(Shit, this ain’t no joke!) (Souma)
I desperately held back my agitation as I cursed internally.
When exterminating slime molds, you definitely can’t get close to them, and attacking them outside their perimeter is the basic strategy.
No, there’s even some brave warriors that would charge straight on, prepared for an honorable defeat, but that’s not something I can copy, and I don’t want to.
And yet, this is the worst among the worst situations where we are surrounded by the time we notice.
Moreover, I didn’t even imagine I would encounter them all the way here, so I haven’t made preparations to fight them.
My past trauma and the worst future resurface in my mind.
(Calm down, calm down.) (Souma)
I tell myself to calm down as I put a hand on my waist.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I have the time to be leisurely rummaging my adventurer bag.
I jam my hand into the poach.
(I am glad I prepared this one for the Water Elementals.) (Souma)
I grab a number of poisons from the poach and throw it at the place where Ringo had thrown her milk.
(With this, I don’t know if they will be poisoned, but it should at least serve to keep them at bay for a bit while they are swarming it…) (Souma)
Thinking this, I observed the situation while preparing to act the moment they swarmed the poison.
(They aren’t coming…?) (Souma)
Their reaction is completely different from before.
Despite the yellow presence in the surroundings getting stronger… Those damn slime molds aren’t touching the poison.
I suspected they saw through the fact that the inside is poison, but they shouldn’t have that intelligence.
Taking favorites in what they eat is…after thinking that far, I noticed.
(I see, priorities!) (Souma)
Looking around, there’s still trees and plants in this field that the slime molds can eat.
And yet, they expressly went for us despite us having fire. It must mean that’s just how far more delicious we must look to them.
I doubt the slime molds have an organ that allows them to perceive the outside, but well, we are talking about the game world.
They are approaching their prey and devouring them according to their set patterns as if they had eyes.
The only thing they could consume when it was a game were humans, monsters, and items like weapons, and commodities.
With the game having become reality, objects like trees and items that have no HP probably can be eaten now, but their action patterns of their game days most likely still remain.
They might be prioritizing stuff like humans and milk that were possible to consume in the game rather than trees and poison which they couldn’t eat before.
(Then, it wouldn’t be effective to leave poison, huh. In that case, it is already…) (Souma)
While I was indecisive about the last poison flask…
“Lend it to me.”
“Ah, wa…?!” (Souma)
Mitsuki quickly stole the poison flask from my hands and threw it into the darkness.
As expected of Mitsuki.
I can barely see outside the light of the fire, but the poison flask of Mitsuki didn’t miss its mark and made a direct hit on the moving yellow shadows around.
“…It doesn’t look like anything’s happening though.” (Mitsuki)
“Debuffs and debuffing items still don’t work on them?!” (Souma)
There’s no change in the state of the slime molds.
Because their color changes depending on their debuff, they should change colors to green if they are poisoned, and gray if they are dead, but this time around, no changes happened.
It was completely wasted effort. No, since I lost the poison flasks from that, I ended up losing here.
The yellow shadows have already encroached even into the range of the light.
Are the slime molds of other areas invading this place too?
Or are they eating other monsters even now?
Looks like even Mitsuki doesn’t want to cross swords with the slime molds.
Even her cat ears are trembling as if saying ‘these yellow things are scary~’.
I watched that as I once again sorted out the current situation.
This is just a guess, but this massive propagation probably happened just recently.
We encountered monsters normally before entering the dungeon. If it had been in the game, it would be a different story, but in this world, information about slime molds covering a whole field would have reached the city and the dojo.
Also, there’s still plants remaining here, so that means the slime molds invaded this field recently.
There’s still too little information to conclude that they can eat trees, but if they did consume the trees in the Slime Mold Forest, then taking 2 weeks to get here is way too slow.
It is possible that they didn’t realize they could eat trees at first, and slime molds don’t move much when their numbers are low, so it may not have been that long since they began eating trees.
Whichever the case, if we had been one day sooner or later, we wouldn’t have been suddenly thrown into this situation.
I don’t know if this is bad timing or not, but that has its own avenues.
“Anyways, we need time to plan countermeasures! We are going to return to the cave!” (Souma)
If they have only invaded this field just recently, the field before this one should still be fine.
At the very least, in regards to the Stream Cave, I didn’t see any Yellow Slimes on our way back.
There’s no doubt that place is okay.
That’s why we will run all the way there and fix our stance here.
That’s the conclusion I have come to.
After reaching that conclusion, all that’s left is to run away at full force.
I give orders quickly.
“Mitsuki, I leave you in charge of the torch. Use this to keep the ones getting closer at bay, and protect everyone.” (Souma)
“Got it.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki takes the Master Torch.
Mitsuki immediately directed Master to the yellow mass coming at us, and they moved slightly away in dislike of the fire.
“Ringo, attack the ones following behind us with your Lightning Strike. You don’t need to defeat them all. Just slow them down.” (Souma)
Lightning coursed into the darkness as she responded.
The aim was not accurate, but the target is spread out on the whole ground.
Almost all of the Lightning Strikes hit the Yellow Slimes, killed them, and created a sea of gray.
(But there’s more than I imagined.) (Souma)
Our field of vision widened a bit with the illumination of the Lightning Strikes and the amount of Yellow Slimes is more than what I thought.
Almost all of the monsters here must have been hunted down already.
I imagine they will concentrate on us until the next spawn happens.
“I entrust the poach to the Bear. There’s elemental balls, so throw those—” (Souma)
Before I could finish saying this, the Bear that skillfully rode onto my back, took out a blue ball from the poach, and threw it onto the horde of Yellow Slimes.
The blue explosion spread, and the Yellow Slimes in that area turned gray.
Yellow Slimes have no elemental resistance and only have 1 HP, so even a low tier item can defeat them easily in one hit.
But their fearsomeness begins from here on.
The Yellow Slimes are swarming onto the gray corpses in front of my very eyes.
And then, they devour them in the blink of an eye and regain their numbers.
No, they actually are less than before, but because more were lured by the corpses of their comrades, it looks as if their numbers didn’t lower.
That sight is shiver-inducing, but this isn’t the time to be trembling.
In the time we were standing still, Yellow Slimes began gathering at the direction of the Stream Cave too.
In order to run in that direction, we need to get them out of the way.
We head to the yellow wall in front of us and I chant.
It really came in handy that I lowered the power of the spell.
The explosion of the spell that had its power lowered to its limit didn’t do much damage to the Yellow Slimes, but it slowed their progress and showed enough effect in blowing them away.
“Let’s go!” (Souma)
We move ahead as if jumping into that slight opening that was created.
Fortunately, there’s still not that many blocking the direction to the Stream Cave.
I could feel chills running down my spine as I saw the encirclement slowly closing, and I placed my hopes into returning through the path we came from.
(But…is this bad?) (Souma)
The chase of the Yellow Slimes is more intense than I imagined.
We were aiming for the thin areas of their encirclement, advancing in zigzag, but as time passed, the ratio of yellow in our vision was increasing.
On the other hand, it is not like we have the ability to fight indefinitely.
First, the elemental balls the Bear was throwing ran out.
You can’t have too much variety or quantity in the items you store in the pouch.
I don’t have the leeway to rummage through my bags, so this can’t be helped.
But the Lightning Strikes of Ringo are the only thing slowing them down now, and the intensity of the Yellow Slimes chasing us was clearly increasing.
“Damn it!” (Souma)
I force myself a bit more than usual here and use Petitplosion.
The Range has been lowered to the very limit, so I can’t use it properly unless I am really close to the enemy.
Anyways, we will manage somehow if we escape to the cave.
I tell myself that, holding down my fear, as I close in to the enemy and use magic.
But the moment we finally caught sight of the Stream Cave’s entrance, I cursed that forcefulness.
At that time, I also rushed into the perimeter of the Yellow Slimes and tried using magic but…
(…The spell isn’t coming out?!) (Souma)
The explosion didn’t happen.
Ran out of MP.
The yellow wave pushed onto me while I was standing dumbfounded!
What saved me was a lightning bolt that cut through the darkness.
The Lightning Strike made a direct hit onto the yellow wave and stopped its movement for an instant.
Mitsuki pulled me in that opening and I barely managed to escape.
“Thanks, both of you. You saved me there.” (Souma)
I thank them with a pale face.
“…I won’t let Souma die…definitely.” (Ringo)
“I just did the obvious.” (Mitsuki)
The response of the two was reliable.
But the price was heavy.
Because the attacks of Ringo towards the back had been cut off temporarily, the Yellow Slimes that were chasing us have completely caught up to us.
The reason why I used a low power attack to not kill as many Yellow Slimes as possible is because they prioritize the corpses of their comrades.
“We have been surrounded.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki’s heavy voice stabbed at my chest.
Ringo didn’t say anything, but it seems like she understands that this is a despairing situation.
The Bear was smiling stout-heartedly even at a time like this.
…No, I don’t know if it is stout-hearted, but it is smiling.
I also respond with a powerless smile.
Honestly speaking, this situation is the worst.
Mitsuki is barely keeping them at bay with the torch right now, but it wouldn’t be strange for them to attack us the next instant.
This is the moment to make the final decision.
I closed my eyes.
(…No choice, huh.) (Souma)
It will be impossible to come out of this place unscathed.
I prepared the Golden Sakura in my left hand.
Not towards the Yellow Slimes surrounding us in all directions but towards my irreplaceable comrades.
At this rate, we will be wiped out.
That’s why there would be the need to sacrifice one of us…no, the sacrifice of either Ringo or Mitsuki.
Saying this, I raise the Golden Sakurai.
There’s no time to explain details.
No matter what kind of blame I get here, I intend to struggle for the sake of survival.
But even when seeing me raise my weapon, they don’t show signs of running away.
They are accepting whatever I am about to do without any resistance.
(I am really…sorry!) (Souma)
The moment I apologized in my heart and was about to take the last measure…
A fearsome howl rang at the side all of a sudden.
When I faced that direction by reflex…
“Bloody Ogre?!” (Souma)
The Rare Monster of this field, the Blood Ogre was visible from afar.
The Bloody Ogre is an ogre species Rare Monster with black skin. It is a monster with power several ranks higher than a normal one.
It probably survived for being a Rare Monster with high HP.
Or maybe it spawned just recently.
This is the first time I see a monster aside from the Yellow Slimes since coming here, but it doesn’t seem like it will be living for long.
It is desperately trying to shake the Yellow Slimes off, but its lower half is already being taken over by them.
At this rate, it is only a matter of time before it gets eaten to death.
But I reached a decision after seeing that.
“What are you doing…?!” (Mitsuki)
I threw the Bear at my back to Ringo and jumped into the yellow sea.
Sinking one leg into the Yellow Slime sea with Step, sending the ones wrapping around that leg flying away with High Step, and closing the last distance to the Bloody Ogre with Ground Compression.
It’s hard to describe the weird sensation of my leg being eaten.
But 1 damage is not enough to interrupt my skill.
I get all the way to the rampaging ogre with Ground Compression, and Jump.
Even with that, I couldn’t get all of the Yellow Slimes off me.
However, the weak point of the Ogre -the head- was now within range.
There’s a lot of times when giant monsters like the Bloody Ogre and the Butcher have their heads, which are hard to aim at, as their weak point.
And if you get a hit in their weak point…their Critical Point, the damage at that time and the debuff rate doubles!
“[Poison Fang]!!” (Souma)
The Dagger Skill I activated with the Golden Sakura pierced the head of the Ogre.
I certainly got the feedback that I did it.
And then, my body lost power as it finished doing the skill and began falling into the yellow sea.
While I was falling, the Bloody Ogre couldn’t endure the attacks of the Yellow Slimes, fell on its knees, and I saw that its body was covered completely in yellow.
My body fell onto the ground…no, onto the yellow sea while I was watching this.
I could hear the desperate voice of someone while my vision was being quickly dyed in yellow.
At this rate, I will be eaten to death by these Yellow Slimes in less than a few seconds.
But…I am sure that won’t be happening.
And the reality is that…
A few beats after, the Yellow Slimes on me got away from my body.
They had found a predation target that they should prioritize more.
When I raised my head, I could see the Yellow Slimes swarming the Bloody Ogre’s body.
No, more precisely, onto the Yellow Slimes glued on the body of the Ogre.
What was reflected in my eyes was an out-of-place sight of vibrant colors.
The yellows were swarming the grays, and their bodies were turning green in an instant.
The greens divide, creating a new sea of green, then turn gray and don’t move anymore.
New yellows swarm those, change to green, create more greens, turn gray…and repeat.
Yellow, green, gray, yellow, green, gray…
That strange color chain spread radially with the Bloody Ogre’s body as its center.
This sphere began enlarging more and more in the blink of an eye as if following my encouragement.
“You saved us there, Bloody Ogre.” (Souma)
By the time the giant body of the Bloody Ogre had turned into particles and disappeared…the yellow sea was already gone.
It happened in just mere seconds.
But in those mere seconds, the Yellow Slimes that were doing a sweeping conquest at the field had become particles without leaving a single remaining, and suddenly the night regained its silence.
I can’t bring out energy due to the mental exhaustion.
My leg that had Yellow Slimes coiled around it stings.
I didn’t have the strength to get up and just stayed lying face up there.
Even with that, a smile naturally spread and I tightened my fist.
“…Chain reaction…succeeded.” (Souma)
I may be going a bit out of topic here, but what I did this time around was the countermeasure for Yellow Slimes that was found by coincidence by a certain player which brought hope to the grieving Nekomimi Neko players.
Also known as: Slime Mold Radial Extermination.