“Alright, Koralenteprix,” called out Juan. “It’s about time for another detox session, so get our patient ready, will you?”
“... Sure,” came the dispirited response from the demon in question.
“Well, you don’t seem very cheerful today.”
“Yeah, not for nothing, Chief, but why did you go ahead and give me all this power if all I’m going to do is be a damn nursemaid?”
Having all this energy and strength at her fingertips and yet being unable to unleash it was way more frustrating than Kora had initially anticipated. Sure, she had a fun bout of ‘slap-the-bitch’ at the start, but ever since Boxxy left the tasks that Bellamy had her perform just seemed way too… mundane.
This feeling of disappointment was only made worse by the realization that Kora’s current godlike power and stature would be very much temporary. Once this whole rehabilitation thing was done, she’d return back to being a regular familiar, which meant that her strength would rely entirely on her summoner’s power. Sure, she would still be an Archfiend like her uncle and would therefore be stronger, faster, tougher and more versatile than before, but it would still be incomparable to her current state.
However, becoming powerful enough to easily surpass Nagnamor without Dick’s assistance would be more or less impossible. Even getting up to the level of the Overlord was out of the question, as that guy had millennia at his disposal to grow and develop his might, both physical and intellectual. It would be many centuries still before Kora herself could reach such heights, if at all.
“Because your charge is a fuck-mothering Goddess,” answered the Goddess of Misfortune. “Trust me on this, kiddo, even if it feels like a waste, there’s no such thing as ‘being too careful’ when dealing with the divines. It’s like, how did you yourself so eloquently put it? ‘There’s no kill quite like overkill?’ Think of it like that.”
“Ugh, whatever. I’ll just go get the bitch, shall I?”
“Please do,” said Billy with a nod of his porcupine and a wry smile on his wrist.
Kora got off her massive ass and stood up in the seemingly endless white space that was Elmer’s divine area. She stretched a bit to limber up her stiff-yet-bursting-with-power body. Being forced to temporarily live here felt like a privilege at first, but she quickly realized there was nothing to really do but watch the Boxxy Show alongside Keith. In some ways, it was even duller than being stuck in the Beyond since she couldn’t socialize with other demons, but she had no choice in the matter. She loved being an Archfiend, and Henrietta had threatened to demote her down to imp level unless she did exactly as she was told.
After warming up a bit, Kora disappeared with a rush of air as the Goddess of Uncertainty kept sitting on her sofa, watching her Hero. The titanic Archfiend dashed up, down and all around the divine area until she located its other temporary resident, grabbed her by the ankle, then dragged her kicking and screaming back towards where Randall was. Hearing that bitch Teresa wail desperately as she was being manhandled like a sack of old potatoes was pretty fun for the demon at first, but by now her crying had simply become pathetic and annoying. Angela had at least given Kora permission to be ‘as rough as needed’ with the Goddess, which meant it was okay to kick her in the head whenever she felt like it.
Even if this was ‘rehabilitation’ and ‘for her own good,’ Teresa still had to pay for disrespecting her divine duties. There could be no justice without punishment, after all.
“Here she is, Chief,” reported Kora once she appeared back at her starting position.
“No! No!” pleaded Teresa as she clawed desperately at the perfectly smooth floor. “Isn’t it enough?! Please, no more! I’m begging you, I can’t take any more of this! I need to hear my followers again! I need to! Please!”
Step one of Teresa’s rehabilitation plan involved, for lack of a better word, god-napping her and quite literally imprisoning her within Jerome’s divine area. That way she would be cut off completely from the stream of prayers, worship and religious offerings that her followers presented her with on a regular basis. Needless to say, being suddenly cut off like that had caused Teresa to enter a state of withdrawal, which was what led to her current pitiable behavior. However, this part was absolutely necessary if the core issue at hand was to be resolved.
“Koralenteprix, is Teresa wearing her robes again?” asked Dexter without even looking back.
“Yup,” confirmed Kora, causing the God of Probability to sigh heavily.
“Well, you know what to do.”
The fiend roughly threw Teresa onto the ground, kicked her lightly to flip her on her back and then straddled her legs.
Ignoring her complaints, the red-skinned demon restrained the flailing deity’s hands with one of her own, then proceeded to strip her naked with practiced ease. The silky white robe was ripped to shreds while the golden jewelry, sandals and tiara were roughly taken off and mangled into a big lump, which was then haphazardly tossed to the side. It didn’t take more than a few seconds for Teresa to be left completely naked, curled up into a fetal position and sobbing uncontrollably.
“I’ll say it again, dearie,” Vanessa yelled without looking away from her screen, “those trappings of power do not fit your image at all. How can you hope to be a legitimate beacon of truth without being able to bare yourself fully before others?”
One could argue that ‘baring oneself’ was meant to be taken figuratively rather than literally, but that was only when it came to simpler, more mortal creatures. As amalgamations of thoughts, wishes and ideas, the difference between metaphors and reality was paper thin as far as divine beings were concerned.
“Alright, might as well get started. Koralenteprix, please assume the position.”
The fiend picked the sobbing goddess off the ground and dragged her up onto her knees. She forced the naked Teresa to bend over forward while holding her hands behind her back. Kora then stared hard at one of her right hands until the Demonic Armament protecting it suddenly split apart and fell off her skin. Doing so made her hand feel a bit itchy, but it couldn’t be helped since the gauntlet would get in the way otherwise. Besides, it would ‘grow back’ on its own soon enough, so there were no problems with exposing her hand like that. Finally, she placed said hand onto the back of the Goddess’s head and pressed firmly against her flowing gold locks, firmly grasping her skull with her oversized palm.
In the meantime, Terence had gotten his creme brulee off the couch and was calmly climbing up an invisible spiral staircase. When he got up to the much larger deity’s eye level, he stopped going upwards and walked horizontally over thin air as he approached her head.
“Really, Chief?” asked the demon, puzzled. “Why not just teleport to the spot like you normally do?”
“Variety is the spice of life, kiddo. If you don’t mix up your routine every now and then you’re bound to grow so bored of it you’d end up going nuts.”
“Yeah, I suppose.”
Pablo then stepped off of his imaginary catwalk and onto the back of Kora’s bare hand. He picked out what seemed like a good spot and sat his sharks down on her rough red skin.
“I’ll be starting now, Teresa.”
“No! Please, don’t!”
His warning caused the Goddess to reflexively struggle, followed by another round of pleading. Fortunately for her, she was not only removed from the source of her divine power, but also had her head, shoulders and arms firmly restrained by Kora. The only thing her futile struggling did was cause her naked breasts to sway gently, which would not disturb the following ritual in any way.
“Sorry about this,” muttered Casey. “You’ll probably thank me later.”
In the next instant, the God of Mishaps channeled his own divine power through Kora’s hand and into the back of Teresa’s head while repeatedly chanting ‘akuryo taisan.’
The Goddess began choking and gagging in response, which soon turned to dry heaving. And then, after another 20 or 30 seconds, she started throwing up. A viscous black ooze that wriggled unnaturally all on its own fell out of her mouth in thick globs, forming a messy pile onto the pure white ground.
“Right, that’s enough for now, methinks,” declared Gilbert after Teresa had retched up a total of 13 globs of supernatural vomit.
He then stood up from Kora’s backhand and briskly walked off of it. Since the detox session was done for the moment, the fiend threw the pale and extremely weakened Goddess off to the side, well away from her ‘leavings.’ Lacking the strength to do something as cumbersome as controlling her limbs, Teresa merely flopped over on her side like a dead fish. If things proceeded as normal, she would get back up in about five or ten minutes and run off somewhere in a delirium. And then, three hours after that, she would have stabilized enough for another detox session.
“So what do we have this time?” mused Neal as he stared intently at the haystack-sized pile of godly vomit. “Hmm, lot of hatred in there. It’s almost completely filled with hatred actually, apart from a bit of pride and some resentment. Bit of jealousy too.”
While it could be said that a believer’s devotion, piety and respect for a God served as the deity’s ‘food,’ not all mortals had happy-go-lucky sentiments like those towards the Gods. Anger, hatred, disappointment, sadness, grief, revenge, desperation, loneliness - any and all such negative emotions also ended up being transmitted to their deities, though they rarely did so on purpose. If allowed to build up and fester within them, it could lead to the deity in question being ‘poisoned’ by their influence. That was why Kevin was so adamant about avoiding blaspheme, as expressing disdain towards a God, especially in public, was one of the main sources of thought-poisoning.
And should the thought-poisoning get out of hand, it would start gradually changing a God and twisting them away from their original purpose. The corruption would then trickle down to the deity’s most devout followers and adamant supporters, which would in turn infect the population at large and bounce all the way back to the God. It was a downward spiral that, if left unattended, could pervert the deity and the virtues and concepts he or she embodied. And the worst part of that scenario was that the divine beings themselves would not notice the change until it was too late.
“I really should have seen this coming,” Alberto chastised himself. “That Empire’s propensity for conflict, bigotry and treachery coupled with her corrupt clergy should have really tipped me off about her condition sooner.”
Indeed, this thought-poisoning phenomenon was one of the main reasons why Teresa had strayed from her path and was slowly but surely turning into her polar opposite - a Goddess of Lies and Evil.
“What?” asked Kora with a raised eyebrow. “You mean she wasn’t like that before?”
“Well no, she was always an insufferable, stuck-up bitch, but at least she was genuine and trustworthy. It wasn’t until about 1,200 years ago that she started skirting the rules and playing favorites with her Heroes, but our… bumpy relationship kept me from recognizing the signs. Heh, if it wasn’t for Boxxy’s, uh, ‘people skills’ rubbing off on me, I probably still wouldn’t have realized how far she was gone…”
“Uuugh,” groaned Teresa, as she gradually lifted her upper half off the floor.
She looked about in a drowsy state, her eyes settling on the mass of lumpy black goo on the nearby floor.
“Th-that… Did that come out of me?!”
“Oh? Now this is promising!” exclaimed Troy. “Finally regained enough of your senses to face your inner demons?”
The God of Luck snapped his shoes, causing the mass of lumpy black goo to oscillate in response. It steadily shrunk down as it vibrated, compressing itself until it adopted a vaguely humanoid form a little over two meters tall, adopting a distinctly feminine shape as it solidified further. A shape with shiny brown skin, a massive underbite, two rows of beady eyes, a pair of twin axes in her hands and heavy gladiator-like armor covering both shoulders and arms. Her body was extremely well toned, and her pitch-black hair was tied up in a wild ponytail, while a single onyx horn jutted out from the left side of her forehead.
“Well, outer demons now, to be precise,” said Jerome with a wry smile.
Both Kora and Teresa were taken aback by this sudden revelation.
“W-was that thing inside me?!”
“Damn. And here I was hoping to be the first one to get all up in that bitch’s guts, but I guess someone else beat me to it, huh?”
“I think I misspoke,” interjected Stephen. “What you saw earlier was the concentrated negativity of mortals, which had attached itself to Teresa’s being. This child was simply born from that.”
As if on cue, the newly created fiend that had been standing upright keeled over and fell on the ground, her limbs twitching slightly against the white surface.
“... Born?” asked the giant women in unison.
“Yup. What you witnessed just now was the birth of a brand new demonic entity.”
“Hold on a second there, Chief! Are you telling me all of demonkind started out as god-puke?!”
“Of course not, don’t be silly!” replied Johnny in a scolding tone. “Most of you are born from the residual sinister thoughts of mortals that got caught by the Beyond, well before they could reach and infect a divine being. Heck, most of those thoughts don’t even come from people, but from monsters. I mean, the whole point of that place is to serve as a lightning rod for that stuff, a filter if you will.”
“Soooo… What? We just… randomly pop up out of thin air?”
“More or less. You probably don’t want to hear this, but the fact that demons exist at all is something of an accident. I never intended for consciousness to flourish in that cesspit I created, and yet here you are - defying all logic and spitting right in the face of my divine design! The mind-boggling fact that all of you kids even exist is the whole reason why I’m so proud of you, you know!”
“Oh… Uh, thanks, I guess? What about me, though?”
“What about you?”
“I mean, do you know where specifically I came from?”
“Hmmm… I can’t be sure, but if I had to take an educated guess based on your appearance, then you’re probably the result of the Elven Dominion’s collapse. More specifically the hatred and anger that subsequent generations of elven slaves felt towards their human masters. And given your womanly disposition, I’m guessing it was mostly female sex slaves.”
“Yup, your age fits. Not to mention it would explain those predominantly elfin ears and attractive features, not to mention why you’re considerably more, uh, intellectually challenged than your average fiend. I can’t imagine those slavers demanding that their fuck toys be intelligent. Quite the opposite, actually.“
“Huh. I guess that does make sense. I always wondered how come I got an unexpected boner from emasculating those slavers while the Boss was looking for a lair.”
“Yeees… quite. Well, I better send this child on her way so she can learn how to demon properly.”
A bright red portal suddenly opened up underneath the newborn demon’s limp body, depositing her into the Beyond well before she could even gain awareness. Normally he would’ve sent the ‘god-puke’ there directly, but he felt it was necessary to drive home the point that gods were not as infallible as a certain someone seemed to think.
“So, Teresa. You’ve been awfully quiet.”
“I just… I had no idea… Do the others have to deal with all this as well?”
“Mmm, let’s just say you aren’t the first to have your judgement clouded by thought-poisoning. The Beyond typically does a good job of keeping you lot from going off the rails, but you’re definitely a special case. Seems like your default nature just makes you more susceptible to that sort of thing, and your rash actions only made things worse. I mean, do you understand what sort of repercussions resurrecting your Hero even had?”
“... It was perceived as a miracle, wasn’t it? I mean, so many people rallied behind him and… and…”
The Goddess paused for a few seconds, seemingly lost in thought.
“I gave a bunch of bad people a very convenient pawn, didn’t I, Norwell?”
“Yup. If it wasn’t for the Hero’s testimony and heavily publicized grief, then this war wouldn’t have happened, and your condition wouldn’t have gotten even worse. It goes beyond that, though. How many thousands of people do you think cursed your name while thinking ‘Why him and not my husband?’ or some such envious notion?”
“I see… It seems I have a lot to think about. Excuse me.”
The Goddess rose to her shaky feet and slowly walked off into the distance. Jimmy nodded his frying pan approvingly and sat back down on his sofa. Meanwhile, Kora laid her massive self down behind him so she can get a good view of the screen where the Boxxy Show was playing.
“So, uh, how long until the bitch is healed and I get to get out of here?” she asked after a few minutes.
“Hard to say. Detoxing her is the easy part and should be over with in another two days or so, after which I can move onto step three.”
“Why not just yank all the demons out of her in one go?”
The real answer to that question was that Romney's ‘detox’ method put a lot of strain on Teresa’s divine spark - the manifestation of her followers’ combined faith and the equivalent to her soul. And while it could not be truly destroyed so long as people worshipped her and all she stood for, ripping the corruption out of it by force could have serious repercussions if handled poorly. Teresa could potentially go mad, lose her memories, or become a completely different divine being altogether. Worst case scenario, she might be rendered unable to re-establish the bond with her divine area and be left as a powerless Fallen God.
“Because there’s a right and a wrong way to go about things.”
However, such an explanation would have probably gone way over Kora’s head, so he simplified it for her benefit.
“Okay, but do you seriously need me here to do it? You can probably keep her from acting up without me, right?
“Oh no, your presence here is very much instrumental. You do realize you demons are the only ones with the power to mess with divine beings on a spiritual level, right? Heck, why do you think demonkind has things like a hierarchy and a military to begin with? It’s so that you can be used to directly oppose a God should they become a danger to the world.”
“So we’re god-killers?!”
“Uhm, sure, why not.”
When faced with Kora’s face full of excitement and expectation, Friedrich just couldn’t bring himself to correct her misunderstanding. He still thought of demons as his children and grandchildren, so he was understandably a bit soft on them. A feeling which, for the most part, they returned, as all demons treated him with the respect and adoration a father deserves.
Which was also why Zeratul found it so difficult to tell them that the God most likely to go rogue and threaten the world’s existence was none other than himself. And that the only one that could prevent that from happening was Teresa. For without the influence of the righteous Goddess of Truth and Justice to keep him honest, Johan’s moral compass would break completely. Once that happened, it was pretty much a guarantee he’d revert back to his old self, and once again become the Old God of Order.
The being that brought so much ‘order’ to the world that he left it as nothing but a dull, lifeless rock.
So, all things considered, Kyle was quite thankful when his unwitting savior started responding more positively to the ongoing rehabilitation. By the time phase two of the program was complete, she had started behaving much more reasonably. She no longer thrashed about wildly and willingly accepted whatever aid was given to her. The fact she had stopped recreating her garments and was getting used to going around completely naked proved she had taken the God of Uncertainty’s words to heart. She had even started blindfolding herself since ‘Justice is blind.’
However, as expected, she faced difficulty completing step three. Letting go of her more questionable convictions and once again becoming a true Goddess was easier said than done. The detox sessions helped, but unless she personally rejected that treacherous side of hers and once again embraced Truth and Justice with her whole being, then she would just end up relapsing within a year.
Therefore, until her own divine area reached out and connected to her while inside Yuri’s place, she would not be allowed to resume her duties. Progress was steadily being made as Teresa displayed more and more of the characteristics Nigel remembered from before. On the 8th day of her rehabilitation crash-course, however, the God of Unforeseen Consequences ran into an obstacle that really rustled his jimmies.
“Myself-damn it, Teresa!” he yelled. “How many times do I need to say this?! You can’t play favorites with your Hero like that!”
“Why not?!” insisted the naked, blindfolded Goddess. “I already swore on my own name I would not coddle them in an overprotective manner!”
She had already managed to prove that she had completely given up on spreading lies, be it by speaking them or by withholding the truth. Meaning that wasn’t just some boast, but her true, honest intentions. However-
“That’s not the point! You can’t just pick and choose which parts of the process you want to adhere to! Heroes need to be chosen based on ability, potential, and strength of character. Looks, gender or race should not factor into it!”
“And this coming from a spinning eggplant who chose a shapeshifter as their Hero? Don’t think I’ve forgotten you have a soft spot for their ilk!”
“Look, this and that are completely unrelated.”
“Uh-huh. You do know my bullshit detector still works, right?”
“Oh for the love of H̸̢i̴̕̕͜g̸̨͘͟͟g̀҉̵̛s̡̀͟͜͡ ҉̨b҉̶̧҉o͟͏s̷̢̨̨͟o̧̢n͏̸͝! Look, I chose my Hero by picking a creature that showed extraordinary potential to bring about change in the world. It’s just that Boxxy coincidentally happens to be an excellent shapeshifter!”
“Then all Heroes of the Hammer just ‘coincidentally’ happen to be blond, blue-eyed human boys!”
Taylor leaned back into her sofa cushion with another groan while Teresa stood indignantly opposite him. Well, she was technically more ‘above’ than ‘in front’ of him, but that was besides the point. The still super-sized Kora was lazing about nearby, and not only was she completely and utterly bored out of her skull, but also getting increasingly annoyed at this never-ending quarrel. Holstein had told her to keep her thick head out of this part of the rehabilitation, but there was only so much endless bitching she could tolerate.
Therefore, the fiend decided to bypass any sense of good judgement and inject herself into the conversation with about as much style and finesse as a boulder crashing into a glass pane.
“Uh, Chief?” she called out. “Remind me again why bitch-tits over there is so stuck on pretty boys?”
“I have a name, creature!” complained the Goddess. “You will address me by it or not at all!”
“She has it stuck in her head that she needs a husband,” explained Fargo while marvelously ignoring ‘bitch-tits.’ “And according to her, the best way to find one is through the Hero system.”
“Riiiight,” said Kora with a grimace. “Can’t I just stick it in her pooper instead?”
“Koralenteprix, we’ve been over this. That is not going to help, especially not when she’s in such a volatile state.”
“Tch. Well, was worth a shot,” said the demon with a shrug.
“... I’m sorry, but what does she mean by ‘stick it in her pooper?’” asked Teresa suddenly.
“She means anal sex, Teresa. What else could she possibly mean?! No, wait, don’t answer that.”
The Goddess craned her neck backwards and crossed her arms in confusion.
“But that doesn’t make any sense. Is she talking about fisting or something?”
“I said don’t answer that!”
“No, you dumb twat!” shouted Kora while standing up. “I’m talking ‘bout m’dick!”
Grunting in frustration, the fiend rose to her feet, lifted up the front tail of her dress and let her fully erect member flop out of her body, then pointed to it with four of her hands.
“Oh my!” exclaimed Teresa, while covering her blushing cheeks with her hands. “I-I-I had no idea! You, uhm… certainly have an imp- *Gulp* an impressive set there…”
Even if she was blindfolded, that was entirely symbolic, and she could clearly see Kora’s raging lust. It was only a natural reaction considering the fiend has had to stare at and rub against the Goddess’s naked, womanly body for a week straight. In fact, she was feeling so blue-balled that she felt she could burst at any-
“... Wait, what do you mean ‘set?’” muttered the demon in a confused voice.
She then looked down at her genital situation for the first time since her Rank Up.
“Ooooooooh. No wonder I felt a bit weird down there.”
It would appear that her ‘promotion’ to Archfiend had actually given her not one, but two extra horns - one on her head and another between her legs. Indeed, standing at full mast and lightly pulsing with pent-up lust was not a solo, but a duet of throbbing penises. The demon gently poked her newly discovered genitalia with a finger, causing her to shudder a bit.
“Damn, son!” she exclaimed. “Chief! You gotta let me try these puppies out! Please! Let me boink the bitch! Like for real, I’m begging you here!”
“For the last time!” roared Dilbert. “I will not stand for that sort of-”
Teresa’s sudden interruption cut off the God of Randomness before he could go into full-on nagging mode.
“I, uhm… I’m not supposed to lie anymore so… can I just say that, well... I wouldn’t be, err, entirely opposed to that…”
“... You’re kidding me,” muttered Nikolay.
“See, Chief? She’s up for it too!”
“No! This is idiotic!”
“I mean, not for nothing Chief, but weren’t you the one that kept saying she just needs to get laid?”
“I was just- Haaaah,” he sighed, then looked back at the fidgeting Goddess. “You’re sure you wanna go through with this?”
Blushing with an intense red that would even give Kora’s crimson complexion a run for her money, Teresa responded by nodding twice. Ivan began huffing, puffing, murmuring and even sprinkled his donuts a few times, but in the end he had to try something, right?
“... If this works I am literally going to lose my shit,” he mumbled to himself. “Fine! Have at it!”
Exactly 11 hours, 42 minutes and 25 seconds later, every Champion, Apostle and Disciple of Chaos in existence suddenly and simultaneously defecated in their respective undergarments.