Succubus Summoning 211 (part 3)
Phil heard singing—a child’s nursery rhyme that featured lots of ra ra ras—as they entered Cέrμləa’s part of the castle. They found her in a playroom tucked away from the main corridor. The walls were brightly painted and were covered in murals of playful cartoon figures. At first glance it looked cheery. At second glance Phil realised something was off. When he looked more closely he realised the cartoon characters were devouring each other.
Cέrμləa sat cross-legged on the floor. Her arms were up in the air and she swayed her upper body as if dancing to the song she was singing. Sitting across from her was a small cone of brown flesh with a large mouth as its only discernible feature. The fleshy tip bobbed back and forth as if it was dancing along with Cέrμləa.
“Oh hello,” Cέrμləa said, noticing Phil. “Mr G dropped by to play with me.”
Phil was confused. He’d met Mr G. He was a daemon that looked like a French waiter and lived in a weird dimension full of giant worms.
“Isn’t that a minor nebrit?”
It looked very similar to the minor nebrit that was always perched on Herbie Higgins’ broad shoulder.
“All daemons from the Dominion of Gluttony are Mr G,” Nÿte explained. “They’re all maws leading to the Grand Belly.”
The minor nebrit had no recognisable features other than a big mouth filled with oversized teeth. Despite this, Phil could have sworn the thing was smiling at him in recognition. The teeth gnashed together and it made odd warbling sounds while spraying slobber.
“Mr G says hi,” Cέrμləa said.
“Hi,” Phil said. “I don’t suppose you can help me out. I’m looking for a human warlock. He carries another one of you on his shoulder.”
Cέrμləa put a finger to her lips and her forehead creased up in concentration. “I think I did see a warlock wandering around here earlier. A big fellow. Smelt a little funny.”
“Yes, that sounds like Herbie. Do you know where he went?”
“Hmm, let me think.”
She let out a loud belch. She put a hand to her mouth and flushed in embarrassment.
“Pardon me,” she said.
The cone of flesh belched as well. The noise was deeper and far louder than something its size should be capable of making.
“And pardon Mr G,” Cέrμləa said.
She put her finger on her lips and once again her forehead was creased in concentration. She shook her head.
“No, sorry,” she said.
She gave an apologetic shrug.
The cone of flesh shrugged as well. It was not an easy gesture to pull off without arms and shoulders, but the minor nebrit managed it.
Cέrμləa went back to her strange version of Pat-a-cake with Mr G.
“He’s gone,” Verdé whispered in his ear.
Phil was already reaching the same conclusion. The minor nebrit looked remarkably similar to Herbie’s daemon. So similar, in fact, they were probably one and the same daemon.
Phil looked at the twisted cartoons on the wall and decided he was probably better off not knowing what had happened to Herbie Higgins.
“Cέrμləa?” Verdé interrupted her game. “Are there any other students from Master’s college still present in the castle?”
“Alive ones,” Nÿte clarified.
Cέrμləa stopped her game. “Bye bye, Mr G.” She gave the pile of flesh a little wave.
Then, right before Phil’s astonished gaze, the minor nebrit started to eat itself. The jaws worked up and down and it curled up in a ball that grew smaller and smaller as it ate more of itself, until it simply popped out of existence.
Cέrμləa stood up and skipped over to them. She paused and her eyes became unfocused as if she was focusing on images only she could see.
“Yes, one,” she said. “But he’s about to face Mamǝḵā Bēyˁṯān.”
to be continued . . .