Just Like Home (Demeter;Tassadar)


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Koroku reacted positively to being pet on her head, even licking Demeter's hand as she squirmed excitedly in Demeter's lap. "Her name was master!" Koruku replied excitedly, before she began sniffing Demeter's lips, and even made a murmur of a comment on Demeter's last meal.

Koroku would explain her whole situation, as Idian and Demeter questioned her. She was born in one of the forests near Pandora's city. A woman with pointed ears and an assortment of robed companions took Koroku in as a pet. Koroku was taught how to speak the human language, and how to behave well inside a house. Soon after, her master took her to the city, where they got a place to stay inside the elven district. Then, Koroku's story took an odd turn. She had known her master for about a month, before she 'left' under mysterious circumstances. Further prodding revealed that her master simply vanished. Idian found a catalog of previous owners of the property, sort of a sign-in sheet for those staying on the lot. Idian wouldn't be able to tell, but Demeter would see that the last owner was an elven male, party of one. "Could that mean she wasn't staying here legitimately?" Idian inquired with worry, though Koroku displayed the disposition of an ignorant bystander, tilting her head as if wondering what the elf and human were talking about.
 

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Well, that was useful... And all the damn licking! Demeter didn't find herself getting as revolted as she probably should have, but it was still fairly odd in the elf's mind, given Koruko's humanoid appearance. After managing to wheedle the whole story, or at least as much of it as the seemingly dimwitted weredog could tell, Demeter found herself frowning pensively while staring off into space.

"I don't know.... Maybe. It seems more likely than her being kicked out, since she got left here," she said, gesturing towards Koruko. "I suppose we could ask someone.... We've got nothing better to do right now, at least. Still, I think we ought to hesitate in calling the maids.... I don't want to think about what they'd do if we did. Still... I can't think of anyone else we'd ask, especially since the last owner was either here by secret, or here illegally."
 

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Idian seemed a bit stumped as well as to the idea. But, he wasn't without a suggestion. "Perhaps we could ask for Octavia and her witches to investigate? Being sneaky sounds like something right up a witch's alley!" He offered, not aware of the slight insult to Octavia's already wounded character. "If it involved magic, they might be able to tell what happened and help us look around. I can't think of anyone else... Maybe Pandora?" he shrugged.

After being ignored for a moment, Demeter would find Koroku laying down on her belly while resting her chin on Demeter's thigh. Idian seemed a bit overwhelmed over how adorable Koroku was, but seemed to be greatly resisting the urge to let everyone know how much he was truly affected as he kept his silence.
 

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"Hrm.... Maybe.... Octavia and her bunch might help. Well, I guess it won't hurt if I take a look first!" Demeter said, pondering Idian's suggestions before getting up, intent on searching the house for signs of magic herself. She would have to be careful, given the potentially clandestine nature of what she was looking for, but Demeter was no stranger to trying to hide things herself, having done so to keep mamono from stealing from her when she'd lived in the swamps. Assuming that she was unsuccessful, however, she would have to go out and look for Octavia, though whether Idian, Bubbles, or Koruku followed her or not she would leave up to them. Sighing, Demeter would reconstruct the mental defenses she'd let down to keep out Pandora's magic and then enact a simple shielding spell around herself, something that wouldn't take much energy so long as it was passive but that would cause anyone trying to touch her to be rebuffed by a burst of wind before they could get anywhere near her skin. She would have to be on guard in case another attempt was made on her, and that simplistic enchantment would at least keep away any more darts or knives thrown at her.
 
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( Mood Music )

And so Demeter and Idian went looking around for signs of what happened prior to Demeter arriving at the house. Given the presence of elves, there were obvious signs of spare threads woven about here and there. It was sometimes hard to tell what the threads were for, and many of them were broken up into such tiny pieces of woven magical thread that it was nearly impossible to determine what they were used for, often enough having little to no physical composition to study with the naked eye. Koroku seemed to begin sniffing as well, taking Demeter's side and helping to look for clues, seemingly trying to be helpful. Whenever Demeter did make a discovery, it was an unimportant and trivial one. A previous owner must have enjoyed green tea. A few loose woven threads gave evidence of that. Another owner was apparently a corrupted elf like Demeter, as not even the effort of the maids could completely eliminate the spots of long dried semen almost all over the room, obviously invisible to the naked eye, but Demeter and Koroku seemed able to detect it. Koroku began wagging her tail, seeming fixated on te smell for a while.

"The trouble is that we don't know what we're looking for... I've looked all around while you've been using your threads," announced Idian, "but I haven't found anything that looked suspicious, other than this..." He held up a rubber cock ring, before inspecting it for a moment, and slipping it onto one of his fingers, completely unaware of what it was, while Demeter would have seen it in a shop once and been given a description for it.

Much time passed as Demeter and Idian searched the house. The hour was actually growing late into the evening. The house appeared clear for the most part, though Koroku seemed to discover an ominous skeletal flower in the backyard garden, thankfully knowing enough to keep away from it. When Idian arrived on the scene, he looked at the flower immediately, confused. "What in God's name is that!?" Idian called out the name of the very same deity that would have Demeter and her race killed, much to his ignorance.

It was a flower normally seen only in the barren lands of Hell. When seen anywhere else, it was a sign that devils had stepped upon their ground. Such growth isn't only limited to such a flower as well, but all of Hell's plants are similar in grotesque and horrifying appearance. Instead of fruit, trees grow bags of bloody meat and acid, spilling acid down the throat of whatever famished creature takes it for a meal. Thorn bushes that extend outwards, wrap around their prey, and use their dripping blood to give itself life also can appear. The rest are often perverse in nature, namely tentacles. Regardless, there was an issue with the placement of this one flower. Only the spot where it grew was marked with corruption, and it seemed recent. Proficient in elven magic, though cursed she may be, Demeter would be able to purge the flower before it could spread more of it's corruption and cause other nasty vegetation to spread. The mystery of how it came to be could either be solved by Demeter herself, or Octavia...
 
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Looking around, Demeter would frown in distaste at the rooms covered in semen, looking disapprovingly upon Koroku for being so fixated on it for some reason. The minor traces of weaving, spare threads of old magic, offered no useful information, and Idian's discovery of a strange rubber ring wouldn't have interested her save for the stains she detected on it with her magic, causing her to grimace in disgust and say, "throw that thing out! Don't wear it! It's.... Disgusting!"

Eventually, after looking for hours, Demeter and her companions would discover a corrupted flower in the backyard, and though Idian's outcry would normally have brought a scowl to her face she couldn't help but agree. "I'm not sure... Precisely. It's some kind of demonic flower. If we leave it, it'll spread, so we need to burn it, but.... We'd probably get in trouble for it, and I would rather figure out where it came from before we destroy it."

Looking to Idian, she frowned and said, "we should try to find Octavia, I think. This is something that I might like to call the maids about, to be honest, but that might be best left as a last resort, and I'm not quite there yet."
 

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( Mood Music: Night of Chaos )

Idian looked confused at Demeter at first, but quickly did as he was told, tossing the thing aside.

Out in the yard, Idian listened closely to Demeter's more knowledgeable take on what she was seeing. The presence of demons was never a good sign. Deep within lands where they wouldn't be allowed would perhaps be even more concerning. Of all the things that the demonic flower could mean, not one of them were good. Neutral at best, being the possibility that the demons were here, and then they left. "Octavia... Yeah, witches are connected with demons, so she'd know what this means." Idian nodded at Demeter. Meanwhile, Koroku was growling at the demonic growth, before Demeter would feel a chill down her spine as a purple textured slimy appendage slowly rose from the ground. The sight and sound of which caused Idian to nearly leap out of his skin in fear. "It's... T-this demonic stuff is insane! It's growing purple things out of the ground, and they look alive!" Idian said in panic. Koroku continued to growl, though she was backing away from the growing appendage, whimpering once she realized that the thing wasn't threatened by her.

"I'm ready to leave to go get Octavia! Right now!" Idian said in a panic, unable to be more eager to flee as far away from the demonic corruption as possible.
 

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Demeter's visage darkened as the slimy organ began to sprout from the ground, squirming in the air. Her reaction wasn't any different from Korokou's, though she would keep a cooler head about it and wouldn't move away from it until it started getting longer. "Go," the elf said quickly, "take Bubbles and Korokou, ask the city guard, look in the spas. Be extremely careful, everywhere, for this is a city of the corrupt, and they may try to rape you. I'll keep in contained for as long as I can, but I may have to call the maids or burn it if the growth gets much bigger." Her instructions given, Demeter would try to do as she'd said, and contain the demonic growth, only to find that her magic actually fed into the corruption.

She backed away in alarm, not sure what to do about that, and then opted to try and section it off instead, carving away the earth to create a physical moat a good distance around the demonic plant, doing so by hand if her magic fed into it even when she was only affecting the area around the plant. She could only guess as to why her magic behaved like that, but she wouldn't test it too hard initially to try and figure it out, and would keep an eye on the plant and its growth (or potentially growths) while working to section it off.
 

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Indeed, Demeter's use of magic would inexplicably cause the corruption to grow even faster. Two more tentacles rose from the ground, becoming a greater problem by the minute. Idian ran off, calling for Bubbles and Koroku to come along. Bubbles took a moment to get Demeter's attention, pulling on her dress. She pointed at the corruption and its' plants, before waving her fin and shaking her head, seeming to suggest that Demeter should not challenge the terrain. Help would be on the way. Then, she borrowed Idian's shoulders to ride on them, pointing her weapon forwards as if ordering him to charge, which he did without her order.

That left Demeter alone with the corruption. The tentacles seemed to sway one way and another, as if mindless and ignorant. The flower was also growing bigger, it's petals folding inward, forming a bulb. What seemed to be dead tree roots also began to reveal themselves, covered in many thorns. The small patch of land before Demeter was like a small glimpse into the world of Hell, and an insight towards how easily their current world could become a mere extension of the Demon's world. Digging a moat around the corrupted dirt seemed to stall it, if only for a very short time. As if reacting to the recent presence, the corruption was growing at an alarming rate. An inch of lush, fertile ground was destroyed with every minute that Idian was gone. No doubt that the entire property, and those next to it, would be overtaken before the next morning, turning the lot into a demon's paradise of terrifying growths and both deadly and perverse plants.

Before Idian would return, Demeter's moat was defeated. The corruption was spreading further, while Demeter would feel its' aura reaching her. It wasn't discomforting. She didn't shudder for anything but the first contact. In fact, she would be able to gather some information from it. Just like she did, the corruption was being fed. It was spreading so quickly due to an overflow of corruption coming from a nearby source. Ergo, something somewhere else was doing exactly what Demeter did.

A bit after this discovery, with little time to look into it if she wished, Demeter would spot Octavia arriving alone, riding her broomstick over Demeter's home and next to the woman herself. Octavia's skin was rather silky and smooth looking, and her hair shining. Yet, she was flustered. She was clearly interrupted, and clearly left in a hurry. "Demeter!" Octavia called out to the elf. "Your beloved was shouting at me like the world was ending. What the hell?" She inquired towards the elf, before looking to see for herself, and her eyes went wide. "What the hell, other Hell." She commented. Letting out a sigh, she walked into the corrupted land, kneeling over the flower that grew. The tentacles squirmed over and curled around Octavia, one swirling around her breast, another rolling around her thigh, and the last about to join, before Octavia sent out a spark that made the tentacles bolt back in shock, retreating into the ground as if in fear. Past that, Octavia cared little for the tentacles. As if she were used to them. "I've never seen this kind of flower before. Right in the middle as well. I'd say someone, or something, is trying to be found." Octavia revealed, looking back to Demeter to observe her thoughts.
 

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Demeter responded with alarm as her moat was defeated, more tendrils waving about and the flower growing into a bulb, the bonelike growth looking almost like a skull on a stick. She would wait, but as it started to break past her barrier she prepared to set fire to the whole of it. Octavia arrived just in time, as the elf was about to set the demonic plant ablaze, and she kept back her annoyed reply with a sigh of relief at the witch's presence.

"What is it?" Demeter asked, but then let out a gasp of alarm when Octavia simply walked into the growth. The tentacles started wrapping around her almost immediately, and Demeter was again about to act when the witch issued a snapping spark that sent the appendages recoiling back into the ground.

"Trying to be... Found?" Demeter asked, her mind going immediately to the demon who had accosted them a few days earlier, but the flower she'd been given by that demon was by all appearances natural, and not the corrupt growth like this. "Can you find the source of the energy feeding it? It fed off of my magic when I tried to contain it, that's part of why it's so big," she continued aloud, but then sent a silent thread of energy to connect her mind to Octavia's, one that she kept carefully guarded in case an outside force would try to listen in.

[I think this might have been planted by someone trying to kidnap me, as a marker or maybe a trap. Is it safe to destroy it? And will it come back? Also, even if the answer to my spoken question is yes, say no aloud. We might be being watched, even now.]
 

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When asked what it was, Octavia reached towards the bone flower, and pulled. With a loud snap, it broke from the ground. As Octavia held it in her hand, the petals folded outward, back to the shape Demeter would remember, before turning to dust in Octavia's hand. Whether it did that on its' own or via Octavia's doing was unknown. "Demonic energy feeds the spread of corruption. You must be cursed yourself if it fed off of your energy." Octavia replied, giving Demeter a questionable look, before seeming to drop interest in the topic. As Demeter spoke to her telepathically, Octavia replied in kind.

["The spread of corruption goes in all directions. Since we cannot see it here where we stand, then it must logically be below."]
 

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[Can you tell how far down?]

That the demonic flower had so easily crumbled was a relief, despite that a tinge of panic at the suggestion present in Octavia's voice. She had never revealed her heritage - to anyone - since it had been revealed to her. That her father had been an incubus, a demon's sex slave who had escaped and somehow ended up impregnating her mother, was not something that she intended to spread around, and she certainly didn't want to share it with Octavia just then.
 

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With that question, Octavia stood still for a moment, before thousands of threads left her body. Squirming, and digging underground. Suddenly, a backlash. A similar backlash at that. A reverse influence spiked through Octavia's 'feelers' as it were and went crashing back hom, making Octavia cry out in shock and fall to one knee. She took a moment to rest before looking up at Demeter. "Directly below me..." she announced. She needn't say the next part for Demeter to know what she found. Just like the one Pandora found, a barrier. A seal, which rejected Octavia's attempts at prodding.
 

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Demeter watched, and winced, as Octavia discovered the barrier present below the earth, in the back yard of the house she'd been given to stay in. It was.... An unusual coincidence, to say the least, and Demeter had a feeling of dread present in the pit of her stomach. "Don't poke at it," Demeter said, gesturing for the witch to come away from the patch of corrupted ground, "I'll have to call the maids about this.... I don't know how to deal with it myself. Where did you leave Idian? He'll have to stay away, for now.... Also, think you can fix the ditch for me? I had to dig it by hand, and I don't want the demon plants growing back by feeding on my energy if I try to fill it in with magic again."
 

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"We'll both have to fix it by hand. I have demonic energy... As well." Octavia hesitated on the last bit, seeming to conclude that Demeter was partly a demonic, if she wasn't simply full demon. "I left Idian with the others, they said they'd be on their way back here, but... Are you sure, Demeter? I mean, how innocent do we look right now? Those maids look like they don't fuck around. Plus, I'm a witch and here's some demonic ground. That's enough to make them want to interrogate me, and while Pandamonium isn't known for its' cruel treatment, that still sounds unpleasant. So... If you're going to one way or another, at least tell me now so I can get out of here before they can pin the needle on me."
 

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"Well, what else can I do, at this point?" Demeter asked frustratedly, annoyed at any number of things relating to the pleasant situation. "I'm not exactly interested in having a demonic... Vault, or whatever that thing causing the plants to sprout is, in the backyard of where I'm supposed to be staying while I wait for your coven and Idian to have your little vacation! As it is, I'll probably already be in trouble for even looking at it myself, even though whoever stayed here before me probably left that along with their dog!"
 

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"Calm down, alright? Corrupted ground is just dead ground infused with succubus magic. It can be patched up, taken care of." Octavia tried to insist covering everything up. "... And if need be... Deal with the problem ourselves. If there's a demon down there... What's so wrong with getting rid of it? You know? We clean up the mess, and the one who's causing it, and no one has to know anything." Octavia suggested, looking nervous about the authorities possibly getting involved.
 

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Well.... That was one idea. Demeter's frown probably told Octavia how much she thought of it, but after a moment the elf sighed heavily and said, "you really think that's a good idea? What if whatever happens to be down there is more than we can handle? What then? Besides, do you think you can even open that prison?"
 

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"Well, we already know that the maids are more than we can handle. At least there's a chance we won't be torn apart if we go with option B, however unlikely I think that is..." Octavia trembled in fear, wrapping her arms around herself. "As for getting in there... If they're trying to be found, then no doubt they trust us able to get them out..."
 

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"Yes, but the maids wouldn't be trying to murder us. Or rape us. That thing would," Demeter remarked, and then gestured towards the shredded ground. "Well, you first, see if you can open it. I'll try to make sure that you aren't murdered, and if we get into trouble for this I'm going to blame you."