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Chapter 4 | Slime 4

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They found out he was following them and so the party decided to attack their stalker because they thought he was a strong enemy. Perhaps their objective wasn’t to kill him but to lure him away far enough so they could escape safely.

He could no longer find the party with his three-sixty vision, even when he concentrated fully. He had to find his own way out of the cave system.

Was I really strong enough for them to take such action against me? He thought.

He felt the blast from the swordsman’s attack, he felt as if he was about to be ripped apart. Perhaps they feared his crystal consuming ability.

Now that the cave system had fallen into darkness once again. He understood what darkness was. It was the absence of light and the fear of the unknown. Although he had his three-sixty vision, the feeling of being alone in the dark came to him again. He never liked to admit it to anyone but he was afraid of the dark.

With everything that happened in the past day or two, he was out of distractions for his fear. It began to take him over. And so, for one last time in this god-forsaken cave, he resolved himself.

He resolved to be angry, to turn his fear into anger and to do it in this life. Something a boy named Cayden never allowed himself to do. He’d allow himself to feel his shut away anger and it was so much that his slime began to boil, literally.

But the temperature change didn’t bother him, he quite enjoyed the sensation. To all those who mocked him, bullied him, made him wish he was dead and made him feel worthless.

He cried, TO HELL WITH ALL OF YOU!

To hell with his mother, his father, his sister, his brother, his ex-friends and bullies, all the people that made him feel dead!

The ground below him literally cracked apart as he unleashed his mana for the first time in a blind rage. The blast was heard as a shockwave across the cave system and echoed on for what seemed like a few minutes. The ground rumbled and roared in response, shaking loose the settled earth and dust.

Why do I always have to deal with all this shit… He thought as he calmed down.

The slime was just scared and needed to vent a little. Imagine falling into a hole and no one was there to see you fall. You were stuck and were starving to death. No one was looking for you and no one knew who you were. And then, someone spotted you in the hole only to steal your belongings and run.

DaMn HuMaNs… He would kill them if they were to ever meet again…

~!!

What was that?

He meditated as he let the cool air settle his hot slime. Reviewing what had happened since his birth he wasn’t one bit sleepy even after the explosion he just did. Did he not need to sleep? He was mentally exhausted, though. Something felt wrong but he decided not to question it and move forward.

However, that line of reasoning was flawed, it was more of an excuse for him. He has been far too casual about everything ever since he woke up from that vision of the spaceship getting space-torpedoed. He bet anyone else in his situation would freak out or go insane.

Was his slime body affecting him or was he like this before? He honestly couldn’t tell. In any case, something was affecting him. He needed to take more control or else he might lose himself.

He came back from his thoughts and looked at the surrounding area around the large cavern. All the giant bodies were liquefied.

Oops…

He supposed that the party was right after all for fearing him. If he had known he had such power, the party would’ve been killed. One caveat was his slime was almost gone. Only a thin coating of blue slime remained and his crystal visible. He noted that his crystal was a convex icosahedron instead of a shard-shape like before. It actually changed shape!

He noticed that more powerful monsters would yield larger crystals but would always be the same shape of a square bipyramid. If his unique crystal shape wasn’t because it was larger, then what did it really mean?

He began to eat all the leftovers to the last drop of blood, including bone, to regenerate his slime. As he mentioned before, he was casually eating the splattered bloodied corpses of giant monsters in a spooky dark cave on an alien planet.

He went to school yesterday.

He was full of energy and slime mass after eating, and despite that, his volume was around the same as before. Even when he ate that lizard leg, his volume didn’t gain much from before the explosion. He needed to test another thing. He changed the volume of his slime from a thin coating to a fat giant within seconds.

Confirmed, he was allowed to freely manipulate his slime volume without gaining density.

…Impossible.

The laws of physics would’ve liked to have a word with the slime but they would have to speak to the magic users first.

He shrunk down to his ‘normal’ smaller volume and began to journey upwards. With a loud bang, he jumped at high speed and ricocheted off the walls. The exit, he would find it even if it was the last thing he does!

He traveled higher in the cave system than he ever did before and met some new creatures. Vampire bats and giant insects crawled all over the place and each time he killed, absorbed, and dissolved them into his slime mass.

Slimes were no exception. He would pounce on the monsters, open up his slime to shallow them and let his acid melt them along with their crystals. He found another spawning pool and took a dip to absorb all he could. Every monster he killed, he gained slime mass and increased the size of his crystal ever so slightly.

He raced around in the cave system until he came to a dead-end and retraced his steps, every time. He rinsed and repeated this process at great speed and marked where he had been with an indent on the walls. It was a long and tedious process. He considered using his acid to dig a hole to the surface but it couldn’t dissolve inorganics.

Being constantly attacked by pests and wandering lost in the dark was torturous. He was getting delirious and disorientated.

After a few days of searching, he made it to another large cavern where a giant cobra literally came out of nowhere. How did it escape his three-sixty vision?! It must have cloaked himself with something or some ability.

He immediately dodged out of the way of the falling giant as it tried to pounce and kill him quickly. It used its tail to block his exit as it lunged for him again.

The sudden attack woke him up from his auto-pilot mindset of wandering and threw him straight into ‘do-or-die’ mode. The cobra was fast for its size and sent its numerous little offspring to attack him.

Their bodies acted like springs to match his high-speed bouncing with their own high jumps. However, the tiny snakes that caught him couldn’t even bite down before his acid claimed their lives and absorbed them.

The mother cobra did her best to block and hit the slime, swinging her head and tail around but couldn’t catch him. Bouncing every which way, he hoped to deliver a decisive blow to the boss. Aiming for the head, he launched himself towards it but was smacked by its tail, slamming him into the wall.

Ouch!

The slime really felt that. His crystal must have been hit. There was a lot of hurting and he never had a good tolerance for pain. He needed to end things quickly.

He jumped again up towards the snake’s head and formed his body into a net that wrapped around the snake’s head. The giant couldn’t avoid it. Before the mother giant snake knew what happened, she was reflexively fighting off the burning sensation. She crashed into the walls and ceiling trying to scrape off the slime. He lost a lot of mass from his slime body before the cobra succumbed and fell to the ground, lifeless.

With that, the baby snakes retreated and the slime was free to consume the corpses to regain his mass. The snake gave him a lot of trouble and he needed to rest for a bit. Actually, he needed to rest for a couple of days now. He pushed himself too far trying stubbornly to forge ahead, but every time he stopped, he got angry and it drove him forward.

If he wasn’t angry, he would be depressed, he realized. I need to get out of here…

The slime went along the length of the snake and took it into his body to dissolve it until he reached its crystal in its neck. It was roughly the same size as his and was in the shape of the bipyramid shard.

These ‘life-crystals’ only varied slightly in shape, he was the exception. It could be that the size of the crystal was quantitative while the shape is qualitative. It could be that his crystal shape represented his crystal-consuming ability. He had a feeling he would find his answer soon.

Consuming the large crystal into his slime, his acid did its work and began to break it apart. He could feel himself growing as he absorbed the crystal. The slime found new energy and strength as his slime’s color turned again from a sky blueish color to a darker blue.

He could feel himself radiating with an aura of power, or maybe magic? The slime continued his journey after eating the rest of the snake mother and its dead babies. He only needed to travel a bit further and at last, he spotted a light source upwards from his three-sixty vision.

As he made his way upward towards that light, he found evidence of civilization. Signs in the unknown language hung on some of the walls and stairs made of wood and stone. There were torches on the walls that were still lite. On those signs, he saw Latin characters.

Nope, he told himself.

If he started the debate again in his mind, it would never end and now wasn’t the time for it.

The slime rolled along the ground upwards and soon, his three-sixty vision came into contact with the outside world, the surface. Trees and grass-lined the hill he was in. He could see the beginnings of a forest, but also one of a human military fort. Hundreds of soldiers, men and women were at a stone fort at the base of the hill.

Of course, he didn’t go to the entrance immediately. He surveyed the outside surface by traveling through the cave system near the surface to peak out with his three-sixty vision. The soldiers were on high alert.

A small platoon was already at the cave entrance with their rifles. They were different from the party of four from before. They were uniformed with a coat of arms sown on their top’s right shoulder: a white bird flying over a yellow circle on a black background. The platoon formed into ranks and waited with their rifles drawn into the cave.

It was never so simple… They were waiting for him. He remembered the magical blast he almost took head-on. Could he survive a volley of that? Hundreds of soldiers were outside ready to kill him even if he could make it past them. He could see his freedom in sight yet they still had to be in his way.

Humans were like that... ThEy’Re AlL tHe SaMe. ThEy GeT iN mY wAy. I sHoUlD kIlL tHeM aLl. He didn’t need any more reason for him to kill them all.

Something in the back of his mind wanted him to hold back, think, and empathize—to understand the moral implications of his choice. But they were easily pushed aside by this new feeling taking over his mind and body.

Was he losing control of himself? No, he never felt more in control in his life here or before! He had power now and he would use it to slaughter the inferior humans.

A dark aura was consuming him as he made the trek upwards towards the light. The incline towards the entrance where the platoon of soldiers awaited him was angled in such a way that they couldn’t hit him from where the slime stood.

Things couldn’t get much simpler than this. His simple plan was this: quickly launch himself towards the line of soldiers, expand his mass and consume the dozens of soldiers all that once.

It would come with little warning and then he would then proceed to kill everyone in the fort. With no more delay, he launched himself off a wall towards the entrance. To get the right angle of trajectory, he needed to first get past the mild incline and bounce off the ceiling to get the soldiers in his sights. The battle was going to be decided within seconds.

Just as the slime ricocheted down from the ceiling, the soldiers fired their rifles upwards towards the incoming flying slime with frightening accuracy. The rounds whizzed passed him at great speed. He could even dodge the bullets in mid-flight by shifting his slime mass relative to his membrane.

When a bullet hit the surface behind him, the area crystallized and froze.

It was then he realized his tactical mistake. The slime didn’t know what his enemies were capable of and ran straight into them like an idiot. What got over him? After their first volley, they pumped their lever rifles to shoot again immediately. They hit him this time.

The bullet pierced through his membrane but didn’t get far in his slime as he momentarily increased the density of his slime in that area to soak the force of the blow. However, the bullet was working its magic with his slime and was threatening to freeze him solid.

He gathered his slime mass and pulled it away from the solidifying part with the lodged bullet. However, he got hit again and again by the freezing bullets. At this point, he lost all his momentum and dropped to the ground.

The weight of his crystallized slime was heavier than him and held him down. He rolled over on the ground and used it as a shield. He was in a bad situation. He didn’t know what came over him to make him believe he could fight them head-on.

He was scared now and trembled as he was attempting to keep the crystallization of his slime under control. Then, a series of explosions was heard overhead and went through the length of the ceiling. Rocks and dirt were falling down on him, burying the slime alive.

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