With one of the deserters taken care of, Boxxy turned its attention towards finding the last survivor. Or at least, it would have liked to, but it had no idea where to even begin. It was confident it could outrun or at least keep up with humans at full speed, but that would require it have sight of its quarry. And that wasn’t going to happen in this thick, overgrown forest. Even if the trees weren’t there, the numerous hills and boulders would still block its line of sight.
It had lost sight of its latest victim several times due to the terrain. The Mimic’s AGI had risen quite a bit recently, but that young man appeared to have a good deal of the same Attribute himself. In truth, he was quite a bit faster than Boxxy and might have escaped if he didn’t stop to catch his breath. However, the monster was still able to track him by sound. Such a method obviously wasn’t going to be of use to it when its other target was long gone, though.
Then how about following his trail?
Boxxy had already tracked a number of things during the few days spent in the forest, so it already knew what sort of signs to look for. After all, that same knowledge was applied to leave an ‘invitation’ for those punitive force members to come find it. Therefore, it turned around and headed back towards the last spot it saw that lone survivor, near the caravan ambush site.
After several minutes it arrived at its destination - a place that was only about a dozen meters from the edge of the forest, beyond which lied the road and the canyon. Boxxy started investigating the area, using its magical perception to look for even the smallest sign of that man passing through, but soon realized that was a pointless effort.
After all, the direction the soon-to-be-dead-man was headed towards was pretty obvious. There was a faint path of trampled and dried up grass in the forest floor that led away from the road and deeper into the woods. Humans had a fondness for traveling over such flattened and relatively smooth terrain, so there was a good chance that man ran through here. Therefore, Boxxy just needed to follow this path and see where it leads. But first, it decided to bring its familiar back to life. There was no point to simply waiting around on full MP after all.
Xera materialized while already grinning from ear to ear. Whether her good mood was because she had successfully fooled and betrayed an entire party of adventurers or due to the fact she experienced a fatal anal explosion was best left unsaid.
“Scout the path,” ordered Boxxy while pointing deeper towards the forest.
The succubus spread her wings and took to the air, but ended up reporting back the instant she cleared the forest’s canopy.
“Master, I see an old abandoned fort in the distance. I think that’s where this path leads.”
The Mimic was more than a bit surprised. Wasn’t this too easy? It quickly skittered up the side of a tree to get a good look for itself. Its needle-like spider legs dug into the bark as it ascended the tree trunk and up the thickest, tallest branch it could find. But even after going as high up as it could, it still couldn’t see above the treeline. This would probably be the first situation where it wanted to be taller. Well, not like that was impossible.
The ghostly pale pseudo-Xera’s head poke out from the mass of leaves, giving Boxxy the same vantage point as the currently cringing demoness. The albino head swayed and shook awkwardly thanks to the meter-long neck it was attached to, giving Xera the creeps in the process. She wasn’t a stranger to this sort of freakish display, but seeing her own body being stretched like that really got under her skin.
The Mimic scanned the treeline and immediately saw what Xera was talking about. There was an old, ruined stone tower poking above the treetops, with stone walls reminiscent of those around the (former) city of Monotal surrounding it. Peering into the distance, it also saw what looked like people patrolling on top of them. Well, they were smaller than grains of rice at this distance, but they were most definitely shapes moving about.
Humans liked hiding behind walls, so there was a good chance its quarry had ran there. However, much like the city, there appeared to be quite a few sentries up on those crumbling walls. They were bound to discover it and raise an alarm, at which point it might get pincushioned by ranged attacks. Then again, it had a pretty tasty distraction with which to befuddle them.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
Both Xera and Kora had gotten quite the boost in power with its latest burst of Job and Skill Levels. The succubus’s magic-focused Status in particular shined through as she finally surpassed 1000 MP. The much higher INT would without a doubt make her Spells much more dangerous than Boxxy’s. While both monsters dealt a similar amount of damage with their respective magic, Xera could keep using her highly efficient fire-based Spells for much, much longer. The downside was that her physical Attributes were pretty pathetic. Her HP also seemed a bit low, all things considered.
There was more to a Status than simply Attributes though. The increase in Job Levels had given her access to two brand new Skills as well.
Description: Succubi are tricksters of the highest order, capable of fooling even light itself.
Requirements: Level 15 Succubus
Activation Time: 3 seconds
Cost: 250 MP
Effects: Grants invisibility for 30 seconds.
Casting a Spell or being hit will negate the effect.
Increases the duration of this Skill by 3 seconds per Level of this Skill.
Similar, yet completely different from Stealth. It also did not suppress the noise she made, so she could still be detected by the sound of her footsteps or breathing. Her gliding, however, was almost completely silent. Flying while under the effects of this Skill was perfect for scouting out enemy positions and getting the drop on others. However, she had to stand perfectly still while activating it, which meant using this once combat started was probably a bad idea. She couldn’t really attack back anyway, only escape.
Description: A Pyromancer’s flames can burn away magic itself
Requirements: Level 10 Pyromancer, Devouring Flame, INT 45, WIS 45
Activation Time: N/A
Range: 100 meters
Effects: Devouring Flame effect will reduce the target’s MP by an amount equal to 50% of its HP damage.
Increases the duration of Devouring Flame by 0.5 seconds per Level of this Skill.
This one was perhaps not as flashy, but seemed to be quite effective nonetheless. Those Devouring Flames left behind by Xera’s magic were almost as bad as the Spell itself, but combined with this Skill it would make them even worse. The ability to reduce the target’s MP directly was undoubtedly going to be very useful in long fights, especially against opponents that can heal themselves. It was unclear to Boxxy if it would have helped against the Fleshmaiden, but adventurers with healing magic were incredibly persistent if one was unable to take them out instantly.
But it was digressing. It still had people to slaughter.
“Snack, we’re attacking that place.”
It leapt off the tree and started making its way towards that ruined fort. Even if it could be seen from the treetops, it still took about 20 more minutes to reach the place. During that time, the sun had actually began to set and the sky steadily turned red. It also gave Boxxy ample time to prepare. Its Spell Crystals would last up to 18 minutes now, which meant it could stockpile quite a few of them in advance. It took only a little over 2 minutes to recover the MP spent on a Bang Ball, so it could easily start the battle with 5 of them prepared while being on full MP. Throwing them out mid-battle could be dangerous though, which is why it gave 4 of them to the succubus.
It refused her request to stuff them up her ass this time, though. Even if she was adamant they would fit, that wasn’t the point. She had to throw them down from above as a surprise attack and Boxxy had serious doubts she would be able to evacuate her bowels quick enough to accomplish that. After all, once the keyword was spoken, all four of them would arm at the same time. Let’s not even mention the obvious lack of accuracy when using such a method. Therefore, she would just carry them around in her arms.
“Now stop saying stupid things and go!”
Xera’s idiotic monster of a master had called her ‘butt-bombing’ idea stupid. A brainless chest that bit people in the face as a way of saying ‘hello’ was looking down on her. And worst of all, it was completely in the right.
A casual observer would expect a proud demon such as a succubus to feel scorned or disheartened at such a realization, and they would be correct. In fact, if it were the Xera from yesterday, she might actually suffer HP damage from that self-inflicted self-burn.
“Haah. Yes, Master.”
However, that person was gone. All that was left in her place was a shameless, hopeless and incorrigible pervert who was sorely disappointed she wasn’t going to get her anal cavity stretched and abused. Still, the succubus had orders to follow and the sooner she was done, the sooner she could resume choking on Kora’s dick. Therefore, she promptly activated her Invisibility and took off from the ground and into the air. She glided silently through the evening sky towards the bandit-infested fort that was some 50 meters away and began relaying the layout of the place back to Boxxy.
Well, calling that place a fort was an overstatement, it was closer to ‘decrepit ruin’ if one were to be brutally honest. The main feature of the place was the 15-meter tall half-collapsed stone tower. On the ground next to it stood an old two-story barracks made out of rotten wood and a smaller stone building that doubled as both storehouse and armory was position opposite that. Several shabby lodgings such as wooden shacks and animal hide tents were erected in a hurry around the place, most likely by the criminal gang that had turned the old military outpost into a place of residence.
The wall itself was about 6 meters tall and 2 meters thick and surrounded the ancient compound. From the air it looked like a lopsided rectangle with about 30 meters on each side and a small, circular turret on each corner. While not large enough to be a castle wall, it was clearly intended to keep away wild animals and monsters rather than invading armies. About half of it had collapsed under the ravages of time and what remained looked like it would fall over with a good push, although the same could be said of the other buildings.
“There are 6 guards on the wall, but more could be inside,” she added, finishing off her report.
“Good, then drop the Bang Balls to start the attack,” came the telepathic order.
And it was obeyed, though slightly reluctantly. Xera armed the four crystals she was carrying and dropped them from above at random. One of them fell next to a bow-armed bandit on top of the wall, the resulting shockwave knocking him off his perch and down onto the ground. It also caused the aged wall to heave mightily under the stress and collapse into a pile of stones. The second magical bomb fell on the barracks, ripping a huge hole in its roof and wall. The last two didn’t hit anything of value and simply made small craters in the ground.
Overall, the damage done was quite minimal. However, the collapsing wall, the screaming victim and the exploded barracks all did their job of terrifying the simple bandits.
“Waah! The wall exploded!”
“What the flying fuck was that?!”
Their reaction was to be expected. Just knowing magic existed didn’t mean you were mentally prepared to be attacked by it, especially not so suddenly. However, there seemed to be someone around to take charge of the situation.
“Calm down you worms!”
A 230 centimeter tall, scar-faced, black-haired man by the name of Renmak came out of the ruined tower. He had just finished ‘interrogating’ the spineless worm that abandoned his twin brother, Makren. The idiot actually came back to their base rather than run off and die in the forest somewhere. Judging from his testimony about the ‘four armed red nightmare’ and how he ‘pissed and shit his pants while running away,’ it was clear to the former adventurer exactly who was attacking them.
“It’s an enemy attack! It’s likely a Warlock!” he shouted. “Don’t bunch up! Scatter and find hi-”
A mass of darkness hit him squarely in the back before he could even finish giving out orders.
Assassination Skill triggered. Your attack has dealt 300% more damage. Target HP -605.
You have dealt a devastating blow. Target stunned for 5 seconds.
“Guaaaahack!” he screamed while falling forward.
The other bandits looking in his direction were all left speechless at the sudden turn of events. First their base started exploding for no good reason, and now one of those incredibly tough and feared twins was laying face-down on the ground with a hole in his upper back. It was as if some wild beast had snuck up on him and taken a bite out of Renmak.
Which wasn’t entirely wrong.
There was a roaring thunder that seemed to come directly from above. Looking up, they saw the most bizarre combination of a box, a spider and a slut wrapped in a cloak of lightning, clinging to the side of the ruined tower.
No longer needing to hide itself, Boxxy fired the empowered Spell at the collapsed bandit. It hit him in the lower back, finishing him off. The Mimic took extra care not to explode the head or heart this time. It turned its attention to the other bandits, the snow-white lips curved in an impossibly wide crescent moon smile that made shiver run their spines.
And a few minutes later, all that was left of those men were their mutilated, albeit mostly intact, corpses. The magical barrage from Boxxy and Xera swept them away, it was completely one-sided. After all, their leader had taken what few Casters they had to carry out that ambush, so the people left there were more or less runts that were only good to drive wild animals and monsters away.
Now that all of those pesky humans were out of the way, Boxxy was free to investigate their camp at its leisure. After all, this was only its second time being in the same living space as humans. It was quite curious as to what it would find. There wasn’t much to see, though. After all, there’s not much a bunch of outlaws living the woods could really have. Just being able to drink and eat while keeping a roof over your head was good enough for most of them.
So it was understandable that the rickety huts and tents the lower-ranked members used held absolutely nothing of value. The wrecked barracks building that had been used as a combination common room and mess hall didn’t fare much better, either. The smaller stone building had a bunch of food which was immediately eaten and a few barrels of clean water that were completely ignored, but there was also a pile of weapons and armor that caught the chest’s interest.
These items must’ve belonged to victims of these criminals. They were bloodied, rusty, bent, broken, ripped or otherwise in poor condition. The trash pile reminded Boxxy of that pile of scrap metal it left behind in the dungeon during its harrowing escape. Well, that particular collection of souvenirs was probably evaporated in the blast, so thinking about it was pointless.
Still, there was something to be found in this scrap heap. Boxxy looted a few swords that looked to be mostly in working order. There were also a collection of 10 simple iron daggers that were also put away inside its Storage, mostly for Projectile Mastery training. It then went back outside and started using Cadaver Absorption on the corpses.
Your Cadaver Absorption was a minor success!
The body’s deteriorated condition has weakened this effect by 25%.
12% of the target’s highest Attribute has been added to your own. END +7.
Your Cadaver Absorption was a minor success!
12% of the target’s highest Attribute has been added to your own. STR +13.
The rest were, predictably, failures. This success rate was definitely higher than what it experienced while fighting in the forest, though. Both its LCK and its Cadaver Absorption Level had gone up significantly since that time, so this much was natural. It still needed about 10% proficiency for Shapeshift to advance, though. Boxxy felt like it had just been repeating the same old transformations over and over, which didn’t really seem to let it gain much proficiency. Even turning into a humanoid shape other than Xera’s did little for its Proficiency. Therefore, it would need to actively consider what new shapes and forms it could adapt as part of its training.
But that would come later. Right now, it still had one more building to check - the ruined tower that the biggest of the humans came out of. It walked into the building through a stone archway and took a look around. There was a table with a bunch of papers and books in one corner and several chairs thrown haphazardly around it. Several unlit torches lined the walls and the starry night sky was visible through the missing parts of the wall and ceiling. There really wasn’t much to look at in this filthy place. However, Boxxy’s attention was focused on one single thing.
“Huck!” it cursed, taking a wary step back and baring its teeth.
In this place, against all odds, the Mimic was left face to face with that once more. The second toughest opponent it had ever run across. The Fleshmaiden was undoubtedly the worst, but that thing in front of the sentient chest had given it more trouble than everything else besides her. Even that janther was ultimately no big deal in comparison.
“What’s the matter, Master?” asked Xera. She had followed her master into the room and was more than a little surprised to see her master acting cautious for no apparent reason.
“Enemy! It’s an enemy!” it spat back.
The succubus, however, still had no idea what Boxxy was talking about.
All she saw was the base of an old, stone tower with nothing in it except for some shitty wooden furniture and what appeared to be stairs leading down into some sort of basement, sealed off by an enchanted steel grate.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Name||Boxxy T. Morningwood||Name||Value||Name||Value||Name||Level||Progress|
|Cadaver Absorption||5||23%||Sword Mastery||6||39%|
|Natural Armor||2||38%||Dagger Mastery||4||53%|
|Summon Familiar||7||4%||Ruin Mastery||6||67%|
|Power Overwhelming||4||69%||Domination Mastery||3||86%|
|Dark Explosion||Mind Blast|