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13 Devil Lion

 "Where did your test subject go? Is he still alive?" Ivan straightforwardly asked.

Mazur snorted in response. "Of course. What, do you think I have to cut him up to find out how his body works? I'm not such a novice."

Ivan merely rolled his eyes in response. He grabbed Valeria and pulled her toward where the automatic food preparation area upon which he taught her several words for different dishes and drinks and how to make the command for food. Of course, how much she could remember of that was entirely up to her.

Valeria didn't fight back and obediently followed Ivan as he led her around the ship, perhaps because she no longer felt like her life was in danger.

They first went to the laboratory, where Mazur's captive was sedated and strapped to a medical bed. Valeria showed absolutely no sympathy for this person and looked over the Vulpe man with cold eyes.

Ivan picked up some medicinal past which stimulates healing before then leading her to the crew's quarters, choosing the personal room next to his to register as hers. He demonstrated to her how to use her hand to open the door.

Each personal room had a bathroom, which Ivan used to start a shower for the Vulpes girl who was covered in filth. Valeria was extremely intuitive and quickly learned to follow Ivan's instructions with body language. She stood with him in the bathroom and removed all of her clothes, revealing her bony figure and blood mottled bandages wrapped around herself.

Valeria stood neither nervous nor embarrassed. Ivan raised her arms up before slowly peeling off all the dirty bandages and piling them up on the floor, revealing a motley of old scar and some festering wounds on her body. The fox-girl didn't even flinch from the pain of the wounds as if it was something she was used to.

After placing her in the shower, Ivan walked out of the bathroom and returned to his room. He peeled back the eel skin armor from his body in the third dimension and replaced it with a plan t-shirt and pants from his personal room.

-Beep- -Beep-

A chime rang out in Ivan's room of someone trying to open his door. He quickly walked over and opened the door to see Valeria, still naked and dripping wet, nervously pressing against the palm scanner of his room and trying to open it.

"To think you wouldn't remain in the shower by yourself," Ivan helplessly said to her before guiding her back to the shower.

Now that he wasn't wearing the razor-barbed eel skin armor, he rolled back his sleeves and grabbed the bar of soap, scrubbing Valeria down with it until all the dirt was washed off her body. He also turned her around and poured a massive amount of shampoo into her hear while avoiding the fox ears.

"It's interesting," Ivan mused to himself as he also poured the shampoo into her tail, "50,000 years have passed yet bathroom necessities have remained the same. If anyone told me back then, that the stablest market is soap and shampoo, I probably would have laughed at them before kicking them out for wasting my time."

As Ivan began to scrubbing her ears with his thubs, Valeria began to twist and fidget and breath out a pleasure breath. He stopped momentarily, but figured that even he would feel pleasant if someone was massaging his ears, so it wasn't anything disturbing, She didn't show much of any reaction when he cleaned her tail though, proving the Japanese culture that flooded the Earth 50,000 years ago was wrong.

The water in the shower was turned off and Valeria stepped out dripping wet. Ivan grabbed a large town and scrubbed her dry, but frowned upon seeing some fresh blood smears left on the towel.

Valeria was dry by some of the festering wounds had reopened and were bleeding. He made her wait here while he grabbed a few more medical supplies. Retuning to see her licking her hand and scrubbing off the blood from her body, he hastily stopped her.

He first applied the medicinal cream to all the wounds on her body to both remove infection and promote healing, before wrapping clean bandages around her. In her new bedroom were several sets of clothes in the cupboards and draws, but they were all too big for her, the shirt alone hanging down a dress on her body.

Ivan just decided to leave her dressed as is, she would be spending the foreseeable future on the Poseidon anyway. He put her in her bed and left the room. Night was falling outside the ship and even he was tired.

Ivan and Mazur never had to worry about sleeping in the third-dimension, as there are no other four-dimensional creatures that try to ascend this high, nor could they even if they did. The energy concentration in subspace got more and more dense the deeper it went, and for the very outskirts, the concentration was so thin other beasts would simply suffocate. Ivan and Mazur could only rise to the third dimension as their bodies had evolved there, adapting to it in the process.

-Beep- -Beep-

Just as Ivan closed his eyes, the bell that someone was trying to open his door sounded again inside his room. He wearily got up with a sigh, and opened the door to find Valeria trying open the door.

Once confronted by Ivan, she stood there and silently stared into his strange '+' shaped eyes. Ivan figured she would just bother him all night so walked back to bed without bothering to lock the door. Valeria darted into the room like a shadow and moved to the corner, crouching on the ground with her kneed to her chest and staring at Ivan with her large amber eyes.

Ivan ignored her quirks and decided not to deal with her and her strange quirks any further. simply closing his eyes and allowing nihilism to overtake his consciousness.

*****

The next morning when Ivan drowsily woke up, he looked over to the corner of the room and saw Valeria still squatting in the same position. She had her knees up to her chest as she sat against the wall, head tilted forward as she breathed lightly.

Valeria must have felt Ivan wake up, because as soon as he got out of bed, her eyes opened and she unsteadily stood up. Before leaving the room, Ivan stripped the fox girl and applied more medical cream to her wounds, which had already half healed due to the marvels of modern medicine.

In the kitchen, Ivan once again pointed to himself and said, "Ivan."

He then pointed back at the girl but she still stubbornly called herself, "Kivsharr."

"Valeria," Ivan stared into her amber eyes as he told her, trying to make her remember to call herself that.

Mazur was also present for the round of names and had chuckled at Ivan's attempts until the latter disgruntledly started teaching the girl to call him, "Whiskers."

Ivan then began to have Valeria try ordering the ships computer to make specific dishes for her to eat. Her voice was uncertain and shaky, but she managed to remember a few and pronoun them well enough that the Poseidon's computer could understand.

The other Vulpes captive, the middle-aged man, was extremely meek as Mazur would interrogate him to try and understand their language. He used the Poseidon's computer to run various algorisms related to translation, but they didn't have enough keywords to form a foundation.

Several days later while the progress on the translator was moving slow, Ivan and Mazur were running low on energy so Ivan had to descend back into the fourth dimension to hunt for some food. He had become much more proficient at moving through subspace and could descend down to the landmasses within half a day.

Subspace was full of life everywhere. Ivan manage to locate a school of herbivorous fish swimming through the foliage of a group of massive trees. Each fish was half the size of Ivan and cowardly in nature. As soon as Ivan came bursting through the canopy of a forest with his eel tooth spear, they fled in all directions like startled cats.

Ivan was like a hunter among its prey. He launched himself off a branch towards one of the large clusters of fish fleeing. He twisted and turned his body through subspace as he flew in jagged lines through branches and foliage alike as he chased after them.

The image in Ivan's eyes rapidly rotated from the erratic movements, but he instinctively managed to make sense of it and cognitively follow the fish. One of the fish made a sharp turn and ascended higher in subspace, but Ivan rotated to face up while flying and thrust out the eel tooth spear.

The spear pierced through several leaves and accurately impaled the fish as it was trying to escape. Ivan pulled it off the spear before stabbing it through the head to ensure it was dead when a frightening roar reverberated from above the canopy.

Ivan felt heavily pressurised from the reverberating beastly roar and instinctively wanted to hid, but didn't have the chance as a creature like a lion, but with six legs and four eyes, broke through the canopy and charged toward him. It was the first time Ivan had seen a creature with legs, so was distracted and missed his chance to completely avoid the attack.

Sightly late to dodge, the four-eyed lion beast managed to slash through Ivan's defensive armor and left a long slice nearly an inch deep down his chest. The beast was five times the size of Ivan, so he was at a natural disadvantage against it.

"Shit! I was careless," Ivan cursed and took some distance as his blood clotted and congealed into the dark blue scab down his torso.

Ivan couldn't help wincing as he moved his shoulder to raise his spear. The blow to his chest had truly been too grievous. Thankfully the clothing that doubled as a basic defensive armor had taken some of the force.

He had no means of contending against it with pure strength, so Ivan kept a close eye on its claws as he used the trees' branches as cover to hide behind whenever it attacked. These branches split and shattered, floating about in the forest like debris frozen in time.

The Four-Eyed Devil Lion, as Ivan decided to call it based of its twin pairs of glowing red eyes and lion-like body, roared in frustration. Its senses were lost in anger and it charged head first at Ivan blindly, forcefully breaking through anything between them. The beast was hungry and the tiny human seemed to be mocking it, eliciting its primal rage.

Ivan was waiting for a moment like this. He couldn't put enough strength into the spear to do any significant damage to the beast, so he kept patiently leading it by the nose while waiting for it to make a careless mistake.

As the Devil Lion charged toward him, reaping a path of destruction through the canopy of the tree toward Ivan, it suddenly was stuck by a feeling of danger. It was stronger than Ivan by multitudes and its overall speed was much higher, but Ivan had the advantage of a higher agility due to his smaller body.

Ivan grabbed the spear firmly in his hands and ignored the pain across his chest. Just as the Devil Lion's vision was cut off when it barged through the last branch, he also rushed at it with his spear aimed at its eyes through the broken wood and splinters.

The Devil Lion felt the overwhelming threat of death when Ivan appeared in front of it suddenly with his spear about to pierce its eye. The spear entered the eye immediately and was completely unavoidable, but its beastly instincts saved it as it twisted its head away at the last second.

The eel tooth spear was pierced in its eye when the lion twisted its head, ripping it out of Ivan's hand while splitting open its eye socket in the process. The Devil Lion roared in pain and shook its head, spreading dark blue droplets of blood into the air. Ivan's spear was also lost amongst the four-dimensional foliage and would be considerably difficult to locate, so he had no means to attack the Devil Lion.

Ivan hurriedly flew over to a thick branch just below the forest canopy. He crouched on that branch as he stared aggressively at the Devil Lion. The beast also glared with its three remaining eyes and roared at Ivan.

The Devil Lion was no longer blinded by rage, it eyed Ivan warily and didn't dare underestimate him again. It wanted to tear him up, but was currently low on energy and wasn't going to risk its life for it. The two of them glared at one another before Ivan moved away and vanished into the canopy. The Devil Lion didn't chase after him but while imprinting this grudge in its mind, moved off in a different direction to hunt for food.