It would appear that Nagnamor could only maintain his physical form for about 2 minutes with the near 1000 MP the Mimic supplied during the possession ritual. Once that was up, he would crumble into dust and disappear.
That seemed to be the nature of how this particular ritual worked - the demon called forth from the Beyond would have tremendous power, but his body would deteriorate rapidly after a short while. The other two Offering-type rituals the Mimic knew about would probably be the same.
Still, even if it was temporary, a high-ranking demon’s servitude was simply a means to an end. Performing that particular ritual did wonders for its Demonology proficiency and it had plenty of troll blood leftover, so it repeated the summoning 3 more times until now.
Xera seemed to want to complain vehemently about it each time and even Kora was trying to get their master to stop performing it for some reason. As for Nagnamor, he was understandably the most pissed off of all and complained the loudest, both figuratively and literally. However, all of them were ignored completely as the stubborn box did whatever it wanted.
But the one thing that could not be ignored was that constant ringing noise inside the Mimic’s mind. It had been going on for the last hour or so, pretty much ever since the first time Nagnamor’s physical body turned to dust. The familiars, Nagnamor included, could be ordered to shut up easily enough, but that obviously wasn’t going to work here.
This was different from a simple sound. It was as if something was poking at the monster’s brain, trying to get its attention.
Well, it didn’t seem like it would just go away on its own and even a creature of near-infinite patience could only take so much damned ringing. So it made the inevitable decision to answer it.
“Oh finally!” came the gruff, raspy voice from the Beyond. “Hey buddy. It’s Carl from Demons ‘R’ Us.”
This was the first time Demons ‘R’ Us had contacted the Mimic directly. Admittedly, this was only the third time the Mimic had spoken to them, but that was besides the point.
“So listen, I’m calling about the whole Overlord Nagnamor thing. We’ve been getting some troubling complaints and I need to get your side of the story. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”
“I won’t stop ringing until you answer me, by the way.”
“... Alright, I’m listening.”
“How exactly did you summon the Overlord into the physical realm?”
“I did the ritual.”
“With the squiggles and the chanting and the stabbing.”
“You’re going to have to be more specific.”
Pretty much all demonic ritual involved at least one of those things. A lot of the time it was all three at once.
“It was the offering thingie.”
“So it was the Offering to Nagnamor after all, huh?”
“And how did you fulfill the ‘pure maiden stabbed in the heart’ part of the ceremony?” asked Carl.
“I told Snack to do it.”
“I’m sorry, Snack?”
“Um, which one?”
“The one with the hair and the legs.”
“Haah. The blue or red one?”
*Tak tak tatatak takatak*
“Okay and how do you suppose a succubus qualifies as a ‘pure maiden?’”
“She’s a female that wasn’t poisoned or diseased. She was also clean. Before the blood, at least.”
“Oh wow… Okay, it’s starting to make sense now.”
The thing about magic was that it relied heavily on the mind. Spells had a very precise formula to them, so different people would get very similar results when casting the same one. Rituals and such, however, were more freeform and could be easily influenced by one’s perception and preconceptions. In other words, if the Mimic who didn’t know any better believed with all its might that Xera was ‘pure,’ then she would be ‘pure.’ At least for the sake of completing the ritual.
“Leave it to those fucking idiots to leave in a loophole like that,” mumbled Carl under his breath.
“Ah, nevermind that. What about the heart part?”
“Made Snack grow one.”
*Taktak tak ta-*
“Huh? But succubi shouldn’t be able to change their insides to that degree!”
“Yeah. Had to show her how to make one from her skin. Because she’s stupid.”
“Wai-wai-wait, you ordered your familiar… to grow a heart on the outside of her body?”
“Holy shit! I honestly have to say I’m impressed! I never would’ve even thought of that!”
*Taktak tak tak tatatatak tak*
“Okay,” continued Carl, “and what was your purpose in summoning Nagnamor in the first place?”
“I wanted Skill proficiency for Demonology.”
“What, just that?”
“No kingdoms you wanted toppled or ancient beings of terrible power to suppress?”
“... Hold please.”
An odd sound started playing inside the Mimic’s head. It wasn’t like anything else the monster had ever heard before, but it was actually pretty pleasant. Ah, this must be that music thing it vaguely knew about! Who knew sound could be so tasty?! It sat there enjoying the tune for about 5 minutes before Carl came back on the line.
“I apologize for that. Uhm, can you send me your Status, please?”
“Ah, I see you got a na- Boxxy T. Morningwood?! Pft! Hold please! Kuhaha-”
Well, this was unlike Carl. Usually the demon was pretty quick and to the point about business. It’s not like Boxxy had anywhere to go, though. It was currently gathering up mana for the next ritual. And the music was pretty tasty anyway.
“Fuuuu, again, sorry about that mister Morningw- *Cough* Morningwood.”
“Just Boxxy’s fine.”
The Mimic didn’t particularly mind being called ‘mister Morningwood,’ but Carl seemed unable to say it with a straight face for some reason. If he wasn’t going to say the name properly, then he shouldn’t be saying it all.
“Right then. See here Boxxy, I’m gonna be straight with you. You can’t summon Overlord Nagnamor using your demon as collateral anymore.”
“It violates part of the summoning contract. The one where you promise to safeguard your familiar’s immortal soul against harm.”
Come to think of it, Xera was talking about her ego being consumed by Nagnamor or something like that. The Mimic didn’t quite see how that was an issue, so it just kept doing what it wanted like usual.
“I know you probably don’t understand,” added Carl, “so I’ll clarify. Cramming two demons into the same physical vessel like that? Worst case scenario both of them could get fragmented or malformed. That wasn’t what you were trying to do, right?”
“Good, cuz that’d be bad.”
“We’d have to kill you.”
“I understand. I’ll stop using Snack to summon Punchy.”
“Yeah. The big one with the head and the arms. He punches himself real good,” said Boxxy with a hint of admiration.
“Uh-huh. So listen, there’s one more thing I need to talk to you about. I don’t know what you made the Overlord do over there and I have no intention of prying, but he’s threatening to quit being an officer in the Demon King’s army if he so much as smells you again. We want to avoid that, so we’re prepared to offer you a deal.”
“That’s right. You have to agree that you never perform the Offering to Nagnamor ever again, regardless of who or what your sacrifice is. In return, we’ll provide you with a one time boost of Demonology proficiency up to Level 5.”
“Okay. I accept.”
“Alright. Hold please.”
Of course it agreed. Getting Demonology Levels was the whole reason Boxxy was doing this whole thing in the first place, so getting what it wanted with less work was not a bad thing. Besides, it took a whole lot of time and preparation to summon Punchy and it only lasted a few minutes. Even if the performance was excellent, his mileage was pretty bad.
“There all set. I’ve added our agreement to your summoning contract. You should be getting your compensation shortly.”
Proficiency level increased. Demonology is now Level 5. WIS +4. MNT +4.
“I got it.”
“Good, that’s great. Fuuu. Hey listen, thanks for agreeing to that. I gotta say, it’s so much easier working with you than my regular clients.”
“Yeah. You’re uncomplicated and straightforward. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to those edgy idiots I have to work with usually. Always with the stupid comments like ‘You shall not pass!’ and ‘You have no power here!’ It’s like those retards didn’t even properly read the summoning contract!”
Carl spent a few more minutes complaining about other Warlocks. Boxxy didn’t particularly mind since it was fairly interesting listening to him.
“What I’m trying to say is, it’s honestly a breath of fresh air working with someone like you. This whole thing would’ve been a laugh if it wasn’t for the actual Demon King breathing down my neck. Anyway, sorry for that little rant, I’ve been under a lot of pressure lately.”
“Fuuuu. So, just so we’re clear - do not ever use that ritual again. Okay?”
“And don’t use your familiars as sacrifices ever again, either! That’s the important thing here! We wouldn’t give a flying fuck if your rectangular ass died out there, but if a demon bites the big one because of your antics then even killing you 100,000 times wouldn’t be enough payback! Understood?!”
It was important to keep in mind that the summoning contract was indeed a partnership and not slavery. Generally what happens to a demon’s physical form didn’t matter to an immortal being in the grand scheme of things, but endangering the integrity of their soul was another story. It was the one thing that must never, under any circumstances, be tampered with. If that clause was violated then the Warlock getting killed would just be the beginning of his punishment. What followed next would be… Well, let’s just say oblivion would be a much more preferable option.
“You’re lucky we caught this thing early!” added Carl. “Another ten or so more rituals and the soul of Xerababadubuth L’okrelaila would have suffered irreversible damage!”
“... Carl, is my contract in danger?”
“Nah, you’re fine. It’s not like you were doing it on purpose. Besides, you cooperated readily and both of your familiars testified as to your, uh, character. Therefore, the higher ups have agreed to let you off with just a stern warning.”
It would seem that all things said and done, Demons ‘R’ Us were going to take Boxxy’s actions as a simple misunderstanding rather than malicious intent.
“I see. Thanks, Carl.”
“Sure, just try and avoid pissing off my boss any more, yeah? Otherwise he might seriously terminate it.”
“How do I do that?”
“Ah, that’s actually pretty easy. You just keep doing what you do, only without the two things we talked about just now. Like, for real, don’t. And don’t take so long to answer if we’re the ones calling you, okay?”
“Good, good. Haaah. ‘Kay, bye!”
Well, that conversation was educational. Boxxy nearly stepped on quite the landmine there due to its own ignorance, but it would seem things have more or less worked out.
“Alright Snack, you can get down from there. Arms, untie her.”
“Oh thank fuck!” said Xera. “I really don’t know how much longer I could take sharing a body with that insufferable asshole!”
“Hey come on,” complained Kora while she untied the succubus from the stake. “Uncle Naggy isn’t that bad.”
“Yes he is! The whole reason he wanted a ‘pure maiden’ in the first place is because- Wait, uncle? He’s your kin?!”
“Yeah. He’s eldest of my dad’s 49 siblings. I only met him once or twice though.”
“Wow, that kind of makes things a lot worse.”
“What do you mean?”
“The first thought he had when he saw you was how he’d like to, and I’m quoting his head here, ‘split that fine ass on his dick.’”
“Oh! That’s pretty high praise coming from an Archfiend!”
“Oy! Don’t give me that disgusted look! It’s a fiend thing, okay?!”
“We’re leaving now,” said Boxxy, putting an end to their little argument. “There are things I need to get.”
Even if they had leftover troll blood, that one ritual was all the Mimic was really equipped to do. They’d have to find components, not to mention sacrifices, to enact some of the other rituals. Of particular interest was a ceremony that was meant to call forth ‘Unholy Wealth,’ whatever that was. However, they’d need quite a few things to pull that one off. Not to mention it still lacked knowledge about the Warlock Job in general.
It was time to see about taking up residence inside a city.
|General Information||Attributes||Job Information|
|Name||Boxxy T. Morningwood||Name||Value||Name||Value||Name||Level||Progress|
|Cadaver Absorption||5||50%||Sword Mastery||6||39%|
|Natural Armor||3||7%||Dagger Mastery||4||76%|
|Summon Familiar||7||11%||Ruin Mastery||6||72%|
|Power Overwhelming||4||72%||Domination Mastery||4||25%|
|Dark Explosion||Mind Blast|