Having recovered from its rather pathetic crash, Boxxy was forced to re-examine its approach. Creating a detached joint that would allow the wheels to spin as much as they wanted was possible, but it also came with a good amount of risk. Doing that would mean it would be much easier for them to come loose and break off should the monster go over rough terrain. Ah, but the Mimic could just revert them back into legs if it wanted to go off-road. However, the earlier incident did manage to prove one thing - moving around on wheels was far easier than walking.
So the animate chest decided to give this new mode of transportation another go without feeling disheartened. It’s not like this was the first time it failed at shapeshifting, anyway. It messed up multiple times back when it was still learning how to use those spider legs, so trial and error was hardly a foreign concept to it. Well, forming these wheels took quite a lot longer than those arachnid limbs, but that was entirely a temporary setback. Muscle memory was a terrifying thing that meant even complex creations like Xera’s upper body could be thrown together in fractions of a second with enough practice.
First of all, however, it needed to deal with the Biomass it lost when those prototype wheels flew off into the distance. It was not an insignificant amount. At least rectifying that turned out to be as simple as opening its Storage and depositing roughly 5 kilograms of strawberry jam directly into its gullet. It was pretty flavorless to the monster, no different from eating leaves, wood or spinal fluid, but it would still do the job of replenishing its lost body mass after being digested.
Once that was done, it once again grew out those circular limbs in mostly the same fashion, but with one key difference. This time it created the flexible joint at the spot where the wheel and the axle connected, rather than where the limb poked out of its body. That’s when it ran into its first major hurdle. It would need to completely detach the wheels from the axles, but doing so would effectively cut them off from its own body. Not a particularly attractive proposition.
What about continuously shapeshifting the connecting tissue so that it would untwist, thus preventing it from snapping? That seemed like it might work, so it gave it a try. It once again willed its new limbs to rotate, taking extra care to use as little strength as possible. The box-cart inched forward at a snail’s pace. After the wheels made 3 revolutions each, it felt the strain on the connecting tissue and willed it to untwist itself without detaching, then kept moving forward. Doing so allowed it to keep going on and on, covering about 10 meters before it stopped.
Well, it worked, but the concentration required to carry out that constant, minute shapeshifting was pretty taxing. Moving in such a manner would end up being more tiring and slower than simply walking, not to mention that moving downhill and allowing the momentum to carry it forward would undoubtedly cause the wheels to spin way too fast and the connecting tissue to snap off. And it would seem that mere practice would be unable to make it speed up to a point where this wasn’t an issue. Unlike the ‘fire and forget’ actions of growing limbs and then using them, this was an ongoing process that required constant shapeshifting and muscle flexing.
In short, this method of moving around defeated the purpose of having wheels in the first place. Simple walking along and tumbling down a hill would prove to be much easier than-.
Boxxy just got an idea. Rather than trying to mimic the entire cart, didn’t it only need to focus on the wheels themselves? After all, that dungeon core rolled around just fine even though it was one solid object with no moving parts. Surely something similar was entirely within the Mimic’s reach.
The four fleshy discs and their axles were quickly reabsorbed back into the Mimic’s main body, leaving it to sit on the ground. Next it grew two slightly larger wheels about at about 80 centimeters in diameter on its sides. These were firmly attached to its body and would not rotate at all. Rather than a carriage, the Mimic assumed the form of a slightly misshapen spool. The giant solid wheels on its left and right lifted its chesty body off the ground. As long as it was like this, it could roll around as much as it wanted.
Then came another problem - propulsion. Moving about like this under its own power was going to be difficult, to say the least. It would need a push to get going, and yet more pushing to keep rolling. Going downhill was going to be easy enough, but it was otherwise dependant on outside assistance. After all, it couldn’t just push itself.
Or could it? Technically speaking, the ground wasn’t that far away and it still had a good deal of Biomass to spare. So it grew out a set of four spider-ish limbs, much shorter than the usual ones. They were also positioned much differently. One poked out from its front, a second from behind, the third from its bottom and the last from the top of its lid. Preparations complete, Boxxy then coiled the leg on the bottom and kicked at the ground with it, pushing itself forward and up.
This got the chest rolling ever so slightly forward. Then the leg coming out from its front did the same, then the top leg, then the hind leg, then the bottom leg. Each kick added more and more momentum to its revolution, and pretty soon it was rolling along at a rather impressive pace. Its current speed was actually close to its full sprint, but with a fraction of the effort required to maintain it.
It was moving forward in an energy-efficient manner and without hurting itself. So far so good. But the problem was that this method made its body roll forward along with the wheels. Even with the monster’s magical perception it ‘looked’ like the ground was spinning around it at high speeds and gave off the rather unpleasant sensation that it was constantly falling. Deciding it’s had enough, Boxxy suddenly hit the breaks by causing its wheels to break apart into legs of their own. The result setup was a variant of its spider-chest form with the legs coming out at slightly awkward places. The sturdy limbs dug into the ground, killing the monster’s momentum in an instant. And none too soon - a few meters more and it would have fallen into that deep canyon that ran alongside the cobblestone road.
“Wow, I was sure it was gonna fall off the cliff!” remarked Xera.
“Tell me about it,” agreed Kora. “I guess even that loony box isn’t as stupid as I thought.”
The two demonesses were currently taking a break in-between ass pounding session. Kora was still buried deep inside Xera’s asshole after busting the proverbial nut a while ago and was waiting for her erection to recover. Even a rape-happy demon from another dimension couldn’t keep up with the insatiable succubus’s demands. Her mild Energy Drain also didn’t help conserve the fiend’s stamina much. Not that Kora complained about it though. Having the cum milked out of her dick by an eager slut was an experience well worth the price. It was highly doubtful she’d ever be satisfied with a mortal’s orifice after getting used to this first class sex toy.
“I guess all that INT wasn’t just for show after all, huh?” added Xera while massaging the half-mast member lodged in her rectum. Even if they could pass this downtime by observing that box’s antics, it was still obvious she preferred the pounding to the observing.
“Nah, can’t be that. I don’t notice any difference even though my INT went so it can’t be that big of a deal.”
“You’re right, it really doesn’t matter for you. You’d need over 9000 of that Attribute before you get any thoughts worth a damn.”
“As if! I have plenty of thoughts!”
“Any of them that don’t relate to fighting and/or fucking?”
“And that, is precisely why I keep telling you to just disappear and leave your dick behind.”
“Oh I’m definitely going to leave my dick inside a behind!”
“Ugh, that was teribleeeaaaah! *Slap* Aaah! *Slap* Aaah! *Slap* Aaahnnn!”
It would seem break time was over. Kora’s member had suddenly sprang back to life, allowing her to abruptly resume conforming the succubus’s insides to the shape of her penis. The area was once again filled with the echoing slaps their thighs made every time Kora plunged balls-deep into Xera’s asshole. The succubus’s bitch-in-heat moans and yells accompanied them to form a sort of rhythmic, lewd concerto.
Boxxy on the other hand was thinking hard about its latest experience. The spool-chest accomplished the goals of conserving energy while traveling at high speed, but the inability to properly navigate and steer under such conditions was a major drawback. It would need to keep its body upright and relatively stable if it planned to do either of those things. Its thoughts drifted back to that cart, causing it to once again contemplate whether it should form detached wheels after all.
It instinctively knew that would be pointless, but it was worth a shot. It picked itself up off the ground and grew another, much smaller wheel. It attached it to the axle part in exactly the same way as the carriage did, then ‘let go’ of it.
You have lost a part of your body. HP -25.
Forcefully detaching part of its flesh caused Boxxy to lose HP and Biomass. The wheel itself quickly lost pigmentation and consistency and melted into a sort of unidentifiable dull-red sludge over the next few seconds, making the whole exercise a waste of time and energy. Such was the downside of having extremely malleable flesh. Once cut away it would quickly lose its assumed form and revert to what can only be described as a thick, fleshy soup.
The Mimic was more or less aware this would happen, but it tried it anyway. It actively challenged its instincts in order to get better acquainted with its body. It waited for several seconds for its HP to recover to full, just in case, then tried it again, this time attempting to hold onto the wheel without holding onto it.
You have lost a part of your body. HP -25.
It failed, as expected. Simply touching the flesh of the wheel was not enough, it needed a medium through which to transmit nutrients and commands to it. It had to be attached and detached at the same time. Both a part of it and something else entirely. Was such a paradox possible?
Or rather, was stressing over this really that big a deal? Boxxy could survive just as well without ever needing to use wheels. Sure they might be convenient, but that was only on mostly flat terrain. Objectively speaking, the box had absolutely no reason for wanting wheels. They were, quite simply put, not necessary to its survival in any way, shape or form. In fact, given how it lost quite a bit of HP and nearly threw itself into a ravine, they were more of an enemy than an ally.
But the Mimic did not give up. It was a creature born of patience, to the point where it was actually incredibly stubborn and would very rarely change its stance on something. The last time it did that was when the object of its desire ended up causing a magical disaster that wiped out an entire city in an instant. It would take a downside of that grand a scale to make it give up on experimenting with those wheels.
And so Boxxy entered a cycle of growing a wheel and trying to detach it without detaching it, watching it melt into sludge, wait a short while to recover HP and start all over again. That lasted for about thirty minutes before it stopped to take a small break. Yet another normally suicidal amount of strawberry jam was devoured to maintain its Biomass.
While there was no progress on the wheel front, at least it was starting to enjoy the fruit-based condiment somewhat. The taste was still pretty bland, but the thick consistency of it was oddly pleasing. It reminded it somewhat of the only piece it managed to rip off that Fleshmaiden and how it reverted into a tasty viscous goop that was a lot denser than it seemed to be. If there was ever such a thing as jam made out of flesh, it would be that. It even remembered finding a piece of her stuck between its teeth later, which was a pleasant surprise. How could something so goopy be so sticky? It was almost like it wanted to become a part of-
Struck with a burst of inspiration, the Mimic spent the rest of the night fiddling with and refining the all-important wheel-to-axle joint. After numerous failures and having to replenish its Biomass many times, it finally achieved a halfway working prototype.
It had created a limb that was completely unlike anything else it or its familiars had ever seen before. The middle part of it was a solid disc with a radius of about 6 centimeters. 25 centimeter long spokes then out of it to form the rest of the wheel. The connecting joint between it and the axle-leg was also very different from its previous attempts. The completely unnatural hinge was covered by an equally unnatural wet bulge - a ball of writhing red flesh at least 10 centimeters in diameter. It tightly hugged both parts of the solid inner part of the wheel, creating a vacuum tight seal that was also slippery enough to allow the wheel to turn with minimal friction.
And turn it did.
Boxxy lifted its latest iteration above the ground and stretched out a tongue tentacle. It grabbed one of the spokes and gave it a good yank. It spun around smoothly and silently around its axis. Nothing tore up and the wheel didn’t wither. Except that the tentatively named ‘flesh jam’ started leaking around it and splattering everywhere. The exact mix for it needed to be refined, but that was more or less a moot point.
The solution that Boxxy had managed to stumble onto was the process known as osmosis. It was a mechanism that allowed nutrients to pass between the Mimic and its severed limb by using the ‘flesh jam’ as a medium. It essentially kept the wheel ‘alive,’ even after the Mimic had severed the connection to it. It was even able to send and receive nerve signals, allowing its owner to retain some feeling in it.
Satisfied with the slightly flawed result, Boxxy decided it was time for a field test. It made three other wheels and returned to its box-cart form. The issue of propulsion was quickly resolved by sprouting two short spider-like legs from its underside, much like how it had done earlier. It used them to push itself forward along the cobblestone road. The wheels spun smoothly, clattering slightly at the small bumps between the rough cobbles. Boxxy bent its axle-shaped limbs carefully, altering its course ever so slightly. A lone eye on its side gave it perfect vision as to where it was going.
It had propulsion, navigation and steering.
“YEESHAAAAAAAAA!” it screamed as it rolled down the road at a near-walking pace. Its over-eagerness had gotten the best of it several times already, so for once it was being careful. At least for about 10 seconds or so. It began gradually building up speed as it used its two limbs to push itself faster and faster. Pretty soon it was moving faster than it had ever done so before, and only using about half the energy it needed to maintain its full speed. The joy of succeeding at a difficult task as well as the rush of moving at such speed filled Boxxy with an overflowing feeling of glee. It almost made it want to shout something about yabba-ing a dabba, whatever that was.
It kept practicing with its newfound mobility. Acceleration, abrupt turns and instant braking were all made possible with the right use of its flexible spider legs. It could even hop into the air at speed to get over rough portions of the cobblestone road. Eventually it realized that it had ended up straying a bit too far from its familiars. Well, it could order them to catch up or resummon them on the spot, but it felt like a good opportunity to get some more box-carting practice on the way back. Besides, it had eaten about half of the preserved food it pilfered earlier, so its Storage was now empty enough to bring a lot of those curious items it left behind.
“Get ready, we leave soon,” it commanded as soon as it got back.
The two demons who had been going at it all night finally remembered they still had a contract to fulfill, so they stopped their antics and started preparing to hit the road. Kora just had to wipe her dick off in Xera’s hair and pull her pants up, so she was ready in a flash. The succubus still had dried up mud and cum stains all over her, not to mention she was completely insensate right now from being used a fuck-toy all night. All things considered, she would probably need a minute to get herself ready.
The fiend on the other hand, was actually a bit curious.
“Hey Master, why were you trying to copy the cart all night?” she asked.
It was pretty obvious what it was trying to do given how it seemed to be obsessed with those wheels. Even the two demons who spent the whole night fucking like crazy managed to figure out what its goal was. The Mimic then explained it was developing a more energy efficient mode of transports for itself, though perhaps not precisely in those words.
“So you want to travel without getting as tired?” confirmed Kora after the needlessly long explanation.
“Yes,” it answered.
“You could just rest on the cart and have me pull it around you know.”
“Actually if we did that, we could even bring all this stuff with us.”
“Not to mention that-”
“Gaaaaah!” screamed Kora. There was a mithril dagger in her left eye.
“No reason,” came the casual reply. Boxxy wasn’t quite sure why, but something about Kora’s suggestion ticked it off.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Name||Boxxy T. Morningwood||Name||Value||Name||Value||Name||Level||Progress|
|Cadaver Absorption||5||42%||Sword Mastery||6||39%|
|Natural Armor||2||45%||Dagger Mastery||4||53%|
|Summon Familiar||7||6%||Ruin Mastery||6||72%|
|Power Overwhelming||4||72%||Domination Mastery||3||86%|
|Dark Explosion||Mind Blast|