「Hello, everyone. How do you find the city of Slislan?」
The moment they stepped into the hotel, Cindy immediately greeted them.
Iris didn’t expect to bump into her so quickly, so she hid behind Marion.
「Iris. How about you get used to Cindy already?」
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「I’m used to her! She was just too sudden! It’s not like I’m scared or anything!」
「Scary? What you might be talking about?」
Apparently not expecting to be afraid of, Cindy had a questioning look on her face.
「Nah, just talking to ourselves. We have something to ask you instead. We went to the Puniqueen Cafe」
The moment she uttered『Puniqueen Cafe』, Cindy suddenly turned serious.
Are they connected in some way?
「I see……did you happen to meet the champion and Puniqueen?」
「We did. They were strong」
「The food was tasty. I want another chocolate parfait~」
Due to the chocolate parfait, Eclipse’s impression of Puniqueen was rather thin.
However, the same couldn’t be said about the rest.
Punigami might encounter her in the tournament.
If he aims to win, that would be inevitable.
Iris was also curious about the champion’s mood swings.
It didn’t seem like she hated slimes.
She raised her slime well and became the champion, she should be happy.
There must be a reason for her behavior.
「…..It’s a good opportunity. The Slime Festival is tomorrow after all. Let’s talk about the champion for a bit」
Cindy always gave the impression of a hyperactive person.
But now she was calm and serious.
Apparently, the conversation was about to be much heavier than expected.
Iris and the rest occupied the sofa and listened to her story.
「…….Actually, I invited you here hoping you can defeat Puniqueen」
「Is that true!?」
The sudden reveal surprised Iris.
「Yes. I’ve been traveling to find someone who could be a match for her. The journey led me to the Silverlight Barony. Punigami-san turned out to be more powerful than I anticipated」
「……But why do you want to see her defeated so badly? In the first place, you and Punyobaron are one of the heavenly kings. Just do it yourself」
「…….I would’ve done so already had I been able to. However…….the power of the champion is in a league of its own, even compared to the rest of the heavenly kings. No one stands a chance. Most likely, Puniqueen is the strongest slime in history」
「T-That much?…..Well, she seemed strong…..」
Punigami spoke pitifully.
That wasn’t surprising.
In the battle with Punyobaron, he managed to control his magical power and achieve a significant power-up.
However, Puniqueen is stronger than even powered-up Punigami.
Described as『strongest in history』by Cindy.
Which wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration.
Of course, it was hard to evaluate the strength of every single slime in recorded history.
Nevertheless, it was hard to imagine a slime stronger than Puniqueen.
「Actually, Amy and I……Amy is the champion’s name by the way. Amy and I are childhood friends. I am the reason she participated in slime sumo in the first place」
「No ja? Then why have you traveled the world in search of a slime to defeat her? If you are frustrated that she became stronger than you, there is no meaning is someone else defeats her」
「I’m not frustrated! I mean, I am frustrated……but I want to defeat Amy because…….I want her to taste defeat for another reason entirely!」
Next, Cindy proceeded to talk about Amy in detail.
「Amy and I were classmates since elementary school. Being a gifted child, she was exemplary at both sports and studies. She didn’t like her excessive talent though. She grew apathetic towards everything……that’s why I brought her into slime sumo!」
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Cindy screamed passionately as she clenched her fist.
「Slime sumo is the most profound competition in the world! Build a relationship of trust with your slime, work hard towards your goals……and when it comes to a fight, use tactics to push your opponent out of the ring! Honor your opponent whether you win or lose! What a beautiful sport, right!? It’s slimetastic!」
Iris gave a suitable answer seeing her bloodshot eyes.
「I thought that even a bundle of talent such as Amy would struggle with such a complicated sport! Just as I imagined, she was completely incapable in the beginning. She took a long time to get along with Puniqueen, but they lost every single match. The first time she participated in the slime festival, she lost horribly. Perhaps because her pride received a hit, she was greatly frustrated. She and Puniqueen adopted a hardcore training regime! Ah, sport! You’re so wonderful!」
「W-Wonderful indeed…..what happened next?」
「To everyone’s amazement…….they emerged victorious in the next slime festival. Only after a year and some after she started……she’s nothing but a genius!」
「You must’ve felt happy」
「Of course! I was glad for my friend’s accomplishments! However……Amy easily won the next year. Each match only taking a few seconds. The tournament was over for her without any effort. Amy’s face on the podium didn’t reflect a sense of accomplishment…….she had the same expression she had before the slime sumo…..」
What a painful and vain story that was.
Amy must be a real hard worker as well as a sore loser.
With a whole pile of talent on top of that.
That’s why she became too strong too quickly for anyone to pose a challenge.
Iris has a tendency to never leave her bed.
Words like effort aren’t present in her dictionary.
Even so, she could somewhat imagine the feeling of emptiness Amy felt.
「That’s why I worked hard to become one of the Heavenly Kings……and challenged her last year. I made it to the semifinals…..and lost. I hate to admit, by Punyobaron and me aren’t a match for them. But if it’s Punigami-san!」
Can he win?
Her speed in the cafe was way above Punigami’s.
It’s uncertain whether his newfound magical abilities are going to help.
She might not be a suitable opponent for Punigami.
Besides, Iris didn’t have a proper reason to fight Amy.
She’s was here because of the festival.
Punigami also wanted to meet others of his kind, she didn’t come here for the slime sumo specifically.
She understood Cindy’s desire very well but couldn’t casually expose Punigami to danger.
Or so Iris thought…….
「Punigami…….are you serious about defeating Puniqueen!?」
Apparently, Punigami was heavily influenced by Cindy’s story.
Cindy’s concern for her friend.
More importantly, Punigami was terribly happy about being the 「chosen one」.
「As expected of a slime I found! You’re a hot-blooded slime indeed!」
Punigami shook in a surge of motivation.
「Alright…..if you’ve made your mind, I’ll cheer you on. Let’s beat Puniqueen and win!」
「Punigami is so cool~」
「Let’s present Amy and Puniqueen an absolute defeat!」
「Is Punigami-sama wins, the Silverlight Barony would become famous as a birthplace of the ultimate slime! And then we can capitalize on all the tourists!」
「I had no idea you were the type to do that…..your noble heart doesn’t lose to that of a dragon!」
「Fufufu. To power-up even further, Punigami-chan has to keep absorbing Iris-chan’s perspiration」
「I see. Let’s call it a day then! This is all to strengthen Punigami, don’t you dare to sneak into my bed!」
Iris powerfully proclaimed and was met with an eerie silence.