- Shari -
My name is Shari!
I’m a seventeen years old girl with short red hair, blue-eyed, and of average height. I live out in the middle of nowhere of my country named Rakis.
Yes, you guessed it, it’s the typical world of swords and sorcery, where adventurers seek to slay monsters, get rich, famous, or much more likely, die trying.
Well, I’m not really involved with that.
First, my family lives in a village.
Well, more in the forest that surrounds it, than with the other buildings, where we earn our living by cutting wood and collecting wild ingredients like mushrooms, berries, and common herbs.
As I said, there is nothing of interest close to the village.
In such a way that even the monsters seem to have forgotten us.
Actually, the only pathway to the main road, which connects the nameworthy towns, gets barely ever used.
So even if I would want to make a living by fighting for my life, there is no real way I would come close to a situation where I could choose such a path.
And at the moment I have no real discomfort with my way of life.
It’s just in terms of marriage I don’t see a future in this village with anyone.
I simply cannot see any of the boys I grew up with, in that way.
However, I’m not this deeply concerned about that.
So while my life is not noteworthy, it’s enough for me.
As a second reason: To be realistic, I can’t fight.
I have no over average body condition, for close combat fights.
No superior dexterity for lighter weapons and so far I know no magical aptitude.
Well, the last thing is difficult to check.
Yet, I’ve heard, that if there would be anything noteworthy, there would be indicators like odd feels caused by the energy or a natural attraction to your element, which I’ve not.
Now you would say that one should be envious of those privileged by life like this.
But as far it concerns me, magic is not this great!
Yes, magicians have some nice tricks, but to be true most are just one-trick-ponies and only around every tenth knows more than three different spells.
Those are also limited in power like giving you quite a shock or throwing fireballs that give you fierce burns before they run out of energy after three to seven shots, yet nothing outrageous.
Someone without powers could still stand his ground against these.
Besides this, most control no more than one element.
One would need to be a prodigy of the already very rare group of mages.
By the way, just every hundredth is a mage and from this group as well every hundredth might be a prodigy.
So notable mages are scarce and if not for usability, they are not more worth than normal fighters.
Well, they can be fighters themselves, but the training required to feel and use magic powers is obstructing training in other areas.
It affords apparently a strict training schedule of meditation and practice for a mage to channel magic into their bodies and expand the little capacity a human body can hold.
If that’s neglected, the abilities of the mage will deteriorate the same as the muscles of someone who stops his training.
Without training, for example, a fire mage wouldn't manage more than a spark to light a campfire.
On the other hand, you won't find a mage that isn't training.
The word affinity holds true in this regard, that such persons are drawn to their element.
I pity the parents of a fire mage. To keep the house standing should be a piece of work with such a child.
Like this, mages who are performing a second role are extremely uncommon.
Now to sum it up: I am no mage.
My third reason is to say: I hold my life dear!
There are no real threats nearby that would endanger just one family alone.
And while we don’t live in luxury, what we have is decent and I am rather content with my lifestyle.
So there is no real need to go for any risks.
It’s not that I’m completely opposed to excitement in general, but the whole sleeping in the wilderness, always threatened to lose your life, attracts me not so much.
I mean, there is no reason for me to live in constant danger.
You would need to be rather stupid to get yourself killed in the deeper part of the forest, where monsters actually exist.
And I mean to get killed by them, because the monsters here are nothing impressive.
By my talk about mages, you should be able to estimate the level of danger that exists in general, when I tell you that a group of four adventurers is generally enough to cope with nearly anything.
Even monsters that wield magic have not many shots and those cause not more than the spells of the average mage.
While legendary monsters exist, they have always an extremely low population, as they breed quite seldom.
Don’t know why it is that way.
Maybe a god didn’t want to see his creation overrun by millions of dragons that have no real enemies and then die by starvation.
- Would be a fault in the plan!
So like I said there are no real threats that endanger us in a noteworthy way.
And like I said before, this remote village is especially void of monsters.
All we have here are direwolfs, grindingboars, and… Urrgh: "slimes"!
Basically what the name says: A slightly bigger wolf, which is hostile to humans.
They hunt both in packs and alone.
Here you will only find the latter, since they are scarce in these parts and so superior to the rest of the fauna, to hunt effectively alone.
As my family goes rarely into the deeper forest, where they can be found, we always have a bag with strong-smelling herbs, which will spread all their contents if thrown on those occasions.
Those “smellbags” are enough to send them running.
It's an approved family recipe!
Not much to say about them.
Basically, a big pig with horns, that rushes at you.
If they would manage to strike you the wound should be so bad that there is no chance of escape.
If you are on your own in this kind of situation that you would be done for.
Still, they are just showoffs and non-carnivores.
They are not stealthy, announce their attacks, and lock it in a straight ankle.
In a forest quite harmless, since they don’t chase after you.
Also, smellbags work too.
So at last "goddamned slimes":
Slimes are the sole reasons why adventurers would ever come to our village for a quest.
Because I can almost hear the question: "Are they so dangerous?"
- Answer: No!
Slimes are simply the most recent pests our world has to deal with.
As far I’ve heard they escaped out of the dungeon of a mage, who made them as artificial creatures, from where they spread then, a good hundred-fifty years ago.
- By the way: Thank you pal for the most annoying and useless creatures the world has ever seen!
So to say, they are half-liquid creatures, just tall enough to reach to your knee, controlled by a crystalline round core inside.
They take basically everything in they can get a hold on but tend in general towards living stuff.
When one has devoured enough, they can kind of split by using the absorbed nutrition to form a new core and so you have two slimes.
But to soothe you, they aren’t going to bring one of the most inappropriate apocalypses you could imagine.
First, they are slow, not to say stationary.
Like this, it is no difficult task to kill them.
Well, it is difficult in the way, as their devouring ability uses some kind of extremely nasty acid or something like this.
Maybe that's a clue how they escaped in the first place.
This condition leads to many destroyed weapons, caused by aiming at the only weak spot of the core.
However, when you have the tools they are no problem for anyone, as long as you don’t touch them stupidly.
But since hitting the marble-sized cores is difficult and farming tools are hard to replace in the countryside, people commonly let adventurers do that job.
Another reason making slime oceans less likely would be that they are mainly carnivores.
While they can devour plants and are sometimes found targeting specific parts like fruits, it seems it does not work out for them.
There were even some cases when a single slime caused terrible damage to a harvest.
However, they go in general for living things and flesh.
Still, because they are slow, they are no real threat, making their rate of success abysmal.
Finally, because they are artificial creatures, you can’t use the logic of living creatures on them.
To clarify, calling them stupid wouldn’t right get the point, as it would imply a thought process in general.
It is more the fact that slimes are just not programmed for survival.
They have no real self-preservation-instinct and like that are not running away if they get spotted.
Or more like crouching in their case.
Also, they are not too keen on creating offspring.
Sometimes they do it once and never try again since they only act on a whim.
But they have no real urge to preserve their population.
However, I am surely not thanking the creator that he didn’t program his little pests to be something that would cause the end of the world.
To conclude: They are no real danger to humans.
Now the question: So why are adventurers coming even to your village, just to do this annoying, tool-wracking work?
- A good question.
Especially as the only valuable thing is the core with its energy; which is broken considerably less worth.
And you need to break it because otherwise, the core takes whatever energy it gets to make slime and breaks free.
Like this, breaking this thing is the only way to end the problem.
The answer why anyone would do such non-profit work is:
- Because it’s necessary to kill them.
Although they don’t create offspring frequently, they still do so.
Not like rabbits, but at least considerable numbers.
This alone would be no problem in itself.
The problem is that they have no natural enemies.
As they are not edible, there are no creatures that would hunt them.
Still, because monsters are territorial, they would attack them.
But first: They don’t aim for the core.
And second: Remember when I said don’t touch those bags of acid?
Well, monsters have limited ways to attack and are too aggressive to leave them be.
- That’s one source of nutrition confirmed.
Aggravating is that these creatures are so damned resilient.
The only way to kill them is by breaking the core.
When it comes to magic:
Lightning has an effect of short stuns but it’s not destructive on the core.
Ice works at best superficial due to the fact that it seems, the acid works as some kind of anti-freeze agent.
Fire does work a bit, but the heat alone is not dangerous to the core and while it does destroy the slime, it is more like throwing fireballs on liquid, exhausting one by the time you have a noteworthy effect.
Meanwhile earth magic has simply no real offensive potential.
It would be more effective just to throw these stones.
And what the hell do you want to do with wind?
So still, the only way to do the job is by using a weapon on a small target, in a moving blob that dissolves the steel in less than ten seconds.
- Talk about unwanted jobs!
Well, the only lucky point of this is that they are easy to spot because of their random generated colors for all breeds.
It is easy to spot yellow, red, pink, or blue dots in nature.
Well, that’s all about slimes and like this the monsters in the proximity of the village.
And because I can see this question coming:
Why does a village girl know so much about slimes?
The answer is simple.
While the only ones coming here are adventurers forced by the guild to do pest-control jobs, looking for a base for their operations, what do you think is the one thing, all of these groups coming here are commonly rambling about?
Well, I will not complain as what they do is foremost beneficial for the family business.
You know walking through the forest with less annoying traps one can step in.
So much for me and my life.
In my remote place.
In the middle of nowhere.