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Archfiends were ridiculous.

This was Boxxy’s honest assessment after delivering a single hit using the body of one. It began to truly understand why Arms was so pigheaded, arrogant and reckless. It would probably be the same if it had this much brute strength at its fingertips every moment of every day. In fact, as it was right now, the Arch-Mimic was probably above the Archfiend when it came to physical prowess, as it had a doppelganger’s dense body mass to go along with her raw muscle. Not to mention its cunning and devious nature to go along with it. It truly was a recipe for destruction.

One that the ‘chef’ was planning to share with a certain someone.

“Prepare your anus, Setre! ‘Cuz when I get my hands on you, I’m gonna shove my dick so far up your ass you’ll be choking on my cum!”

Boxxy was a bit taken aback by its own words. While it definitely wanted to mess with its opponent by threatening her with some intimate one-on-one physical relations, that wasn’t quite what it had in mind. However, the Arms-esque dialogue just leaped out of its throat before it even realized. It would appear it was much more difficult to completely suppress the demon’s personality traits than it had originally anticipated.

“That- I’d like to see you try, shitstain!”

It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Setre’s unsteady, shrill tone of voice suggested the overtly fiendish line had done its job nonetheless. Come to think of it, the reaction she showed when it pulled a ‘surprise Punchy’ on her during their last meeting was pretty exaggerated, too. Perhaps she had some sort of deep-seated dislike towards the fiend part of the demonic spectrum?

Whatever the case, Boxxy decided to roll with it for a bit.

“Don’t mind if I do, bitch-tits!”

The Arch-Mimic charged towards its opponent while screaming obscenities at the top of its lungs. Being the colossal golem that it was, the Crystal Maiden was much too slow to offer any kind of significant reaction. A few of the minor minions on its battlements tried flinging their Spells at the incoming target, but their attempts were so pathetic that Boxxy couldn’t help but mock them.

“HAHAHAHA! GET THAT WEAK SHIT OUTTA HERE!”

The four-meter tall armored behemoth smashed its spiked shoulder plate into the bottom of the walking fortress’s defensive barrier. The impact produced a rather thunderous noise, followed by a cracking noise as the shield began to buckle. The crystal golems on the inside began reinforcing it, but Boxxy wouldn’t let them have an easy time of it. It firmly planted its feet in the ground, combined its three left arms into a single massive limb much like it had done on its right side, and proceeded to pummel the everliving shit out of it.

“ORA ORA ORA ORA!”

While giving voice to the words that welled up within its breast, of course.

Setre wasn’t going to just sit back and take this, though. She was already swinging her warhammer at her absurd opponent, but this strike was different from the others. Rather than trying to crush it flat or skewer it with the crystal aftershocks of an impact with the ground, she instead opted for a more horizontal swing. The djinn had simply decided that, since squashing the fiend-thing wasn’t going to work, then punting it away would probably be a better idea.

Boxxy naturally saw the pendulum-like attack coming, but it didn’t move to dodge. It turned its body around to the side so that it was facing the oncoming blow. It then pulled its massive right fist backwards as if it was going to try to match the Crystal Maiden’s power with its own. Whether or not it could actually do so was besides the point, as this move was a feint.

It leapt above the hammer’s head at the last moment, twisted its body around in midair and delivered a spinning lariat to the weapon’s handle, just above the massive block of fake ice. The shifty shapeshifter had already felt firsthand how this stuff was much more fragile than it appeared to be, so it wasn’t the least bit surprised when the oversized shaft snapped. This was something it wanted to do earlier, but wasn’t sure whether it could pull it off as just a doppelganger. But now that it had borrowed the Siegebreaker Skill in addition to adding an Archfiend’s ridiculous physique on top of its own, the outcome was no longer up for debate.

Now liberated from the rest of the weapon, the cracked hammer head tumbled across the mostly flat courtyard. It bounced thrice, producing an unfocused deluge of crystalline spikes every time it skimmed across the ground. It then fell off of the mountaintop arena altogether, landing somewhere at the bottom of the summit with a loud crash. Setre seemed to have been left momentarily stunned by this sudden development, as she remained frozen in her post-swing pose in disbelief.

What must have been the sixtieth Meteor of the day then crashed into her barrier directly in front of her face, causing it to finally crumble and shatter as if it were made of glass.

“Fuuuck!” she cursed while the flaming remnants fell onto her borrowed body. “Fine then! Phase two it is!”

The instant she said that, the Crystal Maiden’s bulky castle-like facade began cracking up all on its own and falling off her body in large chunks. This caused Boxxy to back off for the moment, as it wasn’t looking forward to being buried under the resulting debris. Even if the mineral making up the golem’s body was more fragile than it appeared, the sheer mass of those falling pieces could not be underestimated.

By the time the Arch-Mimic was safely out of range of the collapsing crystals, it found itself facing a very different Crystal Maiden from the one it had been fighting until now. This one was thin, slick and elegant, to the point of being basically an animate skeleton. Her body had stopped spewing out those golem attendants of hers, but they no longer had any battlements or ramparts to occupy anyway. Her face and head in particular had become perfectly smooth like an upside-down egg, save for the two glowing blue orbs that were probably her eyes. She was also shorter by about five meters, and her broken weapon had reformed itself into a plain-looking spear.

“Come on then, dodge this!”

Setre thrust said spear directly at Boxxy while moving at speeds a body that big really should not have been capable of. The weapon’s unexpected velocity caught the shapeshifter off guard, and it failed to completely avoid it. The sharpened tip of the crystalline weapon cleaved right through its left shoulder, separating its freakish arm from the rest of the body. The severed limb fell to the ground, whereupon it dissolved into a bubbling brown sludge that evaporated in a manner of seconds.

“Feels good, doesn’t it?”

Setre let out another jeer as she pulled back her weapon and began stabbing at her opponent repeatedly. The golem body she was possessing was likely used to handling such a thing, but the djinn herself was obviously an amateur. She wasn’t paying attention to her damaged knee in the slightest, which wasn’t moving in the way she told it to. This caused what would otherwise be pinpoint strikes to veer off slightly, making it easier for Boxxy to turn her attacks into near misses.

The dungeon master was still paying attention to her surroundings, however, as she was actively dodging Xera’s Meteors. This ‘phase two’ of hers was a lot more nimble than her previous form, which allowed her to exploit that Spell’s major weakness - the several second delay between casting the Spell and it actually hitting its target. The Pyromancer’s other projectile based magic, such as Fireball and Magma Missile, proved to be just as ineffective at landing on-target. And even when they did, the damage inflicted was lackluster at best. Even Inferno wasn’t doing much since Setre would just hop out of its area of effect.

Left with no other options, the ex-succubus was forced to rely on her Scorching Ray Spell. It was definitely the most effective Spell in her mystic arsenal in this situation. But even then she couldn’t maintain the beam on her target since channeling it required her to stand still. This would, in turn, invite Setre’s spear to strike at her, forcing Xera to dodge with Mist Form.

As for Ambrosia, she was now struggling to make any sort of impact on the fight. Her Rock Walls were barely even obstacles in the face of those massive thrusts, and her wind-based offensive magic was too underdeveloped to be useful against a hard target like that. She still healed her ‘lord’ whenever it got clipped, but she had the feeling all her efforts were doing was delaying the inevitable.

A conclusion that Boxxy had reached as well. It couldn’t get close enough to the gigantic golem to apply its ridiculous muscle power, nor could it find a gap to use significant magic. Or at least not without putting itself at significant risk. Breaking the weapon was also out of the question since intercepting those spear thrusts was like asking to get killed. Buying time for Snack to do her thing was also ill-advised, as the djinn’s MP reserves were on the brink of being exhausted.

Once that happened, she wouldn’t be able to avoid Setre’s attacks with her Mist Form, leading to her certain albeit temporary demise and reducing the three-on-one to a two-on-one.

That was hardly Boxxy’s most pressing concern, though. There was barely a minute left before its Malefic Union came undone, at which point it would probably be left momentarily immobilized. It was only natural that a Skill that was extremely painful during activation would have some sort of backlash when it ended. In fact, it was highly likely this gap was precisely what Setre was waiting for.

“Is that all you got, fuck-boy? Where’s all that bravado you had earlier?”

To make matters worse, Setre’s constant insults were steadily beginning to cloud its judgement. If Boxxy were its normal self, then this sort of stuff wouldn’t even phase it. However, those ceaseless provocations were causing Arms’s highly confrontational nature to flare up, making it increasingly more agitated and annoyed with every syllable. And since the Arch-Mimic couldn’t slap the shit out of her, it was unable to vent its mounting frustrations. It felt like it might give into the demonic rage that welled up from within and do something profoundly idiotic well before it reached the time limit.

Therefore, after considering all the options, Boxxy made the decision to abandon the fight. Even if the opponent was faster, that was only in this mostly flat and vacant ground. As long as it used the rest of the dungeon’s treacherous terrain and structures to its advantage, then it could easily avoid the Crystal Maiden long enough to escape. At that point it would be a simple matter to regroup with its familiars outside the confines of the dungeon, formulate a plan of action and challenge it again.

That would have definitely been the right call in that situation, yet Boxxy stopped itself just as it was about to give the command to retreat.

Because if what its Eyes of the Dead God Skill had just revealed to it was true - and it had zero reason to doubt this information - then the situation was about to change.

“Just try and take this-! … Huh?”

The dungeon master’s verbal abuse was suddenly cut off by her own surprised voice as the golem she was controlling suddenly began to tip over. She flailed her arms around in an attempt to regain her balance, but it was a lost cause since legs weren’t obeying her commands. She was forced to stab her spear into the ground and lean on it as if it were a walking stick just to avoid falling over. She then looked towards her feet, but had difficulty processing what she saw.

Which was only to be expected considering she saw nothing. There was seemingly nothing wrong with her lower limbs, yet her ankles refused to separate from one another no matter how much she tried. She then suddenly spotted something moving across the ripped up battlefield beneath her. It was a shimmer of some kind that she had difficulty tracking. It was clearly there, yet any attempt to narrow her sight on it made her eyes slip right off it.

She wasn’t given any time to study this bizarre phenomenon though, as it reached its destination merely a second after she spotted it.

*SCHWING*

There was a very harsh sound of two hard surfaces grinding against each other for an instant, followed by Setre’s spear abruptly snapping in half. Now losing its last support, the Crystal Maiden’s massive body finally hurtled towards the ground. There was no doubt the impact would do a huge amount of damage, but Boxxy wasn’t going to wait for it. It ran towards the lurching golem and leapt into the air, placing itself on a collision course with its mostly blank face. The dungeon master made an effort to block it with her hands, but she couldn’t make it in time to stop the dropkick to her face.

*CRASH*

The Arch-Mimic bore clean through the Crystal Maiden’s head. It didn’t shatter it completely, but still left a gaping hole filled with jagged edges in its wake. This probably wouldn’t be enough to finish off the golem, but that wasn’t its goal. The shapeshifter’s true aim was the dungeon master’s real body, which it had grabbed on its way through the crystalline skull. She couldn’t move a muscle since her spirit was still inhabiting the golem, so she had no chance of stopping what was about to happen next.

Boxxy spun around in the air so it would land on its belly and positioned Setre’s limp body beneath its own. Time seemed to grind to a halt as the frail female form hurtled towards the hard ground with a five hundred kilogram mass of steel and muscle pressing down on top of her. Needless to say, what was left of Setre’s flesh after the horrific impact was a substance that could only be described as ‘djinn paste.’

“Aarrgh!” wailed the disembodied demon. “What just happened? What are you doing out there?!”

Boxxy merely stood up, turned towards the fallen and twitching golem, and raised a middle finger towards Setre’s orphaned consciousness while still coated in her remains.

“I’m winning, you cheeky cunt!”

It took a run up, leapt into the air once more and landed squarely onto the Crystal Maiden’s lower back. It then lifted its right foot all the way up to its head and delivered what was essentially the finishing blow.

“War Stomp!”

Its Martial Art enhanced armored boot plowed into the golem’s spine, or at least the spot where it would be if it had one. The crystalline construct shuddered immensely as its entire torso began to crack up. Chunks of various sizes and shapes broke off her body and fell to the ground, while its relatively thin waist was snapped in half. A Meteor then fell onto the remnants of its head and completed the decapitation process, completely robbing Setre of any further visual or auditory input.

Neither the djinn nor the golem were quite dead just yet, though. Even in this sorry state, the Crystal Maiden’s arms continued to flail around blindly. It even had a whopping 60,000 HP left according to Boxxy’s divine eyesight, but it was clear Setre had already lost. She couldn’t even move her legs since her lower body had been physically separated from the rest of her by that War Stomp. In fact, the only reason she still clinged to some semblance of life was because of the dungeon core embedded in the golem’s chest. The Arch-Mimic hadn’t been able to notice its presence until it was right on top of it, but it wasn’t all that surprised by it either.

After all, a being as stupidly massive as the Crystal Maiden probably required obscene amounts of energy to move around. Not to mention it would need something potent magical reinforcement to keep its feet from collapsing under its own weight. These sort of drawbacks were why monsters taller than seven meters or so were exceedingly rare. Not even the demonic Overlords crossed that threshold. In fact, the only ones who did so regularly were Adult and Elder Dragons, but those things defied common sense by their very existence, so they were hardly usable as examples.

“Snack!” yelled out Boxxy as it leapt down off the immobilized dungeon boss.

“Yes, Master?!”

The succubus-in-spirit appeared in front of her Master out of nowhere. She was twitching, rubbing her thighs together and panting heavily, but Boxxy had no intention of answering her perverted expectations.

“See to it that you finish off our ‘host,’ will you?”

“B-b-but-! My MP is empty! Yeah! I can’t use magic without MP! And since a good dicking will recharge my MP, then-!”

“Then get it from Ambrosia. She has plenty of MP, doesn’t she.”

The dryad in question nodded from the side in confirmation.

“Yes, Master…” said the djinn in a devastated voice.

“Do this thing properly and I’ll see about turning your pussy into a sopping mess or whatever later tonight, alright?”

“Yes, Master!”

The freshly motivated Xera then practically threw her arms around the spriggan and gave her a huge kiss with plenty of tongue. Ambrosia wasn’t even flustered by this turn of events and simply let the ex-succubus drain some of her of her magical energy. She even wrapped her hands around the voluptuous demon’s absurdly thin waist and pressed their bodies together to maximize bark-to-skin contact and accelerate the process. This method wasn’t as fast as actual intercourse, but it still allowed Xera’s Energy Drain Skill to do its thing.

As for Boxxy, it turned its back towards the two women swapping MP, crossed all six of its arms in front of its chest and stared down at the mass of shimmering air that was now in front of it.

“Good work, Claws.”

“Tktktktktktktk! Th-thank you, master! Tktktktktk!”

Drea’s shaky voice came out of the bizarre phenomenon, accompanied by her trademark nervous chittering. Boxxy probably wouldn’t have realized it was her if it wasn’t for the Eyes of the Dead God Skill clearly showing her name and HP. It wasn’t just its eyesight that was being confused, though. Even the MLG it had grown inside its chest cavity couldn’t clearly see the Stalker. Or rather, it could tell that something was there and could determine the general shape of it, but the details were fuzzy and unclear. It was almost as if it were picking up a silhouette or a shadow of some kind.

“Show yourself so I can get a good look at you.”

Unable to defy a direct order like that, the arachnid demon released the optical camouflage obfuscating her body, and in doing so revealed that she was no longer a simple Stalker.

For starters, her colors were all different. Her hair was now a deep purple and her skin a deathly pale white. The black markings on her arms, thighs and face that marked her as a Hornet variant of the Stalker species were still there, except that they were now the same color as her hair. Her face was still more or less the same, aside from her new set of compound bug eyes.

Not only were they now a dark orange bordering on brown, but she had gained six more of them on top of her original two. The primary pair were the same shape and size as they were before, and were also in the same spot. Four of the new ones were lined up horizontally across the middle of her forehead, while the last pair were on her cheekbones, just beneath the outer edges of her main ones. The additional ocular organs were shaped more like rice grains and slanted inwards, giving her an overall even more monstrous appearance.

However, the changes to Drea’s face and head were far from the most drastic ones.

Her arachnid carapace that covered much of her body had been replaced by some type of deep blue ice crystals. They encompassed her legs all the way up to just above the knee and the outside of her thighs. It crawled up to her lower back and the sides of her lower torso, then wrapped around the outer sides of her modest breasts. The borderline indecent cleavage in particular made this formation seem like some kind of corset that one would expect to see on a succubus, not a Stalker. Her strangely erotic image was only further enhanced by the fact her well-rounded butt cheeks were left exposed, with just a tiny strip of frozen carapace running down her crack. Her nether regions, on the other hand, had a single V-shaped strip of ice that barely even covered the area where the female genitals would normally be found on the human body.

Whether she actually had anything underneath that was a question that neither Boxxy nor Drea wished to have answered right at that moment, though for vastly different reasons.

In terms of the rest of her upper body, the ice crystals also completely covered her arms aside from the inner part of her elbow and the upper half of her biceps and triceps. They also enveloped the outer part of her mandibles and the top of her shoulders, and formed a spiky choker-like ring around the base of her neck. However, the place where this new material most prevalent was without a doubt her scythe-tipped back-limbs, which had undergone a rather drastic metamorphosis.

Rather than merely being covered by it, the entirety of the demon’s bladed appendages appeared to be made out of these icy crystals. The scythes in particular were much larger, thicker, and probably sturdier than they used to be. Deadlier too, as they were now double-bladed, with the outside-facing edges sporting a series of nasty-looking barbs that looked like they’d rip through flesh and bone as if they were butter. Actually, considering how these were probably the things that sliced through Setre’s spear, it was a safe bet to assume they could handle much tougher materials than before.

And yet, as impressive as it was, this wasn’t the only offensive upgrade Claws had gotten. She may have retained only two claws on each foot, but her hands now had six bladed digits instead of three, but their layout was rather bizarre. It was a hand that had two thumbs on either side of it and two rows of paired fingers that were facing against each other. Her palms had become hollow and cone-shaped, and now housed a more robust set of spinnerets that were ready to produce webbing with exceptional durability at will.

In fact, Boxxy had already seen this stuff in action, so it was quite sure of its tensile strength. These mysterious strands of silk were what Claws had used to bind the Crystal Maiden’s ankles and made the golem trip over its own feet. Yet despite having strength enough to limit a fifteen meter tall golem’s movements, the webbing was still so thin that it was practically invisible against the construct’s crystalline limbs. Even Boxxy wouldn’t have realized it was there if it wasn’t for the fact that it could see Claws’s obscenely long name spinning around the golem’s lower body.

By this point, the Mimic didn’t even need to look at its third familiar’s Status to determine she had acquired a slew of new Skills on top of her makeover.

“So,” spoke up the Boxxy after finishing its appraisal. “You Ranked Up while you were gone, did you?”

There was simply no other way to explain this new Claws that stood before it.

“She’s a what now?”

Xera’s startled voice came from behind the Mimic’s massive back. She separated herself from Ambrosia’s embrace and the two of them peeked around the demon-doppelganger hybrid.

“Y-yeah,” responded the object of their attention. “Ktktktkktkt… I’m a Tundra Webstalker now, ktkktktktkt…”

“Oh, wow!” exclaimed the djinn. “Finally joined the rest of us, eh? Congrats, girl!”

“Likewise,” chimed in Ambrosia. “Though I must say, milady Drea now looks quite… splendid. Does she not, milord?”

“Uh, yeah,” answered Boxxy. “That’s one way of putting it.”

Truthfully speaking, ‘splendid’ was a woefully inadequate descriptor of the former Stalker’s new appearance. Her deep blue ice was so clear and multi-faceted that it was basically gem-like in its radiance. The way Claws’s body nervously wriggled and twitched in the direct sunlight made her sparkle like as if she were made out of high quality sapphires. The claws on her hands and feet, as well as the edges of her new scythes also seemed to emit a soft inner glow, giving them a unique sky-blue hue that had its own distinct (and highly deadly) charm.

In short, calling the current Claws anything other than ‘deliciously shiny’ would be a crime in Boxxy’s book.

“Tktktktkt! M-m-master? Tktktkktkt… C-c-c-c-can I go, now?”

It wasn’t until the extremely nervous spider-woman let out that quivering voice that Boxxy realized it had been staring at her. At both her shiny parts and her fleshy bits. It would appear that the fiendish influence it was under made it subconsciously lust after the petite Webstalker due to her inherent sex appeal. Oddly enough, it didn’t feel that way towards Snack or Ambrosia.

Perhaps it was the fact that Claws was shiny and provocative that caused this momentary lapse in judgement?

Either way, it couldn’t listen to that nagging little voice at the back of its head, no matter how much pleasure it promised. According to its preliminary research, giving into one’s demonic side during a Malefic Union carried the risk of permanently warping the user’s personality. And Boxxy very much liked not being an idiotic horndog with more bravado than common sense.

“Hold on, Claws,” it uttered. “What’s that thing on your waist?”

Now that it wasn’t ogling her breasts anymore, Boxxy noticed something that clearly wasn’t a part of its familiar. It was a brown leather belt with a circular mithril-plated buckle that was studded with a total of six jewels. Each of them consisted of a round diamond-like gemstone about 3 centimeters in diameter, which was surrounded by a thin ring of yet more mithril.

“Ack!” squealed Drea. “I almost forgot! This the thing I got for- Tktktkktktktk! For beating the Howling Chasm!”

She discharged some of her new webbing into her own hands and began weaving it with astounding dexterity. Watching those crystalline digits of hers bend and loop around each other had an almost hypnotic look to it. The show didn’t last more than a second though, as it took but a few moments for her to wrap a thick layer of the stuff around both her hands. It was only then that she allowed herself to unbuckle the belt and present it to her master.

“… What was that about?” asked Boxxy while pointing at her webbed-up limbs.

“Well, uhm, tktktktktk, I’m worried my sharp fingers might damage the leather or scratch up the shiny bits, so I made some, ktktktktkt, ‘kid gloves’ for myself…”

“I see. Nice thinking, Claws. If only all of my minions were as considerate.”

The Arch-Mimic accepted the belt from Drea, who was so happy that she got complimented again that she seemed to be on the verge of tears. Or at least she would be, if she actually had tear ducts.

“Th-th-tktktktkthank you, master!”

“What about the chest it came out of?” asked Boxxy as it inspected the item closer. “What was it made of?”

“Gold, master. Also, the gems on it taste strongly of, tktktktktktkt, spatial manipulation magic.”

“Ohhh! Excellent! Then I can expect great things from this prize! And from you as well! You’re now so shiny that you’ve become a superbly shiny article yourself! I knew I made the right decision when I formed a contract with you, Claws!”

“Kyaaa!”

Hearing her master say all those things made Drea’s embarrassment boil over, causing her to turn her head away to hide her blushing cheeks while she squealed in delight. Which was only to be expected, as those words were specifically chosen to fill her with glee. Boxxy was well aware of the type of insecurities Claws was obsessed with, so it knew just what to say to alleviate them. That was why the Mimic paid no attention to the giddy spider-girl and focused entirely on inspecting the shiny belt.

As for Ambrosia, she wasn’t quite as delighted as she appeared. Frankly speaking, she wasn’t a fan of shiny things like Boxxy was. Quite the opposite, in fact. She actually preferred the old Drea to the new one, but kept smiling all the same lest she ruin the festive mood. As for Xera, she couldn’t help but cringe at the Webstalker. Not because of jealousy or the giddy ice cube’s unbefitting innocent rection, but because Drea had unwittingly twisted her head around a whole 180 degrees as if it were on a swivel. The djinn had always been a bit unsettled by her colleague’s arachnid features and tendency to stalk others, but this was a whole new level of creepy.

Truthfully speaking, Drea’s Rank Up had come with a lot more than the standard suite of physical upgrades such as increased speed, agility, strength and stamina. The fact that she could now turn her head a full circle to the left or right without bringing her any discomfort was but one of her body’s changes. Her new back-mounted scythes, for instance, also had a wider range of motion thanks to their doll-like ball joints.

Her sight and kinetic vision were both much sharper, and her new eyes now worked in conjunction with the Detect Magic Skill from her Stalker Job. This allowed her to sense and identify magical traps, formations and enchantments purely by sight, which included the dungeon’s various snares and pitfalls. Being able to just walk around or leap over such things was partly how she had managed to rejoin Boxxy in such a timely manner.

However, that was hardly the main reason for her speedy arrival at the summit. Her metamorphosis from a Hornet Stalker into a Tundra Webstalker had, among other things, regenerated her lost limbs and restored her to full health. Then there was the matter of the Cold Affinity Skill from her subspecies, which instantly turned her environment from ‘deadly’ to ‘strangely refreshing.’ If it wasn’t for all those factors, then there was no telling whether she would’ve had the strength to make it back to Boxxy at all, let alone sneak up on and topple a colossal golem.

If Drea had to pick though, the favorite part about her Rank Up would be her Tundra subspecies. It made her shiny to the point where she felt her master just might start caressing and licking her all over like it did with Fizzy. It was an event she secretly wanted to happen, but was far too shy to actually speak it aloud.

At the same time, she could now hide better than ever thanks to the Partial Invisibility effect of her Clear Ice Skill. True, she had to spend MP to maintain it, but it was better than risking being discovered at inopportune times due to her sparkling countenance. It wasn’t all good, but on the whole she felt incredibly lucky that things turned out the way they did.

What she and the vast majority of demons failed to realize, however, was that ‘luck’ played a very insignificant role in a demon’s Rank Up. It was no mere coincidence that Drea became a being that not only seemed uniquely suited to her master’s tastes, but was also ideal for dealing with her environmental woes. Just like it was no coincidence that Xera became a more proficient trickster with an even more appealing flavor during her own Rank Up about a month ago.

When it came to demons, the deciding factor that separated the Rankers from the rabble was desire.

I want power enough to impress my master and get praised!

It didn’t matter if it was childish and puerile.

I want power enough to incinerate the piece of trash that took my beloved master away from me!

It was of little consequence whether it went against a demon’s nature.

I want power enough to kick that bitch Teresa right in her stupid face!

It was also completely acceptable if it was impulsive and narrow minded.

The most important thing to a demon when it came to attaining a higher level of existence was having a single immutable want that they would go to any lengths to fulfil. Something that was so important, so vital, that they would never feel complete unless they obtained it. And it was only when a demon’s yearning reached critical mass that their twisted, selfish soul would open itself up to the world around it. All with the goal of forcibly seizing the means through which it could obtain its deepest desire.

Alternatively, the God of Happenstance could show up and forcibly evolve a demon on a whim, but such an irresponsible thing has only happened, like, two times.

Maybe four.

Ten tops.


General Information Attributes Job Information
Name Dreaheath Uniolphial Maramakartor Name Value Name Value Name Level Progress
Species Webstalker (Tundra) STR 528 MNT 1322 Stalker 57 75%
Sex Female DEX 1189 PER 528 Webstalker 16 56%
Age 814 years AGI 1057     Rogue 43 81%
Guild   END 925          
HP 5153/5153 (+9.2/sec) INT 661          
MP 3305/3305 (+3.9/sec) WIS 396          
Skill List
Name Level Proficiency Name Level Proficiency Name Level Proficiency
Stalk 10 MAX Peerless Gluttony 2 8% Cheap Shot 5 31%
Counterspell 10 MAX Steel Thread 5 31% Deadly Acrobatics 4 25%
Rending Claws 10 MAX Weaver 4 25% Blade Finesse 2 8%
Blood Gorger 10 MAX Impact Webbing 2 8% Venomous Sting 10 MAX
Detect Magic 10 MAX Assassination 10 MAX Webspinner 10 MAX
Magic Resistance 8 52% Misdirection 10 MAX Clear Ice 3 9%
Mana Leech 5 31% Evasion 10 MAX Cold Affinity 3 9%
Spider Sense 4 25% Silent Sprint 8 52%      
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A note from Exterminatus

Tundra Webstalker Drea, by dmaxcustom


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About the author

Exterminatus

  • Chestiest Chest That Ever Chested

Bio: I'm a programmer, a mythical creature that survives completely on beer and cynicism. We skulk in the dark, secretly cursing and despising everyone else. Especially other programmers.

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Diabolus
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Diabolus @Diabolus ago

Was going to go to bed but now im not

mjkj
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mjkj @mjkj ago

Thank you for the chapter Very Happy

...and great pic of Drea's rank-uped version

Omegamon @Omegamon ago

*masturbating furiously*

sincron
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sincron @sincron ago

thanks for the chapter

Mbt680 @Mbt680 ago

Thanks for the chapter

Karmagator @Karmagator ago

Great chapter! And we get the art as well! Yay!

 

Thanks mate :)

Pubeard @Pubeard ago

thanks for the chapter! :)

Danteforce @Danteforce ago

Shiny

So Fire, Earth and Ice affinities are hear... Forget about Voltron, Boxxy is trying to summon Captain Planet. Now all he needs is a minion with wind/lightning affinitie and he can save *cough* brake *cough* world.

    Almarna @Almarna ago

    you forgot air from ambrosia

     

      Fantasy Dreamer @Fantasy Dreamer ago

      Ambrosia is more of the wood or life affinitie. (my opinion)

      Granitefish @Granitefish ago

      She has been described with an affinity for wind. Her big attacks in her chapter were wind based.

      Danteforce @Danteforce ago

      Ambrosia has Earth Affinity (previous chapter). With her job set it's not ruled off that she has more then one, but I didn't found any mention of wind. Spells yes, anyone can learn them, but no skill.

      Granitefish @Granitefish ago

      My wording in that was wrong. I forgot Affinity was an actual Skill. I meant that she was skilled in Air/Wind magic. In the first chapter of this arc it spoke about all spriggins using Air, Water, and Soil Magic. So it's likely her Air Magic isn't just an anyone can learn situation. In any case we could count Fizzy as Electricty when she comes back with her being an Arclight Artificer.

      Looking back at that brings up a question for @Exterminatus The story has had a point of it being Soil Magic. If this is because this isn't Earth and they wouldn't have a concept of Earth wouldn't that mean it should be Soil Affinity and not Earth Affinity?

CrimsonWarden @CrimsonWarden ago

That's a cool rank-up...

 

 

 

I'll let myself out.

mafiapl @mafiapl ago

I still dont get what triggered the rank up. Where did the power for rank up process come from? In Kora's case it was forced rank up (no she didnt have strong enough desire), in Xera's case it was true rank up from desire and divine essence but what about Drea? She had the desire, but where did the power to back it up come from? Dungeon core?

    woodzrox @woodzrox ago

    Probably from eating the shapshifting wraith thing, if it needed a power source to beging with.

    jackalope @jackalope ago

    Nothing has ever said power is required.  Divine essence forces the issue, but it isn't necessary: the 'essences' that randomly cause rank-ups come from mortal emotions.  Ranking up appears to be more of a crapshoot than anything else, with maybe some influence from the demon's personal drive.

    Vincent1875 @Vincent1875 ago

    Demons are said to become more powerful as they get older. Drea may have already accumulated enough power to rank up with how old she is. Then it would have only been a matter of the desire.