“But of course! I’ll help out too!” [Resident 1]
“We can’t just leave the others on their own!” [Resident 2]
“Thank you very much! The security company and the hospital right next to it are ready to receive evacuees and injured people. If you believe it to be necessary, please don’t hesitate to make use of their services!” [Ryouma]
As the people started hurriedly moving about, Ryouma turned to the man from earlier.
“Y-You talking to me?” [Man 2]
“Sorry, but can I have you go to the office of the guards to inform them that the fire here has already been dealt with?” [Ryouma]
“I-If it’s just that, then sure.” [Man 2]
“Thank you very much! In that case, please get on.” [Ryouma]
“Huh?” [Man 2]
“I’ll be going to the next fire, so I can take you along until then. It’s faster this way.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma didn’t seem like he would take no for an answer, but no one reprimanded him because they were currently in an emergency. If anything they just urged the hesitating man with their eyes to ‘hurry up and go’.
Perhaps because he couldn’t stand that silent pressure, the man hurried to Ryouma’s side and jumped up the boat.
“Let’s go!” [Ryouma]
The moment Ryouma said that, the muddy water that had enveloped the building fell apart and popped like a bubble, allowing the water to flow once again and lift the small boat to move. As the boat gradually gained speed, Yurdum called out to the man that had just gotten onto the boat.
“Sorry about that. The boss was a bit forceful there, wasn’t he?” [Yurdum]
“No, I’m sorry too for being so rude earlier. I lost my head because of the situation.” [Man 2]
“I’m glad you’re so understanding. As I’ve said before, just controlling this spell is a huge burden on the boss.” [Yurdum]
“…Is it that taxing?” [Man 2]
“Well, yeah. He’s using so much mana, and yet he needs to maintain precise control while maintaining this speed. He’ll cause an accident if he doesn’t focus, so he can’t even really talk while using it. That’s why I’m riding here with him to help… Whoops, can’t be talking too much now, I’ve got work to do.” [Yurdum]
As he said that, Yurdum started working at the rear of the hull.
As the man looked at Yurdum and Ryouma alternatingly, he began to observe them. When he was sure that neither Yurdum nor Ryouma was paying attention to him, he reached out for the knife by his waist, and then stabbed Ryouma’s back with it, but in that moment—
“Gyaah!?” [Man 2]
—The Ryouma that should’ve been busy with his spell suddenly turned around and struck downward with a wire slime, hitting him on the wrist.
As the knife dropped from his hand, Yurdum caught his arms from behind and pushed his face into the floor.
“W-Why…” [Man 2]
“We were wary of you from the start. We figured there’d be an agent somewhere.” [Ryouma]
As Ryoum said that, he quickly wrapped the wire slime around the immobile man’s neck and choked him out.
“I suppose… praises are in order? You sure you didn’t need to ask him anything, though?” [Yurdum]
“We don’t have the time, and from the way he’s been acting, he’s probably just a disposable pawn. I doubt he has any useful information.” [Ryouma]
“If he knew anything important, he would’ve been on the run with a guide by now or he would have been dealt with… Either way, he wouldn’t have been there. Would have saved us a lot of trouble, though, if just catching him was enough to get the whole plan.” [Yurdum]
“His job was probably to make the people more anxious and make everything more chaotic. He quarreled with us, but our meeting appears to have been a coincidence… Most likely, us getting in the way of his job would have put him on the bad side of his bosses, so to save himself, he had to achieve something, and the moment we showed him an opening, he jumped for it hook, line, and sinker.” [Ryouma]
“Probably something like that. But still… I’m surprised you saw through him. This guy probably specializes in infiltration. His action just now aside, his behavior until now was exactly what one would expect from the situation.” [Yurdum]
“About that, it seems that I’ve inadvertently picked up the ‘Sense Malice’ and ‘Sense Hostility’ skill today, oh wait, that’s yesterday already. I think it must be when Serge-san was attacked during lunch? The guard called Yashma pointed it out to me afterwards, and when I checked my Status Board, I saw it was there. But I haven’t checked it in a long while, so I might’ve actually gotten it back when we first met.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, you were really tense back then, weren’t you, Boss? You weren’t aware of it, but you probably became sensitive to the malice and hostility in the city.” [Yurdum]
“Ah, my outburst that time was probably because I hadn’t been exposed to malice and hostility recently. A lot of the people around me now are really gentle, after all. It’s kind of like how a starving man can’t eat a lot of food all of the sudden.” [Ryouma]
When an embarrassing history of his was brought up, a wry smile appeared on Ryouma, but Yurdum saw it differently.
“But thanks to that you were able to stop this noon’s attack, right? It worked out well in the end, didn’t it?” [Yurdum]
“That’s true, but luck played a part in it too since the enemy’s abilities just happened to be weak against the combination of ‘grasping the mana body’ – that I’ve been training at the hospital recently – and my ‘technique that uses slimes to detect enemies’. [Ryouma]
“Learning Sense Malice and Sense Hostility intentionally is difficult, so people with such skills are often favored when it comes to escort jobs. There’s no harm in learning them. Still, I’m surprised to learn that the slimes’ detection abilities are that great. I’ve never heard of that before.” [Yurdum]
“It’s difficult unless a person is highly compatible with them. And if you’re not used to it, it’ll make your head hurt, so it’s likely not easy to use. I can still endure, but my interest in slimes likely plays a huge part in that.” [Ryouma]
“I don’t think there’s anyone more passionate than you when it comes to slimes, Boss. At the very least, I’ve never seen one.” [Yurdum]
“There actually are quite a few passionate people in that regard. I doubt you know about them, but the three employees in a branch store of our laundromat all used to be slime researchers.” [Ryouma]
“Well, I don’t intend to lose out in passion, but more importantly, we’re almost at the next location.” [Ryouma]
“Alright. Looks I’ll have to work
“Let’s do everything we can.” [Ryouma]
As Ryouma said that, he sped up the boat even more as he turned his eyes toward the dark sky.