You have enslaved an unbound demon of considerable might.
Proficiency level increased. Enslave Demon is now Level 3. INT +8. MNT +8.
Proficiency level increased. Domination Mastery is now Level 9. MNT +3. INT +1.
The Mimic was momentarily surprised at how… easy that was. It could actually feel this impostor (?) willingly stop resisting its magic and give into its control halfway through the process. The shapeshifter was sure this wasn’t supposed to happen, so it double-checked the Skill in question.
Description: The Warlock attempts to force a hostile demon into a temporary contract of indentured service.
Requirements: Level 55 Warlock, Soul Link
Activation Time: 5 seconds
Cost: 20% of max MP
Range: 45 Meters
Effects: Attempts to bind targeted demonic entity with magic.
If successful, the target will be forced to obey the user’s commands for at least 20 seconds, up to a maximum of 5 minutes.
Increases the amount of time control is guaranteed by 10 seconds per Level of this Skill.
Increases the effects of the MNT Attribute when using this Skill by 5% per Level of the Domination Mastery Skill
Beware! Demons absolutely despise being enslaved!
Indeed, the Skill description made it quite clear that even if successful, the demon would normally continue to struggle against its oppressor. On the other hand, like all mental magic, if the individual welcomed the intrusion with open arms and willingly submitted to it, then it didn’t matter how powerful they were. After all, no matter how strong it was, an open mind was like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded. And Boxxy knew of precisely one demon that was broken enough to go against her instincts like this. It didn’t even need to check her Status window at that point to realize her identity, but did so anyway.
It was better to be safe than sorry, after all.
“Snack? So it’s you after all?!” it stated in a surprised manner. “But how come you’re here? Did you want to avenge me or something?!”
The blissfully happy demoness looked at her rightful Master with a coquettish grin on her lips and a noticeable blush on her cheeks.
“Of course, Master. I would never even think of letting anyone who dared to harm you go unpunished, Master.”
She twiddled her fingers beneath her chin while swaying slightly from side to side as her seductive nature dictated. If the one in front of here were a mere man, he would surely be hypnotized by the gentle swaying of her truly demonic bosom.
“Because I just felt so pointlessly lost without your, mmmm, firm instruction, Master. Without you, I was certain all that was left for me to do was waste away in the Beyond for all eternity, Master. After all, there exists no mortal, demon, or god who could ever hope to take your place as my rightful Master. The pussy you so, hnnnn, thoroughly trained can no longer be satisfied by anyone but yourself, Master. And you are the only one worthy of owning a Snack as tasty as I, Master. There is no conceivable reality where-”
“Okay! Alright! I get it!” it snapped. “Just shut up already you dumb bitch!”
Xera bit her lip as she failed to stifle a low moan, but kept her silence all the same. Even though Boxxy was the one that asked her that question, the answer was way too much. Listening to the demoness gush all over it like that was pointlessly annoying and annoyingly pointless. The Mimic even felt somewhat nostalgic when it remembered the early days of their acquaintance, back when she acted just like a succubus was expected to act. While she was certainly more disobedient, at the same time she was significantly more predictable.
As it continued to check over her Status, however, Boxxy realized that not only was Snack noticeably stronger than when she was its familiar, but her species was no longer that of a Cerulean Succubus.
“How the hell did you manage to Rank Up? Into a djinn, no less!” it exclaimed.
According to knowledge gleaned from the Demonology Skill, the djinn were not only exceedingly few in number, but had very little in common with succubi to begin with. In fact, those menacing terrorists veered towards the more uncooperative side of the demonic spectrum, which was either unable or unwilling to submit to a soul-binding contract. This included beings such as the brainless imps, the much-too-prideful ifrit, the extremely unpredictable rift walkers, and the hopelessly lazy and thoroughly depraved creatures known as the zug-zug.
“I am not exactly sure, actually,” stated Xera.
The sultry smile on her lips began to fade and the flames of lust in her eyes diminished. She had realized that this was neither the time nor the place for the type of frivolities rushing through her rotten head.
“However,” she continued in a more serious tone, “I suspect it had a lot to do with this guy.”
She flipped over in the air and, while upside down and facing towards the exit, stretched out her arm. Interestingly enough, the calamity that was her mammaries did not obey gravity and strike her in the face as one might expect. They instead levitated in such a way as to display the maximum amount of over-boob, side-boob, and under-boob at the same time. Physics-defying cleavage aside, the Voidcaller staff Xera had dropped earlier and nearly forgotten about sprang to life. It floated upwards, off the floor, and right into the djinn’s open palm. Artifact securely in hand, she flipped back the right way round and respectfully handed it to her Master. Boxxy gripped the weapon, feeling the familiar weight in its hands while Snack gave a brief summary of the events leading to her demonic ascension.
A report that included what little she knew of the Artifact’s unwilling occupant.
“So, a lot of weird demonic stuff happened and you Ranked Up?”
“Can’t you explain it better than that?!”
“I apologize, Master, but that’s the most a brainless slut like myself could hope to learn from that situation.”
Boxxy looked down at the shiny black demonic skull while momentarily lost in thought. Knowing that this thing had an Ifrit Sultan trapped inside it was useful information to be sure. According to demonic lore, those beings were one step below Overlord level in terms of destructive potential. Accidentally releasing one of them into the physical realm was something that Boxxy wanted to avoid if at all possible, so it decided to treat the item with better care in the future.
On second thought, was that really a necessity? While erring on the side of caution was definitely wise, this was a solid adamantite weapon with Artifact-grade enchantments. It would take a lot more than a few stray dings to break this thing open, especially considering it didn’t have a scratch on it even after unknown centuries of intermittent use. And even if it did somehow break open and release its prisoner, who was to say the disembodied demon wouldn’t just disappear back to the Beyond?
And speaking of that immaterial reality, Boxxy still had one very important matter to settle before it got a move on.
*Beep ... Beep … Beep*
It would appear that, much to the Mimic’s delight, the thing blocking its connection to the Beyond was indeed the Stasis Field, and not the metal dome it found itself in.
*Beep ... Beep … Beep*
Carl sure was taking his sweet time answering, though.
“Hey, Carl. It’s Boxxy.”
“Get out. Get! Out! Are you shitting me?!”
“No, I am not defecating at you.”
“Juniper damn it, you bastard of a box! You just cost me 400 Essence of Rage!”
“Ah, nevermind that,” said the demon in a defeated tone. “That was my own fault for betting against you. Shoulda known something as fleeting as death wouldn’t keep you down.”
The Mimic wanted to ask what an Essence of Rage was and whether it was tasty or not, but it had more pressing matters to attend to.
“Carl, about my contracts-”
“Already working on it,” said the devil amidst a cavalcade of clicking noises. “Two of your former familiars - the stalker and the… succubus? Huh, now that’s… new? Well, the one with the gigantic tits and the luscious ass, you know who I mean. Those two are still in the mortal realm somewhere so I can’t renew their contracts until they come back here.”
“Claws is still alive?” asked the monster out loud.
“… Ah! Yes, Master!” replied the succubus after snapping out of her lustful leering. “She was actually helping me with-”
Boxxy raised a hand to silence Snack, so that it could focus on its conversation with Carl.
“As for the third one,” continued the otherworldly demon, “that lucky bitch is… just… about… There! She’s all set up and waiting on you.”
“Yeah, no problem. Though you gotta tell me how the hell you managed to escape old skull-face.”
“Can’t chat right now - I have a life to piece back together. Such as it is.”
The alarm that had been flared up ever since that hapless elf walked in here a while ago was still blaring, meaning that whatever trouble Snack and Claws had stirred up hadn’t been resolved yet. And if Boxxy hoped to take advantage of it, it really needed to get a move on.
“Sure thing. By the way, buddy, in case I gave you the wrong impression earlier - I’m really glad to have you back.”
“Yeah. Me too. Bye.”
As per usual, Carl did fast, efficient work. And now that Arms was once again bonded with her former master, it invoked the Voidcaller staff’s unique ignition ability and summoned her post-haste. A bright-red gateway opened up, and the familiar and all-too-welcome sight of the six-armed Archfiend stumbled out of it. It took her a while to get her bearings, but when she did, she threw all her arms up into the air and let out a loud a roar.
“Alriiiiiiiiiiight! I knew you’d find a way to cheat that bonehead, boss! Hahahaha! Koff, koff! Oh, and I just won a bet of 400 Essence of Rage - Koff! - thanks to you!”
“What’s an- Nevermind. Arms, listen, I need you to-”
“Koff! Koff koff koff! Koff koff!”
Much to Boxxy’s surprise, the fiend suddenly started coughing violently, uncontrollably even. Xera might have been surprised too, but she was still basking in her Master’s presence, so she didn’t even register her colleague’s arrival to begin with. As for Kora, her fit ended a few moments later when she finally dislodged the thing stuck in her throat, which fell to the metal-covered ground with an audible clatter.
The object in question was a pink, square-cut gemstone about 5 centimeters in both height and width, and roughly 1 centimeter thick. It was undoubtedly the same mystic jewel that Boxxy, or rather Keira, had inherited from Faehorn, which still retained much of the bright glow and gentle hum signifying its magic charge. How and why it had ended up in Kora’s throat was, of course, a total and complete mystery. In fact, its sudden reappearance made so little sense, that the Mimic almost didn’t want to pick it back up.
Almost being the operative word there.
The greedy creature really couldn’t help itself, so it reached down to pick up the shiny gem after barely a moment’s consideration. The instant it grasped it, however, the gem suddenly flashed with a blinding light as something activated. There was a loud screeching noise and a rush of air that accompanied the sudden light show, followed by the unmistakable clatter of gold on gold, among other things. It wasn’t until a few seconds later that the pink gem that Boxxy was still stubbornly holding onto finally relented and returned to a significantly more inert state.
Once the dust had settled, the Mimic found itself buried knee-deep in gold coins, with a few precious (and entirely unmagical) gemstones jutting out here and there. Amidst the pile of treasure it spotted many familiar things, such as several stacks of bombs, precisely 5 kilograms of a certain dryad’s specially prepared human jerky, a few pieces of armor like shields, gauntlets and sabatons, a bunch of clothes of various sizes and makes, and a toolbox filled with a tinkerer’s odds and ends. Most important of all, however, was the jeweled hilt of an enchanted mithril rapier, which was sticking out of the valuable mound as if demanding to be grasped.
Boxxy slowly, almost reverently reached down and gripped the nostalgic weapon, with Kora and Xera looking on in stunned silence while it gently pulled it out of the money pile. The creature didn’t know how or why, but the contents of its Storage it had all but give up on were now piled up in front of it. And while that mana sponge of a gemstone was certainly responsible, Boxxy had more important things to do right now than ponder the academic ramifications of this anomalous event.
Namely putting everly last piece of gold or equipment back in its rightful place.
Just as it finished reclaiming its loot, however, the underground base was once again shaken by something that seemed much too localized to be an earthquake.
“What is that, anyway?” asked Boxxy.
“Ah, those would be the idiots I bamboozled into helping me achieve vengeance for your sake, Master.”
“Idiots? What idiots?”
“Well, you see…”
One brief explanation from Snack later, and Boxxy was finally able to grasp how she was able to make it this far down.
“Alright, I can work with this,” determined the Mimic as its mind began churning away.
While it schemed, it threw the relentlessly smiling djinn a sideways glance. It almost hated to admit it, but it was thoroughly impressed with her actions, as even while thinking her Master was dead, she still took care to maintain its Facade. Which, while certainly unexpected, was by no means unwelcome, and definitely deserving of a special reward.
However, before Boxxy could re-integrate back into society, it first had to make sure to cover its tracks.
“Arms,” it called out.
“Sup boss? Got a job for me?” she asked while hopping in place expectantly.
“Yeah. There are some things in this base that I need you to smash for me.”
“Alriiight! … Is what I want to say, but I could really use a play-by-play here, boss. The big man hasn’t shown us a single episode of the Boxxy show ever since you… y’know, so I have no idea what’s been going on. Like, you won’t just suddenly keel over and drop dead or anything, right?”
“No, I won’t. At least, I don’t think I will. I still need to finish comparing notes with Snack, but for now-”
The Mimic reached into the recently restored contents of its Storage and pulled out a mana potion, which it immediately chugged. It then used most of the replenished MP to create a brand new Mirror Image. The clone assumed the Sandman’s guise, complete with billowing cloak, armored limbs and masked head, while the original slipped back into Keira’s well-tanned skin.
“Follow my clone, it will show you the way to your objective.”
When Boxxy strangled Professor Honoka to death earlier, it didn’t just eat the body after gleefully watching the life drain out of her eyes. As much as it wanted to satiate its hunger, it had instead decided to use the Broken Reflection Skill on her corpse. Through the use of that Doppelganger ability, it was able to glimpse into a few hours’ worth of the Alchemist’s most recent memories. Originally it had done this so that it could use said information to screw with Zilla’s head, but as a bonus it also learned a great deal regarding this ‘Foundation’ they both belonged to. Both the nature of the organization and much of this facility’s layout was now imprinted in its mind, and it was going to use that information to pick up where that delusional House Mimic had left off.
“Go! And crush anything or anyone in your way,” it ordered.
The Archfiend smashed her left fists into her right palms with a huge, toothy grin. It didn’t take an expert on demon behavior to understand she was really looking forward to this assignment.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way, boss!”
Boxxy then covered Keira’s naked body in a ripped up bedsheet it had lying around, and began practicing her ‘desperately tired’ face as it slipped into character. Rather than her usual cheerful self, the catgirl would appear exhausted, tortured, and vulnerable in order to garner as much sympathy as possible from those two VIPs. Doing so would certainly keep them from asking too many questions. After all, if there was one thing that living as Keira had taught it, it was that a cute girl in tears was one of the deadliest weapons known to man.
“Snack, you’re with me. The story is the Sandman and Arms broke in through an alternate path, found me, freed me, and had you escort me out of here. We’ll work out the details along the way.”
Boxxy, its clone, and the two demons all went out of the dome-shaped holding cell as one with sirens blaring in the background. While on the move, and before they could run into any more enemies, the Mimic went over its newly-unlocked Skill options and settled on the next step in its death-defying rise to power.
Proficiency level increased. Hylt Metabolism is now Level 1. END +5. INT +3.
Description: Allows the Creeper to find sustenance in any environment by imitating the formidable constitution of the mighty Hylt trees.
Requirements: Level 30 Doppelganger, Hylt Creeper, END 250, INT 200
Activation Time: N/A
Effects: Can draw nutrients from soil, water, sunlight, or ambient mana to satiate hunger.
Increases automatic HP and MP recovery by up to 20% per Level of this Skill when in direct sunlight.
Increases automatic HP and MP recovery by up to 50% per Level of this Skill when in a mana-rich environment.
The Mimic had gone back and picked a Skill it had passed over at Level 30 of the Doppelganger Job in favor of Spirit Echo. The ability to eat a whole bunch of things it couldn’t before, not to mention the rather outrageous potential boost to its HP and MP recovery were both sure to make the creature significantly more adaptable to hostile environments. The involuntary diet it had gone through while it was caged was not something it wanted to repeat if it all possible. After all, it didn’t come all this way, kill all those people, and survive the wrath of an honest-to-goodness Goddess just to die of starvation in some dark hole in the ground.
Truthfully speaking though, while expanding its survival skills was definitely a pragmatic decision on Boxxy’s behalf, there was also another, far less practical reason it settled on this particular Skill.
The relentlessly curious Mimic really wanted to know whether intangible things such as sunlight or the mystically-charged air of a dungeon were actually tasty.