It was still bright outside, but the edge of the sky was gradually turning dark. And looking into the depths of the city, some quick-tempered undead have already begun to appear. It should be about time. We finished preparing after eating anyway, and I’m also in perfect condition after getting some rest and using some potions.
“As we’ve discussed, leave the defense to the slimes and us.” [Schieber]
“Ryouma-chan, you just focus on that spell of yours, okay? Oh, and don’t get stressed out now.” [Remilie]
Schieber-san and Remilie-san encouraged me, and we started the operation.
Looking down at the base we built in the Town of Departed Spirits from the sky, the central staircase and the road in front of the houses resembled the kanji for king: 王. That’s the path that the zombies and skeletons would be taking. So to start off with, we sealed off the eight points with my grave slimes.
Thanks to their spike in numbers earlier this morning, I currently have 1.745 grave slimes. I had them combine to create 17 big slimes. They will be placed in pairs in each point, leaving behind one big grave slime to accompany me. I’ll use that grave slime to supplement any position that needs help.
Tonight’s defense will be mostly done through the grave slimes and the Holy Space. Should the operation fail or something unforeseen occur, we will be immediately retreating to the base last night, so the goblins have been put on break to minimize our numbers.
…We’re really relying too much on the grave slimes to deal with the undead. If not for the magic experiment or the offerings, perhaps it would have been better to just let the grave slimes reproduce and graze freely.
“And then there’s this.” [Ryouma]
At the center of the base, right in the middle of the stairs was a pedestal made out of stone. Well, okay, it wasn’t actually anything that amazing, but we’ve prepared a large table and prepared some food on it. It’s meant to be a replacement for the shelves used in the Bon Festival where the offerings would be placed.
In addition to the potatoes and dried meat used last night, I will also be frying them with salt and pepper to make a German potato style dish. There’s also a simple ham and vegetable sandwich, a retort soup, and a salad. For drinks, there’s water and goblin-made white sake. Finally, we also prepared some deserts and fruits.
They’re dying to eat, so I’m sure they could eat anything, but I want to prepare something nice for them, as that might be related to sating their desires.
This spell is built around my understanding and the concepts of a religious ceremony from another world, so not even Remilie-san, a former royal court magician, could advise me. There’s no other choice but to make an attempt, see the result, then make improvements. That’s why I’m going to be adopting the concepts of ‘Agile Development Style’, wherein components are constructed individually then put together.
“Let’s begin.” [Ryouma]
I started a fire just like last night in front of the Bon Festival Shelf, but this time, I’m using large sake cups kind of like the ones used by sumo wrestlers when they win a championship. There were five of them all in all, and I lined them all up.
I imagined the food on top of the Bon Festival Shelf as those plastic food models in restaurants, while the ceremony itself I imagined as just cooking. As I imbued mana into the food, I prayed for the undead’s hunger to be sated and for them to be able to rest with satisfaction.
Just like yesterday, I started with the potato and the dried meat.
“They came quick.” [Schieber]
“Understood. I’ll make haste then.” [Ryouma]
As smoke began to rise from the cups, I pulled out another trick from my hat. Earlier, when I’d taken out the Bon Festival Shelf, I’d also taken out some bamboo pipes. I called out to the smoke slimes inside.
“Can you carry the smoke?” [Ryouma]
Smoke rose from the opening of the bamboo pipes. As the name suggested, Smoke Slimes were slimes whose bodies were formed out of smoke or airborne particulates. In battle, this trait of theirs could be used to create a smoke screen that could be manipulated at will.
This time around, however, they’re going to be helping the smoke from the food reach more undead. If the food earlier were plastic food models, then these smoke slimes were the waiters.
One thing to take note of is that the smoke slimes are smoke, so a powerful wind could blow them away. Now they’re not going to die, and I could retrieve them later, but I still told them to be careful.
If the wind were strong enough to affect them, I was planning on using one of the buildings we secured, but fortunately, the wind tonight was gentle. Not a cloud on the sky above, and the intensifying flames and smoke billowing to the sky was nothing short of beautiful as they painted a mystical sight.
“Now, let’s get this show going.” [Ryouma]
After the smoke slimes merged with the smoke rising from the cups, they started moving, and the billowing smoke split and flowed to the eight blocked paths, softly passing above the grave slimes as they enveloped the approaching undead.
“Uaah!?” [Undead 1]
“AHH…” [Undead 2]
“Don’t worry, there’s no need to panic. There’s plenty of food to go.” [Ryouma]
It’s said that a food offered is worth a hundred times in the world of the dead. That’s why there’s no need for a lot of offerings, and it’s enough to make an offering according to how one feels. What’s important is to continue making the offering.
As the undead realized that, the momentum of their approach dropped. There was a ‘desperation’ in the way they approached the Bon Festival Shelf, but that has already calmed down. Now, there were even those among them who were standing still and enjoying the smoke.
…It’s still just potatoes and meat, but it’s already more effective than last night. Moreover, I can tell that my intentions are getting through them a lot smoother too.
“I can’t believe there’s this much of a difference just by establishing the procedure.” [Ryouma]
“Well, it’s also because it’s your second time. Magic is manipulated with will, so your mentality has a huge effect on it. After all, you’re a lot more confident when you’ve experience success once, right? That’s why the effects of any spell will improve gradually the more you use them. But if you want to raise efficiency, there’s no substitute for studying and deepening your understanding of magic. Anyway, go ahead and send as many of these guys on their way as you can.” [Remilie]
Remilie-san had been beside the table just in case, and when I finished talking with her, I focused on my magic again. I added a small amount of black pepper into the offering cups that were cooking potatoes and dried meat. The finely crushed pepper was quickly consumed by the fire, and for a moment, its aroma strongly appealed to my nose.
The undead reacted too. While more and more undead were halting in their tracks, all of the undead now appeared restless. But it wasn’t the kind of restlessness you’d see when they were in combat. Instead, they seemed happy. The number of undead approaching from the distance appear to have increased too. They were clearly a lot more interested now than when it was just potatoes and meat.
With that being the case, I went ahead and added the ingredients of a sandwich, which included wheat, ham, and some vegetables. The undead were elated. The smoke slime received the smoke with their entire body and stopped the horde of zombies and skeletons in their tracks. There were wraiths in the smoke too, but they only floated about gently, not a hint of their usual intensity.
“Ryouma-sama, more undead are pouring in from the depths. The wraiths in the air appear to be fine, but the traffic on the ground is now congested.” [Sebasu]