sprouted from the Sandman’s back and coiled around the surprised Xera. With little warning and absolutely zero foreplay, her ass, cunt and throat were all invaded by a tentacle each, stretching her out to the point where even the succubus’s pliant flesh was in danger of ripping apart. The appendages that were as thick as arms and covered in random bumps and ridges then began pistoning in and out of her while numerous smaller ones held her down and grinded her face and exposed nipples against the coarse surface of the roof. It was a truly barbaric act that was a lot closer to torture than any form of mating. If the succubus actually had things like a womb or intestines, then those hypothetical organs would surely have been turned to mush in an instant.
It was a thought that filled Xera with an odd sense of regret, though it certainly didn’t stop her from loving every single moment of the act. Especially the way Boxxy was taking bites out of her body to snack on while watching the fight.
“Boss, boss! Here it comes! It’s the Heaven-and-Hell Splitter!”
Boxxy shifted its attention back to Nagnamor just in time to see the Archfiend unleash the move in question. It was a massive downward swing of his glaive that split Liusolra’s avatar clean in half, something he hadn’t been able to accomplish until that moment. The flaming shock wave released from the weapon continued on to carve a 60-meter lava-spewing fissure through the city while the thick clouds overhead actually seemed to part. Even if it sounded a bit pretentious and over-the-top, the Mimic had to agree that ‘Heaven-and-Hell Splitter’ was a truly fitting name. And judging from how it was taking Liusolra awhile to glue the two halves back together, the power behind it was every bit as impressive as it looked.
“That attack is way too strong! What’s with that unfair power?!” complained Boxxy. “Come to think of it though, doesn’t the wind-up motion look strangely familiar… ? Wait, was that the move he tried to use on me when we first met?!”
The blow in question was the single most terrifying attack the Mimic had ever seen up close and personal. Even if, at the time, it felt secure in the knowledge that the subverted contract would prevent any actual harm from befalling it, scary things were still scary. If past Boxxy had taken the attack for real, then it would have been annihilated so completely that not even a splinter of its chesty frame would have been left behind. It therefore was only natural that its mind would remember the kind-of-near-death-but-not-really experience in great detail.
“Oh yeah, probably,” confirmed Kora. “It’s uncle Naggy’s signature move, so he definitely tried to use it on you back then!”
“That’s a bit too much effort to kill a Level 30-something Mimic, isn’t it?! I’m not saying I expected Punchy to pull his punches, but even demons have to exercise restraint to a certain degree, right?”
“Restraint? What’s the point in that?” asked Kora with a dumb expression. “Surely if you see a weakling walking around, then making sure you use 100% of your power to completely flatten and annihilate is only natural! There’s no kill quite like overkill, y’know?”
The Mimic could argue that needlessly wasting one’s stamina like that would prove to be a fatal weakness, but then gave up when it remembered who it was talking to. It really should have known that this ‘overkill’ mentality was yet another in a long list of quirks that could be collectively summed up as ‘just fiend things.’
“Then I guess I should be glad Snack worked out as Punchy’s sacrifice back then.”
In fact, it wasn’t just that one time either. The Mimic of the past would have surely died on multiple occasions if it didn’t have that particular succubus’s assistance. The more Boxxy thought about it, the more it realized it owed much of its early success and its ongoing survival to none other than Snack.
“Heh. Still think she’d qualify as a pure maiden?” asked Kora, completely derailing its silent introspective.
“... Honestly? I have no idea how the hell that ritual even worked in the first place. I mean, just look at her.”
“Look at what? Holy fuck, when did this happen?!”
The fiend had been so engrossed by what was going out in front that she somehow completely failed to realize the scene unfolding behind her.
“Damn, boss, you’re really letting her have it!”
Said ‘boss’ did not respond, however, as it was currently burning the sight of Frosty’s headlock on Punchy into its memory, letting its numerous appendages ravage Xera’s body on autopilot. It was a bizarre side of Kora’s master that the fiend could never truly get used to, no matter how much she thought she understood the creature. All that potential for lewdness, perversity and all around carnal depravity - wasted on a creature with absolutely no sex drive. Even now, despite the Mimic actively bringing a succubus to orgasm after orgasm, it regarded the act with the same kind of dispassionate attitude one might show to a bothersome chore like doing the dishes.
A fact that probably helped said ‘dishes’ get off even harder.
Doing her best to ignore the shameless slut as well as her own raging erection, Kora focused her attention back to the calamitous clash that was steadily destroying the city’s northwestern quarter. The fight of the century was clearly way more important than some pervert’s exhibition show, so she continued mentally cheering for her Archfiend uncle with great gusto. And once that epic fight concluded, she’d probably be told to continue smashing humans into a pulp, much like she had been doing for the past few hours. She was also given permission to leave one or two of them alive, just so she could sodomize them to her metaphorical heart’s content. And later tonight she would be giving all of the ‘freshly motivated’ succubus’s orifices a very thorough inspection.
Not knowing which part of the day’s proceedings to be the most excited about, Kora threw all four of her arms into the air and gazed up at the stormy sky with actual tears of joy streaming down her cheeks.
“Best! Day! Ever!”
A sentiment Xera very much agreed with, albeit in not as many words.