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The Mimic stared intently at those two notifications. The first one seemed to imply that it was now the rightful owner of a dungeon core. It really didn’t need some notification window’s permission for that, but at least it made things official, in a way. Now all that was left was to deal with that second one. There was just one problem.

“Snack,” it called out, much to Kora’s amusement. “Is a ‘catastrophic meltdown’ a tasty thing?”

Just knowing what something was called didn’t mean it could understand what it actually was.

“Huh? What?!” replied the succubus. She was actually aware of the meaning behind those words, but what worried her was the reason her master suddenly inquired after them. Then realization hit her like a cannonball to the face.

“Wait… don’t tell me the core is going to-”

*CRACK*

A tiny fracture appeared on the crystal ball. Rays of white light seemed to pour out of that tiny gap.

“Not tasty!” she yelled out immediately. “Master, that core is very much not tasty! We have to get rid of it! No, we have to run away from it at full speed!”

“Don’t wanna. It’s my shiny!” came the selfish reply one would expect out of a toddler.

“Look, Master, that core is going to explode. It’s going to blow up and none of us will survive! Being alive is much tastier than having a big shiny thing, right?!”

It didn’t deny her outright this time and actually pondered her words.

A certain invisible presence that was the cause of this situation would do well to take notes here. This was the proper way to negotiate with a mimic.

Only it was taking its sweet time deciding. No matter how much it wanted to keep the shiny, surely it didn’t want to be killed for it, right?

“Hey bubble-boobs,” whispered Kora. “Why are you so insistent with this? If the Master bites it we get to run off and do what we want, right?”

“You know that box has a lot more HP than either of us, right?” she whispered back. “Do you honestly think our bodies would survive a blast that it could not?”

“How strong a boom are we talking about here?”

“Only dust will be left behind. And that’s if we’re lucky.”

Kora crossed her arms in front of her chest and closed her eyes. One could practically hear the rusty gears springing to life inside her head.

No master means no contract. No contract means I get to play around all I want. That’s good. But dying sends me back to the Beyond. I can’t be summoned back unless I have a contract. Which means that if both of us die at the same time...

“Master!” she blurted out after reaching the painfully obvious conclusion. “We should get rid of that glowy thing right now!”

“Okay,” it responded.

It wasn’t actually torn between life and shiny though. It was just lamenting having to let go of this thing after going through so much trouble to secure it, but there was no way around it. At first it wasn’t sure if Snack was telling the truth, but that whispered conversation with Arms showed she was acting out of self-preservation. It was an instinct the Mimic was very supportive of. Therefore, it would listen to its familiars this time and do as they suggest.

It just had one major problem.

What do I do with it?

WARNING!
Dungeon core AD-0429-PR is over maximum MP capacity by 953%!
Catastrophic meltdown will occur in 7 minutes!

Whatever it was going to do, it needed to do it fast. It could always roll it back into the dungeon, but that idea didn’t sit right with it. Sure it might be able to blow this place up and destroy it, but that annoying pop-up might be able to reclaim the core somehow. Perhaps that’s what it was expecting? But if not the dungeon, then was there any other place nearby where it could-

“Ah!” it exclaimed. “Arms, get the shiny outside! Fast!”

The three of them went out of the cavern and into the open air. It was already past noon, as evidenced by the sun’s position in the sky. It seemed its little dungeon crawl had taken quite a bit of time.

The Mimic looked along the dirt road that led towards the nearby city of Monotal. There were a few figures moving along it in the distance, obviously traveling between that place and the dungeon.

But that’s not what was important. The road itself was flat, mostly straight and on a downhill slope that went pretty much all the way to the city.

“Arms, push the shiny down that road! Give it to that big place with the walls!”

“Huh?” replied Kora, dumbfounded. She had no idea what her master was going on about.

Xera, however, immediately caught on. Her face adopted an expression that seemed to say ‘Oh, I see!’ louder than any words could. Dumping the dangerous thing on the humans was a perfect way of getting rid of it. How come she didn’t think of that? It was honestly a little annoying to be outsmarted by that blasted box. Still, this was an idea she liked a lot.

“Allow me to guide her to the city, Master,” she offered.

“Okay. Arms, follow Snack’s lead!”

“Pfft! *Ahem* Yes, Master!”

The red-skinned fiend pushed the core down the road while the succubus took to the skies to keep from falling behind. Using her wings at high speed inside that narrow dungeon was tantamount to suicide, but out here she could soar as high as she wanted.

Their master watched them depart on their assignment for a few seconds before it started running in the opposite direction. There was no telling how big that explosion was going to be, but judging from how much mana it soaked up it was easy to tell it wasn’t going to be a small one. Therefore, putting as much distance between itself and that orb was the obvious thing to do. Just like Xera had pointed out, nothing is tastier than being able to stay alive!

It ran through the forest. It went up some hills and down others, around rocks and trees. A river was forded at some point. A few wild animals and monsters were gobbled up along the way.

Proficiency level increased. Biomass is now Level 3. All Attributes +1.

Make that a few dozen wild animals and monsters.

WARNING!
Dungeon core AD-0429-PR is over maximum MP capacity by 953%!
Catastrophic meltdown will occur in 2 minutes!

“Snack, what’s going on over there?” it inquired through the thought link.

“We’re coming up on the gates now, Master. We’re going to try and force our way through.”

“Huh? Inside the walls?”

“Yes, it’ll do more damage if we bring it closer to the middle of the city.”

That was true. Dark Explosion was a Spell that had to be aimed in such a way so that it hits as many things as possible. The scale of this core meltdown was likely to be much larger, but the same logic applied.

WARNING!
Dungeon core AD-0429-PR is over maximum MP capacity by 953%!
Catastrophic meltdown will occur in 60 seconds!

It contemplated such things while it made its way through the wilderness. After a short while, it got a rather sudden update.

Your familiar has been banished.

Xera had been done in, likely by the city’s defenders.

“Arms, what’s going on?”

“ORRA! Oh, Master! DORRYA! We got past the wooden gate with brute force but- ORA ORA ORA ORA! - there’s too many humans!”

“Keep them busy!”

“Hahaha! Gladly!”

Well, judging from how fast her HP was dropping, that wasn’t going to last long.

It ended up bursting through the treeline and onto a small clearing. There was a lone road along a small cliff that gave it a clear, unobstructed view towards the walled-off city in the distance. Several streaks of black smoke were visible, probably a result of that pyromaniac Pyromancer’s magic.

Your familiar has been banished.

Ah, it seemed Kora finally went down. She held out a lot longer than the Mimic was expecting. Maybe it’s due to that weird ‘Second Wind’ Skill she had? The chest decided it would be best to more thoroughly investigate her Status later.

WARNING!
Dungeon core AD-0429-PR is over maximum MP capacity by 953%!
Catastrophic meltdown will occur in 30 seconds! 

There wasn’t much time left. Should it keep running? Then again, another 30 seconds would hardly make a difference if that explosion could reach this far… Then what about going underground? Yes, that seemed like a good idea!

The chest shapeshifted its spider legs so that their ‘feet’ were more like shovels and less like needles. It then began eagerly digging into the soil. This was the same technique it used to hide itself in the ground shortly before its Rank Up, so it felt confident about it.

WARNING!
Dungeon core AD-0429-PR is over maximum MP capacity by 953%!
Catastrophic meltdown will occur in 10 seconds! 

By this point, the chest had already dug out a hole about 1 meter deep. Going deeper at this stage seemed to be meaningless, so it instead braced for impact.

At that moment, nearly 7 kilometers away, a group of adventurers and guards were cautiously circling the ominous red ball. Cracks ran along its surface as more and more rays of light streamed out. It was actually audibly buzzing at this point. They were unsure  about what to do with this strange object that a couple of renegade demons had brought into their city. Some of them felt it prudent to run the hell away, while others thought to quarantine it somehow. If they had a few more minutes, they might be able to teleport it away from them with magic.

But they didn’t and the core ruptured.

There was a flash of light so bright that it blinded about a dozen unfortunate travelers and merchants that happened to be facing that direction.

...
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -5463.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -6478.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -5312.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -4843.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -7603.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -6422.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -4041.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -3368.
Your target has been disintegrated. HP -3963.


It took but a fraction of a second to reap the lives of 8,235 people. That’s not counting all the animals, domestic or otherwise, that got caught up in the blast. All of those were considered an attack made by the Mimic, and all of those attacks relayed their less-than-useful results back to the perpetrator.

The onslaught of status messages scrolled on and on and on seemingly without end, assaulting the Mimic’s consciousness until it nearly blacked out.

“Zeeh, zeeh, zeeh.”

Nearly though. It panted heavily inside its impromptu foxhole, reeling from the mental impact. If it wasn’t for its MNT then it would probably end up stunned again. Just as it had calmed down, it felt the ear-splitting noise of the core meltdown wash over it next, followed almost immediately by the shockwave of the blast. It shook its little hidey-hole as if a major earthquake had taken place.

All things said and done, it lost about 300 HP in the ordeal. It fared much better than its victims, though. And then it finally got the all-important news.

Level up!
Level up!
Level up!


Congratulations, you are now a level 33 Mimic! All attributes +16.
Congratulations, you are now a level 22 Warlock! INT +10. MNT +10. END +10.
You have learned a new Spell: Shadowbind
You have learned a new Spell: Mind Blast
Feat of strength performed! You have unlocked a new Perk: Butcher of Humanity.
Feat of strength performed! You have unlocked a new Perk: Collateral Damage.
Proficiency level increased. Summon Familiar is now Level 6. INT +2. WIS +1. MNT +1.
Proficiency level increased. Demonology is now Level 3. WIS +2. MNT +2.

The Mimic calmed itself down and climbed out of its little hole, then looked towards where the city once stood. All that was left in its place was a glowing crater and a gigantic mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke and dust. The green plains and thick forest around it had been turned to gray ash. The monster’s selfish actions had left a scar on this world that would never truly heal.

“Neat!”

That’s all it had to say on the matter, though. So what if it brought about a calamity that wiped out an entire city? It reaped a massive profit in Levels, and that’s all it cared about! No, that’s not quite right. There was also the matter unlocking new Restricted Skills!

First and foremost, the oddly nostalgic Mimic Skills.

Skill List: Mimic
Unlocked Skills: Assassination, Storage, Cadaver Absorption, Biomass
Available Skills: Natural Armor, Misdirection, Create Fleshling, Liquid Mimicry, Metal Mimicry
You can unlock 1 additional Restricted Skill from this Job.

Create Fleshling was a Skill that would create a miniature, semi-sentient version of the Mimic to serve as its minion. However, these creatures would die after a set amount of time and could only follow pre-set orders, not to mention that separating chunks off its own body was obviously going to be unhealthy.

In short, Summon Familiar suited its needs much better. Therefore, it passed over this one.

Liquid Mimicry was also offered at Level 20, along with Create Fleshling and Biomass. It allowed the Mimic to recreate almost any non-magical liquid the Mimic knew about by expending MP. However, anything created by this Skill would disappear after a while and it was impossible to create alchemical products like potions and poisons. Therefore it was passed over for Biomass.

And now it seemed that it only got one new option.

Metal Mimicry
Description: The ability to turn flesh and bone into steel and iron
Requirements: Level 30 Mimic, Shapeshift, Biomass, STR 100, END 100
Type: Passive
Activation Time: N/A
Cost: N/A
Range: Self
Effects: Flesh can be shapeshifted into any known non-magical metal.
MP will be consumed depending on how much of the body is turned to metal.
The transformation will fade after 15 minutes.
Reduces the MP consumption of Metal Mimicry by 5% per Level of this Skill.

The Mimic actually stopped to think about this one. It looked attractive, but several concerns gave it pause. While it would be possible to create arms and armor on the spot, it would come at a heavier price than what was obvious at first glance.

Metal was hard, heavy and inflexible. Hard was a good thing. Right now the Mimic could instantly cover its body with something that looked like steel, but that wouldn’t mean it would be anywhere as tough. It was still shapeshifter flesh under the shiny surface and would not actually block attacks any better. Therefore, having the legitimate toughness of steel was extremely attractive. It probably wouldn’t have to worry about running out of weapons, either.

But the other two characteristics of metal were downsides. Heavy meant it would take a LOT of its body mass to create it. Therefore, the actual amount of metal it could ‘produce’ would be quite limited. As for inflexible, let’s just say the Mimic was worried whether it could move joints that were turned to steel. The answer would most likely be ‘no.’

Therefore, rather than gamble on an unknown, it actually revisited and reversed a decision it had made a long time ago.

Proficiency level increased. Natural armor is now Level 1. END +6.
Natural Armor
Description: Monsters are known for their tough hides that can shrug off anything and everything.
Requirements: Level 5 Monster Job, END 10+
Type: Passive
Activation Time: N/A
Cost: N/A
Range: Self
Effect: Reduces all incoming damage by 1% per Level of this Skill.
Provides an additional +2 END per Level of this Skill.

‘I don’t need it if I don’t get hit’ was the sort of naive thinking that had nearly gotten it killed in that dungeon. Therefore, while it may not be flashy, it picked the most reliable-looking Skill it could. Besides, it would probably need it if something went wrong when working with the other Skill it wanted.

Proficiency level increased. Crystallize Magic is now Level 1. INT +2. WIS +2.

While the sentient chest still felt apprehensive at the thought of blowing itself up, it was hard to argue with the results from the dungeon core meltdown. The event had also given it a really good idea for how to handle the potentially dangerous Spell Crystals. It just had to have someone extremely expendable take care of it!

Speaking of which.

“Ohh! I’m back!” shouted Kora after her summoning. “Woah!? Is that the city in the distance?!”

“What’s left of it.”

“WAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!” The fiend threw her hands in the air and let out a stream of hearty laughter. “Serves you right you blondie! Let’s see you try ‘cleansing this world of my taint’ when you’re nothing but dust!”

“Blondie?” inquired the chest, curiously.

“Ahn? Oh yeah, there was this guy with a really shiny sword and flashy, spiky hairdo. Super annoying. Kept prattling on about justice and whatnot while I was busy ripping this other guy limb from limb. Those Hero types are always a buzzkill, you know?”

“I don’t.”

“... Oh, right. You’re only like 3 months old, huh?”

“Yes.”

“Well, you’ll find out soon enough. Hmm? Hey, my body seems to be overflowing with power compared to before! Did you Level up from that?”

“Yes, many times. Got Skills and Perks too.”

A very tasty result indeed. As for the Perks, the first one seemed to be quite useful.

Butcher of Humanity
Description: Repetition is the mother of learning. Especially when it comes to murder.
Requirements: Kill more than 5,000 humans.
Effects: Increases all damage dealt to humans by 5%.
Killing a human invigorates you, restoring 2% of max HP and MP.

The Mimic fought humans a lot. It would probably keep on fighting them, so being more effective against them was a good thing to be sure!

Collateral Damage
Description: Like exploding fish in a barrel.
Requirements: Hit more than 20 targets with a single attack.
Effects: Increases the radius of Area Effect Spells, Skills and Martial Arts by 10%.

The other one... Well, it made the Mimic feel a bit cheated. Still, considering its plans for Crystallize Magic, it was far from a useless Perk.

“Where’s the walking pair of boobs?” asked Kora.

“Does such a tasty-sounding thing exist?!”

“Uhm, yeah, the succubus you call your, heh, your Snack.”

“Oh! Yes, I’ll summon her soon.”

Kora went back to enjoying the aftermath of her hard work while the Mimic was recovering its MP. After a minute or so, it summoned Xera.

“Greetings Master. Oh wow!” she said when she saw the mushroom cloud.

“I know, right?!” exclaimed Kora. “I don’t think anyone survived that thing!”

“Yes, I can see that. I must say this is… much more devastating than I thought it would be.”

“You’ve seen this sort of thing before?”

“Sort of. I was caught up in something like that along with an old master, but this is my first time seeing the aftermath.”

Xera gave a sigh. She was actually counting on at least one person who saw her wonderful acting to survive that. This world would become a lot more interesting if that were the case. Well, it was a hastily thrown together idea anyway, so brooding over its failure would be pointless.

“Where to now, Master?”

“...”

The Mimic really hadn’t thought that far ahead. Somewhere it needed to go? No, not in particular. Some task to accomplish? Nothing came to mind. Something it wanted to get? Yes. Plenty of things actually.

“I want tasty things! Shiny things too! Ah, and potions! And troll blood. Lots of troll blood, actually. What’s a troll anyway? Is it tasty? It sounds like it might be tasty. Oh and I need to find out what happens when Warlock gets Level 25. And good swords too! Shiny swords! Snack! Where can I find all those things?!”

“Uhm… going to another city would be a good place to start, I guess?”

She knew a big city would have libraries, blacksmiths and alchemists. The ‘shiny things’ it wanted were obviously gold, maybe jewels. Those could also be gotten easily in a city if one were ruthless enough.

“Oh! Where’s that?!”

“I’m not sure, Master.”

She knew her way around a map, but had no idea where they were right now. She’d never heard of a place called Monotal until a week ago. Well, technically speaking it wasn’t really a place anymore.

“We could always follow the road until we find some travelers we can, huhu, squeeze for information.”

“Okay. Let’s do that! Arms! We’re leaving!”

“Eh? Huh? Oh! On my way!”

Kora had been staring reverently at the former city. It seems she wasn’t quite done appreciating the scenery. She had high hopes for the future too. How many demons could claim they helped destroy an entire city on the first day of their new contract?! She was sure her master’s name would spread throughout the Beyond if she-

“Huh? Master, you don’t have a name?”

“No. Are names tasty?”

“Well… Even if you ask me that…” Kora looked inquisitively at Xera, silently asking for help.

The succubus let out another sigh. How did this moron not figure it out yet?

“Tasty means good. It also means tasty,” she explained.

“Oh. Oh! Yeah, Master! Names are tasty! You can do fun things like yelling ‘Bow before the terrible might of Koralenteprix!’ at people right before you smash them! It’s even better if they bow, because you can really squish their head against the ground!”

The Mimic had absolutely no idea what Kora was getting at. Still, it had to admit that it was curious. But how would one go about getting a name? Maybe if it opened its Status and inspected the Name field?

You are currently unnamed.
Would you like to a name to be assigned to you?
Yes
No

Well, at least this one seemed easy. It chose ‘Yes’ without a second thought.

A few moments later, its new name appeared in the Status and was then communicated to its familiars through their respective contracts.

“Hahahaha! Nice one, Master! Aaaah hah hah hah! That’s amazing!”

“Oh, come on! What sort of name is that?! Are you kidding me with this shit?! There’s no way I’m calling you that!”

Kora burst into laughter while Xera seemed to have some objections. The Mimic was actually quite happy with it though. If a name could be tasty, then this one most certainly was.


General Information Attributes Job Information
Name Boxxy T. Morningwood Name Value Name Value Name Level Progress
Species Mimic (Greater) STR 110 LCK 57 Mimic 33 43%
Sex N/A DEX 118 MNT 107 Warlock 22 12%
Age 3 months AGI 98 CHR 34      
Guild   END 158          
HP 900/900 (+2.0/sec) INT 163          
MP 815/815 (+1.0/sec) WIS 103          
Skill List
Name Level Proficiency Name Level Proficiency
Assassination 5 60% Shapeshift 6 70%
Storage 4 34% Stealth 4 94%
Cadaver Absorption 4 85% Sword Mastery 6 36%
Biomass 3 11% Projectile Mastery 2 44%
Natural Armor 1 0% Dagger Mastery 3 21%
Summon Familiar 6 85% Ruin Mastery 5 30%
Power Overwhelming 3 26% Domination Mastery 3 37%
Demonology 3 12%      
Crystallize Magic 1 0%      
Spell List
Ruin Domination
Shadowbolt Mass Panic
Ebonfire Delirium
Frostbite Dark Infusion
Dark Explosion Mind Blast
Shadowbind  
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A note from Exterminatus

P.S. The 'T' stands for Trap.


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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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MidKnight Rider @MidKnight Rider ago

Thx for the chap. Btw, that name is amazing.

lomie0 @lomie0 ago

Chest! sob! lol thought for sure I had made the first comment XD

Misery's End @Misery's End ago

Best random Chesty decision ever... And the name is very tasty to xD

Just caught your authors note... You Sir.... No words can describe how fitting that is. Please keep helping me annoy the neighbors with laughter xD!

Cheers for the chapter!!

Those Hhro types are always a buzzkill, you know?”

Thinking you ment Hero types, right?

Killashard
Premium

TheRWS96 @TheRWS96 ago

Boxxy T. Morningwood.....

hmm is his brother called Boxxy mc Boxface?

Anyway :D Thank you for the chapter!

lomie0 @lomie0 ago

lol there we go, trap of the story confirmed.

Caliberus @Caliberus ago

Morning wood gets END bonus at the start of the day lol.

The Storylord @The Storylord ago

It would be better if 'Morningwood' was "Mourningwood", because it would fit in with the context better, (because he killes people) but readers would also get the morning wood pun.

Also, favorite series onrrl right now.

runewone @runewone ago

Morningwood BWAH, nice name

MisterKaos @MisterKaos ago

This is ridiculous.

I love it.

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