“That should do for now, but be sure to get checked at a hospital later.” [Ryouma]
“Ahh, thank you. You saved me…” [Townsman 1]
“Boss, we’re done here too. Fortunately, no one was heavily injured.” [Yurdum]
After Ryouma and Yurdum suppressed the adventurers attacking the townsmen, they lit up the place with light magic and then performed first aid on the people there.
“Thank you for your help. I didn’t watch closely, but you were fairly skilled.” [Ryouma]
“I did once aspire to become a knight, so a simple first aid is right up my alley.” [Yurdum]
While they were talking like that, the neighs of horses reached them from a distance.
“Are they here?” [Yurdum]
“Looks like it. About three carriages, it seems.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma could see the light of three carriages approaching them from a distance.
When the three carriages were close enough to be seen, the coachman at the lead called out.
“We’re from the guards! Is everyone alright!?” [Guard 1]
“We’re all alright somehow!” [Townsman 1]
“Come quickly!” [Townsman 2]
When the coachman called out, a look of relief surfaced on the face of the people. They guided the carriage, and when the carriage reached its destination, the people on it immediately mobilized to deal with the situation.
“We were informed that there were a group of rioters here. Would that pile of bodies happen to be those rioters?” [Guard 1]
“Yes! Those two dealt with them!” [Townsman 1]
“I see. We’ll be taking custody of them then. Those among you that need treatment, please get on the next carriages. You must be Ryouma-kun.” [Guard 1]
“Yes, Ryouma Takebayashi.” [Ryouma]
“I have a message for you from the headquarters of the security company. ‘Less and less fires are cropping up, but there are many injured. The hospital needs help.'” [Guard 1]
“I’ve received the message. I’ll head to the hospital immediately. I’ll leave everything here to you.” [Ryouma]
Like that, Ryouma and Yurdum headed for the hospital connected to the headquarters of the security company.
Meanwhile, a covered wagon and five men entered the Garbage Processing Plant.
They took out jar after jar of oil from the wagon, and poured them over the gridded garbage input port on the floor and the unprocessed trash piled up beside that.
“That should be everything.” [Man 1]
“All that’s left is to start the fire. Get away from the grid.” [Man 2]
As one of the men said that, they all distanced themselves from the garbage input ports, and then cast a fire spell. As a small ball of fire appeared on the palm of the man’s hand, the scattered piles of garbage and those that have already been inserted into the grid caught flame.
“Let’s get out of here――Huh?” [Man 1]
When the men saw that the flame had spread, they immediately fled, but the flames suddenly blew high up into the air, causing them to stop.
“Why is the fire so strong?” [Man 2]
“I-It shouldn’t be this strong even with all that oil.” [Man 3]
“Maybe there was something that burned easily inside the holes. Or maybe the slime inside is burning. Some plant-type monsters store oil inside their bodies, right?” [Man 4]
“Okay, but either way, it doesn’t matter. We’ve done our job. So we need to get away from here quickly. People are sure to come, and it wouldn’t be funny if we got caught up ourselves in the fire we started――” [Man 5]
One of the men was hurrying his friends to get away from this place, but he suddenly stopped midway. For just as he was about to get on the carriage, he suddenly saw from the corner of his eyes a ‘transparent tentacle’ squirming.
It was thick like a log, and when it reached high enough to reach the ceiling, it bent its body like a snake would when raising its head, and in the next moment, scraped away at the burning garbage as though it was licking the fire, taking all of the burning garbage into it.
“—Get away from the carriage!!” [Man 5]
“Uu!?” [Man 1]
“Guoh!?” [Man 2]
The tentacle continued along its way to attack the men. The men narrowly managed to avoid a direct hit, but debris of various sizes spilling from the giant tentacles struck their bodies, while the weight of the giant tentacle crushed the hood and frame of the carriage, causing cracks to spread everywhere.
“Hihiiiiiinnn!?” [Horse 1 and Horse 2]
“Ah! Calm down!” [Man 3]
The sound and impact from that caused the two horses connected to the carriage to panic. They didn’t so much as flinch in the face of all that flame, but suddenly, they were in complete panic, causing the shafts of the damaged carriage to break, allowing them to run out through the door. One of the men tried to grab the reins of one of the horses.
But a different tentacle suddenly wrapped itself around his legs, and slowly dragged him into the burning garbage input ports.
“Let go! Let go of me! Damn it!” [Man 3]
The man took out his knife and desperately tried to cut the tentacle, but his knife just kept slipping. Not only could he not cut it, he couldn’t even make a needle-sized hole.
“Why!? Why won’t it cut!?” [Man 3]
Before long, he was right at the garbage input port.
His feet was the first to be scorched before the fire rapidly spread from his shoes to his clothes, and then his whole body.
“UWAaAaAah! It’s hot! Save me!” [Man 3]
The man squirmed as he cried out for help.
“We don’t have time for you! Just go and die on your own!” [Man 4]
But the remaining four abandoned him just like that.
In the first place, they were just a group of men that happened to receive the same orders.
They weren’t friends, they had no bonds, they were just here to save themselves.
“How many of these giant slimes are there? They’re coming out from the other holes too. We’re completely surrounded! Isn’t there any where we can get out!?” [Man 5]
“Here’s no good either! If blades won’t work, then how about burning the tentacles with fire!?” [Man 1]
“It won’t work. It’ll just burn the surface a little, and they’ll recover immediately.” [Man 2]
“No matter how big it is, a slime will die once its nucleus is destroyed! Find the nucleus!” [Man 4]
The four men looked around them in search of the nuclei of the slimes, but the only thing that reflected on their eyes were the remnants of the covered wagon and themselves. As well as the
“If the nucleus isn’t anywhere around us, then doesn’t that mean they’re going to come from below!?” [Man 5]
“Uh, isn’t this circle of tentacles getting bigger? It’s basically just one giant wall now! Could it be? It’s not big because there’s a lot of them, but because this one slime is actually even bigger than this!?” [Man 1]
“This is ridiculous! Just how big is this thing!?” [Man 2]
“It’s true that it’s big, but if it’s just at this level, then… ‘Body Reinforcement’ ! UoOOOO!!!!” [Man 4]
One of the men strengthened himself with Body Reinforcement magic, then ran off and jumped off the remnants of the carriage to try and get past the circle of tentacles. That jump was high enough that he would’ve been easily able to jump across the walls dividing houses, but…
“Pu!?” [Man 4]
When he tried to jump over the tentacles, a new tentacle stretched out and hit him, but he didn’t fall, and the tentacle began to absorb him instead.
“S-Stop it! Let me go!” [Man 4]
“They may be just some slimes, but they’re still someone’s familiar, huh… Ku—” [Man 5]
As the dwarf among them came to the conclusion that jumping across was impossible, he suddenly crouched.
“Hey!?” [Man 1]
“What’s the matter!?” [Man 2]
“My head… Suddenly…” [Man 5 (Dwarf)]
“Tch! This isn’t the time to be complaining about headaches!” [Man 1]
“A headache? Don’t tell me… Poison!?” [Man 2]
“I don’t recall being attacked by… Uuu…” [Dwarf Man]
But before the man could finish saying that, he lost consciousness.
“Damn it! What is with this monster! I knew the place would stink, but no one ever said this thing would be here!” [Man 1]
“Don’t give in to despair!” [Man 2]
“Shut up!” [Man 1]
With no way out, frustration took the man, and he started throwing the remnants of the carriage that rolled onto his feet. Wheels, metal fittings, and the burning pieces of the hood’s framework were thrown at the tentacles as he picked them up, but they were all either deflected or absorbed, his efforts to no avail.
Any effect had was at most to identify himself as an enemy.
“When this job ends, I’m going to rise up! To that end, I don’t care if it’s a slime or some guards, I’ll kill anyone who gets in my way! I’m not going to die at a place like this—” [Man 1]
But wail as the man might, a raging fire soon attacked him.
In the blink of an eye, the man was covered in flames, and without even the chance to cry out in pain, he died.
It was likely that the man himself didn’t even realize what had happened.
The only man left was the man who had tried to calm that man down and barely avoided the flames. He saw everything that had happened, but the lack of oxygen was starting to make his eyes hazy.
As the last man standing voiced out his regrets, he too lost consciousness.
With the processing plant quiet once again, the tentacles spread out and ate everything left.
In that way, all of the dangerous elements were dealt with, and the tentacles returned where they belonged, leaving behind only a perfectly normal, orderly processing plant.
The only difference was that slight smell of char that remained.