|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1253 words|
A road near the northern street. Ice scattered during the day’s battle had melted, submerging the street. In the corner of the road, a shadow stirred slightly. That something crawled out from the fallen bag, wriggling as it tried to take a human form. But it failed to do that, as it lacked the necessary mass.
“Oh dear. I have to replenish from somewhere or it will be bad.”
What crawled out was a viscous monster. In other words, a Slime. Needless to say, it was Kufar.
He spoke those vague words as his body trembled.
What Cortina destroyed earlier was a part of him, though it was too big to call it that. It was a body detached from his core.
Kufar had hypothesized that Lyell and others would attack the moment he put his hand on Nicole. And to make absolutely sure that he was safe, he had put his own core inside the bag while putting a dummy core in the part and manipulating it from the outside.
This was thanks to his special ability to manipulate his body parts even after they got separated from his core. However, his control could not reach very far. Once his body part left the effective radius, it would turn into something like a golem that followed the initial command.
Hiding in the luggage and controlling it from the road was his limit.
For the time being, he proceeded to absorb the surrounding water to increase his mass. He was a viscous liquid by nature, so he was quickly able to regain his mass with water. However, he would just grow weak at that rate, and he needed some time to get accustomed to his body.
“Fortunately I managed to deceive that female cat, so I should be safe for the time being… But I won’t be able to leave the city immediately.”
It was due to the riot that happened during the day that he was able to remain exposed in his Slime form, even if it was night.
Then again, it seemed that the riot had been suppressed… or rather, settled peacefully quite fast, so the harm was less than expected. However, this uproar made people nervous and they refrained from leaving their homes. Thanks to that, Kufar was saved from the public eye.
The mucus that made up most of his body was frozen, destroyed, and washed away with water by Cortina. For that reason, Kufar, who hid in the bag with almost nothing but his core, only had the size of a small rat. However, by absorbing the surrounding puddles, he managed to grow to the size of a child.
“Still, that female cat… No, I should call her Cortina. I should reevaluate her.”
The Strategist Cortina. A hero who was far weaker than the rest of the Six Heroes. So everyone, all the time, started by aiming for her.
And as a matter of fact, every time someone aimed at her, she was forced into a difficult fight. However, each time, she dragged them into traps, luring them to her allies, and turning the tables around them.
“I suppose I should call her tenacious. Or perhaps, careful?”
This time as well, Kufar was prevented from escaping by her. Considering that Lyell and others were not with her, he had to assume that other members also failed their escapes.
“Something that can’t be measured as pure combat power, huh. What a nuisance…”
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Survive without letting the enemy display their strength, and then throw in a fight during a fatal timing. Doing that was not as easy as the words suggested. She could do that over and over as if nothing, so she was quite nasty.
Having said that, even if he aimed for someone else, each of them excelled in different aspects, so he had no way of confronting them.
“I’m more compatible against Lyell, but Maria is constantly with him. Leaving Cortina aside for now, it leaves Gadius and Maxwell.”
Considering Gadius’ stamina, there was a chance that Kufar’s poison would not even work on him. As for Maxwell, it was hard enough to find a chance to face him alone. And he might get evaporated the moment they meet.
“Which leaves Reid, after all. But still, how did he survive…”
Still, Kufar had a personal grudge against Reid, but he was not someone he would assertively want to attack.
The present Reid—Nicole, was not as famous as the Six Heroes, and she had a half-demon among her comrades, so the ordinary half-demons had a good opinion of her.
That was something Kufar learned in Raum when he was investigating people around Cortina, so while it may be somewhat dated, it probably did not change all that much.
Even if he defeated someone like that, it would only result in antagonizing the half-demons themselves.
While thinking of such things, Kufar continued to devour not just the water, but also garbage like sand and rocks. He was extremely reluctant to do so, as these ingredients would simply increase his mass but not strength.
“Hmph, as expected, it’s better to eat something that has some kind of power.”
Both the ability to manipulate his body parts, and his non-Slime powers and agility were things he obtained by devouring the Devils and their summoners.
In the end, devouring beings with power made it easier to incorporate their strength into his own. Eating water and gravel like this was making him painfully aware that he was a Slime.
But if he didn’t, he would fail to even maintain his body. If his core was not covered in at least some mucus, it would crumble down like sand. It was one thing when he was in the water pouch, but now, he needed to provide it with some moisture or it would be too dangerous.
“Maybe I should go back and try assassinating the Pope one more time?”
“I don’t think you can do that.”
A clear voice resounded through the road where only Kufar was present.
He immediately checked the surroundings. He really did not have to do such an action, but this was a habit from the time he was a human, which he was obstinately clinging to.
But then, he discovered the source somewhere else from where he was looking. Had he not been a slime, it probably would have taken him some longer.
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The source was the rooftop of one of the houses. There stood Nicole with her bluish-silver hair rustling in the wind.
The only thing that he found different was that she was wearing an eyepatch on her right eye. He wondered whether they failed to completely heal her.
Next to her, there was also a boy that he had never seen.
“Nicole… So you really did recover.”
“Yeah, fortunately. I’m embarrassed to say it aloud, but I can’t thank Whitey enough.”
“Whitey? Well, whatever. So, what will you do? Kill me here?”
“Do I have a reason not to?”
Nicole jumped down from the rooftop. Just before she landed, she used the threads hooked to the rooftop to decelerate her fall. Kufar confronted her, who descended as if flying. It was hard for him to even put up a proper fight in his current condition. Since he could not fight her head-on, he had to take some kind of measures.
“Then… there’s no helping it!”
As he answered her with those words, Kufar rushed towards her with all his strength.