Claris tugged on the chain, yanking her bladed gear from the demon soldier's corpse. It spun through the air and snapped against her gauntlet which housed the chain. She ran her eyes across the bloody forest around her again, counting the number of bodies and looking for any remaining enemies.
One demon remained standing. Unlike the soldiers Claris fought, this demon girl was dressed in a fancy dress and had her arms tied behind her back. A short cord restricted her legs from moving too much. Her wavy hair glowed a reddish pink, contrasting sharply with her jet black goat-like horns. She was pretty and had a curvy body, and would no doubt have had a lot of suitors in a demon country. Unfortunately for her, she was in the middle of the boondocks of human territory.
Claris shouldered her sword and approached the demon girl with caution. She was taller than the demon by about half a head, and they looked to be of similar age.
"Just you left," Claris muttered as she readied her sword.
"Thank you so much for saving me!" The demon girl beamed with joy.
Claris froze. "Wut."
The demon blinked and tilted her head. "You came here to save me from them, right?"
"Huh? Hell no! You guys just came near my home, and I figured I might as well make some cash!" To emphasize her point, Claris bent down and cut off the horns of a corpse. Although they weren't valuable by themselves, they were proof that the holder killed a demon and there was a constant bounty for them at the adventurer's guild.
The bound girl pouted. "Aww, but I wanted to have a beautiful knight say things like 'I'm here for you, princess,' or 'no need to worry, for I have come!' or other things like that."
"Well sorry for not being beautiful and not being a knight," Claris snapped.
"You're plenty beautiful though."
"Wha-" Claris blushed and retreated a few steps on impulse. No one had ever said anything like that to her, and her mental defenses against such words were practically nonexistent. "I'm still not here to save you." She thrust her sword at the demon's face. "I don't know what your circumstances are, but money is money."
"Nooo please don't kill me! I'll let you do whatever you want with my body!"
Claris slapped her own face with her free hand. "That's wrong on so many levels, so no."
"At least do a bunch of things to my body before you kill me!" the demon yelled.
"What?" Claris could only push that one word out of her mouth.
"I don't want to die before I could even fuck a girl."
"I have to say, hearing that kind of thing from someone dressed all fancy is a first for me."
The girl smiled. "Well there you have it, so please, come at me. Or rather, come in me."
"Are you seriously asking someone who's about to kill you to have sex with you?" Claris muttered. The whole situation was so bizarre that a part of her wished it was all a dream so her brain wouldn't have to hurt so much.
"No." Her face flushed and she squirmed against her binds as she panted. "I'm asking you to repeatedly violate my body over and over again and do unspeakable things to me with everything around you until my mind goes blank with pain and ecstasy and-" She tripped over her own feet in her excitement and fell to the floor, wiggling around like a worm.
Claris stared blankly. Oh. She's one of those.
A cold shiver crept up Claris' neck. This girl was dangerous and she wanted nothing to do with her whatsoever. At this point Claris was too creeped out to even approach and kill her.
She ignored the demon's delusions and collected as much loot from the bodies as she could, then scurried away.
How the heck did someone like that show up in this area? It was a random forest in the hills that didn't have much strategic or economic value. Claris lived here precisely because she didn't have to deal with any scornful eyes. There was a human city ruled by a duke nearby, but it wasn't an important target that demons would want to investigate.
Well, it wasn't any of Claris' business, and she didn't want anything to do with that girl either.
The trees cleared out to reveal a lake fed by a small waterfall. A stream washed away from the lake and connected to the larger river nearby. Her log cabin stood by the waterside, along with a small garden of vegetables and herbs. It was a semi self sufficient area, and Claris only had to head down to the city once a week or so. Sometimes longer if she was in a particularly shut-in mood.
She dumped her gear by the side of the stream and sorted out her loot. There was a decent amount of demon horns, and some of the soldier's weapons and armor looked like the could be sold. She sat down and washed the blood and dirt off the merchandise in the stream, the current carrying them away from her precious lake. Whenever she came across a dented or chipped blade, she would run her finger over it and it would be repaired.
Metallurgia. The only magic she could use. As long as a part of her body touched a piece of metal, or relayed through other metal pieces - say a chain, or a bunch of metal plates stacked on top of each other - she could manipulate that metal into shape, or make it move in a direction she desired. However, her magic could only be used a bit at a time, like how if you poke a hole in a sack of water it would come out in a small stream. It was a magic more suited for blacksmiths, but with her reputation she wouldn't get any customers.
But it wasn't like she had no use for it. In addition to aiding her life as a shut-in, she could create unique weapons and traps. It also let her use chained ranged weapons more effectively, using her magic to make minor course corrections to a swung blade or giving it a kick start to aid in building momentum.
"Osh," she muttered as she lifted the stack of loot and placed it in her cabin. She stretched her joints and back. The fighting earlier left her in a grimy state, and she was covered in sweat and dirt. "I should take a bath."
Claris stripped down beside the lake and undid her ponytail. The edges of her black hair tickled the lower part of her back as they fell into place. She slowly stepped into the water and sat down until her shoulders were submerged. The cool waves lapped at her neck as she relaxed.
"Ahhh," she sighed as stretched her legs and arms out. She could just forget about the crazy day she had. Forget about everything. Weird masochistic demon girl? What demon girl? What are you talking about? Nope, nothing of that sort happened.
Just as she was about to doze off, a series of shrieks came from the trees.
"Where did this arrow come from?! Why is this blade swinging arou-KYAAAA someone save me save me heeeeeeeelp!"
Claris threw her head back in frustration. The screams belonged to a certain demon she would very much like to forget.
The demon girl from earlier burst out of the trees and into the clearing, her arms still tied behind her back. She fell to the ground and gasped for breath.
"I'm surprised you managed to get through my traps in that state, you pervert," said Claris.
"Those weird things were yours?!" the girl shouted at her.
"I can't have weird people like you sneaking up on me."
"I'm not weird! Okay I am a little bit, and I may have taken the joke too far earlier, but I'm not a bad person I promise!"
Claris raised an eyebrow. "So that stuff horny earlier was all an act?" It did make her back off from killing the demon, so maybe the demon had her wits together after all.
The demon blushed and locked her gaze on something to the side. "Um, uh, par...tially..."
Forget it. This bitch was hopeless.
Claris reached for her sword. "Get out of here, I don't want perverts running around here."
"You can't just chase me, I'm lonely okay?" The demon girl cried tears and snot as she pleaded. "I'm in the middle of nowhere and it's scary and I'm lost and there are monsters and it's getting dark and you're the only one I know!"
"Not my problem."
"Why can't you try to understand a girl's heart a little bit?!"
Claris scrutinized the girl. If the demon actually wanted to harm her, there were way better ways to do it. She seemed sincere about being scared and lonely at least. Despite herself, Claris felt a little sorry for her. Just a little bit. She climbed out of the lake and walked over with her sword. "Fine. I'll help undo your ties, so stop screaming in my ear already."
The demon girl squinted at Claris' crotch. "Wait, you're a man?"
Claris streaked over in a flash and immediately had her sword a few millimeters away from the demon's throat. Her heart raced and her skin burned as fury saturated her body. "Call me that one. More. Time." Her low growl was reminiscent of a predator.
"Eeek! I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry! You're a very beautiful girl, I don't know what caused me to say otherwise, I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!" The demon girl closed her eyes shut and repeatedly screamed for mercy.
Claris kicked the demon over until she lay facing the ground. She raised her sword and slashed.
The demon girl looked up in surprise as the rope tying her arms and legs fell away. She slowly got on her knees and pressed her forehead against the ground, bowing down to Claris. "Thank you for sparing me. I will do whatever I can for you."
Claris snorted and headed back to her cabin. "Whatever. I'm not going to bother keeping you around, so just disappear into some ditch somewhere."
The demon ran after Claris and pestered her from different sides, holding her hands to her chest. Her eyes looked like a pet dog begging its owner. "Please let me stay with you! I'll help around the house! I'll be useful, I can clean and stuff. I can use earth magic too to help you build anything. I can cook-"
Claris whirled her head around and grabbed the demon's shoulders. She leaned in until their noses almost touched. "You can cook?" She stared intently into the demon's red eyes. Claris could make some meals to survive, but they had nothing going for them in terms of taste.
"I had someone teach me before..."
Claris stepped back and cocked her chin up, folding her arms as she did so. "Cook me a meal. You can use any ingredients I have or that you can find in this clearing. Whether I keep you around or not will depend on how tasty I find it."
The demon shot straight up as if someone stuck a straight metal rod up her ass. "Sir yes sir!" she imitated a soldier at boot camp. She frantically ran into Claris' cabin, then all around the clearing.
Claris watched with amusement as she dried herself off and put her clothes back on.