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A note from Exterminatus

Carl, sketch by dmaxcustom

*Click*

“Hello, you have reached Demons ‘R’ Us. My name is Carl and I will be your liaison for the day.”

“Y-yes? Can you, uh, hear me?”

“I can indeed.”

“It worked! Holy shit it actually worked! Hahahaha! Suck it Frank, you fat fuck!”

The devil sighed as he leaned back in his chair. Another newbie was not what he needed today. Admittedly the passage of time was a bit tricky in the Beyond since things like ‘today,’ ‘tomorrow’ and ‘yesterday’ didn’t really exist, but the fact still stood that there had been a lot of these guys lately. And dealing with first-timers was always a pain in the ass.

“Miss, you do realize I can hear everything you’re ‘thinking aloud’ right now, yes?”

“Oh… Uh, s-sorry about that.”

“Quite alright. Now, please identify yourself so I can register you in our system.”

“The name’s Sylvia Caldwell. And you said your name was… Carl?”

“That is indeed so, Sylvia.”

“That’s… a lot lamer than I was expecting.”

“You could call me Katorolomaongott instead if that strikes your fancy.”

“Katrorma-what?! Nevermind, Carl will do.”

“Great. Now, shall I assume you’re calling to obtain your very own demonic familiar?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“That’s super. Let’s get started right away, shall we? First of all, I’m going to need to ask you to forward me your Status. Do you know how to do that?”

“Uh… No? Can you even do that?”

“You can indeed, and it’s not as complicated as it might seem. I can walk you through it right now if you have the time.”

“… You won’t trick me and suck my soul out of me and into the Beyond, right?”

“I assure you, that is not a thing that happens at Demons ‘R’ Us. Think about it - if we actually did that to people, then there wouldn’t be any Warlocks willing to sign up with us. I don’t mean to brag, but our customer service is what makes us the leading demonic support provider in the world.”

Granted, while Carl’s claim was technically correct, he omitted the fact that Demons ‘R’ Us were also the only ‘demonic support provider’ in existence. Studies simply showed that mortals reacted better to ‘you’re dealing with the best’ than they did to ‘you don’t have a choice.’ Well, that wasn’t quite true. Aspiring demon-tamers did have one other option.

“However,” Carl continued, “Demons ‘R’ Us cannot guarantee the validity of any demonic pacts, soul-binding contracts or dark covenants you make with Beyond-dwelling entities that are not affiliated with us. If you try to get an independent agent and they end up eating your family, that’s on you.”

An especially stupid and ill-advised option, but an option nonetheless.

“Okay, okay, I get it,” the young woman replied. “Then please teach me how to send you your- I mean my Status.”

“Let’s get right to it, then. You start by calling up your Status inside your head so that its at the forefront of your consciousness. Can you do that for me, please?”

“Okay. Status! There, done.”

“Excellent. Now, try and recall the mental exercise you went through to call our number. I need you to do something similar, only this time you need to do with your name instead of our number while focusing on your Status window as much as possible. Go on, give it a try.”

“S-sounds simple enough. Here I go, then… S-Y-L-B- No, that’s not right! I’m just so nervous!”

“That’s quite alright, I’ve got all the time in the world. Just calm down and try again, but slower.”

“Alright, Sylvie, deep breaths. Hooh. Haah. Okay. S. Y. L. V. I. A. There, did that do it?”

“Good try, but you need to do the full name as it appears on your Status. Try doing it a bit slower.”

“Ohhhh, yeah okay. I’ll give it another try. S. Y. L-”

As the teenage girl on the other end of the line kept at it, Carl couldn’t help but think back to trying to do the same with Boxxy. Of course, back when it first contacted him, the monster had the intelligence of an unpainted wooden board with a crack in it. Even if the Summon Familiar Skill allowed it to somehow reach out into the Beyond, the way it struggled to form coherent thoughts made communication quite difficult. A much bigger problem, however, was that the monster was still unnamed at the time. One’s true name had a special meaning when it came to soul-binding contracts, so the lack thereof made it exceptionally difficult to register the mimic as a customer in the Demons ‘R’ Us system.

It was a stressful and infuriating experience, but the way it challenged Carl’s abilities made it strangely entertaining. He was able to eventually sort the barely sentient box out by using its species as a focal point. It was the only mimic Warlock in all of existence as far as Demons ‘R’ Us was aware, so the devil was able to use that to get the creature up and running. It was hardly a flawless solution though. Some sort of glitch sent the thing’s Status all the way up the chain to the Goddess of Instability and Weaxohn the Demon King. To this day none of the beings involved had been able to figure out exactly how that was made possible. Though if Carl had to wager a guess, it probably had something to do with the fact that the monster was born inside the Progenitor’s dungeon.

“-L. L. There, did that do it?”

*Ping*

The screen on the desk Carl carl was sitting at suddenly let out a bleep as it filled up with all of Sylvia’s personal information. It showed she was an eighteen year old human woman, Level 13 Laborer Job, Level 5 Warlock Job, with a few Levels in Pickpocketing, Meditation and Ruin Mastery. This painted a certain picture - that of a low class pauper trying to strike out on their own as an adventurer, likely behind their parents’ back. It was something Carl had seen hundreds of times before, so it really wasn’t worth calling attention to it.

“That did indeed,” he said in a casual tone. “And on only the third try. Great work, Sylvia.”

“Ehehe…” she laughed bashfully.

“Next I’m going to need your approximate location.”

“I’m, uh, l-laying in bed.”

“And in which city and country would that bed be located?”

“Oh! I’m in Oshinas.”

“Ah, the Lodrak Empire’s capital, is it? Okay, give me a minute here.”

*Takakak takatak tatatatak*

Carl’s twelve fingers flew across the stone keyboard in front of him as he started filling out all of the relevant forms under the chorus of a rapid clacking noise. It was possible to do this in total silence, but surveys showed mortals were far easier to work with when there was audible evidence of actual work being done. It also helped reassure them that the connection to the Beyond was still active and didn’t get dropped or cut off for whatever reason at times when words were not being exchanged.

Of course it wasn’t like the bizarre machine-thing in front of Carl was an actual object, as physical items did not exist in the confusing mindscape that was the Beyond. The thing was actually a mental construct conjured up by the Demon King, which allowed his subordinates direct access to the knowledge and information within the Overlord’s mind. The organization’s entire office building was like that, actually. This whole setup was supposedly suggested by the God of Causality as a way to help streamline the day-to-day operations of Demons ‘R’ Us. And if the old timers’ words were to be believed, it had been a smashing success.

It did have its downsides, however. For instance, should Weaxohn be called to the material realm, the Demons ‘R’ Us headquarters would be dissolved and their operations temporarily suspended. Carl wasn’t around back when these convenient constructs were not yet a thing, but relatively recent events showed him just how hard it was for the devils of old to do their job. Finding a free agent that fit a newly fledged Warlock’s familiar criteria within a reasonable amount of time was nigh impossible without the support of the Demon King’s information network.

“Alright Sylvia, you’re all set on our end. We can now move forward with establishing your first demonic contract?”

“What does establishing a contract involve, exactly?”

“I’m glad you asked. First I send you a mental copy of the contract. Fair warning - it’s quite big so you might black out if you’re not mentally prepared. Once you have it, you need to confirm that you’ve read, understood and agreed to all of the clauses contained within. After that I will ask you a series of questions, work some of my magic on my end and try to find the demonic entity that best fits your needs. Once such an individual is found, he, she or it will be bonded to you, at which point the contract is considered active and you will be able to summon them at your leisure.”

“… That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

“So… I don’t need to, like, bathe in the blood of orphans or shove a pickled troll toe up my butt?”

“You can if you want to, though it won’t have any effect on the contracting process.”

“Wow. Okay. That’s a huge relief. Sorry if I’m being ignorant, I just hear things, you know?”

“Trust me, I know.”

Sylvia was actually the fifty-second person that Carl had to correct on that ‘blood of orphans’ assumption. Three hundred and sixty third if it was counted as a variation on ‘blood of innocents.’ It was also the two hundred and fifteenth time someone had mentioned suspect suppositories in Carl’s presence. The most common misconception by far, however, was that forming a demonic contract required one to dance naked in the rain while wearing a freshly severed goat head as a hat. Which was strangely specific, especially for something that Carl had heard eight hundred and ninety nine times.

The devil didn’t complain though, as keeping count of all the crazy shit mortals said during calls helped make the eternal boredom of the Beyond that tiny bit more tolerable.

“So, are you ready to receive the contract, Sylvia?”

“Yeah, hit me!”

*Click*

“Bleghut!”

The girl on the other end of the psychic connection let out a weird noise as the lengthy agreement slammed into her mind. She managed to avoid passing out at least, as evidenced by the fact that the connection between her and Carl was still active.

“You alright over there?”

“Ugh… massive headache, but otherwise fine. Damn that’s a lot of stuff though. Why don’t you guys break it up into chunks or something?”

“Because you need to agree to one contract, not five fifths of a contract.”

“Isn’t that basically the same thing?”

“No, it really isn’t.”

“Even demons aren’t freed from the chains of paperwork, huh?”

“That’s one way of putting it.”

For the one hundred and twenty-eight time, he added internally.

“I’ll just give this a once over, yeah?”

“Sure, feel free to do so. I’ll be available to answer any and all questions you might have.”

“Oh, that’ll be a big help. Thanks, Carl.”

“Just doing my job, Sylvia.”

The two of them spent twenty or so minutes going over the contract. It was intentionally written in simple yet very specific terms and phrases that even the biggest idiot could understand. Even that proved too much of a challenge for a certain unnamed mimic though. ‘Familiars do things that I tell them to’ and ‘familiars can’t kill me unless I tell them to’ were the only two parts of the contract that monster actually comprehended. Once it had those things established it hurriedly moved the process along without paying much attention to the vast majority of the clauses.

Admittedly those two were the most important ones, but it wasn’t until Boxxy’s Demonology Skill gained a few Levels that it completely understood the contract in its entirety.

Thankfully for the once-mimic, potential summoners didn’t need to fully comprehend or even read the summoning contract in order to be bonded to a familiar. They just had to say that they did, and Carl had no way of confirming whether they were telling the truth. He did, however, always make sure to helpfully remind the mortal party what would happen should their bonded familiar’s soul be damaged or extinguished. Even if it was an extremely unlikely event, Carl felt it was his duty to do everything in his power to prevent that from happening, be it through malice, incompetence or ignorance.

He was therefore rather relieved that Sylvia wasn’t like that, even though she seemed a bit dim.

“And what about this clause 2-F. Something about using familiars as collateral?”

She was extremely thorough and nitpicky, to the point where her behavior bordered on paranoia. Which was the right sort of mindset one should have when dealing with demons. Or long-term contracts in general, for that matter. As for the clause in question, the wording in it hadn’t been completely streamlined yet since it was a very recent addition.

“Basically that means you should not perform any demonic rituals upon your bound familiar,” Carl explained. “Doing so could result in your immediate terminal termination for endangering their immortal soul, as per clause 1-D.”

“Wait, you mean to tell me demonic rituals are a real thing? Like, can I make freaky shit happen just by smearing the walls with blood, saying a bunch of nonsense and shoving things up my butt?”

Carl couldn’t help but notice how fixated this girl was on the idea of foreign objects entering back passage, but he wasn’t about to waste time and energy by calling attention to it.

“I’m not authorized to disclose that information. You’ll have to find out the specifics for yourself.”

Instead he gave her one of his standard noncommittal answers.

“Ah. Right, okay.”

“Anything else I can help clarify for you?”

“No, no, I think that’s everything.”

“Then do you hereby acknowledge that you have read, understood and accepted the terms and conditions of the summoning contract as presented to you by Demons ‘R’ Us?”

“I do.”

“Excellent. In that case, let’s move onto the questionnaire. First of all, what species are you looking to form a covenant with?”

“Err… What are my options?”

“You have five types of familiars you can contract with - fiends, succubi, stalkers, beholders, and hellhounds. Would you like me to describe them in greater detail?”

“Uhm… could you describe them for me? I’ve seen a few Warlocks strutting around town with their demons, but I have no idea what most of those are.”

Carl then spent the next several minutes going over each familiar’s general strengths and weaknesses. He held off on going into their subspecies for the moment, as that would be too much information to dump on someone who was a complete novice when it came to demonic lore. That could change overnight with the Demonology Skill, of course, but very few Warlocks actually opted to go down that path.

“Hmmm…”

As for Sylvia, she seemed to be having a bit of a hard time deciding which type was best for her, which was only to be expected of a total newbie.

“Say, Carl? Any chance I can get you to be my familiar?”

“I’m afraid not. I’m a devil that handles contracts and communication, I’m not on the list.”

“That’s a shame, you sound pretty handsome.”

“Really? I've been told I'm not much of a looker.”

“Ah. Well, your voice is way manlier than any of the wimps in my neighborhood at least.”

“Whatever you say, miss. Now, can we please focus on the matter at hand?”

“Right, yeah, of course. So here’s the thing, succubi are those big-breasted sluts, right?”

“That’s… not entirely inaccurate.”

“Is there a hunky male equivalent? Like, mancubus or something? Not that I’m planning anything weird! I just, like, would prefer my servant to be dreamy and attractive, you know? Someone that will fit my eventual station as a great person.”

“I understand, but I’m afraid there are no male succubi. There are some that favor the company of other women, though.”

“Ugh, I’ll pass on that.”

“If what you’re looking for is a ‘hunky’ demon, your best bet is a fiend.”

“Wait, aren’t those the big scary troll-faced brutes that never stop snarling?”

“Yes, and no. Much like people, certain features vary wildly from demon to demon, even within the same species. For example, though all fiends are extremely well-built, quite a few of them can be considered highly attractive by human standards, be they female or male.”

“Hmm, I guess that makes sense. I don’t know though, it seems like these fiends would be hard to boss around. I don’t think they’d take me seriously at all.”

“Yeah, it’s probably for the best if a total greenhorn like yourself avoids them. They’re the type that will try to stick their, uh, ‘equipment’ in someone’s butt the second you take your eyes off them.”

“… I’ll take a fiend, please.”

Carl’s lips curled in a smile as his hands flew across the console’s keypad, the phrase ‘hook, line and sinker’ floating into the back of his mind.

“Very good. Just to confirm, a male one, yes?”

“Yes, definitely.”

*Taktaktaktaktak takakatak tak tak*

“Any height preference?”

“Err… How much of a difference will it make?”

“Well, fiends range from anywhere between two and a quarter to three meters in height, though the average hovers at around two and a half.”

“What about their, uh, proportions? Like arm-to-leg ratio and such?”

“Comparable to those of a human or elf, if a little girthy.”

“Then short. As short as possible. Yeah.”

*Tak tak tatatatatak*

“Would you like the fiend to be well-endowed or not?”

“Err… Uhm… I don’t… Uh…”

It seemed like being asked about that so directly proved a little too much for the girl.

“I’ll just put down ‘something that won’t break a human-sized partner,’ shall I?” Carl offered.

“… Yes, please,” she squeaked in response.

*Tatak tatatak*

“Do you value strength, agility or endurance more?”

“Uhm… endurance, I guess?”

*Tatak tak tak-tak*

“Any preference on melee weapon or fighting style?”

“Ah, will I have to provide them with gear?”

“You can, but you don’t have to. Fiends are able to conjure their own arms and armor.”

“In that case I want someone that’s good at blocking and keeping me safe. Shield is a must.”

“Defensive it is.”

*Tak-tak-takakatak taktaktaktaktak*

“Would you prefer someone more experienced with battling people or monsters?”

“Uh… monsters. It’s not like I’ll be fighting in any wars or anything. No, wait, bandits are a thing too, aren’t they? Hmm… Nevermind, let’s go with a monster fighter.”

*Taktaktaktaktak tak-tatak*

“Do you expect you and your familiar will see active combat more than twenty times a month on average?”

“Maybe? I don’t know how things will work out.”

“That’s fine, ‘uncertain’ is also an option.”

*Tak-tak tak*

“Any preference on skin color?” Carl moved on.

“Blue’s kinda cool. But like, not that weak-ass sky blue. I’m talking proper, deep blue. Like so blue you wanna swim in it.”

“So, royal blue?”

“Yeah, that.”

*Tatatak tatak tak tak tak*

“What is your favorite domestic animal?”

“Uh… Cats are kinda cute, I guess?”

*Tatatatatak*

“Favorite author?”

“I don’t really have one.”

“Do you like your tea with or without milk.”

“… Sorry, but what do these questions have to do with demons?”

*Takatak tak tak tatak*

“I don’t make the questions, miss. I just ask them. So do your part and answer them if you want a demonic familiar.”

“Haaah,” she sighed. “Without, I guess.”

*Taktaktaktak*

“Next we have a hypothetical scenario. You’re walking down the road and you spot a couple of men passionately kissing in public. Do you: a) stop and belittle them; b) stop and encourage them; c) walk past and ignore them?”

“Wow. Huh. Not really sure. Are they hot? I feel like I might get into it if they’re hot, but would be really gross if they were fat old guys. I doubt I’d wanna get involved either way though.”

“Am I to understand you’d go with option ‘c’ then?”

“Yes.”

“Alright.”

*Tatak taktak tak-ta-ta-tak*

“Hey Carl? Sorry if I’m interrupting, but what’s up with all those clicky noises?”

“Oh, don’t worry about those. Just me doing my thing.”

*Tatatatatatak taktak*

“Wait, why did you suddenly make more of them?!”

“No particular reason.”

*Tatatak*

“But-!”

“Moving on,” the demon cut her off. “Do you use herbal shampoos, soaps or ointments when bathing?”

“For the love of-!” Sylvia took a deep breath to center herself before continuing. “No, my family can’t afford those luxuries.”

*Tatatakatak*

“Are you right or left handed?”

“Left.”

*Tak*

“When you were a child, who taught you how to read? Was it: a) a friend or relative; b) a professional teacher, mentor or tutor; c) self-taught; d) none of the above.”

“It was my dad, so, A.”

*Taktak*

“A horse is running at fifty-three kilometers per hour and is chasing another horse going forty-seven kilometers per hour while running on the same road. If the starting distance between them is fourteen hundred meters, then how long will it take for the first horse to catch the second?”

“Teresa’s tits, really?! Do I seriously have to solve math problems now?!”

“I just need an answer from you. Doesn’t have to be the right one.”

“Oh. Okay. Five minutes, then.”

*Taktak tatatata-takakakatak tak-tak tatak-tak taktaktaktaktaktaktaktaktaktak takakataktaktak*

“… Did I mess up?”

“Yeah, your answer was way off.”

“No, I mean, the clacking was, like, reeeeeeally long that time, and-”

“Stay focused, Sylvia. Only got two more questions left.

“Oh, alright.”

“Who’s your favorite deity?”

“… Huh. I never really thought about it. I mean my parents keep going on about how Teresa watches over us or whatever, but I never bought into that stuff. The Gods are just so detached from those of us that live at the bottom, you know? Besides, can I really have a favorite if I don’t really know anything about most of them?”

“I can put down ‘none’ if you want.”

“Hmm, do you have a favorite deity, Carl?”

“You could say that.”

“Then go with that one.”

“Alright, if you say so.”

*Taktak takakaktaktak tak-ta-ta-takat*

“Finally I’m supposed to ask you about any special requests you might have regarding your familiar. Other than being ‘hunky,’ that is.”

“I don’t think so… Oh, right! Make sure they don’t have a beard. And as little body hair as possible.”

*Tak takaktaktak tak tak takakatak*

“Alright, that takes care of that. Now you just have to wait until a suitable unbound demon responds to your request. Once that happens I’ll finalize the contract and get in touch with you to let you know.”

“And how long would that take?”

“Hard to say, really. Could be anywhere between a few minutes and a few months.”

“That’s… a lot longer than I was expecting.”

“This is potentially a lifelong commitment. It’s not something you should rush.”

“I kinda need one by tomorrow though. It is literally a case of life and death. Could you, I dunno, speed it up somehow?”

Carl severely doubted she was using the literal meaning of the word ‘literally’ in that statement, but arguing semantics wasn’t in his job description.

“There are ways to expedite the process, yes,” he confirmed. “I can mark several of your requirements as optional. For example if you just want any male fiend that favors a defensive fighting style, that’ll usually get you a response within twelve hours. However, then you’d have no guarantee if they’re hunky, short, or adequately equipped.”

“Please do that, then.”

“You got it.”

*Takakatak taktak*

“You’re all set, Sylvia. Demons ‘R’ Us will contact you the instant your new familiar is all set up and ready to be summoned.”

“Cool. Great. Thanks a lot, Carl.”

“That’s quite alright. Now, is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Actually-”

“Anything relating to demons, contracts or the Beyond in general,” he added in a hurry.

“… No. That’ll be all.”

“In that case, thank you for calling Demons ‘R’ Us. We’ll be in touch.”

*Click*

“Ugh, finally!” Carl groaned as he slumped back into his seat. “These first-time calls always drag on for way too long.”

“It’d probably last a lot less if you didn’t ask all those pointless questions.”

The demon that voiced his opinion on the matter was a handsome blue-skinned fiend. A turtle fiend, to be more precise. Their kind exerted their dominance by controlling the flow of a fight with a slow and methodical fighting style that gradually backed their opponent into a corner. This particular individual had a preference for the sword and shield, and was also a complete and total match for Sylvia’s search parameters. His presence in Carl’s office was no mere coincidence, as the Demon King’s familiar matchmaking system had already singled him out before the questionnaire was even finished. Having received and accepted the offer remotely, the fiend named Selthaulrax Drezzuboi just needed his agent to finalize a few things before being ready to be summoned to Sylvia’s side. Hence why he was currently sitting in the corner while anxiously tapping his foot.

“They’re not pointless,” Carl replied. “I’m not sure on the specifics, but I’m told the data collected from those surveys helps the Progenitor make his predictions and calculations about the future.”

“The fuck does tea and milk have to do with anything, though?”

“Don’t ask me, I just follow the script,” Carl said with a shrug.

“Fair enough, but why the wait? Shouldn’t I be on my way to the physical realm by now?”

“It’s because your new master is a moron. A desperate one at that, which is the best kind of moron. See, the more she has to wait for you, the more anxious she’ll grow as her ‘life or death’ situation approaches. Which means she’ll appreciate the fact that you’re a perfect match far more than she would have otherwise, and will probably let her guard down. And what do moronic young girls do when their desperation clouds their judgement? Stupid things that get them killed and leave their familiar - that’s you - unshackled and unbound.”

It was a tactic Carl used every now and then, but it didn’t work on everyone. If the mortal he was setting up with a familiar was, say, an amoral unfeeling monster that did not seem to be in any particular rush, then there would be no point to delaying the contract like this.

“Ohhh. Yeah, okay. I’m gonna be a total scrub out there, though.”

“Eh, you’ll get over it.”

Once a demon became unbound from their summoner, they became their own entity, which had a number of effects on them. One of these was that their Status would no longer be limited to someone else’s power, which allowed them to grow in Levels and Skills just like any other monster or adventurer. The downside to that was that gaining Job XP and Proficiency would happen at a greatly reduced rate when compared to mortals, and their bodies would grow weak and lethargic without food. They wouldn’t die of hunger, but it would certainly get them killed if they didn’t maintain their strength with adequate sustenance.

“Besides,” Carl continued, “that girl sounded like she’s willing to quite literally leap onto your lap. You heard the interest in her voice, right?”

“Fuck if I care,” Selthaulrax grunted in response. “There’s no fun if they give themselves over willingly. I’m nothing like that six-armed freak on the Boxxy Show.”

“Oh, right. Sorry about that. I almost forgot you guys are usually the ‘rape and escape’ type.

An archfiend willingly accepting consensual sex? Such a thing was practically unheard of. Why, it was positively scandalous. Nobody actually dared say that to Koralenteprix’s face, though. Hierarchy was a very important thing in the Beyond, especially among fiends, and that woman was both a Ranker and a familiar to the Hero of Chaos. Not to mention she had Lydia herself on what was essentially speed dial and was rumored to have had intimate relations with an actual goddess. All of this gave her a social standing that was just one level below that of an Overlord, despite the fact that she was both a deviant and relatively young.

“I think being Boxxy’s liaison might have warped my standards a little bit,” Carl mumbled while stroking his goatee.

The door to his office was slammed open before Selthaulrax could respond, allowing one of the sleaziest existences in the Beyond’s entirety to ooze through it. The intruding demon’s soul-self seemed to be strangely squishy and malleable to the point where she looked like some form of slime queen. Which she definitely wasn’t, even though she wouldn’t mind getting slimy if it was with the right box.

“Heey Caaaaaaarl,” Xera slurred loudly. “Ohhh! You have companyyy! Uhehehehe! I didn’t know you swung that way, Caaaarl!”

“Gary-dammit, not again,” the devil in question grumbled. “Seth, maybe you should come back later.”

“There’s no ‘maybe’ about it, man. I’m outta here.”

The turtle fiend’s soul-self dissolved into a tiny ball of shimmering malice, which darted out of the office and past the jellyfied Xera with all due haste. Carl sighed and leaned over in his chair to press a special button underneath his desk. A faint click was heard, after which a dark red glow enveloped the floor, walls and ceiling of his office while also sealing the only way in or out of it.

“Alright, let’s hear it,” the bearded demon beckoned. “What happened this time?”

“Ohhh, Caaaaarl! It was uh-maaaaazing!” Xera wailed. “I just had every muscle, eeeevery fiber of my being violently torn apart and put back together as Master claimed me for its own! Just thinking about the indescribable feeling makes me, hhnnnn, shiver uncontrollably!”

It wasn’t just the pleasure-drunk ex-succubus, but the entire room that shuddered in response to that throaty moan. There was a good chance the place might’ve been ripped apart if not for Carl preemptively reinforcing the place with the ‘cage.’ It was a little something that his boss installed after that one time an outburst from Kora nearly tore apart the mental construct that was the Demons ‘R’ Us headquarters. Both she and Xera seemed either unwilling or unable to control the effects they had on the unstable nature of the Beyond, so this sort of thing was necessary to ensure the building’s integrity.

After all, it was inevitable that even Weaxohn’s thoughts would become fragile when stretched this thin.

“And theeen! And theeeen!” she continued. “I felt Master’s essence violate my soooul! Do you know what that feeeeels like? Do you, Caaaarl?”

She may have been exaggerating, but there was indeed a brief moment during the Malefic Union where both summoner and familiar would technically share the same vessel. The latter would then be ejected and returned to the Beyond before either of them could suffer any permanent damage. This resulted in certain side-effects for the Warlock, such as the familiar’s lingering essence twisting their personality and influencing their decisions. The demonic entity, on the other hand, would barely feel a thing.

Unless, of course, they either were stupid or twisted enough to cling to their conjured flesh while it was being absorbed by their master’s until the last possible moment. Though this was not a danger to their immortal soul, they would be forced to experience an excruciating agony so intense that it would linger in the mind long after they had lost the physical ability to sense pain.

“It feels reaaaaaly gooooood, Caaaaaarl!” Xera moaned while rolling around on the floor. “Boxxy is the fuuuuckiiiiing beeeest!”

Which was extremely satisfying if the recipient happened to be a broken, hopelessly perverted masochist.

“I swear, they don’t pay me nearly well enough to deal with this shit.”

Far less so if one happened to be said masochist’s manager.

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A note from Exterminatus

So I've been thinking of having more stuff like this, just Demons 'R' Us shenanigans. Maybe in a separate fiction titled 'Better Call Carl.' They're kinda fun to write, but I feel the idea will get old really fast.

Let me know what you guys think.


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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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Saruul888 @Saruul888 ago

Thanks for the chapter xD

RyuNaga @RyuNaga ago

thanks for the chapter

stads @stads ago

nice chapter thx for writing it would like a fiction of Demons 'R' Us perhaps also general life in the demon realm plus reactions to boxy's show in the realm

Moridain @Moridain ago

' Goddess of Instability and Weaxohn the Demon King'
Two different individuals? I thought the God of Omnidirectional Ducks was the 'King of Demons' as well? Or is She the Mother, but not the actual ruler?

    Hacalyhd @Hacalyhd ago

    The Goddess of Random Answers is like the Big Boss, while the Demon King is "just" a demon.

    Admizzedly he(?) is the strongest Gazer(?) on the same level as Punchy and the shy spider demon who fought it out during the war, but "just" a demon nonetheless.

    He was summoned iirc, when Boxxy went after the Spymaster by one of his(the Spymaster's) minions.

     

    Teresa' perky titts I suck at remembering names

    Neruz @Neruz ago

    No, Weaxohn is the Demon King and the 'parent' of the Gazers. They're also titled something like 'the omniscient' and and the 'domain' is knowledge\secrets, IIRC.

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      Ahh okay.

      I hadn't realised. Neat.

      If I were to pick a demon type to be Demon King then Gazer wouldn't have been my first choice. Generally Fiends and Devils like Carl get that position.

      Neruz @Neruz ago

      I would assume he is the King because he is a Gazer, being information and knowledge oriented makes him perfect to 'run' things, as can be seen from the mention that the entire Demons R' Us 'company' is just his manifested thoughts. The Demons don't need a typical 'biggest is the best' leader, because they have Chaos for that.

      Plus, Weaxohn probably knows all the secrets and dirt on pretty much every other entity in creation, if he wants to be King who is going to stop him?

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      Fiends usually end up in charge cos when other people try to blackmail they punch them till they stop. Any attempt to stop them with spells or plots tends to get brute forced through, followed by more punching.

      Devils on the other hand may not have all the information a Gazer does, but they tend to be better at the social aspects of things. For every dark plot the Gazers discover the Devil usually has three more hidden away.

      Hacalyhd @Hacalyhd ago

      Fiends would have to do all the paperwork though.

      And they tend to hate that.

      Since the title of Demon King is more like an acting manager, I think fiends rather stay in the legion than switch to accounting.

      Moridain @Moridain ago

      Naa, they get people to do their paperwork. That is what they are for.

      If they don't want to do it, or try to cheat them? Then we are back at the Punching thing again.

      Look at real world history. In the 1300s less than 6% of people were literate, almost all of them clergy and clarks. There are tales told of a king reading a letter for himself, an affair so shocking it is a historical event.

      Neruz @Neruz ago

      In the real world there isn't a super-powerful god hanging around, telling people what to do and smacking them upside the head when they try to do something else instead.

      In practical terms, the 'Demon King' title would more accurately be 'Demon Sysadmin'.

      Exterminatus
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      Exterminatus @Exterminatus ago

      This. You are so accurate you don't even know.

    jonnnney
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    jonnnney @jonnnney ago

    The lord of the dice is the god of the demon's not their king. Though it is entirely possible that the "Demon King" is just how Weaxohn makes his employees describe him. He is the overlord of Pride afterall. A certain amount of unjustified arrogance/ego is to be expected.

gte22 @gte22 ago

Thanks for the chapter :)

Qwerty590 @Qwerty590 ago

Damn🤣🤣🤣

You got me at the 'better call carl' part lol

ultragunner @ultragunner ago

Adventures Of Carl the Call Guy would be amazing.

Also im sure you can add lots of plot hooks for it.

Maybe a way to dive into the differing demons there are?

Also some of that contract could be used too, like origin stories of how such and such got added to the contract. After all, Boxy cant have been the first to have added something to the Beyond contract

Maybe give the consequenses of mismatched pairs too or some such

    spine @spine ago

    yeah, like that boneshapper incident. irc that added a couple things to the contract.

    Moridain @Moridain ago

    Have the entire story be based on the calls made. Each call references the consequences of one that happened in the past.

    One call talks about some revenge swearing kid who wants a demon to destroy the family that ruined his.

    The next is a revenge swearing kid who wants a demon to beat up this random demon summoning guy who destroyed HIS family.

    This goes on for a while till there is a call from a Royal Wizard who wants to ask how much it would cost to stop giving people in this kingdom Demons. "We have had fourteen families wiped out in the last two years by demon summoners. Can it stop, for a while at least..?"

    ---

    The next is another lady who is using the demons as weird sex fetishes. Each time she calls for her next demon she asks for something even more drastic and unlikely and Carls brain breaks a little more.

    "Um, can the next one I get be oozing with filth, be four hundred pounds of fat and be willing to wear female clothing?"

    Meanwhile other contracts mention this crazed demon summoner who is going around fratically wiping out foes as if she is driven by 'a higher calling'.

    ---

    Yeah, this stuff writes itself. Very Happy

StartingLine @StartingLine ago

No reactions to the ground breaking Magic produced by a previously illiterate box? What is this ?! Will there be further reactions shown?! Anyway, thanks for the chapter.

Alipheese @Alipheese ago

I feel like a short side-story, maybe adding a chapter a month or so, about interesting things happening in Demons 'R' Us or other places in the beyond would be a lot of fun. Not neccesarily involving characters we know, but perhaps just some random Demons reaction to the latest episode of the Boxxy Show, or something like that. It might get overdone eventually, but I feel like it could be fun to have a short story with just a few chapters (say about 10 total) would be fun to read, and give some more insight into how the Beyond works, and Demons in general.