“Hmm… How to put it… It’s not just with slimes. What I find fun is being able to do something that I couldn’t do before or learning something that I didn’t know before. Do you get what I’m saying?” [Ryouma]
“Ah, yeah. I think I can relate. I was also really happy when I was able to climb a tree for the first time or finish building my secret base. I’m also having a blast right now too!” [Niki]
Oh? He’s having fun right now? As I thought, Niki-kun has potential.
“Then do you want to try raising slimes?” [Ryouma]
“Are you sure?” [Niki]
“Of course. Although slimes just need water and feed to live, it takes quite a bit of effort when there’s a lot of them. The slimes waiting to evolve also need to be fed accordingly, so it would help me a lot if I got your help.
I have enough feed for the slimes, but I’d still prefer to get some other feed from here and experiment a little too…” [Ryouma]
“In that case, let’s ask mom! At the bare least, we have some trash!” [Niki]
—And so, Niki-kun and I went around town. As a result…
“We sure gathered a lot…” [Ryouma]
After gathering everything we’ve accumulated so far to a corner of the square that we borrowed, a mountain of junk and garbage was able to form.
Niki-kun was never the reserved type and has always been inherently amiable to people, so with his help, we were able to ask a lot of people to give us their junk. The villagers must have also found it easier to talk since Niki-kun was there to mediate between us. Niki-kun was a huge help to me.
Moreover, when I showed the things we’ve gathered to the slimes, some of them reacted.
Looks like there’s even a new feed here that they like!
“Uhya… That sure is a lot. Onii-chan, you had this many slimes with you? Dimension Magic sure is amazing.” [Niki]
“This isn’t really the time to be surprised, Niki-kun. First, let’s confirm what among this pile of junk the slimes have taken a liking to. If we don’t hurry, the sun will set before we know it.” [Ryouma]
We worked together and segregated the things we got.
The people of the villagers looked on at us with curiosity from afar – of course, the children playing in the square too – but I didn’t pay them any mind.
Word of the situation has already spread through the village, so I’m sure there’s no need for any further explanation.
Let’s focus on the work at hand.
“First comes this.” [Ryouma]
The trash from the gutting place.
Various inedible parts of a myriad of different types of fishes, such as bones and guts, were mixed altogether.
The slimes most interested in these parts are the scavenger slimes, the acid slimes, and a lone bloody slime.
The scavenger slimes will want the damaged guts and the feces within the alimentary canal. The acid slimes will want the bones, so not much different from the usual.
But the blood slime… At first, I thought it was interested in the leftover blood inside the guts, but the other bloody slimes showed no interest, so there might be a branching path here to another evolution.
With that in mind, I gathered the parts it was reacting to, but unfortunately, that only counted for a small portion of the garbage accumulated. It didn’t seem to care much for the types of fishes or the part. Even when I took out the same gut part in one fish it reacted to from another, it showed no reaction.
It was at that moment…
“Onii-chan, I think I got it!” [Niki]
“Oh! What is it?” [Ryouma]
“I think it’s probably the parasite… We have to be careful of them during this time of the year, but my parents told me that there are certain types of fishes that we have to especially be wary of. The parts you picked out are pretty much that.” [Niki]
“I see. Parasite, huh… ‘Identify’.” [Ryouma] 」
“Mountain of fish guts”
A pile of guts from different types of fishes. Within the guts of these fishes are the eggs of parasites from Ratoin Lake, some of which have just hatched.
“Bingo! Niki-kun, you got it right! I used Identify on it, and it told me that all of these have parasites!” [Ryouma]
“Really? He he. But parasites, huh…” [Niki]
“Is there a problem?” [Ryouma]
“Well, parasites are annoying.” [Niki]
Now that he mentions it… They’re already a pain normally, but to a village that makes its livelihood from fishing, they must be especially annoying.
“But you know if you look it from another point of view. I gathered this mountain of guts only after looking at the reaction of the bloody slime, and I couldn’t tell at all that there were parasites inside these until I used Identify.
In other words, slimes that can eat parasites can tell whether there are parasites in fishes or not.” [Ryouma]
When I said that, Niki-kun’s eyes opened wide, and even the adults watching around us cried out.
“I see! If you can tell which fishes have parasites, then it will be safer to eat fishes!” [Adult 1]
“Fish without parasites? If we could tell them apart, we could even eat them raw…” [Adult 2]
“Dear, could you please stop that? I’m the one who’ll have to take care of you if you end with a stomach ache.” [Adult 3]
“Of course, there’s no one stupid enough to eat fish raw right now, but come summertime…” [Niki]
When the adults heard Niki-kun’s words, they became even more boisterous.
“Niki-kun. Do you eat raw fish around these parts too?” [Ryouma]
“When there aren’t a lot of parasites, fishermen eat the fishes raw. My dad loves to eat raw fish, but because of that he ends up with stomach aches every year. There might be less parasites in some seasons, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely gone.” [Niki]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
It’s probably a similar feeling to those people from the Edo Period who wanted to eat fugu even though it was forbidden… Well, in this case, they won’t die even if they ingest a parasite, so I guess it’s not as desperate.
But enough of that. What’s more important right now is the evolution of the bloody slime. What will happen to it when it eats the parasites? Will it turn into a parasite slime? Will it go inside the body? The body of the bloody slime is blood. And blood goes in the body. Wait. Does that mean it can transfuse blood?
…As I pondered on that thought, I realized that the bloody slime would enter the body through a wound every time it sucked blood. But the blood inside wouldn’t coagulate. I mean it doesn’t, right? After all, it’s able to suck the blood so smoothly. I hear blood coagulates when a different type of blood is mixed in, but… Wait a second. In the first place, what even is the blood type of the bloody—
“—chan! Onii-chan!” [Niki]
“Oops. Sorry, Niki-kun. Spaced out there.” [Ryouma]
“I know. I can tell from looking at you. Anyway, since we know that one’s a parasite slime, let’s continue.” [Niki]
“Yeah. Let’s do this!” [Ryouma]
There’s still a lot of garbage to go through. But that pile of garbage was reflected on my eyes like a mountain of gold.
It wouldn’t be long before that overly positive interpretation of what was otherwise a pile of trash would be proven correct.