The abandoned mineshaft Siana and I are in right now curls deeper to the earth’s core, steeping faintly lower as we take each step. Although it’s abandoned, signs of its life are still apparent as ever, the manaritium lamp throughout the place still shines decently, with no heavy wear on the wood pillars, and no rust in the mining cart rail.
Yet, the place is silent, its once-thriving industry is suddenly completely halted — stagnant. Replaced with the sound of the eerie cold wind seeping through the tunnels. The stale air combined with its mild smell of iron and earth forces me to breathe slowly and steadily.
Even with the manaritium lamp shedding some light to this place, it utterly fails to mask or to hide the mineshaft’s dark and depressive atmosphere. Perhaps it’s because the cause of abandonment which I know of doesn’t give much hope to this place.
Two days ago, the miners here in their mineshaft expansion, unknowingly encountered a new cave filled with slimes. The unexpected encounter combined with the suddenness of it breeds panic and confusion among the miners, resulting in a devastating slaughter, with the survivors remaining not having any sort of grasp on what happened before, other than to run to the surface for their lives.
If we are able to map and locate the source of the slimes whereabout, we will be awarded eight silver coins, with an additional one silver coin for every slime core we bring to the《Adventurers Creed》guild. An unusually high reward from the guild of its caliber. But there is a strong reason why that’s the case.
Slimes are the hardest monsters for beginners since they are almost impervious to physical attacks. I remember Elras mentioned at one point that the standard procedure in eliminating the slimes is to use any fire-based spell attacks. And there lies the underlying problem, only magic spells — quite rare amongst lower-ranked adventurers — will work against slimes.
If it weren’t for my nobility status and a letter of introduction from Elras to the guild’s headmaster, I wouldn’t be able to take this emergency quest from the《Adventurers Creed》guild. I wish I could take a quest from the《Dyron Temperament》guild famed for its higher reward, but since I wasn’t an official member, combined with my low skill in Assault magic, I was forced to join what Elras terms as “The truest commoners guild”. It’s fine anyway since sooner or later the need to join that guild will rise.
We traverse at a slow tempo, allowing us to stay alert and pay attention to the surroundings.《Biante》spell is active, but that doesn’t mean we can relax in this unfamiliar environment.
「 Master, this lowly slave smells human blood. 」Siana says, seemingly quite alarmed.
I also smell it beforehand, the faint smell of blood. It indicates beforehand what’s about to come. After hardening my heart, imagining the sort of scenery I will face from the numerous horrifying dead figures of monsters in my previous quest, I resolved myself to push through. But even after all of that preparation, what comes around the corner isn’t for the faint of heart.
The gruesome leftover of the miners’ massacre.
Splashes of blood are apparent almost everywhere, even up above in this closed space ceiling. Bits of unknown flesh or organs are also everywhere like an explosion has happened that spread these bits.
Even amidst this devastating scenery, we did not dare to stop, opting to push through deep into the bloody zone.
Then, unknowingly, I step into somehow a small yet squishable resistance in my feet. I look down, a seemingly long tube with fleshy texture in where I just step on. In … in… intestines. Dear goddess….
Creeped out, I focus my eyes to look dead straight ahead, trying my hardest to forget about it and not look at it anymore. But instead, now I see the corpse’s state in closer detail.
It’s state much worse than I thought.
Most of them are left with only their bones. Pure white, without even a sign of flesh nor blood dangling on them, as if they died a very long time ago, even though the slimes reported only appeared in this place just a mere two days ago. Organs absent in their bodies.
They lie on the cold rocky surface, limbs at awkward angles and heads held in such ways that they cannot be sleeping. Their faces clearly held lifeless expressions with a tinge of ghastly manner, signaling their last-minute state before death. Is this how slimes consume their prey?
At first, I thought the only reason they give out large rewards for this quest was purely that the monsters entailed in this place are slimes, but now… after discovering the slightly fresh corpses in this cold narrow place surrounded by earth, it would surely demoralize anyone, scaring anybody to push through.
I wonder how are they going to identify these unlucky corpses when all that’s left are just bones?
Is this the result of the slimes’ aggression… or their consummation of the flesh?
Is this going to happen to me if I fail to fight against the slime?
「 Master, are you okay? 」Siana calls me, stepping in front of me.
Damn it, I need to stop overthinking too much. Everything is fine, Siana is with me.
「 I’m alright Siana, thanks for asking. 」
While calming myself down, Siana goes ahead, leaving me slightly behind, even though I’m supposed to be the one leading. I follow behind her, away from the corpses. Shortly afterward Siana seems to find what seems to be a resting quarter, with chairs, tables, and the like in this place. Somehow dust lingers in a place like this, which might be because it’s an open space and near the mining track.
「 Master, I applaud your bravery, but this lowly slave thinks that you need to calm your mind down before pushing further. Please relax in this place for a while, master. 」
What…? I’m fine… Ahh… Alright, no point in arguing over this small matter. Since Siana heavily insists I reluctantly sit down in one of the available chairs, even if it’s a bit dusty, it should be fine.
『 Yn Lânń 』
Sparkled soft wind flows around the space out of my bewilderment, carrying the dust that lingers in this place, leaving no dust behind. The furniture becomes almost brand new with polished surfaces. I swear I can see sparkling effects on its surface.
Is this the so-called elven magic?
I didn’t even notice any magic runes, and her spell chant noise is pretty quiet.
「 Please forgive this slave for not cleaning the place further before you sit master… 」
「 Siana… Was that elven magic? 」I ask, intrigued by her unique magic.
「 Yes master. As master might’ve noticed, the elven magic is quite different from the human way of magic. I’m not sure how to explain the difference since I’m not familiar with human magic other than it’s seven schools of magic. But… but please be assured I will support master’s fight to the fullest. 」
「 That’s alright Siana, but can you explain what magic spells you can do so we can coordinate? 」
「 Ummm…. 」Siana says, looking downward, seemingly quite nervous,「 My magic workings would be supportive and healing spells. I can weaken the enemy and make master’s magic much more powerful. I could go in-depth but calming your mind is of the utmost importance in this situation, master. 」
After Siana says that, she kneels in front of me, shaking her body left and right lightly — dancing; a very charming characteristic of her. She’s doing so in order to calm me down huh… What a very attentive person.
「 Thanks, and Good job, Siana. 」I say, my hands on top of her head, head patting her.
「 Hehehehehe… 」Siana giggles happily.
The only positive thing about this discovery is that it means we are on the right track. The mineshaft is like a labyrinth with multiple branches and other tunnels it has. Good thing the guild gives us a map.
I pull out the mineshaft map that was given by the guild. It’s not overly detailed, only giving a general sense of distance and the multiple branches and divisions the mineshaft has. Added with general information that I personally as an adventurer don’t need such as the mining rail tracks and the ores such as manaritium ores that can be found throughout the mineshaft.
Just as I almost finished drawing and filling the map with our personal tracks, a mental alarm just went off. It could only mean one thing.
An unknown being recently passes by, detected by my spell. Then, another two mental alarms immediately ring inside my head. That means three in total.
「 Siana, three monsters are coming. It’s highly likely to be slimes. Get ready and remember to stay behind me. 」
「 Yes master! 」Siana says, seemingly poised and brimmed with energy that contrasts with her previous cute demeanor,「 Siana is always ready to support master fight! 」
I put away the map, back to my sling backpack. I stand up and walk to them as I ready my mental space to cast spells… And at last, they’ve come.
Three gigantic blobs of green ooze reaching half of my height. They seem to not have any distinct shapes, appearing as eerie gelatinous fluid. Their fluids, although monstrous green, are transparent enough to be able to see its blurred black ball core, the size of a fist.
They approach us rather slowly. I need to strike first.
『 Igni! 』
A burst of fiery blue comes out of my hand, devastating any ooze that touches the fire wave.
I swiftly dash towards the nearest slime. Having faced a full front of my fiery wave.
I strike my sword pointing directly to the slime’s core, barely protected by its ooze.
「 Clang! 」
The slime core crackens. The ooze surrounding it splash down to the ground spreading everywhere, as if it’s become water and not tied towards the slime core.
One down, two more to go.
The slimes move as slow as ever, even after I finish their breathens. Do they even care about their fellow slimes or they just don’t feel anything?
Then, the slimes curl their ooze individually, spinning it into a ball shape… What are they trying to do? Don’t tell me?!
The slime sends me their ball of oozes. Shit. That must be their attack.
『 Tårian 』
A white shield forms in front of me, blocking the ooze the slimes sent flying towards me. Releasing a hissing sound as it met with the shield, indicating its acidic nature. That was really close.
「 Thanks, Siana. 」
「 Don’t worry about me and go after them master! 」
I dash to them again, covering the distance pretty quickly.
『 Igni! 』
This time the fiery wave hits both of them. I use this chance to strike my sword to both of the slime’s cores.
「 Clang! 」
The slime core cracks. Just one more!
Damn, the last slime is still thick with ooze, holding my sword in its ooze, an inch away from the slime core.
『 Igni! 』
The ooze holding my sword is now gone. I strike my sword once more.
「 Clang! 」
And the familiar noise of the slime core crackens rings throughout this place.
Finally, all of the slimes are eliminated.
Fighting against slimes is alright, but if I keep encountering them, the need to drink mana potions will arise more and more. Especially with the upgraded, blue version of《Igni》. With three slimes I already depleted around seventy-five percent of my inner mana reserves. And that’s not counting the active《Biante》spell this whole time. I could drink mana potions easily but due to their expansive price tag, I wouldn’t get a high return on investment from the quest rewards if I keep doing it.
Let’s just hope I won’t encounter any of them anymore.
Out of my expectations, Siana comes to me, slowly placing her palm on top of my chest. What is she doi-
『 Ãdlęnwi 』
Her hands glow and soon like water flowing and filling a cup, my mana reserve is filled to the brim.
「 You never stop surprising me, Siana… Thank you. 」
「 Hehehe… I’m glad to be useful to master. 」
After collecting the three slime cores left behind to collect for reward, we continue pushing through the mineshaft again.
The appearance of slime seems to be a good thing since shortly afterward we come across what seems to be the end of the mineshaft, with a rough unfinished mining hole fit enough for a human to pass through.
I throw a lamp to the other side of the hole. The once dark place brightens slightly thanks to the lamp, revealing the horrifying slime ooze clinging on all walls or floors the light touches.
Bingo. We hit the jackpot. That’s the cave filled with slimes. We need to be quick. Can’t stay here for a long time, who knows when the next slime will come after us.
「 Siana, we’ve found it. Give me a moment to map the area. 」
I quickly open the map and continue the marks I’ve made on the map to indicate it towards this place.
From what I’ve heard, they will send《Dyron Temperament》adventurers and they will use my map to immediately traverse to the source of the outbreak. My only job is to scout and lessen the number of slimes if encountered.
With that in mind, our job is done. I can’t wait to receive my reward.
「 Let’s head back to the surface, Siana. I’m done mapping to this place. Our job is done. 」I say, finally glad we are done with our task without any injuries.
「 Yes master… 」
Surprisingly I’m quite tired… Maybe it’s because I have a lot of things in my mind or it’s just this hostile environment. Looks like we’ll just report back to the guild and then immediately head to bed. Who knows what time it is right now, by the time we breathe fresh air it is most likely to be evening.
「 Master… Are you by any chance… tired? 」Siana asks, somehow seemingly nervous.
「 Apparently so, might be because it’s been a long time since I trained or was in a combat situation. Do you have a spell to remove my fatigue? 」
「 Uhh… please forgive my stupidity… But I don’t know a spell to clear your fatigue master… P-p-please don’t abandon or sell me off! 」
「 Woah woah… Calm down, Siana. I’m just asking, it’s fine if you don’t have it. 」
I hug her again, feeling her slightly shivering. I also take this opportunity to give her head pats. Hopefully, this will calm her anxiety. I wonder why she’s so scared? This is not the first time she’s like this.
Although this hug’s whole intention was to calm her down, I can’t help but feel her fantastic breast pressing wholeheartedly on my chest.
「 S-Sorry master~ Maybe this slave could repay back by serving you with her big breasts~ 」Siana says erotically. Her hands making their way to hold my hardened dick still inside my pants.
「 Yeah sure… 」I say to her, not sure what to say…
「 Of course, master~ This slave would love to. 」
Oh well, looks like I can’t rest for the day just yet. For the night will be the true battlefield.