The treants would attack the metal slimes when they tried to come back after being thrown, but given how slow the treants already were, chasing after another target only made them easier to hit and I could kill them before they could even get into range. This battle is actually now so easy it no longer feels like one.
By the way, all the metal slimes that got hit were unharmed. There simply was no way for wooden branches to put a dent on what were basically lumps of iron.
It was in this way that I one-sidedly gave the beatdown to all the treants that tried to get behind us, while the rest of the party took down the treants in front.
In the blink of an eye, the number of treants dwindled and the surrounding area turned into a graveyard of treants. The normal trees in this part of the forest were sparse.
“Anyhow, it looks like we managed to survive that… Still, it sure is strange, de aru.” [Raypin]
“What is?” [Ryouma]
When Raypin-san muttered that something was strange, I asked him what was bothering him.
“First of all, there’s too many treants. In fact, I’ve never seen these many gathered in one place, de aru. The second reason is this place. Treants are trees that become monsters due to mana, but I’ve never heard of such a large area of trees being transformed into treants. Lastly, because of that, de aru.” [Raypin]
Raypin-san pointed toward a giant tree in the distance. I could feel powerful mana coming from it, so it’s most likely…
“That’s an elder treant?” [Ryouma]
“So it seems… But while I’ve seen elder treants many times now, I’ve never seen one that big and with such powerful mana to boot, de aru. I’m also concerned why that elder treant isn’t approaching us, de aru.” [Raypin]
Miya-san had approached the tree and was a little closer to it. She asked before I could ask.
“Maybe it just hasn’t noticed us yet, nyaa?” [Miya]
“Impossible. We’ve killed so many of its brethren. It’s possible it doesn’t think it can win against us, so it’s not attacking, but then it would be even stranger for it to simply stay rooted there instead of running away, de aru.” [Raypin]
In that case…
“Is there a reason it can’t move from that spot?” [Mizelia]
“Reason would lead one to believe so, but there’s no precedence for such behavior. At the very least, I’ve never heard of an elder treant that’s neither attacking nor fleeing, de aru.” [Raypin]
“It’s a bit dangerous to leave it alone, so we should either kill it or at least bring back some information to the guild. Raypin, Ryouma, how’s your mana?” [Wereanna]
“No problem, de aru.” [Raypin]
“Actually, I’ve barely used my mana.” [Ryouma]
“Oh, right. I never thought you’d actually turn your slimes into throwing axes and throw them, de gozaru. …Alright. In that case, keep your guard up, and we’ll rest a little bit more. After resting, we’ll take down that elder treant, de gozaru.” [Asagi]
After making up our mind to hunt the elder treant, we went over the special traits of the enemy again.
Just as was previously mentioned, the elder treant is a more advanced variant of the treant, so after being reminded that we had to watch out for its wood magic, we went to rest.
During our resting period, everyone was interested in my slime projectiles. Especially, Syria-san, who used a bow.
“Ryouma-kun. Those weapons of yours were slimes, right?” [Syria]
“Yes. I’m sure you’ve all seen my huge scavenger slime from before. It’s not much different from that. Just that the slimes I’m using now are metal slimes and iron slimes. In other words, it’s just an ooze of slimes fused with each other.
I specialize in the katana, but unfortunately, it’s very hard to get one nowadays, so this is how I solved it.” [Ryouma]
“It’s good that you were able to solve your problem, de gozaru. But your metal slimes turned into an axe, did they not?” [Asagi]
“Yes. My weapons are formed thanks to the special ability of the slimes to ‘shape their body into anything’ and the special trait of the metal and iron slimes’ ‘metal body’. By taking advantage of these two traits, I’m able to acquire a weapon that can transform into anything. Some few days ago when I went to buy equipment, I spoke with Tigger-san from the weapon store.” [Ryouma]
He ran a weapon shop, so he was interested in the slime, and I talked to him about various things.
We talked about many things, such as, “If it can change shape, then it should be able to transform into other weapons” “You should be able to change its shape according to the circumstance and the enemy” “Even if the shape is the same, if it isn’t strong enough, it’ll just end up being dangerous to you instead.” In the end, I cooperated with Tigger-san, and successfully taught the slimes all sorts of different weapons.
“Knives and katanas were no problem right from the start, but weapons like axes, which I rarely used, were a bit harder. Tigger-san said that they still had a long way to go.” [Ryouma]
“And in the end, you were able to get a result like that scene just now. Wasn’t it difficult teaching them so many weapons, de aru?” [Raypin]
“Not really. The slimes share their experiences while fused, so after learning the weapons as a big slime, they could still retain the knowledge after separating.” [Ryouma]
Moreover, not only can the slimes come back on their own after being thrown, they also possess the skill of big slimes, ‘Enlarge’ and ‘Shrink’, so I can freely change the size of my weapon from a one-handed sword to a great sword. Because of that even if the katana gets dented, the slimes can just fix the dent immediately.
“What a crazy weapon.” [Wereanna]
“Not only do you not need to spend time buying replacements, you also get to save money.” [Mizelia]
“Forget the time and money, the reliability of a weapon that has infinite durability is ludicrous.” [Syria]
“Running out of ammo is normally a problem when using ranged weapon too, nyaa… This is just cheating, nyaa…” [Miya]
The women were all audibly very shocked.
“Oh, right…” [Ryouma]
I took out a rope from my Item Box.
“Check out this rope. Don’t you think it’s very durable? It’s made out of the most durable thread that my sticky slime can puke out.” [Ryouma]
“It’s certainly slender and durable, nyaa.” [Miya]
“Try cutting it with this axe, Mizelia-san.” [Ryouma]
“Alright… Huh? I can’t seem to cut it.” [Mizelia]
“It’s durable, right? I spoke to Tigger-san about the material of this rope too, and in the end, he decided he would try using it to create an armor.” [Ryouma]
“Ryouma, one of these days your whole body is going to be covered in slime, nyaa.” [Miya]
We chatted like that while resting.
When break time ended and we started walking toward the elder treant, a change suddenly occurred on the metal slime.
“Please wait.” [Ryouma]
“What’s the matter?” [Asagi]
“The metal slime is… afraid? …It seems to be scared of something.” [Ryouma]
Because of the effects of the contract, I can tell how the metal slime is feeling. Right now, it’s so scared it’s barely able to keep itself from running away. This fear… Is there something here that it’s weak against?
“Is it okay, nyaa?” [Miya]
“Unfortunately, my metal slime won’t be able to fight.” [Ryouma]
“Withdraw them then. It’s best not to push them needlessly.” [Raypin]
I stored my metal slimes into my Dimension Home. Still, I’m concerned. That fear wasn’t normal. I thought maybe they have an enemy in the vicinity that’s really strong against them, but the only thing in the area is an elder treant.
“Are elder treants especially strong against slimes?” [Ryouma]
“Never heard of it, de aru.” [Raypin]
…Just as he says, the only ones scared were the metal slimes. The iron slimes are perfectly fine. Just what is wrong with the metal slimes? …Well, at least the iron slimes can fight. I do have some spare weapons with me, but the iron slime katana is my best weapon.
We continued on our way toward the elder treant while paying attention around us. This time a change occurred to our surroundings.
“The tree to the left!” [Raypin]
When we passed by the sparse trees, they were just normal trees. I know this for sure because of my Mana Perception. Raypin-san was probably the same too. But from those sparse trees, one such tree beside us suddenly attacked. The tree had suddenly transformed into a treant.
Fortunately, Raypin-san was able to immediately detect it and order Miya-san to kill it.
“What’s going on, de aru?” [Raypin]
“This tree was not a treant until just now, de aru. It just suddenly transformed. But such a thing should be impossible, de aru.” [Raypin]
Treants are trees that mutated into monsters due to the presence of mana, but the mutation is not something that occurs in an instant. Normally, it’s a slow process.
While Raypin-san said those things, another tree among the sparsely placed trees transformed.
“Umu. The treants are being born one after another, de aru.” [Raypin]
“Well, this is unexpected…” [Mizelia]
“There’s no way we could have expected something like this.” [Asagi]
There’s way less of them compared to before, so they’re not exactly a threat, but this unusual situation is still concerning. While thinking that, I focused my Mana Perception in order to be able to deal with the surrounding treants. As I did, I felt mana coming from the soil.
“There’s something under the ground! ’Break Rock’ ‘Breeze’!” [Ryouma]
I broke the part of the ground where I sensed mana from with Break Rock, and then conjured a strong wind with my wind magic to blow the rest of the ground away.
Underneath the ground was the root of a tree. It was from that that I felt the presence of mana.
When Raypin-san saw that, he yelled.
“The root of an elder treant! …Could the elder treant be injecting its mana into the trees through its roots and transforming them into treants, de aru? That would explain why trees transform quicker when an elder treant appears. Still, I can’t believe there’s actually one strong enough to be able to use it to sneak attack on us. What a surprising discovery, de aru!” [Raypin]
“Leave the research for later! Defeat them first!” [Syria]
“Is the only way to solve our predicament to defeat the elder treant?” [Mizelia]
“It’s likely, de aru. If we just leave the elder treant be, there’s a chance more treants will appear, de aru.” [Raypin]
“There’s 500 meters until the elder treant. Let’s make a run for it and take it down quickly, de gozaru. Ryouma, I’ll leave the rear to you. We’ll take care of the elder treant, so you take care of the pursuing treants, de gozaru!” [Asagi]
It didn’t take long for us to start moving.
Wereanna-san, Miya-san, Mizelia-san, and Asagi-san took out the treants in front, while I, Raypin-san, and Syria-san followed from behind.
Thanks to how slow the treants moved, they couldn’t block our way. But as we neared the elder treant, its main body attacked us.
We were still outside the range of its branches, but it was able to attack us through its roots buried in the ground.
It used wood magic just as the intel said it could and tried to seize us it with its roots.
Raypin-san cut the roots with his Wind cutter, while we cut at them with our weapons. There were a lot of them, however, and it was especially hard to dodge the attacks by our legs. …Oh, I know!
This is a spell I used when building the pavement for the store. If I harden the ground with this, I should be able to buy some time.
“I’ll support you!” [Ryouma]
Like this we were able to run up to the elder treant and attack it.
Tl Note: Twice as long as usual, so this’ll take up two spots on the regular queue.