Chapter 3 - Ownership

Immediate correction. Despite the horrid smell of his brothers, it was quite hard to find them. All that happened while he was trying to do that was that he got distracted when more and more boxes appeared out of nowhere. But luckily, the more the boxes appeared, the more the Imp's body became stronger and faster! Hah, screw you, dumb boxes with your stupid squiggly lines!

The thing that changed most about the Imp was that he became much faster and whenever he nearly couldn't run anymore because he was out of breath, for some reason, he could nearly immediately start running again!

But those feisty boxes kept catching up to him for some weird reason. He managed to kill them a few times, but in the end, they would always return a little bit later. They started appearing less frequently, yeah, but there was still a new box appearing every few minutes, and always when the Imp did something super cool or smart as if they were waiting for him to be distracted.

And a few moments later, the Imp noticed something else. It was the smell that he had been looking for all along, and when he did find it and stopped in his tracks to properly find out where exactly his brothers were, the smell became a lot stronger, while a new box appeared as well.

[You picked up a familiar smell. Perception +1]

"Grarh!" The Imp growled out and simply hit the box to make it disappear again. They were easy to take care of alone, but when they were in a pack, the Imp was feeling quite intimidated, so he wanted to take care of the ones that weren't with the others whenever he could. Now, the Imp did the same, and then immediately booked it away from the other notifications that were slowly catching up to him, running in the direction of his brothers.

And soon, he could not only smell his brothers, but he could also hear them! And some other weird sounds. And loud and painful grunts. And-

"Degh?" The Imp muttered out as he looked at the scene in front of himself, seeing his brothers cut up on the ground while three tall, weird-looking things were standing above them. One of them, the shortest, was a completely red thing. It looked a bit like his brothers, but the Imp could tell that it really really wasn't his brothers. It had way too many weirdly colored bits, and the red bits were far too long and not really attached to the weirdly colored bits.

Another one of them was a completely black thing. The Imp could see two blue eyes come out between the weird black stuff that covered the thing's body, which looked similar to the cloth that some of the stronger monsters in his unit wore, but very different, and this one didn't seem to stink the same way.

And the last of them, the tallest, was silver and blue, and it had a weird shiny stick in its hand, and its foot was directly on one of the Imp's brothers' heads, which was split off of its body.

And that was something that the Imp didn't like at all.

Immediately, the Imp began to bare its teeth, not caring for the boxes anymore, as he was now facing a more imminent, albeit not nearly as dangerous, opponent.

"Look! Another one!" The Red thing exclaimed excitedly as it pointed its hand toward the Imp, who simply continued to stare at them. "Huh? Doesn't it look somewhat angry?" The tallest responded as it looked toward the other things. The Imp didn't understand what it said, although it did understand that it was saying something, and he really wanted to know what it was.

"Tsk, Angry? You realize you're talking about a monster, right? What could that thing be angry about?" The Black thing asked, and the Imp listened closely as it was movings its mouth, managing to pick something out of it. 'Angry'. It didn't know exactly what that grunt meant, but it seemed to be something important, so it figured that it was a good idea to remember it.

[Beginner Common Language Comprehension Skill Learned]

Noticing the new box that appeared next to it, the Imp jumped to the side a little, before the tall thing seemed to release a lot of air at once.

"Guess you're right. Just look at it, it probably ate some Ariz root and is now just high off of his ass." It replied before the Imp averted his attention from the box over to the thing. For some reason, even if he had no clue what exactly they were saying, he somehow knew that they were mocking him. And the Imp didn't like to be mocked.

"Who cares? I want to make it my companion!" The red thing exclaimed excitedly before the black thing turned over to the red thing and frowned. "Seriously? Ava, what do you want with an Imp as a fucking pet? It's the lowest-grade Demon-type Monster there is. And it's not even a proper Imp; it's a Lesser Imp. Let's just kill it and get you something that doesn't look like it's going to hump the living daylight out of that plushy collection you have at the Inn, Ava." The black thing grunted loudly in a lengthy way, and all of a sudden, the Imp got confused. He had never heard such a long grunt before! The Imp was actually getting somewhat curious and excited!

But then, the blue and silver thing began to grunt as well. "Exactly, Ava, why don't you just stop being impatient and wait, Ava. We know that you're happy you got the taming ability through your Hunter Job, Ava, but an Imp is a really bad choice, Ava. Most Hunters choose animals, like Dogs, Ava." It said with a smirk on its face, and the Imp got pretty confused again.

Why were they saying that weird grunt so often? Was it something important as well? Maybe he had to remember that grunt 'Ava'! Although then, the red thing's weirdly colored bits became red as well, and it became really loud and angry.

"My name isn't Ava, you fuckwits! It's Avalin! You know I don't like being called Ava!" It exclaimed, and this time, the Imp took a real close look at the place where the grunts came out of for the red bit, and it slowly tried to copy what the thing was doing.

"Avva…Avva…Ava" The Imp grunted out, hoping that it said the right thing, but the red thing just became more angry and red at that. "I just fucking said it's not 'Ava', you goddamn-" It exclaimed, and while the Imp didn't realize what it said, the other three things realized what it was.

They seemed to look at each other confused, but at the same time, the Imp was just taking care of the new boxes that appeared next to him.

[You have learned speech!]

[Intelligence +2][Wisdom +2]

[Beginner Common Language Comprehension Skill Leveled up!]

Immediately, the Imp just waved his hand at the boxes immediately, and then at the same time, chose to just take out the other boxes that were coming closer again. For some reason, he didn't feel like he was just as scared of these boxes anymore. They were terrifying still, but the Imp now thought he could take them on for some reason!

And while the Imp was just flailing its skimpy, thin arms around at the boxes around it, the three things began to talk amongst each other.

"Did… Did that Lesser fucking Imp just say my name..?" The red thing asked, confused, and the black thing nodded its head slowly. "I think it did… Can Monsters usually learn our language? Is it some unique mo-"

"Who the fuck cares! Ava, tame that Imp immediately! If we bring it to Zaragon, he'll definitely give us a shitton of money!" The blue and silver thing exclaimed, and for once, it seemed like the three of them started to agree with each other, although the red thing seemed to have something small against it still. "It's not technically taming, that's a really hard thing to do, but it doesn't need an 'Ownership Collar'. And my name isn't-"

"Just fucking get to it, Avalin, please. God…" The black thing responded sassily as it crossed its arms and rolled its eyes, and the red thing just grumbled quietly and walked up to the Imp that seemed to be swatting invisible things in the air.

Slowly, the red thing stepped up behind the Imp with a leather collar in its hand and then tried to put it on the Imp's neck. And it didn't end up just trying, but it really did work.

And as it did so, the Imp immediately froze as numerous, blinking red boxes appeared around it, covering its sight.




And while the Imp wasn't able to really do anything but try to rip at the thing around its neck and just looked around itself as a lot of boxes appeared around it, the Imp just dropped to the ground, starting to shake in fear at this unknown feeling. It suddenly felt weird, as if its mind was being pulled away, and it couldn't help but stare at a single point:

The red thing that was standing next to it.

[You are experiencing extreme fear. Resistance +1]

[You have now been placed under the ownership of Avalin Stinehearth]

[As the item used to place you under the command of your owner is not meant for your kind, it is possible to break out of its effect. Do you want to initiate the resistance?]

The Imp didn't know exactly what was going on, but it just realized one thing. That one big box that appeared in front of it just now wasn't one that was trying to harm it. Instead, the Imp was feeling hope from it, and for some reason started to understand what it was trying to tell him.

Slowly, the Imp began to think that he wanted to accept whatever it was the box was trying to make him do before another box appeared around it while all of the others, even the red blinking ones, disappeared, and the Imp began to feel very hazy all of a sudden.

[resistance will be effective in 7 Days, 13 Hours, 11 Minutes, 45 Seconds]

The Imp stared at the box in front of it, and a few of the squiggly lines toward the end were starting to change all the time. Nothing happened just yet, but the Imp was sure that something would happen later as long as he just dealt with what was going on right now. And now, when the Imp looked at the Red thing, it felt a few different emotions.

One, complete will for submission. He wasn't sure why, and he had never felt such a thing before, but the Imp somehow knew that it wouldn't end well for him if he did anything the red thing didn't want.

Two, complete, and utter hatred. To begin with, the Imp didn't like a lot of things. Not the sky, not the ground, and not even that dumb pink flower in the corner of his eye. But now, all of that dislike turned into pure hatred.

Slowly, the Imp stood up and looked around, simply staring in front of it at the red thing.

"Ooh! I think it worked!" It exclaimed, and the blue and silver thing began to laugh. "You bet it did. I didn't think those kinds of Ownership Collars worked on monsters, but apparently, they do. Either way, I think that guy is going to be very interesting." The thing said with a grin, but the Imp just ground its own sharp teeth and stepped forward. There was a sudden urge that overcame him, which seemed to be connected to one of the new boxes that he just started seeing.

[You are too exhausted to fuel the resistance. Somehow regain energy]

The Imp began to be able to somewhat understand these boxes, although just roughly. Even if they were his greatest enemy, maybe he had to rely on them for now. And if that was the case, he really had to get rid of his exhaustion, and there was one certain way that the Imp figured would be a great way to get his energy back, which was to eat.

And so, he ate. His teeth ground through the red meat in front of him as bones cracked as he pressed into them. The Imp could feel the disgusted stares from behind him, but the Imp didn't care. He just knew he needed to do something, anything, to make sure he could break out of the control they had him under.

Even if it meant eating his own brothers.

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