Ch. 62: Continuing After Passing
“This means we passed the exam, right?”
Feim said while peeking down the stairs leading down to the next floor.
“Yeah, but we’re going to go for the deepest floor.”
As Ain nodded and declared so, Cloud nodded as well.
Al had a satisfied smile on his face, and Feim looked back towards Loren and Lapis with a slightly worried face.
“No reason to look over here. We’ve got nothing to say.”
“We’re only proctors, after all.”
Loren answered with dissatisfaction on his face, while Lapis answered with a smile on her face, but with her voice filled with sarcasm.
After glancing at the two of them with hostility in his eyes, Ain looked back towards his party members and said to them with fresh resolve.
“Okay, we’re going to reach the bottom floor and take Volf’s fortune and show the whole school that we’re this capable.”
“Yeah then all those noble brats will be so frustrated.”
“We can do it. Even if we can’t do it alone, if we work together, we definitely can.”
As they huddled and got ready, Loren watched them in silence, dissatisfaction still covering his face.
He really wanted to tell them to head back, but when he calmed down and thought about it, Loren and Lapis had business on the bottom floor as well, and in order to get into the tenth floor, they needed the permit that was given to the students.
Putting that into consideration, although telling the students to go back was appropriate suggestion, having them go on was better for their own business.
“Can I ask you something?”
Lapis interrupted Ain and his party’s conversation.
Since Lapis was the one that called him, not Loren, Ain gave her a questioning look, but Lapis didn’t take any notice and asked what she wanted to.
“About the permit to the bottom floor. May I ask what it is and who has it?”
“Why do you want to know?”
As expected, the one who started was Cloud.
But he was a lot quieter than when he lashed out at Loren.
Lapis was a neat and clean priestess when she didn’t say anything, and even when she did, as long as she didn’t expose her wickedness, so to say, she was affable, and on top of that, she was quite beautiful.
It seemed that Cloud couldn’t lash out at her in the same manner as he did to Loren.
“I’ve heard that it will become more dangerous from here on, so I want to gather as much information that could be useful in the case of an emergency.”
“In that case, I have it.”
Ain answered Lapis’ question.
Ain took out a silver necklace from underneath his breastplate, and on the chain was a silver ring.
“May I take a look?”
“Y-yeah, I don’t mind.”
After asking for permission, Lapis defenselessly walked up to Ain, took the chain around his neck, and took a careful look at the ring on her palm.
The chain was still around Ain’s neck, so Lapis’ body was very close to his, and as Loren saw Ain’s face get flushed, he couldn’t help but get a bored feeling.
“I see, this is the key. Thank you.”
After examining the ring for a while, Lapis pressed the ring and the chain onto Ain’s chest and thanked him with bow and a smile on her face.
This made Ain’s face even redder, but Lapis immediately walked back to Loren without taking any notice.
“T-that was good enough? Then let’s go down to the sixth floor now.”
Ain managed to declare so, with his face still flushed and voice slightly flustered.
No one disagreed, and the group, led by Ain and Cloud, were met by a totally different sight than what they had seen in the previous floors.
No one in Feim’s party could answer her question, while Loren and Lapis were speechless at what they were seeing.
At the bottom of the stairs was a stone corridor, like the previous floors.
But the difference was that there were transparent, but at the same time clouded, mucus scattered everywhere.
On top of that, the mucus was squirming its body and slowly moving along the floor and walls of the corridor.
“This is pretty disgusting.
Behind Ain and the others, who were standing there speechless, Loren couldn’t hide his disgust as he looked around at what the light from the lantern was shining on.
Lapis, who was looking around curiously at the sight, squatted down beside the nearest blob of mucus and stared at it for a while, then stood up and told them the identity of the mucus.
“These are slimes.”
“Slimes? You mean slimes as in those kinds of slimes?”
Even Loren, who had grown up on the battlefield, heard about slimes before.
Of course, he had seen some, since they sometimes popped up after battles had ended.
They were indefinite blobs of liquid and were categorized as simple and inferior monsters with no will or emotion at all.
They possessed different elements sometimes, based on the environment they live in, but they were slow with low defenses, and could be easily killed by destroying their cores with something as simple as a stick.
“I think these are probably slimes.”
“Oh man…we’ve come to a bad place.”
The students’ gazes focused on Loren when he muttered that.
Feim gave him a puzzled look, while the other three looked at him as if he was stupid.
“It’s only a bunch of slimes. What are you so scared for?”
Cloud crushed one under his boots as he said that.
It was easily crushed since it was mostly liquid, and it spread across the floor weakly as its core was destroyed.
“What I’m scared of is none of your business.”
‘Ha! If you’re scared of monsters like these, you must not be much in the first place.”
Cloud continued to make fun of him, but Loren ignored him.
“Lapis, do you have a torch?”
“Yes, I do.”
Loren pulled out his large knife hanging from his waist with his right hand and held the torch Lapis had handed him in his left.
Lapis lighted the torch with a flint, and Loren raised it high over his head.
“What’s he doing?”
“Don’t mind him. Let’s go. We haven’t met Parme’s party yet, so they should still be ahead of us.
Nodding at Ain’s decision to move one, Cloud moved next to him at the front and started walking ahead.
Walking behind Feim and Al, Lapis said to Loren, sounding slightly impressed.
“Loren, you know how scary slimes can be.”
“These guys are dangerous. They don’t have any unnecessary thoughts or emotions, after all. That makes them able to accurately respond to prey. It’s true they’re slow and can be killed easily…but if the conditions are met, they could even take down experienced mercenaries.”
“In a battlefield before.”
Loren said with a grim look on his face.
Loren went silent for a moment, recalling that time, and started telling her the story.
“It was a terrible battle. Well there aren’t any battles that aren’t terrible. Anyways, I’m not sure who was playing around, but there was a lot of magic used, and lots of allied and enemy soldiers died, so after the battle there were way too many bodies to clean up.”
“That’s…According to one research, slimes are creatures that appear in places where mana is built up or disturbed, so I guess a slime spawned there.”
Lapis told Loren that if enough magic was used in situations such as battles, the mana in the area becomes disturbed momentarily.
And when water, blood, and corpses are added to that disturbance, slimes are born.
Loren had experienced such a battle, but in general, slimes were creatures that ate anything they found that could be consumed.
“There were so many bodies, we decided to let it eat some of them.”
“Ah…I can already see how it ended.”
“We knew it would grow bigger as it ate, but we didn’t expect it to multiply.”
Regardless of how it spawned, slimes were living creatures.
Of course, they would grow when they ate, but slimes proliferated by splitting into two after they had gotten large enough.
The slimes, which had an abundant supply of bodies to consume, grew rapidly and multiplied, and continued that cycle.
“In the end, there were so many slimes, they became like a giant tidal wave in the battlefield.”
Loren muttered about how much of a nightmare that was.
The slimes ate everything they could, including water and dirt along with the bodies, and multiplied in number and size, then started consuming everyone in the area, allies and enemies alike, and that was the horror that Loren had experienced.
“A giant wave full of melting bodies mixed with a lot of other things…”
“I don’t need an explanation. What will you do if I start imagining it?”
“I still have nightmares about it sometimes.”
“You’re making me lose my appetite…Well, at this rate, today’s dinner will be disgusting rations…”
Since she rejected an explanation with such a disgusted face, Loren didn’t need to force one.
But when he looked around, hoping that the students would now feel some of the feelings of dangers that he was feeling, but they just had disgusted expressions on their faces and didn’t seem to feel any sense of danger at all.
Seeing that, Loren decided that it was hopeless, but then Lapis snuggled up next to him a lot closer than she needed to.
“It’s nothing special, but I just thought that this is probably the safest place right now.”
Loren could understand some of what Lapis meant by that, so he didn’t say anything and continued walking.
To those who didn’t understand the situation, it seemed like they were just flirting with each other, as Ain immediately looked away, while Cloud clicked his tongue and glared at Loren.
Al immediately lost interest in them and turned around, but Feim was looking at Lapis, who was hugging Loren from the side.
“Are you two in that sort of relationship?”
“What do you mean, that sort?”
“Feim, there may be a little bit of what you are expecting, but this is different from that.”
Feim turned red as Lapis interrupted her question in a flat voice.
“If you understand our current situation, you would understand that this is the safest position…but I guess it’s a bit difficult for you to know that.”
Since Lapis had used the word safe, it meant that they were currently in danger.
But Feim seemed like she didn’t feel the amount of danger that Lapis was currently sensing.
“Feim! Don’t mind them. Hurry up, we can’t move on because you’re the one with the lantern!”
Feim was still wondering about Lapis’ words but chased after the others when Cloud called her.
“Man, it’s full of slimes. What do we do about this?”
“It’s a lot of work, but let’s crush them one by one. It won’t hurt to lessen every possibility of danger.”
Agreeing to Ain’s suggestion, Cloud and Al started stomping and hitting the slimes on the floor and walls one by one.
Ain also started running his sword through the slimes’ cores, so their progress slowed down.
“They won’t last two seconds if something attacked us right now.”
Lapis, who was still clinging onto Loren, said it like it was someone else’s problem, but Loren’s eyes followed Ain and his party.
“Do you think there’s something that would attack with all these slimes around?”
“I wish there would be.”
Lapis lowered her tone and hung her head.
Slimes were creatures that consumed anything that they could.
In a situation where so many slimes existed, Lapis couldn’t imagine something other than slimes being there.
“Hey! I found something!”
Lapis’ thoughts disappeared as she heard Cloud’s loud voice.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
I was really sick for since Saturday, and I’m still stick.
I’ve never been this sick before in my life.
I was never one to get sick at all, and this is the first time a cold has lasted more than two days.
I was so miserable for the past few days…
Okay, funny story.
I never knew what it was like to not be able to distinguish tastes, but after my taste buds went weird, I couldn’t tell the difference between strawberry syrup and mango syrup.
Both of them just tasted sweet.
Hopefully I’ll get better by the end of the week and I’ll be able to upload on the vague schedule that I have.
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you guys in the next chapter!