The sun high above shone on me as I looked down the flowing river below the cliff, at which I used the neutral magic ‘Search’.
“There’s a lot especially on the riverbeds… It’s easier to count them during this time as they move slower than in the morning.” [Ryouma]
I wrote down the information I got on a piece of paper padded underneath by a stone plank. This is a journal I started to record my findings on the goosefish-like fish.
I perform my investigation twice every morning, noon, and evening, which totals to six times. I’m studying their habitat, their mode of life, and the time of day they’re most active. From my investigation, I’ve found them to be most active early in the morning when it’s still dark, so I figure they must be nocturnal. I should put more effort in studying them during early morning and evening.
I wrote down my thoughts and estimations on the corner of the paper, then I put away my writing tools in my Item Box.
I then took out a rope woven out of the sticky slime’s thread and a large fishing hook I’d hurriedly made with Alchemy. I hung a piece of smoked meat on the hook along with some weight, then I let it down the cliff into the river, tying the other side of the rope around a stake created from the earth through earth magic. It’s a setup meant to catch more of those fishes.
I tried it earlier this morning, but the fishes just bit through the rope. This time I’m using a rope made out of the sticky slime’s thread, so they shouldn’t be able to bite through it as easily.
After ensuring everything was working, I walked back to camp.
When I turned around, I saw a giant slime swallowing hordes of undead that systematically walked toward it to be eaten.
Meanwhile, my rimel birds were peacefully sunbathing.
The giant slime was of course my grave slime in emperor form. The emperor slimes have already been made public in the tournament, so I don’t mind brazenly using it like this, where it’s swallowing undead after undead while in its biggest form.
Being over 10 meters in diameter, it looks just like a hill.
The emperor grave slime looks really happy but I’m actually doing this to find the missing people. Sure looks like horror though; all those undead being swallowed one after another with only an arm or a skeleton’s head poking out of the slime’s mouth from time to time.
Speaking of which, the undead won’t attack me since I’m inside a holy space. Although with the emperor grave slime using its skill to lure them, they won’t attack me even if I stepped out.
“…You’re doing this again?” [Ryouma]
I looked toward another group of undead. From an otherworlder’s perspective, the movements of those undead couldn’t be anything else but that famous dance from my previous life.
Actually, it’s just one part of the dance… In any case, it’s not like they’re dancing on their own volition, it’s the grave slime that’s making them do it. It’s been doing this ever since it learned ‘Ghost Rule’ after becoming a king slime.
Under ‘Ghost Rule’ the undead move slower and clumsier, so it can’t be used to make the undead fight other enemies. It’s mainly a skill to keep undead from running away when they somehow manage to resist the effects of ‘Attract Ghosts’.
I thought the skill might improve after some training, so I had the grave slimes practice the skill by making the undead move like that dance from that promotional video I once saw. But even after the slimes managed to control 20 undead, the movements of the undead never improved.
For reasons unknown, the grave slimes would sometimes make the undead dance like that on its own.
If they like it that much, I’d like to teach them the whole dance, but unfortunately, I’m not that familiar with dancing, and I don’t remember the whole dance to begin with. Because of that the undead just keeps dancing the same part over and over.
I went back to the shed at the camp, and brought out a chair with me. I sat by the holy space outside, then I ordered the slime to stop gathering undead and show me the undead it’s gathered one by one.
“Let’s start!” [Ryouma]
With the list of the missing people on one hand, I started searching.
After quietly working some time, I breathed out a sigh and stretched my body, then a voice came from the direction where the emperor grave slime had started gathering zombies again.
“Ryouma-chan, we’re home!” [Remiri]
Remiri-neesan is home already? It was then that I noticed that the sun had already started to set. Looks like I worked longer than I thought.
“Welcome home, Remiri-nee… huh? Where are Elia and the others?”
I had the slime move out of the way, so I could better see them, but the girls were nowhere to be seen. It doesn’t seem like they ran into any sort of trouble. Did they go somewhere?
The four adults began explaining.
“The young ladies are still training.” [Sebasu]
“I thought it was about time to stop for the day, but they still wanted to train some more.” [Shiva]
“They said they won’t go far away, and if anything were to come up, they would just throw a fire bomb up to the sky, so there shouldn’t be any problems.” [Rheinbach]
“They’ll be fine with their current strength.” [Remiri]
They have been making great progress lately. When we first met, they were about as strong as a newly promoted D Rank party. And now, they’re only a step behind a C Rank. Their progress really rocketed after Shiva-san and Remiri-neesan started teaching them.
Shiva-san and Remiri-neesan mentioned that my training menu was like fertilizer for the girls. And because they were hardworking and talented from the start, it was really easy to teach them. So it’s not strange to see how they were able to make such great progress.
Even if they do get surrounded, they can just blow them away with their magic. In the worst case, they can just run away.
“True, they have gotten strong enough to walk near the camp unaided.” [Ryouma]
“So what are you calling your rimel birds for then?” [Remiri]
Just to be safe I called the Rimer birds over. Remiri-neesan’s sharp eyes didn’t miss that, and she laughed. She asked me why, but it seemed to be rhetorical as she just went ahead and teased me without hearing my reply, saying, “Ryouma-chan likes to spoil them, huh.”
“That aside, did something happen? You seem a bit down.” [Remiri]
“Nothing in particular. It’s just that I’ve been looking for the missing people for a while now.” [Ryouma]
“I see… And? Did you find one?” [Remiri]
“Just two.” [Ryouma]
But that was from dozens of undead… Looking for them is a chore, and yet even if we do find one, all we get is a corpse. It’s pretty disheartening.
Remiri-neesan and the other adults looked worried about me, so I put a stop to the search today.
When the three Rimel birds arrived, I used Sensory Link with one of them to look for Elia’s group. They were right next to us just as Rheinbach-sama mentioned, so I found them almost immediately.
I continued to watch over Elia’s group with the Rimel bird I’d linked with, while the other two birds patrolled the surroundings.
The girls were surround with twelve of the undead. But there was a narrow path in between two cliffs which they entered, severely reducing the number they had to face at a time. A good move. With this they’ve also secured a path of escape. There was a ghoul among the undead but Riera managed to defeat it while protecting the others.
After finishing off the rest of the undead, they left.
As I continued watching them, I saw them use a magic I hadn’t seen before.
“ ‘Spike Carpet’ “ [Michelle]
Was that an earth version of the fire magic ‘Flame Carpet’? I’ve never heard of it, but countless barbs with small sharp stones sticking out of them came out of the ground, hurting the legs of the rushing undead. Those barbs were like caltrops, but they seemed to latch on for when the zombies and the ghouls stepped on them, their movements went wonky, and they came tumbling down. The spell didn’t seem effective against the skeletons, but with a gap between the undead made, the girls could now fight a smaller clump.
Elia then casted a ‘Firestorm’ just as she did whenever they would find themselves surrounded. Only, this firestorm was different.
Her usual firestorm was literally a cyclone of fire that consumed her foes, yet this firestorm was summoned around the entire group, turning into ash all of the undead that surrounded them.
Where and when did she learn something like that?
“Elia and Michelle both used a magic I’d never seen before. Did you teach them? That firestorm wall and that bed of nails?” [Ryouma]
“That’s something they came up with themselves after plenty of trial and error.” [Rheinbach]
“Elia-chan improved a lot at controlling her magic power, so she tried to come up with other ways to use it. As for Michelle, she figured she could create her own magic too after watching you.” [Remiri]
Rheinbach-sama and Remiri-neesan said that as they happily drank their tea. So they came up with that themselves… Somewhere when I wasn’t watching, they suddenly grew up all on their own.
As the girls continued to practice, I quietly watched over them through the rimel bird. But then a murder of Harris crows suddenly attacked the rimel bird.
When the murder of Harrris crows attacked, the Rimel bird used a wind spell to scare them away. It was the wind spell, ‘Sound Boom’. A spell I’d taught it,.
The booming sound scared the Harris crows away, but the sound also reached the girls, and they decided to stop for the day.
They must’ve thought something strange was going on. It’s a place where people frequently went missing after all, and they’ve never seen me use Sound Boom either, so it’s no wonder they decided to go back.
I feel bad for scaring them.
I waited outside for the group to come back. When I saw the five girls trotting back, I waved at them, to which they waved back with a sword in hand, a staff, or just their hands. After they confirmed there were no undead nearby, they ran back to our camp.
“Welcome home.” [Ryouma]
I welcomed the girls back when they arrived, but they immediately started talking about a booming sound they’d heard. When I told them what that sound actually was, they all promptly lost strength in their legs.
They didn’t feel like going back to train again after that, and they just went and rested while they tended to their equipment.
Warning: The sound might be a bit loud.