“Dark Explosion ~♪!”
There was a swirling of dust, shadows and sparkling particles while a small object materialized out of thin air over the course of a few seconds. It was a 12-sided polygonal shape, a dodecahedron, that appeared to be made out of thick, clear glass. Inside the 10 centimeter wide construct was a small, swirling cloud of pitch-black smog that looked as if someone had bottled a tiny typhoon. The conjured object floated in place while spinning around slowly in no particular direction.
Boxxy’s imitation Xera hand reached out and grasped the newly formed Spell Crystal. Holding it was an odd feeling. It definitely felt it was gripping something solid, but there was absolutely no other sensation to it. The tender fingers relayed no change in temperature and could not make out the texture of the thing they were touching. This would probably be what it was like to grasp solid air.
Still, it wasn’t slippery and had a bit of heft to it, which made the Mimic a bit more confident about handling these things. It had already practiced a few times by using the non-lethal Mass Panic Spell. Well, it wasn’t like the damage from a single misfired Dark Explosion would kill it, but it would still hurt like hell. The initial hit did as much as two Shadowbolts’ worth of damage and the concussive force that followed that was not to be underestimated.
In other words, this was the first time it had tried crystallizing an offensive Spell. That act somehow filled Boxxy with a distinct feeling of satisfaction that bordered on tasty. Now that it looked at it, the Spell Crystal was actually considerably shiny. Not in a literal sense, but in a more aesthetically pleasing way that caused the pseudo-Xera to smile at it. It was an innocent, happy smile that seemed to say all is right with the world. The same goofy grin it had whenever it was playing around with its gold coins.
But it had work to do and couldn’t just idly enjoy itself. There would be plenty of time for that while its MP recovered afterwards.
“Arms,” it called telepathically, “stop playing with Snack and come here.”
“Aw man,” exclaimed Kora. “I was just getting to the good part!”
She yanked violently on Xera’s silky hair, pulling her head away from Kora’s groin. The fiend’s absurdly sized member slid out of the succubus’s throat with a small popping noise. She put it away inside her body, pulled up her hotpants and went to see what her master wanted. It was regrettable that the face-fucking was cut short, but it was a direct order so it couldn’t be helped.
After all, they somehow managed to work out a ‘standing fuck order.’ It was rather straightforward arrangement gave the two demons permission to go at each other all they wanted. Well, provided there were no other standing orders and they kept themselves above 75% HP. They had to ask special permission for the full-blown back-breaking, ball-busting and bone-crushing sex since that always ended with one of them dead. Boxxy had no intention to spend its valuable MP on its minions’ shenanigans.
“I’m here, Master,” said Kora with a hint of frustration in her voice.
“Here, hold this.”
It handed her the crystallized Dark Explosion. She accepted it with one of her massive hands and gave it a curious look.
“Oh, another one huh? This one seems a bit different though.”
Indeed, the Mass Panic crystals looked pretty much the same, only the Spell captured inside them appeared as a semi-transparent purple skull rather than a vortex of darkness.
“Use it on Snack,” it ordered.
Kora glanced towards Xera, who was currently on her back, wallowing in the dirt and gasping for air some 20 meters away. The succubus was still reveling in the sensation of having her throat filled so completely that it cut off airflow. Literally choking on dick felt amazing to her, so much so that she had orgasmed without even touching her lower lips. Well, the black eye and broken collarbone also helped bring that about, but the deepthroat was the main cause.
“Alright,” answered Kora. She wasn’t sure what that box was doing, but she didn’t really care, either. She mumbled something under her breath and threw the crystal at her target with a shout of “Hey, Slutinator!”
“What?” replied Xera, sitting up and turning her attention towards Kora just in time for the Spell Crystal to hit her right in the middle of her forehead with an audible thwack.
Her noggin recoiled from the impact and slammed back into the ground while the offending projectile ricocheted off it and flew straight up into the air.
“Think fast!” yelled Kora, entirely too late.
It would seem she was quite pleased with her little prank, if that evil smile on her face was any indication. Then again, it would be really difficult for a fiend to make a non-evil smile. They loved to bare their sharp, pointy teeth so much that 90% of the time they gave off the impression that they wanted to eat someone’s baby.
Of course, that wasn’t actually true. Infants were stringy and had tiny bones that got stuck between their teeth. And even then they were gone in one or two bites, hardly worth the effort and annoyance. It’s not just fiends, most demons shared that opinion. In fact, the only demons that wanted to eat babies were the dingo variants of hellhounds.
The point was, Kora did that on purpose. She had a feeling Xera would be displeased by the sudden impact to the skull. And judging from how the succubus sat back up while glaring daggers at her seemed to prove her guess was right. Even if she had learned to enjoy pain, she still hated surprises. So it wouldn’t be hard to imagine her displeasure at what happened next.
The Spell Crystal that had bounced off her forehead seconds ago inevitably came back down. It broke apart the instant it touched the ground, releasing the stored Dark Explosion Spell. A black, barely visible shockwave exactly 6.6 meters in diameter radiated from within the shattered crystal.
The strength of the blast was enough to turn the slightly trampled ground into a small crater. As for the succubus, she fared no better.
Your target has been blown away. HP -253.
The Dark Explosion had flung Xera’s surprisingly light body through the air at an extremely low angle, almost parallel to the grassy ground. She flew for a dozen or so meters before bouncing once, then twice, and finally coming to a stop by slamming face first into a giant boulder.
“Wow!” exclaimed Kora. “I wonder if she’s okay?” she added, although that was more out of morbid curiosity than concern. She then remembered exactly who it was that was sent flying. “Yeah, she’ll be fine.”
As for Boxxy, it was satisfied to see that a crystal’ magical failsafe behaved the same regardless of the Spell used. Essentially, a Spell Crystal remained inert and would not release the stored Spell. Even if it expired or was smashed open, the magic inside would just fizzle out harmlessly.
The only way to make it explode was to chant a magical command word while holding it. Three seconds after doing so, the crystal would become armed and detonate the instant it came into contact with something solid. Therefore, the Mimic was free to keep them in its Storage or have its familiars carry them around without worry.
Ah, but this was the first time it tested an offensive Spell Crystal on them. It checked its Skill Proficiency just in case, but neither Crystallize Magic nor Ruin Mastery gained any Proficiency. As expected, it had to use it against a viable target. The problem was there were no such things around. It had been traveling along this road for a few hours now, so it expected to see at least something it could murder the shit out of.
Boxxy had no way of knowing this, but this current situation was more or less its own doing. Animals, monsters and people alike in a large area around the former city of Monotal had either ran away or hidden themselves in fear. A natural reaction considering that inexplicable yet terrifying explosion. The shockwave could actually be felt dozens of kilometers away and the blinding flash it produced went beyond even that. Not to mention the top part of that ominous mushroom cloud was visible from hundreds of kilometers away. It didn’t help that, rather than clearing up, it actually seemed to be growing while slowly turning a pale green.
Oh well. None of that really mattered to Boxxy. That explosion was back then and happened way over there. Therefore, it had nothing to do with the here and now.
“Master?” said Kora, interrupting the chest’s train of thought. “What happens if you do the glowy thing while making those boom-crystals?”
“Yeah! Like when you become all like ‘khrakakakoom’ and then it's all ‘bzzt bzzt bzzt’ and your magic becomes really fucking strong!”
“Ohh!” it exclaimed. It actually hadn’t thought of combining its Skills like that until now. The MP cost was a bit worrying, but since its MP was currently full anyway, it might as well give it a shot. It activated Power Overwhelming and Crystallize Magic at the same time, then started chanting a Spell.
“Dark Explosion ~♪!”
A whopping 770 MP was consumed over the span of a few seconds. The sudden drain on its MP pool was both disorienting and draining. It actually made Boxxy stagger and nearly fall over for no good reason. It felt a similar sensation when it used every last drop of its MP to take down the Fleshmaiden yesterday. It would seem that wasn’t a fluke due to its already exhausted and weakened state, but an actual condition it had to be wary of.
The Spell Crystal was formed without issue, though. It looked exactly like the last one, only it had a tiny version of the Power Overwhelming aura crackling around the swirling vortex inside the crystal. The Mimic grabbed it out of the air and handed it to Kora once again.
“Huhuhu… I can’t wait! Okay here we-”
“Wait,” said the Mimic, stopping her. “Stand there and don’t move.”
It then backed off to a distance of about 15 meters.
“Okay,” it said through the telepathic link. “Now turn it on and put it at your feet.”
Kora broke out in a cold sweat. It would seem it was actually her turn to be the test subject. She unwillingly armed the crystal and placed it on the ground next to her. Then she realized that her master hadn’t actually told her to-
“Stand still and let it hit you,” it added, cornering her completely.
And as the impossibly long 3 seconds ran by, Kora was finally starting to understand what Xera was talking about when she blamed her ‘condition’ on their master. That box was a natural at causing suffering to everyone around it. It was so effective that it somehow shattered the psyche of a 700 year old demon. A feat almost as difficult as wiping out a city in a single day. That realization worried Kora quite a bit. If she was put through that same wringer, then there’s no telling what might become of her. Therefore, she silently wished that she wouldn’t end up a wanton, broken slut that lived only for cock like a certain succubus.
Technically speaking though, that last part was mostly Kora’s fault. While it’s true that Boxxy was the main cause of Xera’s masochistic tendencies, it was by no means a permanent condition. In actuality, its abuse of the demon had most settled down as of late. It had only eaten her once since its Rank Up, after all.
This reprieve had allowed Xera to start slowly gathering up the remnants of her former self. With enough time, she might have even made a full recovery. But now any hope she might have had of returning to ‘normal’ was gone, all because a certain someone couldn’t keep it in their pants.
Not that the perpetrator in question had any idea about that. She just assumed all succubi were like this, though she had to admit the masochism thing was new. So in some ways what was about to happen to her could easily be summed up as ‘karma is a bitch.’
Inevitably, the 3 seconds ran out.
Your target has been blown away. HP -911.
This blast was completely incomparable to the previous one. Absolutely everything and everyone within its area of effect was completely and utterly rejected. While the previous one may have made a small dent in the landscape, this one caused an upheaval that drastically changed the terrain, flinging dirt and countless stones in every direction. Including towards Boxxy.
You have suffered a series of cuts and lacerations. HP -65.
You have suffered minor blunt trauma. HP -34.
You have been impaled. HP -58.
The small shrapnel-like pebbles ripped apart its flesh while two of the larger stones hit it full on. One slammed into the chest’s eye while the other one pierced through pseudo-Xera’s abdomen. Boxxy hissed and screamed as yellow blood sprayed from its wounds. When the gust of wind and debris died down, it willed its wounds closed and pulled out the foreign matter stuck into its flesh.
It then finally undid the Xera form and returned to its preferred arachno-chest shape. As expected, having a whole human body sticking out of itself simply made it a bigger target. If it had been just a chest at the start, then it would have suffered far less damage. Come to think of it, did it really have to expose itself like that just to use magic?
Actually no, it didn’t. It had been chanting just fine before it somehow picked up that habit. It’s true that being able to wield a staff boosted its magic somewhat, but overall it really wasn’t worth it, right? Ah, but there was more to this than just damage. It hated to admit it, but chants were much easier to do with a human mouth and throat rather than its lipless maw. After all, one of those was clearly made for devouring flesh and nothing else, so the more versatile human bits served better at chanting.
Then again, it didn’t really need the entire body, right? Surely it would be enough to grow only the head. How about just the mouth? No, the voice box was in the throat. Then there was the inescapable need for lungs if it wanted to do things properly. Not to mention the possibility of having to produce imitation human blood.
“Master?” called out Xera. “W-what happened here?!”
Oh, right! Snack survived! it exclaimed to itself. Boxxy had completely written her off as a corpse, yet here she was, alive and kicking. Well, just barely. Most of her left side was, for the lack of a better word, a bloody pulp. It looked painful as all hell, though she clearly didn’t mind. At least, not if that clear liquid dripping down her inner thighs was any indication.
“I used the shiny Spell. It was a bit too strong.”
“A bit you say…”
The succubus stared disbelievingly at the crater some 15 meters away. While the first blast may have dented the ground and made a small indentation about a meter deep, this second blast was so powerful that it dig out a perfect hemisphere that was a little over 6 meters of diameters.
“Where’s Kora- I mean, Arms?”
“Over there,” responded Boxxy while pointing to the side with one of its spider legs. “And there. And there. Oh, there too!”
“Uwaah… How enviab- I mean, what a terrible way to die…”
Even if she had decided to embrace that masochistic side of herself, Xera still wanted to avoid revealing it to her master. If that chest figured out pain was more of a reward rather than a punishment, it was liable to come up with some other way to torture her. Therefore, she wanted to maintain this status quo for as long as possible.
“Not dead,” repeated Boxxy. “At least not yet.”
“What do you mean-” she stopped halfway through her sentence since her ears were picking up something odd.
It sounded like that fiend’s voice, but how come it was so distant? No wait, wasn’t it getting closer at terrifying rate?! Looking up, Xera finally saw Kora, or at least what was left of her, as she was plummeting towards the nearby cobblestone road.
Your familiar has been banished.
“Now, she’s dead,” said the Mimic matter-of-factly.
That was an understatement. The familiar had splattered against the road as if she were an overripe tomato that was thrown against a wall. Her head was cracked open and her black blood was all over the place. What was left of her torso was tenderized into paste. The only things still attached to it were what was left of her head and a total of two arms. Well, most of one and two elbow-length stumps if one were to be more specific.
Xera’s only reaction was to instinctively shudder when she imagined just how much that whole thing must have hurt.
“Let’s go,” ordered Boxxy while Kora’s leftovers were disappearing into thin air. “I have to find dinner.”
Something about making all those explosions really made it work up an appetite.