Rank up complete.
Congratulations! Your species has become Mimic (Greater).
The maximum Level of your Mimic Job has been increased to 50.
Proficiency level increased. Shapeshift is now Level 6. AGI +1. DEX +1. END +2.
The Mimic’s consciousness woke up to a brand new window waiting for it. The evolution from a Lesser to a Greater Mimic was over with. It didn’t feel any different though.
No, it did actually feel something.
You are ravenous. Automatic HP and MP recovery are now disabled.
You are starving. You will lose 2% of your maximum HP every 60 minutes.
Hunger. An overwhelming desire to eat and consume in order to survive. An overpowering need to fill its belly if it wanted to live. There was a void inside it - a vacuum so strong that it threatened to make it implode in on itself. Something screamed at it to abandon all pretence and stuff its belly. However, it would not succumb to its base instincts so easily. Not anymore.
And then it reactivated its short-range magical perception.
The first thing it ‘saw’ was itself. The monster had reverted back to its dormant state - the spider legs, tongue and eyes had all retreated back inside its body, leaving it in its default chest-like appearance. It looked exactly the same as it did before. This was probably some defensive mechanism its body enacted on its own.
Having confirmed its body seemed to be intact, it then turned its attention to its surroundings. It was no longer in a forest, but in some new place it didn’t realize. It was sitting on a floor made out of wood - actual wooden boards, unlike the fake ones it used for its disguise. All around it were scattered wooden crates and boxes of variable size and make. Some looked newer while others were practically rotting.
The walls of this place were weird, especially the ones on its left and right. They were slanted at about 45 degrees and leaning against each other. Did the wooden surfaces want to be a ceiling? At least the ones directly behind and further in front of it were normal looking, but their neighbours had forced them into a triangular shape. It was obvious which pair of walls were boss in this room.
And yes, this was indeed a room. Although the Mimic didn’t know it, the tight space was actually an attic. It was only about 3 meters at its tallest point, 6 meters left-to-right and about 10 meters front-to-back. The awkward placement of the slanted roof meant that, realistically speaking, you’d have to crawl if you wanted to reach into the sides. Cobwebs and dust covered the place and the Mimic itself, suggesting it had been there a while.
But how did it get here? And where, exactly, was here? Those were both good questions. If only it had someone it could ask.
Oh wait, it did. It felt the link between itself and its familiar was still active, meaning the succubus would probably know what was going on. It sent a telepathic message to get her attention.
Names? Were those tasty? It didn’t know, but snacks were tasty. Therefore, the familiar’s name would now be Snack.
“Who the hell is Snack?!” came the irritated response. “Ack! Master, you’re awake!”
“No. Hungry. Bring food.”
“Understood, Master. I will be there in fifteen minutes!”
It seems this familiar had an idea of what was going on. It was time to ask it for the details.
“Where? How? Why?” it inquired.
Xera then began explaining her side of the story. She had gone into the city and collected 650G for her ‘contributions’ to the Sweeper subjugation quest. Since her Master had been unconscious, she was left without orders. That situation was something she fully expected to happen, which is why she wanted her Master to Rank Up and allow her to play around for a while. It’s not something she had experienced personally, but learned about it from one of her previous masters.
But before she could start playing around, she realized she had left her Master unconscious at the site of its supposed death. If someone were to discover it, then her cover would be blown and it was questionable whether she would be able to run away in time. So naturally she went back to that place and, under the cover of night, dragged it over to one of the nearby farms. She used her natural charms to convince the elderly couple that ran the place to let her stay for a while and store her ‘luggage’ in their attic.
The Mimic found that last bit to be particularly interesting.
“Farmers? You mean humans?”
“Yes, two of them. Oh, you should probably avoid killing them since-”
In the middle of Xera’s explanation an old, balding farmer went into the attic to fetch something. He walked in through the trap door in the floor and was summarily eaten. His wife, having heard the horrible gnashing and thrashing that came from upstairs, went to investigate. The last thing she saw was her husband’s blood splattered all over the place before her head was chopped off from behind. Needless to say, she was also eaten.
Your hunger has been sated. Automatic HP and MP recovery will return to normal.
You are no longer starving. Your HP will no longer deteriorate.
“Was tasty. Chewy, but oddly satisfying.”
Even if they were old and barely had any meat on them, their intestines, livers and hearts proved to be as filling as expected.
The succubus sighed to herself. Again, she forgot exactly who she was dealing with. Now they would have to burn down the farm to cover their tracks and run away before anyone came asking too many questions.
“How long was I out?” came the next question.
“Three days, Master… Huh? Master? Are you okay?”
Maybe just my imagination, she thought.
“If only three days,” continued the Mimic, “then how come so much hunger?”
“That… part of the Rank Up process, I guess?” she offered. “But! More importantly than that! Master, you can form proper thoughts now?!”
It wasn’t her imagination, but reality. What she received through the link weren’t some fragmented words, but properly constructed sentences that had actual will and direction behind them. Also, it didn’t once say ‘thingie’ and mentioned tasty things only 3 times in that conversation!
“I can have thoughts?”
“Yeah! Like just now!”
It seemed that Rank Up fundamentally upgraded the Mimic’s sad excuse for a mind. It was now capable of holding a conversation without being constantly distracted. There was even a chance of it making informed opinions based on more than its immediate desires!
“Are thoughts tasty?”
“... Yes Master, thoughts are tasty.”
She gave up. For the briefest moment she had the vague hope her Master would stop being such a colossal moron. In the end, even if its mental abilities were expanded, it was still a 3 month old monster that was barely even sentient. It didn’t really have any desires beyond the instinctive need to eat and grow.
“I beg of you,” she added, “please stay still and don’t move!”
The Mimic had no reason to refuse. If ‘staying still without moving’ was an Olympic sport, it would have a serious shot at the gold medal. So it returned to its spot in the attic and sat down. It still had unfinished business with its Status.
“Rank Ukh!” it chanted and a familiar looking-window appeared.
Rank Up - Mimic (Greater)
Possible evolutions and their effects will be revealed once the minimum requirements are met.
The Mimic’s curiosity skyrocketed. Rather than become a higher variant of the same species, it seemed like it could evolve into something completely different. And it appeared as if what it did during its journey to that point would somehow increase its options. However, it could not simply learn these unlock conditions from its Status. While these menus and screens were useful, ultimately they did not contain much information beyond what the monster already knew.
Well, no point worrying about things it had no control over. Achieving the bare minimum requirements would be pretty straightforward and it seemed like it would get them eventually. Truthfully, it was looking forward to the Level 10 Shapeshift more than anything else.
Description: A measure of your ability to mould and sculpt your own flesh
Requirements: Born as a shapeshifting Species
Activation Time: N/A
Effects: Unable to diverge from base form.
Increases shapeshifting speed and precision by 10% per Level of this Skill.
Increases how much of the body can be shapeshifted with each Level of this Skill.
Similar to Mastery Skills, this one had the hidden effect of increasing the Mimic’s general anatomical knowledge. Things like how to construct stronger muscles and tougher hides. When eating something, it could gain deeper insights into how it was put together. Doing so also meant it could mimic those body parts more effectively and even pick out weak points such as tendons, hearts, eyes and throats with its swordplay. At this point it could probably take apart and then put together a human with its eyes closed. Not that it had eyes in the first place, though.
“Master!” shouted Xera. She had just poked her disguised head into the attic. Then she recoiled when she saw the state of the place. “Eck! What in the hell?! Why is there blood everywhere?!”
This was the first time she had actually seen the aftermath of the Mimic’s feeding frenzy. The walls, the floor, the ceiling and pretty much all the crates and boxes were stained with fresh, crimson blood.
“Forget that,” said the Mimic through the thought-link, “where is food?”
“Ah, right. Here you go, Master.” She raised her hand. It was holding a string, and tied around the string by their feet were five whole chickens with freshly broken necks. Well, it’s not like the farmers would need them anymore. Xera set them down on the floor in front of her master. The animate chest opened its mouth and greedily scooped up the still warm bodies with its flexible tongues and devoured them in a flash. It chewed on them for a few seconds before swallowing.
“Not bad. Tastes like people.”
Xera just barely managed to stop herself from retorting with ‘Isn’t that backwards?!’
“Snack! The thingie that can be traded for tasty things! Show me!”
The succubus rolled her eyes. They were back at ‘thingie’ again. Still, at least it was pretty clear what it meant this time. She unhooked a small leather satchel from her waist and emptied its contents on a dry spot of the floor. A number of glistening gold coins clanked onto the wooden planks. Each coin was at little under 5 centimeters in diameter and about 3 millimeters thick. One side had a shield-shaped crest decorated with flowers. The other bore the image of a bearded human with a fancy hat.These gold pieces were the first ones it had ever seen.
“Here they are, Master. 13 King pieces worth 50G each, for a total 650G.”
But her words did not reach the Mimic. It’s entire attention had been captured by those coins. The only light source in this dark attic was what was pouring through the trapdoor Xera was still in. Yet they seemed to shine and glisten with a beauty like it had never seen before. This was a fascination well beyond liking shiny things. It was as if the gold itself was speaking to the Mimic.
‘Hold me’ it whispered. ‘Protect me’ it said. ‘Never let me go’ it demanded. And the simple monster would comply. How could it ever resist such sweet temptation?
The faux-chest’s imitation lid opened itself wide. And amidst the rows of pointy, jagged teeth appeared something new. Something different. Rather than a red tongue covered in clear drool, what appeared was the upper body of a woman. She had waist-long, straight hair that was the color of brilliant snow. Her skin was so pale that anyone who saw it would doubt if it was ever touched by the sun. The eyes were a deep crimson that seemed to stare into one’s very soul. Her breasts, almost as big as her head, jiggled pleasantly with every slight movement. A proud, pink nipple stood on each one. Combined with the unnaturally thin waist and flared hips that gave way to the rest of the Mimic, it gave her an astonishing hourglass figure.
The girl-in-the-box wasted no time and stretched out both her arms. They extended unnaturally, like rubber, covering the meter-and-a-half distance between the monster and the coins in an instant. Her tender fingers then slowly, almost reverently, scooped up the gold pieces and brought them back to the main body carefully.
The human-looking part of the monster then leaned back against its upper jaw which instinctively retracted its teeth. It assumed a pose that looked like someone relaxing in a lounge chair. It then placed the gold coins in the valley of its cleavage. Its hands and arms wrapped around those formidable breasts, pushing them together and creating a sort of fleshy cradle for the Mimic’s new prize. A dumb smile drifted naturally onto those full, pink lips and the monster stood perfectly still, reveling in the sensation against its marshmallow-like breasts. The cold, heavy, shiny metal felt incredibly pleasant, after all.
“M-M-M-Master?” called out Xera, but that master was currently preoccupied.
This is it, thought the Mimic. This is right.
A treasure chest that finally had actual treasure. Those completely normal and entirely un-magical coins fulfilled a craving the monster never knew it had. Right now, at this moment, it was satisfied. It felt content for what was probably the first time in its short life. People were tasty. Levels, Skills and attributes were also tasty. But gold was different. It had no actual flavor, yet the Mimic thought that it was absolutely delicious!
“Master!” yelled Xera. This time she seemed to get the Mimic’s attention. The hazy stare and dumb smile on that beautiful face disappeared. It stared at the demoness with a disgusted expression like she had just taken a massive dump in its porridge.
“What is it, Snack?!” it sent through the thought-link, “I’m busy!”
“Why am I sticking out of Master’s jaws?!”
That was the reason Xera was staring. The human body currently poking out of the fleshy insides of that chest looked almost identical to her. The colors were wrong, it had no wings or horns, but everything else was exactly in the shape and proportions of the succubus’s true form. She also had the disturbing thought that, if the woman-shaped part of the Mimic had gone on just a few centimeters lower, it would certainly also mirror her lower lips.
“Snack is tasty. I needed tasty parts to enjoy delicious gold.” it replied simply.
The merciless MImic had eaten Xera so many times that it had absolute knowledge of her body. It was, quite simply put, the body it knew best. Humans all had small differences between them. The proportions, skin, hair, teeth, jaw, face - every individual was unique in various ways. So having tasted the exact same succubus-shaped fruit over 30 times, it naturally became the form it was most familiar with. It didn’t particularly care about pigmentation, horns or wings, which is why it came out looking like an albino half-succubus. The important thing was it could properly enjoy the weight and feel of the gold coins by borrowing Xera’s sensitive boobs.
In truth, this new development had very little to do with its evolution into a Greater Mimic. The monster was perfectly capable of achieving this shape when it raised Shapeshift to Level 5. After all, even if it couldn’t abandon its outward chest-like appearance, the insides were a completely different story. It simply had no urge to do something like this until now. This form was ill-suited to combat and the higher center of gravity meant it would have trouble balancing on top of its favorite spider legs. The sole purpose the pseudo-Xera came out was to, quite simply, have fun with it.
Xera was dumbstruck yet again. As a shapeshifter herself, she more or less understood all of that. However, the realization that the Mimic had created a cheap copy of her just to enjoy itself made her feel oddly violated. It was almost worse than being eaten alive.
Almost, but not quite.
After about three and a half hours of the Mimic playing with Xera’s hard-earned money on top of Xera’s borrowed breasts, it finally seemed to have enough. It stowed the gold inside its Storage and called out to the succubus that was sulking in the corner.
“We go now.”
The demoness turned her head around. She was sitting while hugging her knees and facing away from her master. She had been trying really really hard not to mind the situation behind her. It almost worked, too. Until that creature started letting out cooing noises using her own voice. So she minded it immensely. At least it was back to how it was before - a simple chest with eight black imitation spider legs jutting out from under it. It was much easier to look at than that twisted imitation of her own self.
“Understood, Master,” she replied while standing up. ”Where to?”
“Back to dungeon. Something I have to do.”
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