The Next Day
On a bright and clear day, Ryouma met up with Elia’s group by the east gate, and left the town. Sebasu then took out a covered wagon and horse from his Dimension Home. And since Elia’s rimel birds were out, Ryouma took his as well from his Dimension Home.
When he did, the rimel birds seemed to recall that they were all from the same flock, and starting from the nightmare and phantom rimel birds, the other rimel birds followed, and they all flew through the skies together.
“Seventeen rimel birds flying sure stands out…” [Ryouma]
“They seem to be having fun, so just let them have their way for now. Rather than that, Ryouma-san, you seem to have two more rimel birds than before.” [Elia]
“Yeah, just last year the rimel birds suddenly laid some eggs. That really took me by surprise. How about yours?” [Ryouma]
“All my rimel birds are female.” [Elia]
“Oh, I guess it can’t be helped then.” [Ryouma]
The two continued to chat as they watched the rimel birds until the carriage was ready to depart. Just like yesterday, Sebasu took the role of the coachman while two sat on the sides and three sat on the front and backseats. They sat facing each other. Ryouma’s seat was situated the furthest back as it also doubled as a lookout for the rear of the carriage.
The carriage drove, and the rimel birds meandered. They followed the carriage from the skies, and from time to time, they would perch themselves over the carriage’s roof.
Inside the carriage, Ryouma took out the necklace that Elia asked him to keep three years ago. He couldn’t give it back to her yesterday due to the large number of people in the area. But now that they were alone, he could safely give it back.
“Elia, here’s the necklace you asked me to keep.” [Ryouma]
“So you brought it with you. Thank you.” [Elia]
With a smile, Elia received the box containing the necklace. Then she put it away in a small item box. After that she whispered to Sebasu, and had him take out two slimes from his Dimension Home.
Those two slimes were none other than the heal slime and scavenger slime that Ryouma had lent Elia. As Elia hugged the two slimes, she made an expression that seemed somewhat lonely.
“These two kids have taken good care of me these past three years. Thank you for lending them to me.” [Elia]
“So you received these two from Ryouma too.” [Michelle]
“The heal slime healed us whenever we got injured while training. It was really a great help. Thank you.” [Riera]
As they said that, they began to caress the slimes. Ryouma fell into a deep thought upon seeing that.
“…Elia, if it’s not too much trouble, could I have you continue raising those as your slave demons?” [Ryouma]
Ryouma’s words shocked Elia.
“I’d be happy to, but… is it really alright?” [Elia]
“Of course. Everyone seems to adore them, and I still have my own heal slimes. So how about keeping them as your own slave demons?” [Ryouma]
“Thank you so much, Ryouma-san!” [Elia]
Like a blooming flower, a smile was drawn on Elia’s face, and Ryouma smiled in return. But because of this turn of event, the discussion was turned toward the heal slimes’ magic.
“So Ryouma-han, I take it you want to gather all the magic using slimes?” [Miyabi]
“Of course, but the journey will be long… I’ve managed to gather some lower classes, middle classes, and even higher classes in these past three years, which all total to 12 different magic attributes. But from there, the slimes still continue to evolve into slimes that can use several magic attributes, and I still see new slimes here and there, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to gather all the slimes or whether I can even gather all the slime variations.” [Ryouma]
“I think being able to gather 12 types is plenty amazing.” [Kanan]
“What sort of slimes can use multiple magic attributes?” [Elia]
“For example…” [Ryouma]
As he muttered that, he brought his hand near the floor of the carriage. When he did, the shadow cast by his hand began to wiggle. Then not long after, it began to stretch itself up, turning into a three-dimensional object. When the five girls saw that, they were scared out their wits, causing them to jump, and shaking the carriage.
“It’s alright. Please calm down.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma picked the extended shadow, and let it ride over his hand. Then he stretched out his hand for the other to see.
“I’m sorry for scaring you. This is one of the slimes that can use multiple magic elements, a shadow slime. It can use both dark magic and light magic. It specializes in in controlling shadows through the combined effect of the two elements, light and darkness. It also has the ability to move through shadows. Because of that, I normally have it lurking in the shadows as a bodyguard.” [Ryouma]
“I-I see…” [Michelle]
“I didn’t notice it at all.” [Riera]
“The shadow slimes seem to inhabit forests with plenty of magic power and dark places. Like other magic-using slimes, they don’t feed on normal food, and instead naturally absorb magic power while lurking within the shadows. Because of that, they’re extremely hard to find. In my case, I was only able to find one by coincidence, and was able to immediately capture it. I don’t think an opportunity to catch a second will ever present itself. But the shadow slime began increasing itself one at a time, and just recently, they managed to reach 10.” [Ryouma]
They continued to talk about slimes after that, but as the trip was long, they also talked about other things.
“How long will your vacation be?” [Ryouma]
“About five months.” [Riera]
“That’s long! Is it really that long!?” [Ryouma]
“When the academy was first founded, the vacation provided was only about two months, but the thing is there are also students who would take up to a month just getting back home. But in exchange for the long vacation, there’s only one or two rest days at most in each week for three years.” [Riera]
“If it’s like that, then isn’t it too short?” [Ryouma]
“The facilities of the academy can be used freely, so self-study is possible. Also there are many who use their free time to work and get money to pay their school expenses. Moreover, there’s an exam at the end of the long vacation based on the course one wishes to take, so considering that its preparation for that, it’s not so bad.” [Elia]
“So it’s like that…” [Ryouma]
The group continued to talk of various things like this. When the carriage had begun to descend the mountainous road, Kanan, who was sitting facing Ryouma, stopped talking, and just stared at his face wordlessly. Ryouma grew concerned of that unmoving gaze of hers, so he decided to ask her.
“Kanan-san, is there something on my face.” [Ryouma]
“That’s not it, but… Do you mind if I touch your hair or your face for a bit?” [Kanan]
“Eh? Ahh, well… I don’t mind.” [Ryouma]
Kanan’s odd request caused Ryouma to tilt his head, but thinking a request of this level was no problem, he let her. When he did, Kanan immediately reached for Ryouma’s face and hair.
“Excuse me…… Oh… Ohhh!” [Kanan]
“W-What is it!?” [Ryouma]
“Kanan, what’s the matter!?” [Miyabi]
Startled with a mix of agitation, concern, and emotion, Miyabi raised her voice as she asked Kanan what was going on. In response, Kanan only turned her neck toward Miyabi as she said.
“Since yesterday, I’ve been thinking that Ryouma’s hair and skin are really pretty~ When I touched it, it was even better than I expected! Please teach me what methods you use!” [Kanan]
“My skin and hair?” [Ryouma]
“Now that you mention it, he sure is a lot more attentive than our male classmates,” [Riera]
“Sorry, let me touch ya lil’ bit too…… You’re right! His skin really is smooth!” [Miyabi]
“Right!? Craftsman normally end up with rough hands and dry skin, and yet your skin is like this! Please tell me why your skin is so pretty!” [Kanan]
“Ahh, if it’s that then…” [Ryouma]
Hearing Kanan’s girly words, Ryouma began to explain.
“It must be because of the soap I’m using. I mentioned yesterday that I was make medicine, right?” [Ryouma]
“You did.” [Kanan]
“I studied medicine under my grandmother, but I wasn’t able to learn everything. Right now, I’m studying and researching on my own with the books I inherited from her. Because of that, I’ve been making the medicines whose recipes were written down. Among those are the improved soap and the beauty lotion. My grandmother is a girl after all, so she researched that sort of medicine when she was young. If you’d like, I could let you try it out.” [Ryouma]
“Is that alright!?” [Kanan]
“So long as you let me know your thoughts, I don’t mind presenting you some soap and lotion. I’ve confirmed that they’re safe to use, but the effects will vary depending on every person’s skin. If you notice anything, please let me know immediately. Everyone else as well, if you all don’t mind.” [Ryouma]
I’m not sure if the other four were also interested, but they modestly accepted. Then around that time, the rimel birds suddenly began making a commotion.
“What’s going on?” [Michelle]
“It seems there’s something nearby. Sebasu-san.” [Ryouma]
“I don’t sense any nearby humans or magical beasts.” [Sebasu]
“I’ll take a look at the situation through the Rimel Birds.” [Ryouma]
“Me too!” [Elia]
Ryouma and Elia began to use Sensory Link to see through the rimel birds as they ordered them to search the surrounding area. Immediately, two rimel birds at the top of the carriage stood up, and flew. The image the rimel birds were seeing were then sent to Elia and Ryouma’s minds. A few minutes later after scouting ahead, Elia was able to confirm that there were 10 men wearing shoddy clothing and armor fighting against three magical beasts.
“Did you find something?” [Riera]
Elia’s face stiffened at Riera’s question.
“There are B Rank magical beasts ahead. Three ogres. They’re currently in the middle of a battle.” [Elia]
Those words sent the atmosphere within the carriage into a turmoil. The ogre may be a weak, B Rank magical beast, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a dangerous magical beast to them. So it’s not strange at all for them to be so tense.
But while the girls seemed to be in a panic, Ryouma, who had been ordering his rimel bird to fly quickly to see the situation, spoke.
“Everyone, please don’t worry. Those ogres are Uncle Harold’s… They’re the slave demons of someone I know. I’ve also confirmed the presence of my acquaintance, so I’m not mistaken. From their clothing, the enemy seem to be bandits, so it’s just a bandit subjugation request.” [Ryouma]
“I’ve also confirmed it.” [Elia]
Hearing that, the tension immediately loosened. Then Riera asked how the situation was.
“Do they need assistance?” [Riera]
“There’s an overwhelming gap in strength. I don’t think there’s any need to worry about them.” [Elia]
“That’s right. But the bandits that have run are headed here, so I’ll just go out for a bit.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, wait!” [Kanan]
As Ryouma said that, he jumped off the back of the carriage. Then ignoring Kanan’s attempt to stop him, he ran off.
Ryouma has already gone through this road many times, so he already had a good grasp of the bandits’ escape routes. And considering, there’s Sebasu and the rimel birds to protect the carriage, there probably won’t be any problems. Ryouma ran to the place he saw through the rimel birds.
A minute later, the running bandits’ figures entered Ryouma’s sight. At the same time, he also saw the man they were up against. Ryouma readied himself to break through.
The bandits numbered 5, but it seems there were still some men coming from behind them. As Ryouma confirmed that, he shortened the distance, and the battle between Ryouma and the bandits began––– or at least that’s what should’ve happened.
“If you don’t want to die, then…” [Bandit 1]
“Huh!?” [Bandit 2]
“Aniki!! Ugh!” [Bandit 3]
“Wh–!” [Bandit 4]
“…” [Bandit 5]
But what happened instead couldn’t even be called a fight. As Ryouma passed through them, he used his magic power-clad fists to knock every single bandit out.
Magic Battle Technique ‘Sleep Fist’
By cladding the fist with the poison magic, ‘Sleep Shot’, a kind of magic that shoots out a lump of magic power that causes one’s foes’ to faint, one is able to make his enemies sleep with magic and fighting techniques. This is a technique that Ryouma became able to use in these past two years, an anti-personal magic catered for arresting people. Depending on the situation, Ryouma also has the ‘Paralyze Fist’, which can paralyze people or the ‘Poison Fist’, which could worsen people’s health.
Ryouma struck a daunting pose as he towered over the unconscious bodies of the poor bandits. As he sent the shadow slimes to surrounding tree’s shadows, he remained standing as he waited for the other bandits to reach him.
When the other bandits saw their friends sleeping by Ryouma’s feet, they stopped. But with three ogres behind them and a burly, old man dressed in a shirt a size smaller than he should be wearing, chasing after them as he beat the bandits that were too slow barehanded. The bandits didn’t have the time to think, and they had no choice but to attack Ryouma. Their resistance, however, was futile. Some were faster, and some were slower. But such things didn’t matter as they were all destined to reach the same end.
Before them was Ryouma. Behind them were the ogres. And then by their sides were the shadow slimes, lurking. They were already completely surrounded.