One of the men didn’t hesitate to run for Ryouma.
Perhaps he wanted to attack him, or perhaps he wanted to take him hostage, but whatever it was that he had in mind wasn’t happening.
“Don’t! Acting carelessly will――” [Boss]
“Guah!?” [Man 6]
The boss tried to stop the man that tried to make a move, but before he could, a sphere about two times smaller than a baseball knocked the arm holding a knife, and then before the knife could reach the ground—
“What!?” [Man 6]
—His temple, his jaw, and the back of his pivot leg’s knee were all hit by the spheres. The man let out a brief scream, and then collapsed into the sewage by his feet.
“What a pointless death.” [Boss]
“He’s not dead.” [Ryouma]
Ryouma denied that the man had died.
Beside him were the four mysterious spheres that had attacked the man. ‘Pon-pon’ sounds resounded as they bounced about near Ryouma. It was as though they were showing that they were there to protect him.
These spheres were actually Rubber Slimes, a new slime variant that evolved from the Latex Slime, a slime variant used to produce rubber products, such as the anti-slip products. As the name suggested, the Rubber Slime was a slime whose body was made out of rubber.
And just like rubber, it could change its physical properties by adding ingredients like sulfur or carbon to it.
Ryouma used that to turn the rubber slimes into rubber bullets.
By changing the hardness and elasticity of the slime, they could bounce off the ground and the walls at high speed like a speed ball, and while they might be made out of rubber, they still packed plenty of a punch when they hit. Especially, when they had mass.
Ryouma was skilled in martial arts, and in his opinion, the bouncing rubber slimes were more than strong enough to incapacitate humans. If the force behind their power could be efficiently transmitted onto a vital point, then they could knock out a person in one hit even through armor.
In fact, because their attacks weren’t fatal, even if they were to accidentally hit a civilian, the damages they caused would be much less compared to spells and arrows. Odds were that any accident with them would end in minor injuries, making them perfect for making arrests in the city.
But it wasn’t necessary for Ryouma to explain that to them, and it didn’t really matter to these kidnappers anyway.
Ryouma maintained his composure as he warned the men.
“I’ll say this just once. Drop your weapons and surrender obediently.” [Ryouma]
“Hah… You’re too soft. Either way it’s over for us if we get caught. Men, scatter!!” [Boss]
With a yell from the boss, the men under him all ran.
Ryouma and the adults were there in front, but there were no signs of people elsewhere. The boss of the criminals wasn’t so optimistic as to believe that they hadn’t been surrounded, but perhaps, some of them might be able to get away if they just scattered, so his men ran in hopes that they might be among those, but the boss himself just wielded his knife and clad himself in ki.
Though he rejected Ryouma’s offer, he had already given up on fleeing. Instead he resolved himself to stake his life in a confrontation with Ryouma, but—
—His legs wouldn’t move. It was not because of the sewage, no, there was a sensation there that was clearly different. So he looked down at his legs, and there he saw the sewage holding onto his legs with ‘human hands’.
Without any hesitation, he ripped them off and ran for Ryouma. Just one stroke, if he could just graze him, then even if it’s just for a moment, he might be able to buy himself some time. He knew that he had no chance of winning, but as a human being, he had to do this for the sake of his foolish pride – he would bury the blade in his hands into the boy before him.
It was the futile struggle of a fool, yet he strengthened himself as much as he could and plunged his way forward, ripping apart the hands that grabbed at him and brushing aside the hands that blocked his path.
As human as they might look, a hand made of water was still water. Though they offered little resistance, they came back no matter how many times they were cut. Before long, his whole body had been grabbed, and his legs were caught in the mud.
No matter how much power he put, there was no running away from that place anymore.
“Damn it!” [Man 1]
“Let go!” [Man 2]
But it was not just him that was attacked by the hands of water. His subordinates resisted with all their strength, but it was already too late. The place they once called their hideout had already been turned into a marsh that continued to expand with the rising sewage.
Countless hands reached out from the marsh, and with the stench of the sewage accompanying them, those hands looked no different from an evil spirit dragging them, the sinners, into hell. The road wasn’t even 10 meters away to the man furthest away. Normally, that would’ve been an inconsequential distance, but now, it looked no different from the opposite bank of a large river.
“Ku…” [Man 3]
Their resistance in vain, the voices of the men died one after another.
The entire marsh was their enemy, and there was no way out.
Before long, they all sank into that marsh.
In the end, even the boss sank, leaving behind only Ryouma standing leisurely above that marsh with the countless hands subservient to him.
“They were pretty tough, huh… Hmm, what are they doing?” [Ryouma]
After suppressing the kidnappers, I called out to the people that gathered because of the signal I cast and turned around, but most of the people were standing a long way away.
“Yurdum-san, what do you think they’re doing?” [Ryouma]
“Taking refuge from your spells, boss. I know how precise your spells are, but they don’t, and your spells are scary enough to worry getting caught up in them. Also, this marsh spell of yours isn’t just terrifying, it stinks to high heaven too. Honestly, if I weren’t your guard, I wouldn’t be anywhere near here.” [Yurdum]
“Ah, I see. It might be because I was focused on ‘catching’ them, but I wasn’t really trying to make things creepy…” [Ryouma]
“All’s well that ends well, no? More importantly, you did catch them, right? They’re not dead or anything? I mean, they looked like they sank to me.” [Yurdum]
“I left them with air. I could cover their mouth and nose too if I wanted, but this time around, I just have them immobilized with water pressure.” [Ryouma]
“In that case, we better get them into custody quickly. Hey, we’re done here!” [Yurdum]
Yurdum-san raised his voice, and the people behind came running.
“I’ll gradually pull back the marsh, so please secure the kidnappers.” [Ryouma]
“U-Understood. But man, this really stinks…” [Guard 1]
“Well, it is sewage and sludge. More importantly, how’s the kid? Is he unharmed?” [Ryouma]
“Oh, he’s fine. He was tied up, but he wasn’t hurt. We sent him to the hospital already.” [Guard 1]
“I see, that’s good…” [Ryouma]
“Well then, if you’ll excuse me.” [Guard 1]
The guards dispatched here greeted me and ran off to do their job.
I pulled the sewage and sludge little by little and brought them back to the drainage.
“Are you alright, Aniki?” [Delinquent 1]
“You’re tottering a bit.” [Delinquent 2]
“Oh, I’m just a little spent. It’s no big deal. Anyway, thank you so much for your help.” [Ryouma]
“It’s nothing worth thanking us for.” [Delinquent 3]
“All we did was stand here, after all.” [Delinquent 4]
The delinquent adventurers laughed. They too helped find the kidnappers. I had to rely on the two types of slimes that ate sewage and sludge, and the drainage channels throughout the town to check the places I had in mind, so I’m glad to have gotten some familiar help.
But as expected, it was a little exhausting. Fortunately, the information I had allowed me to narrow down the scope of the search, and we were able to find them.
“I’m surprised they used a
“Yeah, it seems the enemy has been preparing for quite a while now. They remodeled it, so the people related to this rental warehouse might be cooperating with them too. Well, that’s a job for the guards, so let’s just leave that to them.” [Ryouma]
While we were talking like that, the guards finished arresting all the kidnappers.
As they packed them away into a carriage, I bid the leader of the guards here goodbye.
“I’ll be on my way then. If the owner of this rental warehouse demands compensation or files charges, please just contact me or the security company. It may have been an emergency, but I do understand that I still overdid it.” [ryouma]
“I’ll let the upper brass know. Thank you so much for helping us catch these kidnappers.” [Guard Leader]
The guard leader straightened his posture and gave me a bow. When the other guards noticed that, they gave even the youths and Yurdum-san a bow. After that I used Dimension Magic to go on my way, and after exiting the northern gate, I used Dimension Magic to go home.