Lately, the guild has been pretty worried about the recent changes in the Grand Forest.
Because I got some connection with the Guild receptionist, I managed to get some info on the subject.
It seems that there had been countless sightings of what appears to be a big war between different monster tribes. We don't know yet the motives of such thing, but it seems that the intelligent monsters have formed some kind of alliance and settled down on the Rocky Mountains at the East.
Due to such dangerous events, the guild has banned the trespassing of adventurers to the Grand Forest. But this changed yesterday.
The nobles that control this town was worried about a new "Monster Wave" coming from that dangerous forest and began to put on countless subjugation quest. Some quests were easier than others, and if I and my team remain together, we don't think we will have many hardships. At the same time, we will make some easy money that we need right now.
I promised my little brother that I wouldn't back down and pay his school no matter what, even if it's incredibly expensive. I just need to slay some monsters for some days and get this easy money.
The reward for the quest we picked with my teammates was no more than ten thousand gold coins! With this, I will be able to pay for an entire year of my brother's school.
The quest itself was incredibly easy too. We just need to enter the forest and investigate what's going on, while killing at least 20 monsters. We also must bring their corpses to probe that we did kill them.
My team is composed of four members including me. I am the main tank that draws enemies so my teammates have an easy time killing them. I recently got some nice Silver Equipment and a beautiful Red Adamantine Shield, which I brought after saving money for two years.
The other three members are Arian, a small blonde girl with black eyes and a playful personality, she is the main Healer, keeping me at a nice health. There is Isabelle who is a half-elf with gray hair and blue eyes, she is rather tall and has a serious personality. She likes to boss me around sometimes, she's quite the talented Swordsman, using the power of the spirits to boost her agility and penetration power.
And the last but not least, there's Gustav, my trusty Archer, he has been a friend of mine since childhood and decided to follow me on my path towards the adventurer. He's quite small because his mother was a halfling. He has brown hair and blue eyes, he's quite popular with the girls.
When we had everything packed, we decided to move to the forest, saying my goodbyes to my little brother, I give him my lucky pendant to keep him at ease.
"Don't worry, I will be back soon. It's a pretty easy quest!"
"Big brother… O-Okay! I will prepare a delicious dinner when you're back!"
"Hahaha! I'm counting on that! See ya!"
A bigger adventurer group invited us to go with them on their caravan, because of the Vast Plans being too large to travel on foot, we would take at least 3 days to get to the forest.
I doubted joining them at first because these guys were rather shady. They were using tons of demi-human slaves. Their faces were full of resentment and hate. I wish I could do something for them. But I lack money and strength. Their entire group was made of around 10 adventurers and around 13 demi human slaves from all races and colors, there were Harpies, Lower Elf, Dark Elf, and even some beast-men.
I tried to talk with them on the way towards the forest but they always remained serious and in silence. When a little harpy girl tried to talk to me, she was stopped by a bigger harpy man, which I assumed was her brother or something. He told her to not talk with humans, as we were treacherous and dangerous. I tried to retort him but I was stopped by my teammates.
I don't like how these bastards treat demi-humans. If I ever get to have enough power to change their fate, I won't doubt on using it. Adventurers shouldn't carry slaves around, It's just not right…
We managed to get into the forest on the morning of the next days. We thanked the adventurers for their kindness as we departed in different directions.
Arian recently got a new skill from her Class named [Holy All-Seer Eye], it grants her the ability to see far away. And it can even be used separately, appearing like a floating eye made of light, that can track around the forest and send info to her.
After some hours of walking around, we beat some weak monsters we found around. They were rather weak and most of them were Tanuki variants, some being covered on a hard copper shell or others having a spiky shell. They will net some money if we well those shells. Thanks to Gustav who recently got the Item Box from the system, he was able to store up to 20 items! It was very convenient.
When we got closer to the fourth layer, we found a dungeon. Gustav and Isabelle were excited to explore it and obtain some riches, maybe this could be our lucky day. It has been ages since we explored a dungeon.
However, before we could even enter, Arian began to freak out as she felt and incredibly dense presence coming from the dungeon.
"W-Wait senior! T-There is a strong monster coming!"
Gustav aimed its bow towards the being coming from the dungeon, as I prepared myself and used my buff [Iron Guard] to boost my defenses. Isabelle remained at my back, infusing her sword with the spirit of the wind.
I thought that it could perhaps be some monster going crazy or some mini-boss. I never expected that what was coming would be a big group of around eight Trolls led by a powerful Red Ogre and a very tall Dark Elf.
The moment they noticed our presence, I felt as if their eyes saw through my entire soul. An incredible fear for my life rushed through my entire body, my brain was constantly yelling to me to run as fast as I could, to save my life and leave my friends to their deaths.
The Troll Group stopped for a moment as they raised their weapons with caution. The Red Ogre was the first to talk, as the Dark Elf looked at us with incredible resentment as if we have offended them for just being there. Seriously, what did we even do?
"Humans? This is unexpected. Hmm. I've always wondered how strong I am. I might as well try out my strength with them. What do you think, Celica?"
The Dark Elf which the Red Ogre named Celica, looked over Isabelle at my back, with incredibly deadly eyes.
"Hmmm… I also did not expect humans to invade our Home. We must report this to Master. But first, let's get rid of this nuisance. You can take the boy with the shield, Truhan"
The Red Ogre raised his dual axes as it engulfed its entire body in incredibly potent flames.
"Sounds good! Prepare yourself, Human!"
Due to their strength, I was sure that if we ever clashed with such strong monsters, we would surely die. Noticing their intelligence, Gustav tried to speak with them.
"W-Wait! We didn't come to harm any of you. Please! We didn't even know about your Master. We were just passing by. We just needed to hunt some monsters for food. We have already done our job, please let us leave. We promise we won't harm or come back here"
Suddenly, an explosive laughter came from the entire group, even the smallest of trolls laughed at Gustav words. Why are they laughing? It was a completely reasonable statement!
The Red Ogre stopped its laughter as it looked directly at Gustav with resentment.
"Human, you don't have the right to talk. You should have expected this outcome the moment you entered our domain. If you want to make us change our decision, prove it with strength! This is the Troll way!"
Troll? But he is an Ogre, isn't he?
Isabelle at my back was incredibly scared too, but she was the first to attack. Thinking that she could surprise them.
"I will distract them! Run!"
"I-Isabelle! I can't let you alone, I am supposed to protect you all!"
Isabelle engulfed her entire body on the wind spirit, becoming extremely fast. Rushing towards the Red Ogre.
"Activate Technique: [Triple Wind Slash]!"
Suddenly, countless sharp winds coming from Isabelle's sword tried to stab the Ogre on its chest.
To such a powerful aura, the Red Ogre didn't flinch at all, as a black shadow rushed ahead of him intercepting Isabelle.
It was the Dark Elf, she was extremely fast, and was covered on a shadow cloak, she was wielding two magic daggers of very high quality.
To such overpowering presence, Isabelle froze in time, as her sword shattered on her hands.
The Dark Elf woman laughed for a moment, as she raised her left arm and with a single slash, Isabelle's head rolled through the floor.
It happened so fast that I wasn't able to do anything at all, and even my teammates didn't manage to run in time.
"Weak… Is she really an Elf? No matter, her meat might come useful for our Master"
As I was still processing the death of Isabelle, one of my most precious teammates, the Dark Elf dared to insult her even after killing her! Do monsters have not respect for the ones they kill?!
I felt a sudden anger and resentment build in my heart as I activated all my buffs on my body, covering it in a thick layer of powerful energy.
The Red Ogre laughed at my anger as it took an offensive stance.
I tried slashing the Red Ogre body with my silver sword, who I previously covered in Blade Energy but his skin was as hard as the most powerful Adamantine.
At my second slash, my silver sword shattered in tiny pieces. Even then, I had to build time for my teammates, as I tried punching the Red Ogre on the face.
However, its face didn't change at all, and I felt as all the bones on my hand were demolished into dust.
The Red Ogre looked at me with disappointed eyes, as if he had expected something else. Something more thrilling.
"You were right, Celica. Weak, such weakness…"
The last thing I saw before my mind blackened, was a massive red-colored axe slash my entire body in pieces and my teammates being massacred by the Dark Elf.
I wasn't strong enough, to protect you all. I'm sorry.
Little brother… I'm sorry…
After Gaby told me her feelings. I needed to correspond them. But this wasn't the time for that. I told her that I would when we get back on my Kingdom.
Gaby raised her muscular arms as she looked at me with a blushed face.
"A-Alright then! Hehe…"
While we went back towards the surface, I suddenly got countless direct messages from my servants. They were all from the expedition teams.
"Hmm? What is this?"
I read the first one that come from Celica.
"Dear Master Kireina, when we finished exploring the dungeon that you assigned to us, we encountered some unexpected guests. They were a group of four very weak Humans, we quickly disposed of them and took their equipment and meat. It will be a nice gift for you. On the other hand, we encountered a powerful boss on the dungeon but we managed to beat it with our combined attacks. We obtained a special reward for defeating the boss, Truhan obtained a [Unique] Dual Axe named Ifrit. While I obtained a pair of magic daggers of [Unique] class named Moon Bats. We leveled quite a lot too, and most of the rookies are ready to evolve after our expedition. We will be back in the Kingdom in two days. Because of our dungeon exploration being too short, we will take a detour and explore some unknown places, while eating new monsters"
I was surprised by Celica's news; it seems that Humans have entered the forest again. I was already wondering why we haven't seen any in the last month, even when there is a town so close.
If they were killed that means that they threatened the lives of my servants or tried to kill them. If they did so, then there is no point in worrying about them. They should blame their bad luck.
Just as I was wondering if more Humans came, I decided to read the other direct messages.
This one was from Kizuato.
"Great Master Kireina, while looking for the dungeon with my team, we found a strange group of humanoids. They seemed to be Humans. When we tried to speak with them, they raised their weapons and came after us. I quickly took care of all of them with a single swipe of my sword. They were way weaker than I expected. Such foolishness. The Humans were carrying around 13 slaves with them. They were all demi-humans or monsters. Due to them asking for our help, we freed them from their chains and healed them. They thanked us greatly, wanting to follow you. Some of them are even stronger than those humans, I can't believe that they were able to enslave such strong warriors. I sent some monkeys with them to head back to the Kingdom. They should arrive tomorrow morning"
After reading this message, I wondered what was the real motive for humans to come to this place. They should already know about the danger of this forest or the monsters inhabiting this place, yet they still come risking their lives. Unless they were ordered by some kind of organization. They shouldn't have come.
My first suspect was the Guild itself. Probably the turmoil we have created with the recent wars made the Humans realize that something wrong was going on here. I wouldn't be surprised if they send more Humans in the next weeks. Although I don't mind my servants killing humans to protect themselves, I should still tell them to prioritize over capturing them than outright killing them.
[You have received a direct message from servant: Abellona]
"Abellona? More humans died? Sigh, read"
"Hello Kireina, I'm not one of those people that like to annoy you over direct messages but I needed to tell you what just happened. We recently came across a group of around 13 Humans. After seeing Humans again, my brothers went berserk and I had to calm them down before they would go on a rampage. Some Humans even after seeing our difference in strength tried to attack us and kill us, so we ended up killing 8 Humans, with 5 survivors. We will carry them to the Kingdom after we are done with our exploration. They also carried 4 demi-human slaves of the beast-man race, they obediently followed us and asked if they could join your Kingdom. We will leave this to your command"
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This news made me rather happy, because they managed to capture some Humans alive, I will be able to interrogate them in detail and know more information about their community.
On the way towards the dungeon, I told my wives about this news as they contemplated the idea of the surviving Humans. Zehe seemed interested in them and even wanted to do experiments with their bodies. Nesiphae actually wanted to eat some. Rimuru was mostly neutral but I also noticed her desire to devour them. Brontes was different, she wanted to spar with them.
Gaby, on the other hand, wanted to know them and maybe make friends. Because she comes from an advanced humanoid society, her way of thinking is less "twisted" than my wives. I can't blame them for having a "twisted" way of thinking. As they were born and raised as monsters, they are closer to animals than humanoids that possess higher standards and morality. There isn't much space for morality in the wild.
Anyways, I will respect most of their needs and I will even treat them like normal people, if I manage to befriend Humans, I could easily make connections with them and even the guild. If I could manage to solve this issue peacefully, they might stop their useless raids.
Maybe they might have sealed the Wyvern Overlord and destroyed his Kingdom, but that is on the past, hundreds of years in the past. Humans might have changed a little bit now, and perhaps there are already demi-humans and monster Kingdoms elsewhere.
After 50 minutes of walking, we finally reached the Water Shrine Dungeon. This dungeon has at least 10 different floors. I wonder what riches awaits us.
[Lower Dungeon Found]
[Water Shrine Dungeon: Once used to praise the water spirits inhabiting the Grand Forest. After the spirits were sealed on the shrine, it has been corrupted by the corrosive amount of magic and dangerous creatures have spawned inside. A rewarding price awaits the one who defeats the dungeon boss]
[Danger Level: Lower Kaiser]
Gaby raised her aquamarine-colored sword.
"So, this is the dungeon? I can't wait to fight even stronger opponents! Let's go!"
My wives looked at Gaby's enthusiasm with warm smiles, as we followed her towards the first floor.
The first floor was filled with a new variant of slimes we haven't seen before. These slimes were using cauldrons as their shells, and they seemed to be made of countless different liquids. They had spiral eyes and could extend their bodies into big hands that could shatter the dungeon walls with their punches. They were still weaker than Gaby, as she slashed them easily with her new Blade Energy techniques. We killed around 24 of various colors.
[You gained 186200 EXP] [The rest of your servants gained some EXP]
[You gained two levels!] [LEVEL 28/70 EXP 11610/118000]
[Your servants gained tons of levels!]
When I tried to eat one, a lot of different ingredients entered my mouth. It seems that these slimes are made of a lot of different chemicals things, mostly used on alchemy. Some tasted like potions while others tasted like paint or even liquor. Their cores also varied in flavors, some being very bitter and others deliciously sweet.
[You and your servants learned the following Skills]
[Jumping Alchemy Slime Core]
[Alchemy Slime Secretion]
[You learned the following Skills]
[Muscular Body Fluids Manipulation]
"More unique Skills only for me… Let's see…"
[Confusing Glare] was pretty simple, everything weaker than me that I glance with my eyes become confused for 20 seconds. I tried it on a big group of slimes and they all began to attack each other.
[Muscular Body Fluids Manipulation] grants the power of my Slime Secretion skills and Slime Shapeshifting to obtained a muscular property, becoming strong enough to shatter even rocks.
As we kept advancing, I tried my Confusing Glare on every slime I saw, the cost of using it was way lower than my [Mystic Eyes] ailments, and I didn't need to constantly look at my foes for them to have the ailment. I'll try to accumulate more of these glare skills and fuse them with my [Mystic Eyes].
With the confused slimes attacking each other, Gaby had an easy time harvesting their lives. Sadly, these slimes didn't possess a soul for me to feed on. She killed around 27 before we reached the boss's room.
[You gained 191560 EXP] [The rest of your servants gained tons of EXP]
[You gained one level!] [LEVEL 29/70 EXP 85170/122000]
[Your servants gained tons of levels!]
The dungeon had a very damp scent on it, there was a lot of moss growing all around the dungeon which created a small mist. The walls were carved on an ancient language and were cracked with the passing of time. The first boss floor had an incredibly large blue-colored door. It was made of a blue variant of Adamantine.
As we pushed the door, the first boss finally showed up, it was a powerful Alchemy Slime of around two times the size of Nesiphae. It was using two cauldrons to protect itself, while using its powerful slime arms to attack, leaving deep holes with each punch.
Brontes wanted to do some action so she ended up assisting Gaby on the killing, using her powerful thunderous blows alongside Gaby Blade Energy attacks, the cauldron shells were easily shattered. The Slime desperately tried to get rid of them, throwing powerful blows, and shooting corrosive acid. However, Brontes used her Spirit Shield to protect herself and Gaby, as they slowly diminished the boss HP with powerful Thunder and Blade Energy attacks until it reached 0.
When they finished, both girls were covered on slime as they sat over the pile of shattered slime core and its cauldron. This Slime Core was quite big, as big as a car. It contained a powerful essence even after the slime death.
[You gained 224600 EXP] [The rest of your servants gained tons of EXP]
[You gained two levels!] [LEVEL 31/70 EXP 61770/130000]
[Your servants gained tons of levels!]
[Congratulations, you and your party have successfully defeated the Floor Guardian]
[Everyone on your party have received a [Reward Gift (Rare+)] x2 and [HP and MP Potion Pack (5)] on your Item Box]
"Oh? We even got a [Potion Pack]? This really feels like a game…"
This Slime boss tasted completely different than the rest, having a delicious liquor flavor alongside an interesting sweetness. The Core was very hard and tasted like candy. It was so big that we only ate 1/3 out of it and saved the rest. Rimuru was the one that loved this slime taste the most, I wonder if she had realized that what she is doing is cannibalism.
[You and your servants learned the following Skills]
[Jumping Alchemy Slime Emperor Core]
[Corrosive Toxin Secretion]
[Corrosive Toxin Coating]
[You learned the following Skills]
[Alluring Ecstasy Scent]
[Slime Body and Secretion Enhancement]
Before advancing through the second floor, we decided to open our [Reward Gift]. From my Item Box, I took the two gifts, this time they were purple colored boxes decorated with a pin that seemed to resemble the boss of the floor… It almost looked like something straight from Earth.
The first Box flashed on a bright light as it slowly dissipated, leaving a different item behind.
[Alchemy Slime Emperor Gold Bracelet (Rare+): A golden bracelet beautifully decorated with small bites from the Alchemy Slime Emperor Core]
[Effect: Grants +18 to Magic and Resistance]
[Second Effect: Grants the [Advanced Alchemist] Class to its wielder. This job effect will disappear if the bracelet is unequipped. Can stack with other Subclasses.]
"I already got an Alchemist subclass, how this will even help me?"
The Second gift gave me a scroll.
[Slime Master Skill Scroll: Grants two random skills from the [Slime Master] Class]
"Slime… Master? Is that like a Tamer Class?"
I quickly used the scroll and a big amount of information crossed through my mind, making me instantly learn two random Skills from this Class Tree.
[You learned the following Skills]
[Slime and Master Union: Thanks to the love and affection that your tamed Slime has with you, the two of you can combine your strength and obtain an enhanced boost in your stats]
[Cost: 150 MP] [Last 30 Minutes]
[Slime Taming Proficiency: Increases the likeness of your tamed Slime over you. Increases Affection and EXP gained from any tamed Slime] [Passive]
"By tamed Slime they mean… My Rimuru and the Slime Family? Hmm, Rimuru, come here a bit"
Rimuru was admiring her new items obtained. She got a pretty Staff and a Pendant.
After trying the Skill with her, I found out it was quite an amazing boost, as it used our base stats for the total boost. Giving 1/3 of our base stats to each other. Rimuru could feel all her capabilities exploding towards a new level. Wanting to try this new power, Rimuru rushed through the floor walls as she punched the entire wall with her bare hands.
The entire wall began to shatter into tiny pieces, leaving only the ground surrounding the dungeon.
"Ooooh! Mastaa! I am super strong now, guuuuu!"
I patted Rimuru as she entangled me around with her new strength, almost shattering my bones.
From the rewards, Zehe got a new pair of [Rare+] Enhancement Boots alongside a [HP Enhancement Potion].
Nesiphae obtained the same ring as me, alongside a Dark Spirit Stone. This stone granted her the skills [Darkness Manipulation] and [All Dark Resistance].
Brontes obtained another stone but this time it was a Fire Spirit Stone, which gave her [Heat Manipulation] and [All Fire Resistance], she also got a pair of [Rare+] Enhancement Gloves.
Lastly, Gaby got herself with a [Rare++] [Pet] Item. Its name was [Guubo] and it was a powerful Thunder Slime with a resplendent Yellow Body. The second gift was a [Rare+] Pendant that gave her a nice boost in Resistance.
I tried to inspect this [Pet] Item if it had any difference between just a normal Slime that you can raise to become stronger. And it indeed had. Unlike my summoned Slimes, this one had a powerful Soul inside of it, alongside some very interesting skills. The first one was [Enhanced Evolution], which guaranteed to give it the best evolutions possible that its class tree has. The other skills were [Super EXP+] and [Auto Item Pickup], the first one gives it double its gained EXP and the second one the power to instantly teleport any picked item to Gaby Item Box.
I nodded with a little bit of jealously.
"Hmm. Indeed, just like those games. With the Auto Item Pickup pets… That brings some nostalgia"
Gaby looked at me with curiosity.
"Hmm? What game is that, Master?"
"A-Ah! N-Nothing! Anyways, let's keep going"
While walking across the room, I noticed that the wall that Rimuru destroyed went towards a hidden room. Inside the hidden room, there were countless corpses of different animals and monsters. We quickly took the equipment and weapons of those unlucky adventurers alongside some riches inside the chests.
There were three different chests inside, we got a big pile of Human Gold alongside tons of rare gems. On the third chest, there was an incredible amount of Spirit Stones of all types. I was about to gulp them all but Zehe stopped me, telling me to save some for our Kingdom, as Spirit Stones are very valuable weapon materials.
I ended up eating one of each, there were only three types of Spirit Stones, but around 23 in total.
[You learned the following Skills]
[All Thunder Resistance]
[All Water Resistance]
[All Fire Resistance]
In the end, we got ourselves with more than one thousand gold coins, loads of precious gems, tons of Spirit Stones, 3 [Rare+] magic weapons and an [Unique] armor set. All of these precious items are going to my Kingdom's development and treasure room.
The [Unique] armor set was interesting, as it was a beautiful purple colored chest plate with the skills [Body Adaptability] and [Self Evolution], the name of the chest plate was [Shadow Rose Chest Plate]. The corpse that had it looked like an elf woman, probably with a lot of money. Maybe a noble. Eating their bones did not give me any Skills sadly.
I decided to equip this chest plate instead of eating it. I slowly felt how the chest plate adapted around my breast and chest, it was very comfy.
[Shadow Rose Chest Plate [Unique]: A beautifully crafted chest plate made by a talented Blacksmith using Purple Shadow Silver as its main ingredient.]
[Effect: Grants +30 Defense and Resistance]
[Secondary Effect: [Body Adaptability: The armor can adapt to any kind of body size and shape]
[Third Effect: [Self Evolution: The armor can reinforce itself and evolve after ingesting different kinds of minerals]