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A note from Exterminatus

In case you guys missed the message in the last chapter, this fic will be going on break for a while.

Following the Crystal Maiden’s demise, Setre’s disembodied soul lost its anchor to the physical realm and was pulled into the Beyond. It was by no means a painful or uncomfortable process. In fact, it was actually somewhat pleasant in a nostalgic way, as the djinn was quite literally coming home for the first time in decades. And yet, as she passed through the borders of reality, she couldn’t help but feel that something was amiss.

The source of her discomfort became apparent when she finally arrived in the demonic realm, only to find herself standing in a familiar office and staring down a familiar face.

“Yo! Welcome back, Setre! Long time no see!”

Sitting behind the desk opposite her was a female devil. She looked more or less human aside from the typical appearance traits that her kind carried. Things like pink skin, a pair of cute black horns poking out of her forehead and the complete and total lack of eyes. She wore a long-sleeved dark blue blazer with a white undershirt, which completely subdued what little cleavage she might have shown otherwise. Her short brown hair was done in a stylish bob cut that revealed as much of her forehead and horns as possible. She was also wearing a pair of rimless eyeglasses, which served no purpose other than to accentuate her lack of eyes.

“Hey, Nina,” responded Setre, who currently appeared as a floating mote of pale blue light. “What’s the deal with the redirect?”

Typically speaking, demons who were returning from the mortal realm arrived in one of many designated ‘landing zones’ within the Beyond. Frankly speaking, the djinn never understood the need for such places in a realm where space and distance were merely suggestions. However, such was the status quo, and Setre’s soul arriving at her agent’s office in the Demons ‘R’ Us offices was definitely unusual.

“Dunno,” answered the devil with that annoyingly casual tone of hers. “I was told to redirect you, so here you are.”

“Wonderful… My dungeon master gig is still safe though, right?”

“I’ve not been told to terminate it so yeah, probably. Though I gotta say, with the performance you put on I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that. The ratings for your boss fight are through the roof! Well, they won’t match the Nagnamor vs Liusolra showdown, but top ten for sure!”

“… What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Oh. Right. You didn’t know.”

“Know what?”

*Ring-ring*

“Hold on a sec, hun. Gotta take this.”

“Know what?!”

*Click*

“Hey, Carl, how’s it going? … No, I got loads of time.”

Unfortunately for Setre, Nina completely ignored her question and focused her attention on the inbound call. The djinn’s attempts to get Nina’s attention were immediately shut down by series of hand gestures that could only be interpreted as ‘would you shut up already.’

“Uh-huh. … Yeah-huh. … Yeah, he’s one of mine, too. … Oh, no shit? Wow, and I thought that first one was bad! … Alright, I’ll take care of it. Toodles.”

*Click*

“So-”

“Just a sec, hun. I’ll be with you in a minute. And get dressed, will you?”

Nina continued to brush Setre off as she turned her attention towards the console on her desk. Having nothing better to do, the djinn decided she might as well comply with the devil’s request. She focused for a bit and brought out her soul-self, granting her the same slim figure and blue belly dancer attire she would normally have while on the job. Nina glanced at the djinn’s larger than usual bust size, but refrained from commenting on it this time around.

Nina finished whatever she was doing after about a minute, at which point she put her elbows on the desk and leaned forward.

“Okay, Setre, here’s the thing. Goroth wants to have a meeting with you and Khurpath, and the Progenitor will be hosting it.”

“Th-th-the Goddess of Misfortune herself?” asked the djinn in a surprised stutter. “Why? What’s he got to do with this?”

“Well, you know that Warlock you just fought with? That’s Boxxy, the current Hero of Chaos.”

“O-oh. Uhm. Okay. What?”

“Look, it’ll take too long to explain. Khurpath already borrowed a bunch of recordings so you two can go over that later. Right now, you have a meeting to attend. Try not to embarrass yourself out there, m’kay?”

“But I-!”

Setre didn’t even get a chance to collect her thoughts before she was suddenly yanked out of the Beyond and into Julian’s divine space within the Aether. She found herself seated on a red couch, nestled between a human-shaped collection of rocks on her left and a gigantic sock puppet on her right. There was a flash of light overhead and the floating eyeballs of the Gazer demon that worked under her in the same dungeon appeared out of it.

“Alright!” declared Hyjal with a clap of his bees. “Now that we’re all here, I suppose we should get started.”

“Mmmm, aren’t you being a bit hasty?” asked Goroth. “Your… people don’t seem to be aware of what’s going on.”

That was an understatement. Technically speaking, even though they were contracted to him, neither Setre nor Khurpath had ever personally met the God of Earth. Nor the God of Probability, for that matter. Being so suddenly brought out here between them naturally left both of them speechless and frozen with shock. Even if they were Rankers, it was still jarring to meet actual deities face to face like this. Especially when one of them kept changing every time they blinked. That last bit was especially bad on the Gazer, as each of his orbiting ocular orbs was picking up a completely different representation of the God of Fate.

“Yeah alright, fine,” conceded Jeremiah. “Listen up you two, here’s the thing-”

The God of Uncertainty then proceeded to explain that the purpose of this meeting was to analyze the latest attack on the Palace of the Crystal Maiden. The two demons were summarily informed of Boxxy’s assault on the Earth God’s other dungeon about half a year ago. It would appear that shapeshifter was more or less responsible for making the deity reconsider his ‘form before function’ approach. Something about annihilating a meticulously scripted Jade King encounter in a matter of seconds.

This was enlightening for Setre, as it explained why her dungeon received more changes over the past three months than it had gotten over the past three centuries.

“-and now that it’s been properly put through its paces, we’re going to see how it held up and help Goroth here fine-tune the place,” concluded Hubert.

“Hmm, interesting,” said Khurpath. “Is our presence really necessary here for such a thing, though?”

“It is,” confirmed Goroth. “You’ve both faced the invaders in combat, so your perspective will be valuable.”

“That’s how it is,” said Lulu with a nod of her salmon. “So without further ado, let’s start by examining Boxxy’s entrance.”

The mass of purple spaghetti with green meatballs stood off the couch and approached a spot that was a few meters in front of it. He then snapped his breadsticks, and a massive wooden frame popped out of the pure white floor as if it was a letter in an envelope. It hovered next to the deity, and a recording of Boxxy and its entourage entering the dungeon began playing in it for everyone to see.

Setre was naturally quite surprised at first, but seeing the images play out in front of her made her realize what Nina was talking about earlier. If this thing was really the Hero of Chaos, then it would only natural for its patron deity would keep an eye on it. And being the divine being that he was, the God of Toss-ups would share that perspective with the rest of the Beyond. It was something he’d tried to pull several times in the past with limited success. Watching the everyday lives of mortal men and women was a novel distraction, but one that turned boring and tired really fast.

Yet Nina’s earlier words would suggest that this particular Hero was actually quite popular among demonkind.

“As you can see here, Setre’s interference proved to be rather key,” explained Mikhail while gesturing at the floating screen with a puddle. “She forced the invaders to actively ignore her rather than pay attention to their surroundings, leading to them being caught in the teleportation trap. If it wasn’t for this, then the dungeon run would’ve went very differently. Yes, what is it, Blinky?”

Morris pointed at Khurpath, who had been wiggling his floating eye stalks as if he were a child asking permission to speak.

Or rather, that was precisely what the situation was.

“Pardon my interruption, sir, but there should be a dozen more traps like it, at least to my knowledge. And the ones deeper inside should be better concealed than the first. Surely they would’ve been caught and separated by at least one of those.”

“Normally you would be correct. In fact, the Archfiend you faced ran into three of them on her way to the summit. However, this group’s leader is a doppelganger, one that has Ranked Up from being a chest mimic. It always has a Mana Locator Gland somewhere inside its body to look out for traps. If the first tele-trap had failed, then it would be on alert against further trickery and likely have been able to avoid or disarm them.”

“Oh, hoh! So that’s how it was!”

Being the owner of an MLG himself, Khurpath understood quite well how vexing the ambient mana in that dungeon could be. He had learned to filter out the background noise so it doesn’t confuse or bother him, but this doppelganger must not have been able to do that. And since it wasn’t looking out for the trap, it must have failed to spot it in all that ‘white noise.’

“Why couldn’t we just make that a lethal trap?” grumbled Setre. “Just drop the lot into an active volcano or something.”

“Doing that would defeat the purpose of a dungeon,” answered Goroth. “It is a place to test and temper mortals, not an execution ground.”

The group then went over the shapeshifter’s passage through the Glacial Gallows, and the bloodbath left in its wake. Goroth mostly just watched intently while Bogdan narrated. Khurpath butted in from time to time to clarify a few things, though that was mostly to satisfy his own curiosity. As for Setre, she was mostly left speechless at just how efficient a killer this Boxxy T. Morningwood was.

It wasn’t long before the scene of the all-too-brief bout between the Mimic and the Alpha Icescale Naga came up.

“E-excuse me, Goroth?” spoke up Setre.

“Hmm? What is it?”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, but how come that thing got a gold-tier item from that encounter? The core’s Item Allocation should have distributed rewards based on challenge rating, right?”

The harder and more harrowing a fight was, the more likely it would be for the victor to claim a powerful item appropriate for their Level. Conversely, those who breeze through a dungeon just because they were overwhelmingly powerful would only get useless junk. Those that were too weak or challenged it unprepared would typically pay for their hubris or arrogance with their lives. Setre couldn’t speak for other deities, but she knew for a fact that that was how the Earth God’s dungeons were set up.

“Considering it instagibbed the guardian, there’s no way it should’ve gotten a top tier reward,” she added.

“You’re right,” said Goroth with a rumbling voice. “Based on the dungeon core’s evaluation of that encounter, it was originally supposed to get just a wooden chest. However, that creature has a considerable amount of Luck as part of its Status.”

The Luck (LCK) Attribute had two distinct effects aside from certain Skill interactions. The first was to ever-so-slightly tip the odds in the holder’s favor. Escaping fatal wounds by a hair’s breath, finding a penny on the street or winning in a game of dice all became that tiny bit more likely with each point of LCK. It was nigh-impossible to measure such vague and subtle differences, though, so it was hard to judge the Attribute’s actual influence on one’s good fortune.

The second and more prominent effect of the LCK Attribute was that it increased the chances of obtaining higher Quality items. There were a handful of scenarios this applied to, but obtaining treasures from dungeon chests was the most common one. Therefore, it was entirely plausible that the Hero of Chaos would have been given a better reward than it deserved purely by virtue of this Attribute.

There was just one problem.

“Sorry, but I’m not buying it,” declared Setre with a dubious look. “Even if Luck comes into play, then the reward tier should only go up by one grade, two at the most. Yet this one skipped over four of them and went all the way from wood to gold? That’s just silly.”

“I should point out,” interjected William, “that Boxxy has 259 Luck.”

“… I’m sorry, could you repeat,” said the djinn after a short pause. “I just thought I heard you say-”

“Two. Hundred. Fifty. Nine,” enunciated the tumorous loaf of bread.

Luck was, statistically speaking, the rarest Attribute. Not only was it difficult to find an adventurer that had it on their Status, but even then they would not have more than 20 or 30 of it. The Priests, Paladins and Monks that followed the God of Unpredictability would be the exception due to the nature of their religion, but they’d be hard pressed to reach more than 70 Luck.

And yet the one who invaded Setre’s dungeon had nearly four times that amount.

“O-oh… I see…” she muttered dumbly.

“If you think that’s impressive, wait till you see Boxxy’s pet,” said Derrick in a joyful tone. “That adorable little thing has over two thousand of it! I didn’t even know such a thing was possible until I saw it for myself! It’s like a walking singularity of chaos and absurdity, and it is bloody brilliant!”

“Ah. Ahah. Hahahaha…”

The only reaction the djinn could offer to that revelation was a dry, humorless laugh. Even that thing’s pet was incomprehensible.

“This is the first I hear of this!” roared the God of Earth. “If such an anomaly is allowed to roam free, then no dungeon is safe!”

“Relax yourself, blockhead,” said Joe dismissively. “The thing I’m talking about is an adorable little critter that’s a total pacifist. It’s so pathetically weak that it’ll just die from mana poisoning if it enters any of the more advanced dungeons. It doesn’t matter how game-breakingly lucky it is if a single breath of air would make it drop dead on the spot.”

“… You’re certain?”

“I am. I’ll talk about that all you want, but later. We should stop getting sidetracked for the time being.”

“Very well. Let’s move onto the next one.”

Next on the list was Xera’s salacious romp through the Torture Chamber. Nobody gathered there was particularly interested in watching her escapades though, so Charlie just fast-forwarded through it for the most part.

“A silver chest?” remarked Khurpath at the end of it. “Did that one also have a lot of Luck?”

“No, that one’s actually an error on the dungeon core’s part,” revealed the Earth God. “It seems to have misjudged the nature of that woman’s - *Ahem!* - actions.”

Simply put, the dungeon core had deemed that ‘surviving a half hour of being raped non-stop in all holes’ was an ordeal worthy of a silver-tier reward. The fact that it recorded over two hundred individual instances of ‘stab wounds’ and ‘blunt force trauma’ was also a contributing factor to this evaluation. Strictly speaking, it was by no means an inaccurate estimate if one were to ignore the succubus-djinn hybrid’s willingness or her true intentions. And since it was an automated magic tool that operated entirely on logic, the dungeon core was wholly incapable of comprehending her deviance.

This seemed to be the only such lapse in judgement, though. Boxxy and its group legitimately struggled to bring down the Crystal Maiden, so they were given a golden chest. The Mimic’s formidable Luck also made itself known when it bumped a wooden chest up to a silver one upon defeating one of the other mid-bosses. As for the final reward upon full-clearing the dungeon, that was simply Goroth acting on his own. All other instances were more or less one-sided stomps and were thus awarded with low-tier items.

All except one.

“And then we come to the rather extraordinary case of Dreaheath Uniolphial Maramakartor,” declared Timmy. “I’ve taken the liberty of saving the best for last.”

“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask about that Stalker,” said Setre. “When I last checked on her, she was fighting the Mirror Wraith and was basically at death’s door. Yet she was not only able to win, but also somehow made it to the Crystal Maiden’s arena in time to interfere with the fight.”

Now that she had somewhat come to terms with the overwhelming absurdity that was Boxxy T. Morningwood, the djinn was able to properly focus on the meeting. And looking back on that whole ordeal, couldn’t help but notice how odd that whole thing was.

“I’ve no idea how she actually tripped me up, either,” she continued. “I can understand it if she were a Ranker, but that very clearly wasn’t the case.”

“Yup, you’re not wrong there,” stated Vinny. “But at the same time, you’re not privy to all the information. Behold!”

*Snap*

The God of Haphazard Flukes snapped his corks, and the image on the screen switched to a live feed of Drea.

“Yeeaaaah! Right theeeere! Nnnnnnng!”

*Snap*

And then almost immediately turned it off.

“Well then,” said Jerome amidst the deafening silence. “That’s apparently happening.”

“… Was that a red-haired beastkin performing cunnilingus on a female Stalker covered in ice?” asked Khurpath.

“That certainly seemed to be the case, didn’t it?” responded the unstable deity. “Let’s just double check real quick, shall we?”

*Snap*

“Lick me mooooore! Haaaaahn!”

*Snap*

“Yup, there’s no mistaking it,” he concluded with a sagely nod of his bucket. “As expected of a Gazer’s eyes, your analysis of the situation was spot on.”

“Are all demons this perverted?” asked Goroth while shaking the pile of stones that were probably his head.

“Nope! Just the ones my Hero enlists!”

“You don’t have to sound so proud of that, Robert.”

“I disagree completely.”

“Wuh- What was the point of showing us something like that?” asked a fiercely blushing Setre.

“Well, I found out that something interesting was going without me realizing it, so that’s a plus,” answered the God of Chance while staring off into the distance. “Ah, damn! It seems they’re already at the climax! Well, it’s better than nothing, I suppose…”

“Focus, Metron,” insisted Goroth. “You need to keep in mind some of us Gods have actual duties and responsibilities to attend to. So stop wasting my time and get on with it!”

“Yeah! Sure! Let’s just ignore the fact that a Webstalker is doing the naughty with a djinn as we speak despite the overwhelming statistical improbability of such a thing, shall we?!”

“Good. I’m glad you understand.”

Jujube facepalmed rather hard at the Earth God’s self-serving response. Well, it was more of a spongeapple than a facepalm, but that was besides the point. He wondered if he should try to teach the dwarven and gnomish population at large to appreciate the art of sarcasm a bit more. Maybe then this blockhead might actually start getting it as well.

“… Webstalker?” asked Setre amidst the sudden silence.

“You’ll see,” answered Larry. “Just watch.”

*Snap*

The screen turned on once again, this time showing a recording of Drea battling the Mirror Wraith within the Howling Chasm. This was towards the later stages of the fight, when she was slowly but surely being overwhelmed. It didn’t take long for the scene to reach its climax, during which she forced herself to devour the undead being’s essence. Both Setre and Khurpath winced and grimaced as they watched, as the mere sight of Drea’s desperate tactic almost made them feel ill. The sights and sounds of her dry heaving, coughing and retching while goopy undeath dribbled out of the corners of her mouth were quite disgusting, to say the least.

And when it was all over, she collapsed on the ground convulsing and shivering while a golden chest popped up next to her. There was absolutely no question she’d earned that reward, but it still didn’t answer how she’d made it to the site of the Crystal Maiden encounter. If anything, the method through which she achieved victory had left her in an even sorrier state than she was before the fight the started. And judging by the distant tremors that washed over the otherwise quiet scene, the fight in question had already been well underway.

Drea moved her head towards the source of that rumbling. The recording’s view angle made it unclear whether she was able to see the Crystal Maiden from her position, but that probably wasn’t the case considering it should have been more than a kilometer away. Yet with her gaze fixed on the horizon, she slowly began to drag herself along the ice while her body continued to protest wildly.

She then suddenly started hacking away at the ice underneath her with what limbs she had left. It took her a few tries to get proper leverage on it, but she managed to break off a fist-sized chunk of the frozen lake. She then bit into it, producing a very loud and rather unsettling crunch. She chewed on the ice a few times to break it up, then swallowed it. She coughed up snowflake-like spittle immediately, but ignored it and just kept shoving the mana-laden ice into her mouth. Her fervor only seemed to increase every time the ground shook from the distant battle.

It clearly wasn’t all that pleasant for her, though. Her convulsions only got more intense the more she ate. Her shaking and trembling got so bad that at one point that she was unable to actually drive either her claws or her scythes into the ice beneath her. But she didn’t give up, and instead just kept nibbling and licking at the frozen lake her face was pressed against while also scraping whatever shards or snow were around her towards her.

Setre was rendered rather speechless by this behavior, as she had no idea what that deluded demon was trying to accomplish. Was she trying to find sustenance in this stuff? Because that would be idiotic. Even if Stalkers were omnivores, that didn’t mean the could eat inanimate matter. Nor could they literally eat the ambient mana that permeated the dungeon like Boxxy or Ambrosia. Maybe she was just trying to wash the taste of death out of her throat? There’s no way that would work though, as the undead Blight permeated every frozen droplet in that arena. In fact, that was probably the reason why her condition was deteriorating.

Oh, maybe she’s trying to kill herself and end her suffering? thought the djinn.

There was no other, rational explanation she could think of. But even then, wasn’t she going about it all wrong? Surely decapitating herself or something like that would have been quicker and a lot less painful. She threw a few questioning looks at Khurpath, but he merely rolled his many eyes back at her in a ‘don’t ask me’ sort of gesture.

*SNAP*

Setre’s hypothesizing came to an abrupt end when the demon’s body on the screen suddenly jumped with loud noise. The source of this disturbance seemed to have been an ice-like scythe-tipped limb that had emerged from the Stalker’s back. Or rather, it would be more accurate to say it ripped its way out of there, if her screams of pain were any indication.

*SNAP*

*CRACK*

*KERSCHLUCK*

*RRIP*

What followed was a disgusting cacophony of meat-y noises while the arachnid demon vocalized her agony. Her chest ripped itself apart, her skull exploded open and her limbs were ripped apart from the inside out as her new body parts violently replaced the old ones. The manner of her transformation was so gruesome that it made both the djinn and the Gazer quite happy that they didn’t have bowels.

This carried on for a solid two minutes before it finally subsided, though Drea was left in a borderline comatose state by that point. Her body had stopped shaking, and now merely twitched weakly while she drooled all over the icy ground. It would take a lot more than literally having every nerve ending in her body being replaced by a new one to fully knock a demon out, though, so she was able to come to her senses several more seconds.

She tried to stand up, but her legs gave out as if she were a newborn doe and fell back down. She got back to her feet on the second try, though her stance and posture were both shaky. She wobbled over to the golden chest and opened it up while breathing heavily. She threw the Artifact-grade belt that popped out of it around her waist without a second thought, then trudged off towards the vague direction of the summit before the recording cut out.

“And that, lady and gentlemen, is what a demonic Rank Up in the physical realm usually looks like,” said Christopher in conclusion.

“That… looked painful.”

“Excellent powers of observation as always, Blinky,” said the God of Misunderstandings with a bemused tone.

“‘Painful’ was an understatement,” muttered Setre. “I’m just glad my own Rank Up took place in the Beyond…”

“Ditto,” echoed the Gazer.

“I see,” rumbled Goroth. “So that was a Rank Up, was it? I had no idea what to make of it the first time I saw it.”

Truthfully speaking, all Rank Ups were like this. That was why monsters and people undergoing the process were typically left unconscious for extended periods of time. It was just the mind shutting itself off to avoid the agony of the body’s rapid evolution. A demon’s mind was not something that could be so easily suppressed though, which meant they got to experience the full brunt of their Rank Up should they have a physical body at the time.

Unfortunately for Drea, she had neither Kora’s pain tolerance nor Xera’s perversions, so hers was definitely the most harrowing of the three’s demonic ascendances.

“So there you have it, Rocky,” continued Fred. “If it wasn’t for that event, then the odds of my Hero overcoming your Crystal Maiden in that bout were effectively one in one thousand, five hundred and-”

“Yes, I get it,” interrupted the God of Earth. “Thank you. Now, shall we discuss what improvements can be made so invaders do not… circumvent my dungeon designs?”

What followed were hours of discussion whereby two demons and one deity poured over every detail of the Palace of the Crystal Maiden. The most obvious of the faults was reinforcing the bookshelves in the Eternal Library so that not even an Archfiend could knock them down. The others were more subtle, such as adding monsters with ranged attack to the Glacial Gallows or improving air circulation within the Menagerie to help disperse poisonous clouds.

They would also need to instruct the clone of the Mountain Alraune called Emi to avoid inviting strange tree women into her chamber. Setre seemed quite enthusiastic about this particular topic. Although she only saw it briefly, Drea and Xera’s tryst had given her a few ideas she couldn’t wait to experiment with. Goroth probably wouldn’t mind her having that bit of fun since, all things considered, the djinn had performed her duties as dungeon master to the best of her abilities.

However, he did reprimand her for sneakily swapping out Boxxy’s reward for clearing the Glacial Gallows. It may not have been against the terms of her contract, but he was not happy that she gave out a more valuable item than the one that was originally allotted. The djinn argued back that the gold chest was the result of a literal lucky break anyway, so her boss was going to get shafted anyway. All she tried to do was make sure the dungeon invaders had as hard a time as possible getting through the rest of it. If Boxxy had been given that magic amplifying Artifact as intended, then it would’ve brought down the Crystal Maiden’s shield much quicker.

Under the circumstances, Goroth had no choice to admit that she had a point, but still insisted that a ‘no loot tampering’ clause be added to her dungeon master contract.

“I suppose that’s everything for the moment,” declared the Earth God in closing. “I appreciate you settings this little meeting up, Phoebe.”

“Oh no, no trouble at all,” said the Goddess of Bamboozlement with a wave of her window. “After all, I apparently have nothing but free time. It’s not like I’m keeping watch so the fabric of the universe doesn’t suddenly unravel or anything!”

“As for you two,” continued the God of Earth while ignoring his complaints, “I look forward to your hard work in the future as well.”

The Gazer and the djinn looked at each other in a bout of mutual confusion. ‘Hard work’ was hardly what they would classify their jobs as. Frankly speaking, it was nothing but downtime. True, they were limited to the confines of the dungeon, but it was a decent enough playground in and of itself. They ended up giving Goroth noncommittal responses like ‘sure’ and ‘whatever’ before Lispburger returned them to the Beyond with a snap of his beetles.

However, it would appear the Earth God had more to say before he returned to his oh-so-important duties.

“Wendy, I must say that this Hero of yours has me rather worried.”

“Whatever do you mean, blockhead? I thought you were genuinely impressed with Boxxy’s talents.”

“I am, but at the same time that creature is almost too talented. It’s getting stronger at an amazingly stupid pace, isn’t it? Not even a year old and it can probably stand toe-to-toe with people who have decades’ worth of combat experience. Surely you realize how dangerous it is to leave such a thing unchecked.”

“I will admit, it’s growing at a rather ridiculous rate. But it is not as absurd as you make it out to be. Monsters gain Levels faster than enlightened beings, that’s how it’s always been. And you have to keep in mind this particular monster has been through more shit than retired adventurers have.”

“Rationalize it however you want. I maintain my stance that you should put a leash on it while you can. We don’t need another Boneshaper on our hands.”

“Hah! Hahahahahahahahaha!”

Victor broke out into a loud, almost mocking laughter. Goroth was, understandably, none too pleased about this.

“I fail to see what’s so humorous about the being that single-handedly conquered the continent of Percepeia and placed Solus in a coma.”

“Ahahahah! Ahahahaha! Ahhhahaha! Ahhh…”

The Goddess of Chaos wiped the paper out of his chalks as her joyful attitude subsided.

“You don’t - Heh! Ahem! That’s not it,” he said, finally. “I’m just not sure which one was funnier - the insinuation that Boxxy would listen to me, or the implication it’s actually selfless enough to follow in that guy’s footsteps.”

“… Selfless? What?”

“Ah, nevermind. What I’m trying to say is there is  zero chance that the current Hero of Chaos would succeed in something like continental conquest. The odds of it even attempting such a troublesome thing are about one in twenty five thousand to begin with.”

“Hmm… You’re certain about this?”

“You have my word.”

“You’ll forgive me if I don’t put much value in that,” said Goroth in a low rumble. “But I suppose I will take what I can get. No matter how… questionable your practices are, I believe you would not endorse an eventuality that might bring harm to Teresa by wiping the bulk of her followers.”

The God of Earth disappeared after uttering those words, leaving the God of Chaos free to return to his true shape. He say down on the couch, conjured up a box of buttered popcorn and tuned into the Boxxy Show. He watched with a goofy grin as the creature his divine companion was worried about was quivering in fear from an inert ‘death ray’ while hiding inside a chest. It was like a small child that was trying to escape reality by crawling under a blanket.

“And he’s worried about this thing crushing the western continent?” he mused aloud. “That’s just ridiculous.”

It would have been a completely different story if that Elder Dragon hadn’t moved into the outskirts of the Horkensaft Kingdom, though.

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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

interLude is one word i would use

Fred @Fred ago

So, an Elder Dragon is all that stands before Boxxy and world (okay, continent) domination? Interesting...

Pubeard @Pubeard ago

Thanks for the chapter! :)

Zemophobia @Zemophobia ago

*Nom Nom Nom* *Burp* Thanks for the chapter.

So if that Elder Dragon wasn't there Boxxy would have conquered the western continent?

999999 @999999 ago

Thank you for the chapter 

Pandaviking @Pandaviking ago

Hmmmm... thanks for the chapter i guess..

Eolias @Eolias ago

Thanks for the chapter.