A luxurious chandelier’s magical lights glistened off the rim of a white cup. The dish had been made in such a way so as to appear like a tall flower with five petals, not too dissimilar from a tulip. This was the creation of an up-and-coming Artist who was considered something of a prodigy when it came to all forms of sculpting. Which was ironic, because the plain-looking young man did not have an artistic bone in his body. The reason he was making a name for himself wasn’t due to something like an inborn talent or gift, but sheer hard work, mind-numbing repetition and a ceaseless drive to earn money. And much like the teachings of Goroth had promised, his honest hard work was rewarded with success, as the things he created through his endless cycles of trial and error were undoubtedly beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. A fact that was easily evident by the elegant lines and intricate engraved figures along that particular cup’s outer surface, making it more of a work of art than a drink container.
Which was precisely why it was such a pity that the cup in question fell against the hardwood floor, shattering into several large pieces and dozens of smaller ones as the aromatic tea it held sprayed in every direction.
“Keira?! Are you alright?” asked Rowana in a worried tone.
The two of them had been invited over for a spot of afternoon tea by the silver-haired elf’s parents at their mansion. The impromptu tea party had barely even had a chance to start when Keira suddenly froze with a shocked look on her face. The expensive cup in her hands had slipped through her fingers and fallen to the floor before she had even sampled the hot beverage within.
This was a blunder that was completely uncharacteristic of Xera. No matter how much she personally despised Rowana or her family, she would never allow her emotions to show in her face or body language. She took her job of maintaining her Master’s Facade very seriously so something like suddenly spacing out and breaking the Slyth family’s ceramics would never have happened under normal circumstances.
But, as things stood, the situation was anything but ‘normal.’
Your summoner has died.
You are no longer restricted by a soul-binding contract.
“I… Uhh… Excuse me…” she muttered weakly as she stood from the sofa.
Rowana, Doris and Samulus all watched silently as the catgirl made her way across the lavish sitting room and towards one of the large windows. She opened it up, climbed on top of the windowsill and hopped out of it as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
Rowana rushed to the open window in a fit of panic and looked around, but couldn’t see hide nor hair of her lover.
“What was that all about?!” asked Samulus in an annoyed tone. “Not only did she ruin my wife’s one-of-a-kind tea set, but she-!”
“Shut it, dad!” screamed the elf as she continued to peer out across the city. “Something was wrong with her! Didn’t you see the look on her face just now!?”
“I daresay I agree with our daughter, dear,” said Doris with a serious tone.
She grabbed the small bell from the coffee table in front of her and gave it a clear ring, signaling the head butler that his presence was required. The dignified old human entered the room moments later and took a small bow.
“How may I be of assistance, milady?”
“Get mine and Rowana’s coats,” commanded Doris. “We’re heading out immediately!”
“As you say, Mistress,” replied Ridgeworth.
She glanced at her daughter’s trembling back with a sharp glare. Doris would not have found it particularly strange for that free-spirited catgirl to casually leap from dizzying heights just for the thrill of it, but this was clearly different. The women of the Slyth family have always had dangerously sharp intuition, so if both mother and daughter sensed something foul was afoot, there was no way the lady of the house would fail to act.
“On second thought,” continued Doris, “fetch my old equipment as well.”
It was a fateful line that made her husband spit out his tea in surprise.
“Doris!” he protested. “You promised both me and your parents you’d leave that phase of yours behind!”
Although his wife was once an accomplished adventurer of considerable prowess, she was also an unruly, spoiled brat with a ridiculous temper and a total lack of common sense. It wasn’t until she had gotten pregnant with their firstborn that she gave up that way of life, even though vestiges of her violent past still reared their ugly heads from time to time. Granted, Samulus himself was not exactly the picture of serenity either, but he was definitely a positive influence on Doris. That was one of the reasons why Doris’s father had let him marry into the Slyth family in the first place, although the outrageous dowry he demanded from him in return still gave Samulus nightmares to this day.
“Besides,” he continued, “it may just be a Hero of Chaos thing, so let’s not jump to any conclusions!”
“Now listen here, Samulus,” said Doris, cutting him off with a razor-sharp glare. “Our daughter’s lover just left the Slyth household through the window with a glazed look in her eyes. This is an affront to me, my family’s name, and my child. I’m getting to the bottom of this, and you can either come with me or stand aside, but you will not stand in my way.”
“… Have a safe trip, dear,” he said with a defeated tone.
“I always do,” answered Doris with a nostalgic smile.
In the meantime, Xera had used her wings to cover much of the distance between the treehouse mansion and the column of thick smoke in the distance. It was coming from the direction of the slums, so there was no question in her mind that this was her Master’s doing. As for why she was headed to the site of Boxxy’s final battle, she couldn’t quite say. Nor could she explain the mysterious tightness in her chest that made it difficult to even breathe.
When she arrived at her destination she saw a scene of absolute carnage. Dozens of buildings wrecked, a gaping hole in the street, and a raging inferno of emerald flames that threatened to burn down the whole city, yet not a single soul was in sight. While it was doubtless that adventurers and guards alike were likely rushing to the site of the disaster, at that very moment the seedy slum was nothing more than a ruined ghost town. It was wrapped in an eerie silence, interrupted only by the rumble of shifting rubble and the roar of the nearby demonic flames.
As she flew over this monument to Boxxy’s capacity for violence, Xera suddenly caught a glimpse of something familiar. She flew down to the ground, landing near a grizzly scene filled with blood smears yet utterly lacking in any corpses. However, what had caught her interest wasn’t the viscous remains of some worthless mortals, but a black staff that had been left laying in the dirt. It was a grim-looking item, tipped with a horned metal skull with a crimson jewel in each of its eye sockets.
She knelt down on the ground and grasped the shaft with a look of disbelief on her face, which reflected her current state of mind. The succubus grunted with effort as she pulled upwards, but the metal item’s considerable heft mocked her pathetically weak body’s attempts to lift it. She gave it a few more tries, but the most she could do is get one end of it several centimeters off the ground before the smooth shaft slipped from her delicate fingers. To say it was heavier than it looked was an understatement, but it was a natural misunderstanding anyone would make once they saw her Master swing this thing around as if it were made out of plywood.
“Master…” muttered the succubus.
She had given up her pointless attempts at lifting Voidcaller and stared intently at the staff’s skull. Its crimson gems seemed to stare into her very soul, while the slightly open jaw silently laughed at her futile attempts to wield it. The inanimate object was mocking her shortcomings, and it was right to do so. For all her talk, all her posturing and all her convictions, Xera was proven to be unquestionably, unequivocally and undoubtedly useless.
Just as she was starting to sink into self-doubt and despair, she heard a strangely familiar cry. She tore her gaze away from the staff in front of her and looked to her immediate right. Minic had somehow found itself in this place, and was currently bouncing around excitedly. The innocent creature knew nothing of Xera’s inner turmoil, nor of the significance of it standing in the place where its current owner and its estranged sibling had fought to the death. Its incomprehensible luck had merely placed it there, where it saw Xera’s fluffy form kneeling on the ground.
Something ignited inside Xera. Like a match that had fallen into a powder keg, her anger was set ablaze. It burned within her like the heart of the sun, and she immediately shared it with the only thing nearby she could take it out on.
A jet of flames shot out of her palm, bathing the area around the innocent House Mimic with enough heat to partially melt the loose cobbles in the ground. She kept the deluge of flames up for nearly 30 seconds before she finally let up. She panted heavily with short breaths, as the fires of her rage dispersed to reveal Minic had been left completely unharmed, even as the ground around it continued to burn. That little gnat’s inexplicable quirk was something Xera should have been well aware of, but her mind could barely form a coherent thought due to the strange emotions welling up in her breast. Still breathing unevenly, she stood up and walked over to where Minic was standing casually, paying no mind to the flames burning away at her feet and ankles. She bent over, grabbed the animate jewelry box and hugged it tight against her bosom.
Minic actively snuggled against her massive breasts, positively purring in delight at having finally achieved its centuries-old goal. The thing had been trying to climb on Xera’s breasts ever since Tol-Saroth, her former Master, had first created it. Of course she was aware of the critter’s intentions. It was the same inherent desire that any sane man would have once they saw a pair of outrageous tits like hers. She denied Minic every single time until now, so how come she was suddenly giving in? Why in the world would she ever submit to the idiotic whims of a retarded box that didn’t even know left from right?
*Tap tap tap tap*
Droplets of clear liquid fell on top of Minic’s outer shell. The succubus looked down in confusion, only to realize said liquid was falling out of her own face. She had used this approach several times, as many of this world’s mortal men had a weak spot for a damsel in distress, but it was the first time they had come out without her say-so.
For they were her tears of sorrow.
On that day, for perhaps the first time in this world’s history, a demon wept. She cried furiously and unabashedly at the loss of the creature that had given her existence new meaning. Her sobs filled the empty street as she gave into the grief welling up within her, hugging Boxxy’s miniature substitute against her chest in a futile effort to seek comfort.
Xera was a succubus that existed solely to fulfill her selfish desires while preying on the wants and needs of others. Even after her twisted affections for her Master manifested themselves, she thought of nothing but how to feed it and derive pleasure from it for her own sake. None of this was strictly her fault, either, as her entire being was forged out of the lust, jealousy and envy of thousands of mortals.
Yet at that very moment, the only coherent thought her mind could form was a single, solemn wish. One made not out of some sort of selfish need for pleasure or enjoyment at the expense of others, but of a deep longing filled with truly selfless intent.
I wish Boxxy was still alive.
That was it. Nothing more, nothing less. If her beloved Master was still around, then that would be enough to satisfy her. Even if she was banished to the Beyond for all eternity, even if she was forever estranged and forgotten by the one she longed for, then it would all be fine, so long as Boxxy still existed somewhere out there. Of course, had she known that her Master’s soul was being forcefully pulled back into its dead flesh at that very moment, then what was about to happen next would not have happened at all.
But she didn’t, and it did.
The weather had been getting progressively worse over the last several weeks, and now that Xera’s magical flames had all but died out, she was made instantly aware of how cold she actually felt. The chilly breeze brushing against her mostly naked body made her shiver reflexively while goosebumps formed on her sensitive cerulean skin. The climate did not help her terrible mood in the slightest, and the succubus instinctively sought out something warm.
She dropped the thoroughly pleased albeit slightly soggy Minic to the ground and called out Smokey, her Molten Guardian. The unthinking, vaguely hound-shaped pile of living magma erupted from the ground with a loud crash. The terrified House Mimic let out a string of pathetic yelps as it ran for cover, while Xera’s magical construct stood still and silently waited for her to give it an order. But rather than do any of that, Xera simply walked up to it and hugged it. Smokey’s fiery body burned away at her flesh, flooding her body with both the heat and the searing pain she thought she yearned for.
But she was wrong. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t it.
Xera let go of Smokey and stood back, allowing her singed and disfigured skin to shapeshift back to its flawless state on autopilot. No matter how hot or painful her body felt, it was her spirit that was suffering the most. That’s why she clung to that little jewelry box despite her aversion to the idea. That’s why she found herself walking over to where the skull-headed staff remained on the ground, kneeling down, and placing her hands upon it one more time.
“Warm…” she muttered with a sad smile on her face while tears refused to stop spilling out of her eyes.
The item had recently been flooded with her Master’s magic - the same power that had given form to the body she inhabited. Whether it was because of that, or because of her own delusions didn’t matter to Xera. The important thing was that the Artifact-grade Voidcaller felt comfortingly warm to the touch. She grasped it once again and tried to pick it up, but could barely even budge it. Not willing to just give this suddenly precious memento up so easily, she resolved to bring it with her at any cost. She stood up and stepped over to stand above the demonic black skull. She grabbed the very end of it and pulled upwards. Grunting with effort, Xera’s meager muscles managed to apply just enough leverage to lift the staff’s head off the ground and into the air while its lower end dug into the ground. Straining like she had never strained before, the succubus somehow or another managed to place the grim ornament on her shoulder and began walking forward while the butt-end of it dragged along the ground.
After exactly three steps, however, she realized she was being an idiot. Those nosy mortals would no doubt start sifting through the surrounding wreckage any moment now, so this was clearly not going to work. Besides, just because she wanted to safeguard her master’s shiny thing didn’t mean she necessarily had to do the heavy lifting.
She dropped the nigh-indestructible item to the ground with a heavy clang and ordered Smokey to carry it. Being a mass of living rock and flame that was a few times heavier than a person, the unthinking magical construct was able to easily pick the item up in its lava-drooling jaws. Satisfied with her moment of clarity, the two of them began walking rather briskly towards Ambrosia’s tree trunk. Xera wasn’t sure how the dryad would react now that they no longer shared a Master, but she felt confident Boxxy’s soul would not want to share its collection with anyone. And what better place to store it than in a hidden room in a dungeon which was inside a self-aware Hylt tree?
Strictly speaking, the dryad’s cooperation in this matter was not up for debate.
As the pair walked by the scene of Kora’s self-destruction, Xera found herself captivated by the green flames that still raged on. Much like the warmth on the staff, this too was a remnant of Boxxy’s power. A mark it left upon this world. She unthinkingly walked closer to it with short, uneasy steps that gradually grew more deliberate the closer she got.
The succubus kept approaching the raging, unquenchable inferno. Sweat poured out of her body, her eyes complained from all the light she was forcing upon them and her skin caught fire once again as she walked right into the emerald blaze. But she didn’t mind any of that one bit. In fact, she was actually enjoying herself as her HP steadily fell. Wrapped up in her Master’s last act of chaotic destruction upon this world was perhaps the ideal way to return to the Beyond. Sure, she would give up on hiding away Voidcaller, but she no longer cared about some fancy metal stick. Not when she could instead quite literally burn this sensation into her memory, and then-
And then what? Would her twisted soul really be satisfied that easily? No, it wouldn’t. She was a demon. And demons were, by their nature vile, violent and spiteful beings that cared only for their own desires. And Xera would be a very poor excuse of a demon if she didn’t seek vengeance upon the ones that had put an abrupt end to the happiest days of her existence. The same rage that she failed to unleash upon Minic flared up once again, but it wasn’t alone. The flames of anger, passion and hate burned within her as one while she silently swore to avenge the death of her beloved at the hands of Jones Alexis, or at least the thing that tried to pass itself off as such. She was going to find this imposter and burn him away until not even dust remained, but not because he interrupted her fun.
She would do it, because that was what Boxxy would have truly wanted.
At that moment, she heard a loud, sharp noise like a branch breaking from behind. She turned around in a panic, only to realize that Smokey had followed her into the blazing inferno while carrying the demonic staff around. And it was precisely that staff that was the source of the unexpected noise. The skull’s partially open lower jaw had opened up all the way, almost as if it were trying to scream with its non-existent lungs while its red gemstone eyes glowed intensely.
The emerald flames that had engulfed not only Xera’s body, but also the surrounding buildings began twisting and bending as if responding to the unheard will of Voidcaller. The newly-born Archfiend’s remains leaped off the wood, stone, and skin they were greedily clinging to and began swirling around through the air like a hellish cyclone. The succubus watched in stunned silence as even her Molten Guardian had its crimson flames quite literally ripped away from it as they were sucked into the staff’s wide-open maw. The rest of the bright green tornado rapidly followed suit, brushing violently past the screaming succubus as an impossible amount of heat was, for the lack of a better word, devoured by the staff.
Whatever it was that was happening died down about 20 seconds later, after which Xera finally opened her eyes. She had reflexively closed them for fear of the unknown, but now that she looked around she could scarcely believe them. Not a single flame, ember or spark remained anywhere in sight, as the site of the raging fire was left as nothing but a cold field of ash. The succubus herself would have also been wiped out were it not for the significant flame resistance she had acquired from her Pyromancer Job. More important than that, though, was the culprit behind the inexplicable phenomenon. Voidcaller was floating upright several centimeters off the ground. Its jaw was now closed tight, and the crimson glow in its eye sockets had turned a dull purple.
The succubus gulped audibly. She had no idea what was going on or what had just happened, but at the same time she had a very strong feeling about what she needed to do next. She stepped forward and reached a hand out towards the floating arcane object. She had barely touched the metal skull’s forehead with her fingertip when her hand suddenly jerked forward without her consent. Her palm glued itself to the skinless face, and a burning hot sensation traveled up her arm and into her torso, as the concentrated mystical energy flooded both her body and her soul.
Much like Boxxy had guessed, the reason why Kora’s Demonate had bathed the area in those unnatural flames was partially due to her nature as an Archfiend. However, what the Mimic didn’t know was that the main culprit was the extensive ‘relations’ that said Archfiend had had with the Goddess Teresa. During that initial 11-hour romp and subsequent ‘booty calls,’ the relatively young demon had been unwittingly siphoning off tiny specs of Teresa’s divine power, which clung to her soul like a static buildup. One that was suddenly and violently set alight when Boxxy used the Demonate Spell to detonate her physical body, resulting in the unexpectedly powerful explosion and surprisingly persistent flames.
Xera’s intense feelings of hate and anger had resonated with the sort of violent thoughts that fiends normally had, while her thirst for vengeance had called out to the tiny amounts of godly power within Kora’s ‘remains.’ Feeling the agitated pseudo-divine energies around it, the soul of the ancient Ifrit Sultan demon trapped inside Voidcaller was able to reach out and collect it in an attempt to grow strong enough to finally break out of its prison. No longer would its powers be used to tear open rifts in the Beyond to let lesser demons through! Now it would finally be unleashed upon the world and claim dominion over it, much like it had intended many centuries ago.
Before any of that could happen, however, the succubus had interfered. She had placed a hand upon the staff, and the stolen magical energy slipped out of the Ifrit Sultan’s phantasmal grasp. Even though the demon sought to make it its own, the vast majority of that cocktail of divine, and demonic power still shared the same origin as Xera’s body - namely that of Boxxy’s magic. The succubus had sensed the oddly compatible mass of mystical energy within the staff, which was why she reached out and unwittingly claimed it as her own. It was drawn into her and she eagerly accepted it, almost as if someone was pouring water onto a large sponge.
But it was too much for Xera to hold. The way she was right now, there was no way that having what was essentially distilled chaos coursing through her body would leave her unscathed. Her body shook violently, her vision went white and her mind screamed in agony as she felt her whole being turned inside out. If this were any lesser soul, they would undoubtedly go mad as a result, assuming they even survived the process. Fortunately for Xera, she was a demon. Her composite soul made out of the errant thoughts of thousands of beings was a malleable vessel that was many times sturdier than anything a mortal could hope to possess. It was not only able to take all that volatile power, but absorbed it and made it into its own as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
It was thus that an untold number of seemingly disparate events both major and minor were linked together. An unseen force had grasped hold of the stray strands of destiny, and had woven them into a tapestry of reality that could not have existed if any one of them was out of place. And the fact that this potential albeit highly unlikely outcome was brought about was the result of a series of complex machinations that had converged to a single point of power, which was punctuated by Xera’s body collapsing into a pile of tiny, seemingly random geometric shapes.
There was a brief moment of silence while the suddenly inert Artifact and the pile of diced demon both collapsed onto the ground. The chunks of neatly cut succubus flesh then sprang back to life, rapidly reassembling themselves into a slightly different configuration. Xera’s voluptuous body was rebuilt from the feet upwards in a matter of seconds, retaining much of the enticing features of her old one. From her long legs and wide hips, through the plump rump, impossibly thin waist and outrageous pair of tits, all the way up to her full lips and alluring visage, all wrapped up in soft, silky smooth cerulean skin that evoked visions of an endless clear sky. Her waist-long silky hair and otherworldly glowing gaze were also present, driving home the point that this was indeed the same being as the succubus that stood there less than a minute ago.
However, while she looked more or less the same at first glance, she was anything but. The demon’s golden ram-like horns had undergone a rather drastic change. They now seemed to come out of the sides of her forehead rather than above her ears, had become significantly smoother, and their spiral curve had extended ever-so-slightly outwards. At the same time, a glistening bone-like growth had spread out to encompass the top of Xera’s forehead, right where her hairline would normally be. It had also sprouted a long, leaf-shaped object in the middle of her forehead, which extended several centimeters up from her scalp. Two pairs of smaller, steer-like horns jutting out the sides of this miniature tower, while a pink oval-shaped gem glistened at its front, matching the bright pink light that now dominated her irises. Even though this entire ensemble was technically a set of demon’s horns, its golden sheen and captivating central decoration made it look more like a crown or tiara.
As for the rest of her body, although there were some subtle changes, the most noticeable differences were in her wings and her outfit. The former had disappeared completely, along with her spaded tail, while the latter had undergone a total overhaul. The fetishistic corset that should have by all rights never been able to stay on was now gone. Her overflowing breast flesh was instead kept in place by a pair of small golden plates that only covered the area around her nipples and were bound together by bits of string into what could only be described as the top half of a golden micro-bikini.
The G-string-like ‘garment’ covering her crotch made up the other half of that scandalous set, covering so little of her nether regions that it left only the most enticing bits to the imagination. A single glance from behind, on the other hand, would make any onlookers wonder if she was wearing anything down there at all. Indeed, simply spreading her plump ass cheeks apart would be enough to reveal her perverted rear entrance to the rest of the world, were it not for the flowing half-skirt that hung off her hips and lower back. It draped over her bubble-butt, keeping it teasingly out of view as it hung down low enough to touch the back of her knees,.
Her arms were covered by a pair of sleeves made out of the same semi-transparent purple fabric as her skirt. They ran from the middle of her bicep down to the golden bracelets on her wrists. A matching pair of transparent leggings ‘covered’ her lower body, spanning the distance from her ankles up to halfway past her knees, leaving her feet and plump thighs exposed. And while one might argue that wearing no shoes might be impractical, it wasn’t really a problem for the current Xera since her body floated gently in place all on its own, as if the filthy ground was not worthy of even touching her bare toes.
Overall, her default appearance had become distinctly more ‘normal,’ while at the same time being undeniably shinier. The latter in particular was a change Boxxy would definitely approve of if it were to witness it. Indeed, Xera’s inner desire to become more appealing to her beloved Master was one of the reasons why she suddenly appeared as such, although the main factor behind her transformation was that the Agent of Chaos Skill had run its course.
The fragment of divine power attempted to update its holder upon its success, but failed on account of said holder’s current condition. Being a disembodied soul that was still bonding with a mortal vessel meant that Boxxy had not yet regained its former Status, and was physically incapable of receiving that message. That being the case, the notification regarding the current state of the flows of chaos was left to drift off into the void, becoming just another drop in the ocean of this world’s background noise.
But even if its declaration of success had gone unnoticed, the changes brought about by the uncontrollable Agent of Chaos were impossible to ignore.
Rank up complete.
Congratulations! Your species has become Djinn (Mirage).
Xera’s temporarily disabled consciousness snapped back to reality and greeted by a rather significant update regarding her Status. There were a slew of other messages below, but her mind didn’t even register their existence after witnessing this monumental notification. The former succubus’s first thought was to inspect her new self, which she did by grabbing and fondling her own breasts. A small moan escaped her lips almost immediately, as her new physical shell’s increased sensitivity had caught her completely unprepared. Just from briefly mangling her own mammaries, she was already able to tell her capacity to feel both pleasure and pain had expanded significantly.
Carnal desires aside, she also had a distinct sense of invulnerability, a sort of overflowing power that welled up within her and demanded to be unleashed upon the world. It was an intoxicating feeling brought on by the chaotic energies that she had absorbed moments ago. Not only had they elevated her to the next level of demonic existence, but had also supercharged her current body, adding on top of the formidable abilities bestowed upon her by her former Master. This was something that was both a blessing and a curse, as it was only made possible because her Status was no longer being shackled by a demonic contract.
“Snack? Ktktktktk, is that you?!”
The newly reborn Xera heard a familiar voice from behind her. She twisted her new body around in the air as if she were dancing, reveling in the strangely euphoric feeling coursing through her.
“Oh,” she let out when she saw Drea standing before her. “It’s you.”
The ex-succubus may have initially wanted to lay into and then belittle her former co-contractor for failing to protect her beloved Master. By her modest estimate, the Stalker deserved to die in excruciating agony exactly 53,471 times to atone for the sin of her own incompetence. However, actually laying eyes on her made it obvious it wasn’t that simple. All but one of her back-mounted scythes had been either ripped or broken off in the struggle, both of her wrists were bent at weird angles and her face looked as if it had been kicked by a horse. It honestly seemed like a miracle that she was even still alive.
She had obviously fought to the limit that her body would allow, but her opponent had been a bad match for her.
“So… Care to explain what exactly happened here?” asked the newly reborn djinn with a damning glare.
“I failed…” admitted Drea while looking at her feet. “I, ktktktkt, I couldn’t kill him fast enough, ktktktktkt. The Master… died because I wasn’t- ktktktktkt, wasn’t useful enough…”
Now that the telepathic link between them had been severed, the spider-girl was forced to use her voice to communicate, which brought her nervous tick to the forefront. Judging from the ceaseless chittering of her mandibles, she clearly felt upset for having lost her Master. But, even after witnessing her sorry state, Xera’s spiteful side still wanted to lash out at her. Even if the succubus herself had been deemed useless by her own Master, she couldn’t deny the fury that burned within her.
“Listen, the past is the past, and neither of us can change that,” she stated in a grim tone. “We have an eternity ahead of us to lament our respective failures, but right now I have a box murderer’s life to ruin. And… I need your help.”
Drea’s compound bug-eyes went wide when she heard her fellow demon’s intentions.
“You wantktktktkt to go after that thing?”
“Of course I do! I won’t feel satisfied until I turn that piece of shit and everything he holds dear into a smoldering pile of fuck!”
Xera’s scalp and hair momentarily lit up like a bonfire without their owner’s consent. The genie quickly composed herself and forcefully patted down the deep red flames with her bare hands in a fit of angry embarrassment.
“That’s… ktktktktkt… new,” remarked Drea.
The awkwardness of the situation had not only derailed the conversation, but also completely dispelled the heavy atmosphere.
“Nevermind that!” insisted Xera. “Look, I somehow or another Ranked Up, so I’m still getting used to this.”
There was more to it than that, though. It would appear that the excessively violent presence trapped inside Voidcaller has had an unfortunate side-effect on her temper, turning her into a literal hothead. It was something the former succubus resolved to work on, as ridiculous outbursts like those went against her deceptive nature.
“Ranked Up?! Ktktktktktkt! First Koralenteprix, now you?!”
“Yeah… Something of a parting gift from my Master, I suppose.”
Drea eyed Xera up and down enviously, subconsciously letting out a quiet chitter as she kept thinking how lucky the woman in front of her truly was. Then again, she’d probably sing a different tune if she was going through the same emotional turmoil as her fellow demon. Which she clearly was not. While she definitely felt a sense of pity and disappointment at Boxxy’s death, she did not exactly mourn its passing. It was a clear sign that her ‘affections’ for the creature had always been rather superficial, closer to a form of distant admiration one would hold towards their idol rather than the soul-warping attachment Xera felt towards the deceased Mimic.
“So, will you help me or not?” asked the genie in an impertinent tone.
“I want to but… Isn’t it just a waste of effort? Ktktktktkt… If me and Koralenteprix couldn’t take that thing with Boxxy here, then how can the two of us hope to defeat it?”
“You’ve given up already, haven’t you?” responded Xera with a disappointed sigh.
“No, I’m serious. Ktktktkt. I want to butcher that asshole, eat him up, make him into webbing and then burn it! Ktktktktk. I just… lack the means to do so,” she added while shamefully averting her eyes.
Although her previous words sounded like she was admitting defeat, they were actually a legitimate question. While Drea was scarily effective at leaping from the shadows and tearing her victim to ribbons in an instant, that approach would not work on an MLG-equipped monster. Her Master knew that, which was why it held her back during the battle until the target was sufficiently distracted, and even then she didn’t accomplish much beyond bringing down his Mana Shield. The ensuing scuffle had made it quite clear that her opponent’s hide was also much too solid for her razor-sharp appendages to penetrate. This was hardly something new, as the Stalker had always struggled against heavily armored targets.
After all, no matter how sharp her claws were, they could not cut something harder than themselves.
“So I’m asking you - how do we kill it?! Ktktktktktk, you’re a succubus, so you should have some, ktktktktkt, devious plot or underhanded method in mind, right?”
A wicked smile spread on Xera’s lips when she realized she had a partner in crime after all.
“Mhm, you guessed right. I do have a number of ideas and tricks I could use, but first I need to find out where that thing is hiding.”
“Good. Ktktktktkt, because that’s something I already know. I tracked it back to its lair after it, ktktktktktkkt, killed Boxxy.”
That was why Drea was nowhere to be found when Xera had arrived at the scene. The only reason she had come back to this place at all was because she noticed the unquenchable flames had suddenly gone out, and backtracked to investigate. The Stalker had thought Azurvale’s city guard would be swarming over the place by now, but it would appear that, since their first-response unit had been wiped out by ‘Jones Alexis’ and failed to report back, they had deemed the situation too dangerous. Rather than risk sending in more guards to their deaths, they were instead maintaining a perimeter around the site, presumably while waiting for more powerful individuals as reinforcements.
It was ultimately a futile effort, as Drea was able to slip past them without too much difficulty, even with her crippling injuries.
“What, really?” asked Xera wide-eyed. “He just let you tail him that easily?”
“Yeah! Ktktktkt! That bastard!” complained Drea in a huff. “He probably thought I’d just abandon Boxxy to protect my own life! Ktktktktktktk! That or he put too much faith in his sensory gland’s limited range! Ktktktktktktkt! Either way, he wasn’t careful about being followed at all! Ktktktktktk! It honestly pisses me off to be done in by an amateur like that! Ktktktktkt!”
Xera had to admit she may have underestimated Drea’s convictions. Although, it was still a bit irritating that she seemed more pissed off by the fact that someone she was following had underestimated her, rather than because said someone had murdered the target of her immature infatuation. Nevertheless, actions spoke louder than words, and it was reassuring to find out that Drea had the foresight to keep spying on Boxxy’s killer, even though she had no idea on how to actually deal with him.
“Alright then,” said the genie, her eyes full of vigor. “Let’s find a good hiding spot, then I want you to tell me everything you know about who this Jones Alexis really is. As for how we’ll deal with him, that may turn out to be easier than you might think.”
She turned around and waved at the inanimate Voidcaller on the ground. The staff-shaped prison responded to her will by floating up into the air and into her waiting hands.
“All we have to do,” she continued, “is point the finger at him, then let the mongrels sort it out among themselves.”
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Energy Drain||10||MAX||Devouring Flame||10||MAX|
|Demonic Seduction||10||MAX||Mana Burn||10||MAX|
|Inivisibility||10||MAX||Summon Molten Guardian||10||MAX|
|Versatile Tongue||10||MAX||Volcanic Burst||8||85%|
|Devilish Cunning||10||MAX||Tempered Flame||5||63%|
|Aggressive Cuddling||8||85%||Fiery Weapon||4||94%|
|Sins of the Flesh||2||55%||Dreamweaver||10||MAX|
|Amplify Magic||5||63%||Conjure Mirage||3||29%|
|Guiding Light||4||94%||Fire Affinty||3||29%|
|Mist Form||2||55%||Pyroclasm Mastery||13||86%|