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The Fleshmaiden may have been fooled by her own hubris at first, but she quickly realized the woman she had killed was not actually human. There’s no way she would have shrugged off a dagger to the heart like that if she was. The subsequent self-destruction proved that point even further. After all, humans were creatures that clung desperately to life. She respected that though. You won’t last in this world without the resolve to fight tooth, nail and tentacle for your survival.

The bottom line is that Pyromancer was a monster, which meant she was actually cooperating with the Mimic. The chest had attacked her out of its own free will. It may even have been the mastermind behind this little invasion into her lair. Her guess was spot on, although ‘mastermind’ was giving it entirely too much credit.

Regardless, it had much to answer for. She even lost one of her trusty mithril daggers to it, but that’s okay. All she had to do was carve it out of its wood-like hide.

And so, once the flames had subsided, the Fleshmaiden threatened the monster. Of course, that was entirely to help heal her injured ego. After all, throwing words like ‘traitor’ at a moronic chest was about as useful as pissing against the wind.

Leaving such stupid thoughts aside, she charged at it while swinging her dagger wildly. The Mimic had already regrown its tentacles and picked up its dropped weapons, so it was ready for her. Or so it thought. The Fleshmaiden ran straight through the trio of sword strikes. One was turned away by her dagger, the second cut open her unarmed left hand and the final one left a gash on her shoulder. She ignored the wounds and got right next to the chest-shaped body and stabbed at it with her remaining dagger.

The instant she thrust her arm forward it opened its maw and threatened to eat her whole. The Fleshmaiden was forced to stop her attack and pull back, lest she lose her other weapon as well. The sudden change in momentum made her stagger, which was just enough for the Mimic to drive all three swords into her shoulder, torso and thigh, depriving her of a devastating 235 HP. She pulled away from it in a panic, but the Mimic was holding its swords with all its might and tried to pull her into the opposite direction, towards its waiting maw. The girl-shaped monster’s malleable flesh was ripped apart violently, sending indeterminate bits of red flesh and sprays of crimson blood flying all over the place. It hurt like a bitch and cost her even more HP, but she managed to escape for the moment.

The Fleshmaiden had to admit she was underestimating it. Even in the middle of a fight it still found a way to surprise her with an attack that was almost enough to kill her outright.  She hated to acknowledge it, but that thing’s combat instincts were the real deal. Even now it sensed her weakened state and chased after her, trying to finish the job.

The huge wound on her thigh meant the normally faster Fleshmaiden could not run as freely as before and she would surely be caught on flat ground. So she leaped at the nearby stone wall and stuck to it using adhesive slime secreted from her palms and feet. She clambered up the 4-meter tall surface, attempting to put some distance between herself and her pursuer. Even a few seconds would be enough to pull herself away from death’s door.

However, the chest vehemently chased after her. It skittered up the wall after her using its imitation spider legs as makeshift climbing picks. It stabbed their hard, chitin-covered tips between the roughly hewn stone bricks, creating just enough of a hole in the aging mortar to make a foothold. It was a crude method that it thought of roughly 3 seconds ago, but it was reasonably effective.

It’s prey expected this development, however. After all, would it really be that strange for a half-spider half-chest to climb along the wall? Granted the method it used was vastly different from how actual spiders climbed walls, but that was besides the point. The Fleshmaiden stopped going upwards and instead turned 90 degrees to the right and moved quickly to the side.

The rapid change in direction slowed down the determined Mimic even further. Try as it might, it had no chance of catching her under these conditions. It briefly considered dropping off and firing Spells after her, but it was a risky move. Its opponent already proved to be more than capable of dodging or interrupting magic, so the Mimic had serious doubts as to whether it would be able to get a shot off. To make matters worse, the deep wounds it had left on that woman’s body were already closing up as if time was running backwards.

This is not tasty.

The chest knew a thing or two about shapeshifting. Replacing lost limbs or closing up wounds did not recover lost HP. The severed flesh and spilled blood both needed time to recover. Damaged tissue, on the other hand, was still there even if the wound wasn’t visible on the surface The most it could do with its current Skills was to supplement the missing bits of its limbs by shifting Biomass around or force its wounds closed so they wouldn’t bleed as much.

But what this Fleshmaiden was doing was beyond that. She was regenerating. It looked similar, but any shapeshifter worth its tentacles would be able to grasp the difference. She didn’t simply shuffle flesh around. Entirely new muscle tissue grew rapidly on the spot, allowing her to restore both her body and her HP at the same time. Whether this effect was due to a Skill, a Spell or came from the power of the dungeon core was a complete mystery to the Mimic. But one thing was crystal clear.

This situation is very much not tasty!

Once the female monster had recovered enough, she did a 180 degree turn while still clinging to the wall. She swung around one hand like she was an unreasonably fast clock and used that momentum to slice two of the Mimic’s front spider legs off in one slash. The animate chest that was deprived of two of its anchors then lost its balance and fell towards the ground. It just barely managed to kick off the wall and rotate itself in a three-quarter circle so that it landed squarely on its legs, the missing ones already being rebuilt out of spare Biomass.

The Fleshmaiden leaped down immediately afterwards with her body in perfect health. She pressed the attack, but this time she did not rush in carelessly. She fought on the edge of the Mimic’s range, stabbing away at its tongues or legs. It retaliated by slashing away at her limbs in turn. It grazed her a few times but failed to land a telling blow on its quicker, more agile opponent. She didn’t make things easy, either, and kept running around it in circles, constantly hounding it at all sides and not giving it a single moment to rest. The Mimic used its magical perception to track her position and its flexible tongues swiveled around it, covering it on all sides. And while it didn’t have any blind spots per-se, it still struggled to keep up with her movements.

And so the two reached a sort of stalemate. One ran in circles and struck at any tentacles or spider legs she could reach. The other one responded in kind and aimed at her arms and feet. It even managed to chop them off a few times, but the Fleshmaiden took a page out of its own book and replaced them swiftly through shape-shifting. Her seemingly endless regeneration would undoubtedly restore her HP afterwards.

Severed limbs rained down in the area around them as they sliced at each other’s bodies. Indeed, the surreal scene was a duel between monsters - creatures with enough vitality to fight until their last drop of HP was gone. And looking at the way things were, the Mimic was undoubtedly going to be the first to fall. Even though it did almost twice as much damage as its more nimble opponent, it was still not enough. The enemy kept regenerating at a rate that was much faster than what it could dish out, but had no way of recovering its own HP. The Fleshmaiden had the clear upper hand in a battle of attrition like this.

Then why did she not do this at the start? If she was this strong, why did she feel the need to block the Mimic’s blows and deprive it of its weapons? Was it because she wanted to kill off the Mimic’s Snack? No, that was certainly the cause of it. After all, taking out the magical support first was something the Mimic desperately tried to do. But Xera clearly was an offense-type Caster, which meant her magic was a bigger threat.

This is regret?

The Mimic had passed on not one, but two whole chances to hit the Fleshmaiden with its own magic. It was possible that the high output of Warlock Spells might be able to overpower that regeneration, but there was no chance to use it now. The chest was under too much pressure, it couldn’t focus on casting magic like this.

Regret is not tasty!

In fact, the current situation was so un-tasty it almost made it want to puke in disgust. Things could not be allowed to carry on this way, otherwise it would surely be killed off. Therefore, it had to change the circumstances so they became more favorable. Much like how it desperately threw that spear during its struggle against the guard patrol, it needed to create an opening where one did not exist. It hastily threw together a plan that just might work, then put it into action.

The first step was, essentially, the same thing it did against those guards.

Over on the Fleshmaiden’s side, things were going according to plan. She could only inflict 10 to 20 HP worth of damage with her glancing strikes. After all, she was slashing at thin limbs rather than stabbing at hearts, so her damage was quite low. Still, she was quite confident she wouldn’t lose. Her miraculous regeneration was the product of her Mend Flesh Skill. It allowed her to essentially convert her massive MP pool into HP. Like this, she was completely safe as long as her MP held out and she avoided getting in dangerous spots that could overwhelm the speed of her regeneration. In the worst case scenario where she ran out of MP, she could still run around the room for a few minutes until she recovered a sizable chunk of it.

But it would seem that was not necessary. The Mimic had swung down at her with too much force and missed her completely. Its sword slammed against the ground and broke off at the handle. The Fleshmaiden smiled at this development. One sword less meant it could no longer attack nor defend as vigorously as it had until now. So far it had managed to keep picking up its weapons with regrown tentacles while keeping her at bay with the other two, but one of those was now useless.

The monster had permanently disarmed itself in its own over-eagerness.

The Fleshmaiden would not let this chance slip by. She moved in closer and, while staying wary of those teeth, cut clean through one of the tentacles, albeit at the price of a sword strike to the right side of her face. It didn’t deter her and she cut off the last tentacle, drastically cutting down on the Mimic’s attack range. It then predictably lunge at her in an attempt to bite her, but she was well prepared for it this time. The flesh-draped woman dodged nimbly to the left, going around its narrow side where those jaws had no way of reaching her. She was absolutely sure that nothing the Mimic could do would injure her in this position.

So imagine her surprise when she felt a sharp pain in her right side. That last sword hit to her head took out two of her eyes that had yet to grow back. Her limited field of vision meant she didn’t notice that the Mimic had stabbed her with her own mithril dagger. She had completely forgotten about the little ‘present’ she left inside its mouth during their first clash. But then the Mimic introduced yet another dagger to the situation, this one stabbed right through her neck. A sensation of piercing cold immediately spread through her throat as it began to ice over.

The Fleshmaiden had no idea where that last weapon came from, but she didn’t have time to worry about it now. The weapons lodged in her started pulling her towards the Mimic, which undoubtedly wanted to eat her whole. Her instincts screamed at her to run the fuck away.

So she tried to pull away, much like the last time she was in this position. The dagger lodged in her side felt like it would slip out easily enough, but the one in her throat was different. The frozen wound caused by the enchanted weapon meant it was firmly stuck in place. It was an extreme decision, but she willingly detached her head to escape from the jaws of death that were rapidly approaching her.

The headless woman then ran away from danger at top speed. Most of the Fleshmaiden’s many eyes were hidden inside her black hair. The only ones remaining were those on the front of her ‘dress.’ She had to sacrifice her hearing, her expanded field of view as well as a chunk of her HP to get away, but it was far better than being gobbled up. She could grow as many heads as she wanted, but no amount of regeneration would save her from being digested inside the Mimic’s stomach.

And in a repeat of the last time this happened, she retreated up the wall. Her limited field of view was then quickly rectified by several eyes that grew out of her back and shoulder. She was unused to creating eyes on those areas of her skin, so it took her an extra second to get them just right. It was important that she confirmed the distance between herself and the Mimic that was likely following her.

But when those eyes opened up, they revealed that she was wrong. The Mimic did not chase after her. Far from it, it didn’t even budge from its spot. What it did was far more unsettling.

The Fleshmaiden immediately recognized the face of that infuriating Pyromancer from earlier. That bitch was supposed dead, so how come she was sticking halfway out of the Mimic?! The skin, eye and hair color were completely wrong, but there’s no way she would mistake shit-eating grin for someone else! But wait, there’s more! The woman on the wall broke her tunnel vision away from that insufferable face and realized that the Great White Whore was pointing a cheap-looking staff in her direction and a weird aura of crackling electricity surrounded her body.

If she still had ears, she might have heard the Mimic finish chanting its spell.

“Ebonfire ~♪!”

Black flames enveloped the Fleshmaiden. The impossibly dark fire that erupted from her skin seemed to suck in what little light there was in the dark chamber. The Mimic couldn’t even see her skin inside that localized inferno.

Your target has been afflicted with Ebonfire.

The target in question fell to the ground, screaming like a banshee. She rolled around, desperately trying to put out the flames. But she could not, for they were coming out from beneath her skin. The Mend Flesh Skill was working overtime to try and keep her body alive, but any new flesh that formed was immediately burned away. The heat was intense enough to overpower her rapid regeneration.

Your target’s soul burns away at their flesh. Target HP -140.

Overcome with exhaustion, the Mimic’s spider legs gave out and the bottom of its chest-like body slammed against the ground. The half-a-Xera on top of it went limp and fell forward under the influence of the accurately reproduced oversized breasts.

Your target’s soul burns away at their flesh. Target HP -140.
Proficiency level increased. Power Overwhelming is now Level 2. INT +4.

It seemed that spending every last drop of its 520 MP in one go proved to have a side effect on its body, but it was worth it. The Mimic had managed to surprise its enemy by secretly taking out an enchanted weapon from its Storage. It knew that, once driven into a corner, the Fleshmaiden would flee at all costs. Even if it meant sacrificing parts of her body to do so. A strategy she has used twice already. So it aimed for her head and forced her to leave it behind. All that was to buy it enough time to prepare the nastiest attack it could muster - a supercharged Ebonfire spell.

Power Overwhelming
Description: The Warlock becomes a bastion of arcane might
Requirements: Level 10 Warlock, Ruin Mastery, INT 60
Type: Active
Activation Time: Instant
Cost: 20 MP
Range: Self
Effects: Ruin Spells will cost 400% more MP.
Ruin Spells will be 200% more effective.
The Ruin Spell effectiveness multiplier will increase by an additional 20% per Level of this Skill.
The effects of this Skill will last 20 seconds.

 

Ebonfire
Requirements: Level 3 Warlock, INT 20
School: Ruin
Type: Targeted
Cost: 100 MP
Range: 25 Meters
Effects: Engulfs your target’s soul in flames, burning away their body over 6 seconds.
Has no effect on Undead, Demons and Golems.

 

Your target’s soul burns away at their flesh. Target HP -140.

It was a gamble. Breaking its sword on purpose to lure her in, trying to get rid of those pesky eyes all over her head, pressuring her so much that she focused her whole being on running away - it was all done for this. Its one ace in the hole was that the Fleshmaiden did not know it could use magic. In some ways it was glad it passed on those first two chances. A half-baked Spell would have only revealed its identity as a Caster and ruined any chance of pulling something like this off. That much was made clear by her impressive last-ditch effort to dodge its spell.

Your target’s soul burns away at their flesh. Target HP -140.

However, Unlike Fireball or Shadowbolt, this Spell did not fire out a projectile. The Mimic simply needed to focus on a target that was both within its line of sight and within range. Finishing the chant would then cause it to immediately catch on fire.The Fleshmaiden had absolutely no chance of pulling off a feat like dodging the chest’s eyesight when she was more than 10 meters away from it.

And so, its improvised plan to confuse and befuddle the dungeon master came to fruition. Its rewards were a terrifying amount of damage being dealt each second and an unceasing torrent of screams. Truly a satisfying result that was almost as tasty as Snack.

Your target’s soul burns away at their flesh. Target HP -140.

But now wasn’t the time to laze around and bask in the afterglow. The Spell was about to expire and the Mimic had to be ready in case that persistent creature actually survived it. It hurriedly picked itself up off the floor and wobbled unsteadily towards the Fleshmaiden that was still clinging to life.

Your target’s soul burns away at their flesh. HP -140.
Proficiency level increased. Power Overwhelming is now Level 3. INT +4.
Proficiency level increased. Ruin Mastery is now Level 5. INT +2. WIS +1. END +1.
Level up!
Level up!
Congratulations, you are now a level 16 Warlock! INT +4. MNT +4. END +4.

But she did not make it. An increase in Job Levels was definite proof that something had died. And since the Mimic was still very much alive, that meant it was unquestionably the winner. All that was left of the former dungeon master was an extremely charred pile of meat that was still gripping onto the handle of her mithril dagger.

The Mimic felt relief wash over it. It slumped back to the ground and reverted back to a chest that was battered and splintered all over. There would be no celebratory dance this time, it was way too tired for that sort of excessive celebration. The only thing on its mind was to rest, so it naturally returned to its dormant state.

The room seemed incredibly peaceful after that violent struggle. The Mimic had forgotten how quiet it could get in this dungeon. Its thoughts drifted off towards the way it had lived its short life until this moment.

Close fights like this were nothing new to this monster. It was forced to face off against groups of adventurers multiple times while it was still a resident of this place. Honestly, that guard patrol fight wasn’t even in its top 5 most dangerous scuffles since it walked away with most of its HP intact.

But all those close calls had one thing in common - the monster was able to overcome them through a combination of luck and its opponents fucking up in some way. It vividly remembered that one Caster-type adventurer. It was busy fighting with his friend and suffered numerous wounds before it drove a sword through his chest. The Caster panicked and fumbled his Spell, causing it to backfire and explode in his hands. If that adventurer had succeeded, then the Mimic would have died then and there. The fact all its coin tosses so far came heads-up almost seemed like a miracle.

Indeed, today wasn’t the first time it had to fight desperately to survive, but it was the first time it achieved victory completely on its own power. There was no lucky break and its opponent didn’t trip up over herself. The Mimic had driven the Fleshmaiden into a corner by using her own habits against her. It had won in a battle of wits, pure and simple. Thinking back on that intense struggle, it felt an odd surge of emotion unlike anything else it had experienced. It wasn’t the joy of winning a tough battle nor was it spite for the enemy that wounded it so badly.

No, it felt a very specific feeling. One that gave rise to two words, a phrase it never even knew about until just now. It focused its magical perception on the smoldering remains of that formidable enemy and it gave voice to that emotion.

“Thank you.”

It then drifted off into a peaceful slumber, which was just another in a long line of ‘firsts’ that had happened today.


General Information Attributes Job Information
Name   Name Value Name Value Name Level Progress
Species Mimic (Greater) STR 82 LCK 30 Mimic 25 46%
Sex N/A DEX 88 MNT 62 Warlock (+) 16 42%
Age 3 months AGI 71 CHR 7      
Guild   END 113          
HP 62/647 (+1.3/sec) INT 118          
MP 19/590 (+0.6/sec) WIS 66          
Skill List
Name Level Proficiency
Assassination 5 40%
Storage 4 20%
Cadaver Absorption 4 85%
Biomass 2 56%
Summon Familiar 4 75%
Power Overwhelming 3 26%
Shapeshift 6 61%
Stealth 4 86%
Sword Mastery 6 21%
Projectile Mastery 2 44%
Dagger Mastery 2 83%
Ruin Mastery 5 13%
Domination Mastery 3 37%
Spell List
Ruin Domination
Shadowbolt Mass Panic
Ebonfire Delirium
Frostbite  
Dark Explosion  
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A note from Exterminatus

I had to change around the Ebonfire Spell description since I neglected to add a duration to it at first. I've also gone back and edited it in Eat And Grow part 4.

Oddly enough, I didn't plan for this encounter to end this way. But then I realized a certain someone was sitting on exactly 520 MP. That just sort of happened, you know?


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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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Lazytophat @Lazytophat ago

yeeeeeeeeeeeeeee time for the mimic to get some INT to smack some more snacks

Hexwolfx @Hexwolfx ago

The comment at the end made me laugh

bradyman50 @bradyman50 ago

Oh come on!!! That cliff is not tasty at all!!!

Sure it was a perfect way to end the chapter, but I need more!!

creationist0 @creationist0 ago

Im ready for that warlock level up! Thanks for the chappie

MisterKaos @MisterKaos ago

Nice.

So... Break it, or is it gonna be Dungeon Master time?

Qanelin @Qanelin ago

Its lucky break is that its opponent was a weakling and the opponent fucked up by doing the worst thing possible at nearly every step of the fight.

Don't get me wrong it was a good fight and I enjoyed it, but it was in no way different then any of his other fights.

 

baconlord @baconlord ago

Thanks for the chapter. I think the fight ended in a awesome way, our loveable moron chest learned today I am sure we can all be happy about that.

Misery's End @Misery's End ago

Cheers for the chapter! 

And now we get to find out Chesty's master plan now that he has control of the dungeon core xD

Exterminatus
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Exterminatus @Exterminatus ago

11/14/2016 3:20:40 AMQanelin Wrote:

Its lucky break is that its opponent was a weakling and the opponent fucked up by doing the worst thing possible at nearly every step of the fight.

Don't get me wrong it was a good fight and I enjoyed it, but it was in no way different then any of his other fights.

 

It was actively trying to unsettle its opponent, though. At the start of the fight it (last chap) it actually lured her into its jaws by making her strike low. And in this chap it used her own habits against her. Once she took the 'bait' of the broken sword, she was already pretty much dead no matter what she did.

At least... that's the way I tried to write it. I'm still not that great with fight scenes :V

lomie0 @lomie0 ago

It would be fitting if he could just upgrade familiar summoning into greater familiar summoning since he used that warlock spell WAY more than any other.

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