The next day.
I showed my face in the store first thing in the morning. Seeing that everything was going smoothly in the store, I went to the abandoned mine.
I started making waterproof cloths today too, and as a result, I ended up idle. I tried of thinking what to do while waiting for the cloths to dry last night, but I fell sleep without coming to a conclusion. If this were back at my old word, I would read a light novel here or play some games, but alas…
I got 45 cloths today just like yesterday. I’m already done with my part. It’s probably because I’ve started to get used to it that everything went a lot faster than before. What to do… I’ve already trained with the slimes, so…
After thinking for a while, I gathered the scavenger slimes and had them fuse into a king scavenger, then I fought it.
The king scavenger slime’s current skill set is as follows:
Disease Resist Lv7
Poison Resist Lv7
Lead Belly Lv8
Produce Deodorizing Liquid Lv6
Physical Attack Resist Lv5
Martial Arts Lv2
It might be because the scavengers have their own Physical Attack Resist now that the king scavenger slime’s Physical Attack Resist went up one level. After all, the scavenger slimes only had one level in martial arts, but the king scavenger has two.
If you compare its skill set to a single scavenger, its skill levels are higher across the board. I don’t have any data, but it’s possible that each scavenger slimes pool together their experience regarding each skill somehow.
Speaking of which, because of the king scavenger slime’s Physical Attack Resist, it was really hard to make my attacks affect it during our duel. It’s body is a lot more flexible, so it’s really good at parrying attacks. It’s still only a beginner when it comes to martial arts, but it’s fairly accomplished when it comes to defense.
As proof, the king scavenger slime can endure my attacks even when I attack it seriously. Of course, I refrain from hitting its nucleus just to be safe. That being said, it still takes a lot of effort to penetrate it.
But the problem is that it doesn’t really have much attacking power. It can make itself bigger through Enlarge, making it better for suppressing others, but how much strength does a slime actually have? Not much if at all. If I wanted to I could easily brush it off. It’s attacks don’t have much power behind them either.
There’s not much we can do about that, though, so I had it extend a part of its body as tentacles and use them as whips. The king scavenger can then use those whips to stick close to the enemy and pin him down. I also taught it a couple of throws that made use of the enemy’s momentum and the king scavenger slime’s flexibility and Enlarge skill.
Like this it could parry the enemy’s attack to protect itself from harm, then attack the enemy by throwing him. After that it can pin the enemy down. This is the strategy I thought up for the king scavenger slime.
That took a lot longer than expected, but the cloths still aren’t done drying, so I thought of walking the slimes for a bit.
My mind made up, I gathered the slimes. But just as were about to leave, one of the slimes I had contracted suddenly started acting strange. I could tell its status to some extent thanks to the effects of our contract, but I don’t know the specifics.
What’s going on?
Hurriedly, I ran to where the slime was. It was the slime that I captured for the metal slime evolution experiments. Its body kept on quivering, but it didn’t seem to be feeling bad.
Could it be?
“Is it evolving!?” [Ryouma]
It should still take a bit longer, but I can’t think of any other reason for this.
After observing the slime for a while, the slime eventually stopped. I could feel a faint trace of mana emanating from it.
It seems to be releasing mana. But it doesn’t seem to be casting a spell… Is it sucking the mana? It’s releasing mana and then sucking it back in? What for? Does it need that to evolve? Or is it just doing it involuntarily?
After releasing and sucking mana back in several times, it’s color started to change. In the end, it turned into a silvery-white slime. Was the evolution successful? It’s status is… normal, for now. Nothing else seems to be amiss. Only, if this were really a metal slime, it should have a duller color. But this color is a polished silver.
I used Monster Appraisal, and this came out.
Species: Iron Slime
Physical Attack Resist Lv2
It seems to be called Iron Slime. It has the same skills as a metal slime, but its Harden skill is one level higher than the metal slime. It probably ended up like this because I fed it iron, but…
“Don’t metal slimes also eat iron?” [Ryouma]
They eat the same thing, so why did they evolve differently?
“Iron is tetsu (iron), and metal is kinzoku (metal)… !!” [Ryouma]
I took out the stones I used as feed for the metals slimes and used Identify on it.
Stone (Red Soil)
Soil from the mine that had been hardened with earth magic. Contains the following metals: Iron Oxide, Aluminum Oxide
“I knew it! …The red soil also has aluminum!” [Ryouma]
I remembered something I talked about with a kouhai of mine back at my part time at a road construction job.
“Metal slimes don’t eat just iron, they also eat aluminum. There might be other metals too…” [Ryouma]
I extracted aluminum and iron from the brick soil using alchemy, then I called over the iron slime and the metal slime.
When I did, the iron slime ate only the iron, but the metal slime ate both the iron and the aluminum.
I called over the metal slime and rubbed it.
“Are you basically omnivorous when it comes to metals? In that case, since the iron slime’s body is made of iron, what about your body? Is your body some kind of iron-aluminum alloy?” [Ryouma]
I asked the metal slime that, but no answer came.
“Well, with this I’ve at least figured out the evolution condition. It’s also my first time seeing a slime evolve in person.” [Ryouma]
Until now, for some reason, the slimes have been evolving while I was asleep . So long as I feed the slimes, they’re bound to evolve within half a year, but there’s not telling when they’ll evolve and watching them 24/7 is a pain.
“Oh, speaking of which, I found out a few more things about Identify.” [Ryouma]
Apparently, the neutral spell, Identify, is like a search engine in how one gets info from it. If you don’t know what it is you’re looking for, the only thing that will come up is the name, but even if you want more specific information, only simple stuff come up.
But when I used Identify on the ceiling while cleaning the latrine pits, the word ‘Sterilization’ came up. And even the word ‘virus’ came up when I used Identify on the filth. So the results for Identify are probably has some relation with the knowledge of the user. The information probably changes depending on how much the user knows.
After trying it for a few times, I know now that I can get some more specific answers by asking more specific questions.
For example, the weight of this stone (hardened soil) and the ratio of its aluminum and iron content.
Stone 503.9g (Red Soil)
Soil from the mine that had been hardened with earth magic.
Metal Content: Iron Oxide 4.2% 21.1638g, Aluminum Oxide 5.1% 25.6989g
And the result is something this specific. This too is because my questions were a lot more specific. I can use this! …Or can I?
It’s great that I can get more specific information, but I don’t actually have much need for it right now… Maybe I could weight the next iron ingots I bring to Serge’s in grams?
Or maybe I could get a common iron ingot from Serge and use that as reference to imitate? It’s worth doing if it means my iron ingots don’t stand out as much, but as it stands, identify doesn’t really have much use right now… I can also just keep doing things as I’ve done them until now.
After that, while waiting for the waterproof cloths to dry, I made 500g aluminum-iron ingots with 80% purity as practice.
After the waterproof cloths finished drying, I gathered them and brought them to Serge, then I took the 300 cloths he prepared for me and went back to the inn… Or so I was planning, but it was an odd time, so I postponed going back to the inn, and went to the store instead. I’ll go home after checking up on the store.
The store was as popular as usual. In fact, isn’t there more people than normal?
I entered through the employee-only door and went to the break room, but there wasn’t a soul there. Could they all be working?
Thinking that, I went to the store itself and there I saw one of the three working girls, Fina-san.
“Good afternoon, Boss.” [Fina]
“Good afternoon. No one was in the break room, so I thought everyone was busy.” [Ryouma]
“We’re not exactly free either, but it’s not that busy. There are a lot of people, after all. We’ve more or less figured out when people like to come the most, so we usually work together to deal with them.” [Fina]
Oh. It seems everyone’s already gotten used to the work here while I was gone. Looks like I worried for nothing.
As I was thinking that, it suddenly hit me.
“Is something the matter?” [Fina]
“The cleaner slimes are ready to split.” [Ryouma]
To the cleaner slimes, this whole laundry business is nothing more than an eat-all-you-can-eat buffet. After a few days of it, it’s only natural that they’d be able to split.
“The cleaner slimes will increase. Our laundry agency will become even more efficient.” [Ryouma]
“Really! That’s amazing!” [Fina]
“What’s amazing are the slimes. I’ll be here for a while, but you don’t have to mind me.” [Ryouma]
As Fina-san said that, she took a nearby laundry that had already been cleaned and carried it.
I had the cleaner slimes split, then I contracted them. The cleaner slimes currently number 54. Although cleaner slimes split less frequently than other slimes, there were 10 slimes that split twice. It’s probably because of the laundromat. After letting the cleaner slimes split, because of their increased numbers, they started getting the job done a whole lot faster. I think they’re actually working over twice as fast. Well, if they’re this efficient, then we should make use of it.
“Ah, Fina-san, Carm-san.” [Ryouma]
They had come to pick up the new laundry, but I told them to help out with the customers instead.
I also told them to divide the work of carrying the laundry and returning them to the customers since there are more customers than usual.
“I’ll take care of carrying the laundry. You two focus on returning them to the customers.” [Ryouma]
“You want make the store more efficient, right? Let’s try it.” [Carm]
As such, they went back to where the customers where, while I gathered the laundry and carried them.
“Over here please~” [Maria]
“Customer Number 18” [Jane]
“How is the quality, ma’am?” [Fina]
“Wow, it’s really clean… And it’s cheap too. This is great.” [Customer]
“Thank you very much! Please come again! Next is… Customer number 8!” [Fina]
After dividing the work, the flow of customers became even faster. The slimes are probably hungry after splitting. Because of that the laundries seemed to be getting cleaned even faster.
From time to time, we would run out of tokens, which meant there were more people waiting too, but we were able to solve the problem with some reception service. With the increase in efficient in both the cleaner slimes and the reception, the flow of customers reached a new level, and gradually, the wave of customers grew less and less.
Like that we we managed to get pass the peak time. The rest of the day was fairly monotonous, as we managed to safely close the store as the day ended without any more problems.
 – Just some food for thought. Maybe the slimes see evolution as a private thing and don’t want to be seen while undergoing it. 😛