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The shopkeeper was not having the best of weeks. The incident with the knight and the warhorse and the wand of striking and the mess (warhorses were quite large and unfortunately splatter-prone if you hit the wrong bits; if only they wore armor to keep things more contained like their riders did!) was the final straw, and they'd gone for a walk to clear their head and reconsider their profession.

They probably shouldn't have kicked the sink. Porcelain made satisfying clonking noises when you were angry and they'd gotten their start selling scrounged rings, but as they'd learned via several nudity incidents, there were other occasional consequences to the activity.

One of which appeared to be tapping them on their shoulder.


The shopkeeper turned around, knowing full well they'd just summoned a demon (a major demon, at that, though who defined major when the category included things they could beat with one hand behind their back and named cuddly otherworldly horrors like Jubilex was beyond them), complete with dishes they were meant to wash. Well, or one plate, held sexily and impatiently in their left hand.

"I really don't have time for this," said the also-impatient shopkeeper, glad they'd worn lots of clothes (triple-layer your socks before you kick sinks, their parents always said) and brought a couple wands of striking, given the habits of...of. The shopkeeper blinked. Once, twice, and then shook their head. Their eyes still refused to focus on particularly key parts of the demon, slipping away to instead stare at their face. Or the plate. Or the wall.

"Beg pardon. Are you a succubus or an incubus?"

The demon looked down at themself, and then blinked in a similar fashion. "Bollocks. Or not bollocks, as the case may be. I appear to be a foocubus."

"That's just shorthand in dungeon manuals to avoid overuse of 'incubus or succubus'," the shopkeeper said. "And anyway, what's the opposite of a foocubus?"

"You tell me," said the foocubus, now looking decidedly annoyed. "Bit hard to be a demon that feeds on sex if you don't know what to fuck. It's probably your fault, anyway, going and summoning things without a gendered pronoun in your narrative."

The shopkeeper ignored the shot at the author (something, they'd found, was good for their continued health in a story) and tried to think. "Maybe a bar? You know, foo, bar...I suppose bar sounds a little phallic, that might imply that you're—"

"Only if you're a twelve year old boy," the foocubus rolled their eyes and tossed their one-obligatory-dishwasher-plate from hand to hand, still somehow sexily. It probably was force of habit. "I would think foo and bar would be similar more than anything. They're both placeholder variables."

"I suppose you're right. Well, I've got to get back to inventory, if you're going to say summoned as peaceful."

"More summoned as bored."

"Do you want to help?" the shopkeeper asked, noting that the foocubus was following them already anyway and this probably was a pointless question. "I've picked up some very odd things through the years, you could probably find um. Well, things that could at least convince other people of—"

"Oh, that wouldn't mean anything, I know a succubus who collects dildos. Got one off an adventurer that was about this long—" here, they gestured a distance enough the shopkeeper winced in sympathy, "—kept claiming it increased their charisma."

"Did it?"


It was less than three hours after they returned (and a lot more stories the shopkeeper decided that they certainly were not going to write their parents about in their usual letters home) before someone broke down the door. Someone always did, when you tried putting up closed for inventory signs. Usually they were low-level and ended up adding to your inventory, so the door wasn't a total loss.

This one looked decidedly competent and decidedly covered in things made of bits of dragon, and the shopkeeper had a suspicion today was going to take an actual turn for the worst.

"Can't you see we're closed?" they asked anyway, and tried to figure out if that amulet looked reflective. Hell's bells, it did. Maybe if they ducked reaaal fast...but then the adventurer noticed their current assistant, and appeared torn between killing them for experience and entirely different prospects.

"Say, are you an incubus or a succubus?"

The foocubus looked up from a stack labeled Things That Appear To Be Armor And Probably Aren't Mimics and gave the adventurer a withering look that was impressively mostly not-sexy.

"Foocubus. Foo. As in, unknown. As in, go away until you can explain what's the opposite of 'foo' and find me somebody who is."

The adventurer stood there a moment, coming up with several variations on "um" and "er" before trying "So, does that mean I'm not going to be getting a stat boost out of this?"

"That depends," said the foocubus, "On whether you're interested in a cock—"

They promptly rubber-chicken'd the overarmored adventurer across the bare portion of their face. It made a quiet, fleshy thwack sound, and then the adventurer a louder crackling one like stone.

"—atrice corpse. Oh my, guess not."

The shopkeeper looked the rapidly-rockifying body over, noting several bags that had to be of holding and revising "for the worst" to "for the awesome". The foocubus tossed the former-cockatrice back on the pile of Things You Shouldn't Touch (where it promptly stuck to one of the giant mimics) and settled down on the leather half of the armor stack to watch.

"I think," they said as the shopkeeper started tossing them items, "this is one adventurer who is most definitely going to get their possessions identified."