The next day.
The Semroid Troupe visited my house, and I provided them a place to practice. I didn’t really do anything special, though. I just told them not to go inside because it’s dangerous, and prepared some water for them. The rest I left to Prenence-san. When I got to the adventurers guild just before noon, there were fewer people than usual.
It’s nice not having to wait, but…
“Oh, Ryouma-kun.” [Maelyn-san]
“Good day. I hear that Tunnel Ants have recently been sighted in the southern plains.” [Ryouma]
“I see word got to you quickly. If you’re looking for work relating to that, I’ve got some here.” [Maelyn]
I just thought I’d mention it, but before I knew it, several job requests have already been piled up on the desk.
“…Destroy the tunnel ants, look for nests… And dig? The first two I get, but what am I supposed to dig?” [Ryouma]
“That mission is to dig out the nests. Just destroying the eggs isn’t thorough enough, as there’s a chance they might still come back later.” [Maelyn]
“I see… Is this why there are so few guild members here today?” [Ryouma]
“Correct. We’ve already found several nests. There’s a people out there hunting right now.” [Maelyn]
“…How much damage have the tunnel ants caused so far?” [Ryouma]
“Not much right now. But…” [Maelyn]
Maelyn-san’s expression turned dark. I wonder if something happened.
“I told you we found several nests, right? There’s a high probability that the tunnel ants either came from somewhere to breed or they came here after breeding to look for a new home. Because of that the guild thinks it’s still likely to find new nests, making the odds for casualties on our side higher.
That’s why the guild wants to allocate more people into searching for nests. The Tamer Guild is also cooperating with us to some extent, so we’ve been making progress.” [Maelyn]
The tamer guild?
“Can you tell me more about that?” [Ryouma]
“There’s not much more to it. Guilds can work together too depending on the problem. One such example is the tunnel ant infestation, which we’d all like to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Besides, this town is close to the mines,
so there are a lot of people on the Tamer Guild’s side to help us out.” [Maelyn]
“…I don’t know if it’s okay to ask this from you, but is it also possible to get the job from the Tamer Guild?” [Ryouma]
“Probably. Are you planning to take the job from there?” [Maelyn]
Uu, that look in her eyes…
“Actually, I’m also a member of the Tamer Guild, and its guild master has helped me out quite a bit, but given my monsters, there’s not really a lot of jobs I could accept from the Tamer Guild. So, I was thinking of going there to accept the job.” [Ryouma]
“So you want to return a favor? Alright. You don’t have to make that face. It’s up to a member whether he wants to accept a job or not.” [Maelyn]
She laughed as she said that. Looks like I didn’t offend her.
“That’s good to hear. Still, though, I’m sorry I couldn’t accept the job here.” [Ryouma]
“I hear you. Feel free to accept a job from here when you feel like it.” [Maelyn]
“Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
I thanked Maelyn-san and left the Adventurers Guild.
“Take care!” [Guard]
The guard at the southern gate saw me off as I left for the southern plains. I almost never dropped by the Tamer Guild, so when I went there, I was mistaken for a new applicant. There were no problems after clearing up that misunderstanding, however, and I was able to accept a job normally.
“Let’s go!” [Ryouma]
“KURURURU!” [Rimel Birds]
As I yelled that out loud, the rimel birds I took with me flied up in the sky and assumed a formation shaped like the letter ‘V’. I’m having them look for tunnel ant nests in places likely to have one.
According to the Tamer Guild, the tunnel ants have a disposition to eject earth and sand to their surroundings when digging out their nests. In other words, while they may not make a mound when digging out a nest, any area with signs of having been recently dug could possibly be a tunnel ant nest.
“KE!” [Rimel Bird]
“Oh, found one?” [Ryouma]
I used Shared Perception to see the world through Eins’ eyes, who was currently flying still in the air. When I did, I saw a patchy area of earth within the verdant plains. With just my bare eyes, the plains seemed endless, but from up above, everything was a lot clearer.
I have no business with places that others have already started to dig or places where people have already started hunting.
I used Dimension Magic and left the empty road.
Let’s take a look around here then…
“Dimension Home.” [Ryouma]
I brought the iron and metal slimes with me from the abandoned mine, so I released them and had them line up. There were about 400 of them all in all.
I fed them a lot because I wanted to make a big slime, but I fed them a bit too much and now they’re too many. Just 100 is enough to make a big slime, but now I have 200 iron slimes and 200 metal slimes. Still, with this many, there are also more things that I can do.
I ordered the slime most skilled in transformation to turn itself into a katana, then I gave out an order to the rest of the slimes.
“The rest of you don’t have to transform. Just proceed carefully.” [Ryouma]
At that, a line of metal and iron balls pushed their way through the grass.
A few minutes later.
“Found anything?” [Ryouma]
Although the slimes were weak, they had a strong sense for danger. That sense might have weakened after evolving, but the iron slimes were still able to detect something. There seemed to be something just a little up ahead. The slimes were cautious in their own way. So even if it were just something that stopped their movements, they would still proceed carefully.
One step, two steps, three steps… When we reached the place the Iron Slime was pointing at, in that moment—
An antenna peeked out of the ground. After which came several eyes. A giant ant that was big enough to reach my chest had appeared.
Its appearance resembled that of cave mantises, but before it could fully come out of the ground, I lopped off its neck with a swing from my katana.
“PIKI…” [Tunnel Ant]
“So this is a tunnel ant.” [Ryouma]
Two more came out after the first one. I hunted them in the same way.
After that no more appeared.
According to the information of the tamer guild, the tunnel ants move in the night in order to avoid the time period when most of their enemies are active. Hence, they rarely left their nest in the morning and just slept inside. Because of that only a few guards would be found in the entrance. Unless the guards come back, there won’t be any more.
The guards for this nest happens to be those three ants I just killed.
“With this, I’ve managed to find one nest… Oops. ‘Earth Needle’.” [Ryouma]
My job today is just to look for the nest, not exterminate them, so I just need to record the location and leave a mark somewhere nearby. There’s no need to needlessly alert the nest, so I left with my slimes and went to look for another entrance. I went to the next likely location.
“Might as well let them roll.” [Ryouma]
The iron and metal slimes usually don’t have any opportunities to roll other than in the abandoned mine, so I took this opportunity to let them roll through the plains. When I told them that, a happy atmosphere began to emanate from the two types of slimes. As soon as I gave them the signal, they all started to roll.
Wow. They’re fast. Recently, they’ve been getting faster and faster like some kind of a speed demon.
This counts as an extra release since one of the releases this week were twice as long as the usual releases and as such was counted twice.
Also, the donation bar used to be set at $40, which was for the older schedule when I didn’t release the chapters in parts unless really long. I’m cutting that in half down to $20, so that I don’t have to release two parts before counting the extra releases against the queue. This is just to make the extra releases consistent with the regular schedule. Nothing has actually changed.
Anyway, shoutout to all the patrons and donors for their continued support despite my spotty schedule. Also thank you to a Jens R. for their recent donation. They didn’t donate to any one series in particular, so it was split in half between GK and TMPG.
The current queue for TMPG is at $282 after this release.