TL Note: Lure Prey -> Lure Carnivore. Also, there were a loooooooooot of spams when I opened my site again, so I put up some measures to stop them. I made a tweet about approval being required, but as the plugin seems to be working well, I put a stop to that. You can just comment as usual now.
Ryouma’s Busy Day 2
The scene inside the room was nothing short of shocking.
Bugs of all sorts were crawling all over the walls and the ceiling. Now, I may not be that bad with insects, but with these many, even I can’t help but feel sick.
To make things worse, amongst the many insects crawling in the lab, one of them was that dreaded insect that was feared even in my world, the cockroach! And not a paltry number either! Of course the girls wound faint! In fact, with this many even a guy would scream! But, hmm… why did something like this happen I wonder.
“Alicia-san! Have you come to?” [Ryouma]
“T-The insects… Huh? The insects…” [Alicia]
Amongst the two fainted girls, Alicia-san appears to be the first to regain her consciousness.
“Are you alright?” [Ryouma]
“The guards entered the lab when you fainted, and brought you guys out.” [Paul]
“Thank you… for saving me.” [Alicia]
Alicia bowed her head toward the security guards as she offered a word of gratitude.
“So… how did things come to this? If I recall correctly, you should be currently researching on the fluff slime and other plant-type slimes, correct?” [Ryouma]
Her face went pale as soon as I asked her that. Looks like she remembered.
“I was feeding and observing the slimes that preferred to eat vegetables as always when a sticky slime began to evolve, so I went to see what food it liked. But then just as I was in the process of studying it, insects suddenly poured in through the windows and the ventilation that were added since the last incident… I lost consciousness shortly afterwards.” [Alicia]
Upon hearing her story, I steeled myself, and entered the insect infested laboratory.
The slime was seated on the observing pedestal with countless insects swarming it.
The windows were open and even the door I entered from was open, yet the insects refused to leave… Chances are this slime is the reason behind this invasion. Still… I must say… this slime looks awfully disgusting. It looks just like the other slimes, but because of its high transparency, I can see the insects that it’s swallowed wriggling inside it as it digests them.
As I looked at that slime, I used Monster Identify.
“The Lure Insects skill… Yep, this is definitely the culprit. This skill should be the same type as the Lure Carnivores skill of the takeostrich and the Lure Ghosts skill of the grave slime. Oh, right… this slime used to be a sticky slime… I did use the sticky slimes like a flypaper in the past… And this one eats just like one.”Taking a better look at the lab, I can see some insectivorous plants. I guess that’s what it must’ve eaten then.I asked Alicia-san to confirm, and apparently, those plants really are what she fed it. In any case, it would appear that there’re no problems aside from the insects.
I informed the security and the researchers outside that everything was safe now, and they all went back to their respective jobs as they heaved sighs of relief.
The people working at this lab are all making troubled faces though. In that case, it might be a good idea to concoct some insect repellant for them. Alternatively, I could also have some mosquito screens put up.
“W-Well for the meantime, it seems useful for pest control. There are plenty of interesting points to study though. Such as the effects on the useful insects, and whether it can resist against magical beasts despite being an insect-type.” [Ryouma]
“I’ll prepare a report as soon as we finish investigating.” [Lab Manager]
“Thank you very much. Also please make sure to tend to the two injured girls.” [Ryouma]
“Please leave it to me.” [Lab Manager]
“Then, please come this way.” [Paul]
After the matter, I left everything to Alicia-san’s lab manager, and left with Paul-san.
The place we were headed to was the area above the reception desk, to one of the several small conference rooms. As we entered the rectangular room, what first entered our eyes was a big window that could be seen outside, covered by a thick curtain. On the left was space for documents to be posted – for announcing them – and on the right was an aquarium in which slimes of various sizes swam.
“I’ll bring the documents. Please wait here for a moment.” [Paul]
As Paul-san said that, he left the conference room. In the meantime, I decided to watch the slimes swimming in the aquarium as I waited.
The slimes swimming inside the aquarium are a type known as the Fin Slime. It’s a kind of slime that evolved from eating fishes. Half a year after I opened a laundromat at Skoom, the hometown of the Bridge of Skoom – an adventurer party I know from way back – the employees that I sent there in their hometown to tend to the store as well as research discovered this slime.
The members of the Bridge of Skoom all work as adventurers to provide for their families’ unstable life that depended on their catch for the day. Despite that, however, they all still had their own responsibilities regarding fishing work. Which as a result led to them having good relations with plenty of the fishermen in the town.
It was through the good graces of the Bridge of Skoom that I was able to put up my store in that town, and have plenty of customers through the fishermen who dropped by every day. Moreover, some of the researchers I’d sent also apparently knew some of those fishermen, so because of that, they would drink together from time to time, and the fishermen would even sometimes give them some of their catch that could not make the quality check. They got along really well in other words.
Because of that, the researchers were able to feed the slimes saw-edged perch every day. And before they knew it, the slime evolved into the fin slime.
Unfortunately, although they had been hoping for a slime that could create fish meat, the fin slime was merely a small slime with fins and gills of various sizes. It couldn’t be eaten, and it didn’t have the strength to carry things or pull boats either. Its body wouldn’t grow even after feeding it more fish, and neither could a fish slime be born.
As of now, the only use we could find for the fin slime was that of entertainment. It doesn’t swim fast. It swims at a leisurely pace, and couple that with the different colors and sizes of its fins, there are many who thinks of it as cute or interesting, so they’re quite popular in the lab for being soothing.
Because of that there are aquariums filled with fin slimes all over the laboratory. There are aquariums on the other conference rooms too. And there’s also a big one in the dining hall in the third floor. And then there’s also one in the guest room and the reception desk. And then there are also people who keep aquariums in their labs.
The fin slimes generally prefer being in the water, but they’re not fishes, so they can still live on land. Lately, people have been building hills and land in their aquariums. And then they would put their aquariums by the window, letting sunlight shine on the aquarium. After which, some of the fin slimes would then climb the hills they made, and sunbathe under the sun’s light. Watching the fin slimes sunbathe has become really popular amongst the researchers lately.
The fin slimes just might become a huge hit in the near future.
“Excuse me. I’ve brought some tea.” [Employee]
“Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
Tea was served, so I sat down, and drank as I waited. After a while, Paul came in with two other men, a bundle of papers in their arms. They sat themselves by the same four-sided table that I was sitting by.
In front of me was Paul-san. To the left was a man in the prime of his life, wearing armor, Crank-san. And to the right was a slender man wearing a pair of glasses who was in his thirties, Pete-san. He is the manager of this research facility, and is usually the one who handles its funds.
I go here once a week to hear the reports of these three men. From Paul-san, the results of the slime research, from Crank-san, issues regarding the facility’s security, and from Pete-san, a general report regarding the operation of the facility. The meeting is quite long, so we usually eat lunch together as we discuss things.
Paul-san wanted feeds from distant areas to be imported for use in research. Following that, Pete-san gave a report on the costs needed to make that happen.
Crank-san’s report was mostly on minor issues. Issues such as arguments from people arguing on the use of a slime or so… There was nothing that couldn’t be solved with some good mediation, so save for the earlier incident, there were no pressing issues to attend.
As the meeting continued, we came to our last topic.
“Now on the last topic we have to discuss today… Are you aware of the magic beast tournamnet that will be held in the arena?” [Paul]
“I’ve heard of it.” [Ryouma]
As I said that, Paul wordlessly and deeply nodded.
“The participation conditions include B Rank magical beasts, so the cannonball rhino can participate. But I’d also like for you to consider having the slimes participate too.” [Paul]
“If the opponents are B Rank magical beasts, then the only ones who could put up a fight are the big variations up.” [Ryouma]
I’ve already revealed most of my findings to the researchers of the facility, so they’re already aware that big slimes are an aggregation of many slimes. However, this fact is yet to be publicized.
The matters of this research facility is being kept confidential, so I make sure to avoid doing anything eye-catching in public. When a big slime is needed, I have the slimes shorten the transformation time by having them use the compress skill. At the same time, I also have them slip into other slimes to hide the transformation. The only ones who are in the know regarding the big slime’s secrets are the people of the Jamil Household, Raypin-san and the other adventurers, and the rest of the people I trust. And of course, they’re keeping a tight lid on it as well.
We’ve been planning to announce the results of our research to the public once we find a good opportunity, but… has the time already come? At the very least, it seems that Paul-san wants to use the magic beast tournamnet to announce our progress. In any case, I better ask what I need to ask… Although, he’s probably already prepared for this.
“How much are you planning to reveal? And have you completed your preparations?” [Ryouma]
“Only the big slime. The evolution conditions and the practical applications of slime will remain confidential. The announcement of the results of slime research should be announced slowly and carefully. The documents have already been prepared. The people who will be explaining and demonstrating has also already been chosen.” [Paul]
Paul-san spoke fluently, without the slightest pause, but then he asked me a question.
“…But is it really alright for you not to announce it yourself? All we did was verify your findings. The one who unveiled the mystery behind the ecology and contract of the big slime which had eluded countless researchers was you, Takebayashi-sama.” [Paul]
“Please announce it as the results of the research facility. I have other jobs to do.” [Ryouma]
Hearing that, Paul-san couldn’t help but sigh to himself as he shrugged his shoulders.
While I won’t say that acknowledgement doesn’t bring me happiness, my goal in my research is neither glory nor fame. That’s why I’d rather let other people handle the public. And besides, all sorts of trouble would come if I were to announce it as my own.
“I understand. We will take responsibility for the publication and announcement of the research.” [Paul]
“Thank you. I’d like to ask though, why now?” [Ryouma]
“First, because the magic beast tournament is a good place to announce that it is now possible to contract with the big slimes. And second, because if our research lab can accomplish not just to unveil the ecology and contract method of the big slime, but even win with it, then the achievements that our research facility will gain will be huge!” [Paul]
“Showing the big slime in the tournament will attract a lot of attention from slave demon magic users and other related people. If they ask for the particulars, then we can just have them inquire the facility. What’s more is that we’ll be able to pile up achievements. If we can pile up achievements, then we should somehow be able to gain some sort of benefit from it. But unfortunately, we are only researchers, fighting is outside of our expertise, so…” [Paul]
“Unless the slime fights in an annoying way, the slime won’t have much of a chance to a win.” [Crank]
According to the information from the previous tournament, while the magical beasts will be treated when injured, it’s not something that can guarantee the safety of the magical beasts. It’s the same for the tournaments meant for people, but the chance for injury or death isn’t zero. If an inexperienced slime were to fight, then it might just suffer grave injuries.
“If the championship could be won, then the value of someone such as ourselves who is affiliated will also increase. And Takebayashi-sama, if you win, you will also gain the prize money. Over half the costs of this facility is currently being covered by you, so it’s most likely a small sum to you, but… Pete.” [Paul]
At Paul-san’s call, Pete-san continued.
“The prize money is 50,000 suits. That’s more than enough for a person to get by without working for a year.” [Pete]
While it’s certainly a lot of money, with the laundromat stores currently totaling to about 10, the current income of the stores altogether reaches to about 200,000 suits daily.
And while I’m not able to use that entire sum due to the construction expenses – as I am no longer building the branches myself, and mostly left with people… Moreover, with the money being spent to improve the working environment of the employees, and a chunk of it being deposited in the bank in case of emergency, the spendable income I have is actually only about 20% of that 200,000. But even then that’s still 40,000 suits daily, so the prize money just doesn’t look attractive to me.
I’ve spent a lot of my income in investing on the training facilities, training areas, research facilities, and employees, but I still have 50 big gold coins, which totals to about 5,000,000 suits saved up. That’s why I have no problem at all in regards to money… If there’s anything I’m worried about, it’s preventing information leaks.
As I was about to ask Crank-san, he replied before I could say anything.
“We currently have 30 guards and crime prevention magic tools installed. If we were to ask for support from the training facility, we can increase that to 50. We could also talk to Gimuru’s guards before the tournament.” [Crank]
If they’re people from the training facility, then it should be safe. We also have good relations with the Gimuru’s guards because of the training facility, so they’ll definitely listen if we were to ask them to be vigilant when patrolling.
“Things might get noisy after the information regarding the big slime is revealed to the public. And with the slimes currently able to create food and help out in manufacturing and other industrial processes, it might be a necessity to acquire a good social standing for the facility, and increase our influence.” [Paul]
We can just release the information normally. but right now this research facility is unknown. It doesn’t have an amazing title such as “national” attached to it, and neither does it have any sort of achievement. To put things briefly, it doesn’t have any sort of brand, so it’s easy to look down on.
It’s sponsored by the Jamil Household, so while they may not be able to openly speak out against us, if we were to continue like this without any sort of achievements whatsoever, people might talk behind our back and say that we’re only using our influence with the Jamil Household.
And if we’re continued to be looked down on, nasty people might come once we start talking about the practical uses of slimes. That’s why it’s a good idea to pile up some achievements with the big slime at the magic beast tournament. After all, there are definitely people who make their decisions after seeing one’s title and achievements.
With that in mind, if the big slime were to make a flashy appearance in the arena, then the appeal in being able to contract with the big slime should also increase. But that’s not all.
If for argument’s sake, we decided not to make an appearance at the magic beast tournament, then if we wanted to reveal information regarding the big slime, we would have to bring a thesis to a research facility or academic conference somewhere. But if we just went up and showed the big slime at the magic beast tournament, then the inquiry will come pouring in from their side, and we won’t have to go anywhere.
With that, the time it takes will be greatly reduced, and the position we have in the discussion will be better. I am, after all, also a researcher, and I’d rather not sell the information on the slimes cheaply. Having a position where I am able to refuse divulging information I don’t want to release is best.
As I ascertained that it would be best for us to gain some achievements, I came to the conclusion that it would be best to participate in the magic beast tournament.
“…I understand. Let’s participate in the magic beast tournament.” [Ryouma]
Like this my participation in the magic beast tournament was decided.