- Shari -
So I find myself in a corridor.
On the right is a stair leading downward, while several doors line up the wall.
There's also a big one at the end to the right.
Since this is enemy territory I start to reform the shell over my core.
- One can't be too cautious!
Dimly lit by a bit of moonlight this place gives a special atmosphere.
Kinda weird how it's shining through my body, making it glistening.
And the floor is surprisingly high class in its appearance if I consider the outer appearance this building had.
Liqu is concentrating in some way.
Then her eyes rush open and she turns to the door at the right end of the floor.
Even without Liqu's bloodhound perception, I would have guessed that this is the best place to look for some rich underworld boss.
I mean, it looks sturdy but is covered with complex ornaments.
You wouldn't find something like this covering a storage room!
I hear some commotion from down the stairs.
"Did you hear that these adventurers the boss wants dead are back in town?"
"Was hard to miss! He already sent a whole troop to the place they're staying!"
- What? Shit, our stuff is still there!
Apart from my blade, I have nothing with me right now.
Well, and the money which is in my clothes.
Elin wouldn't dare to run with it, would she?
At least I don't think so.
For a scam, this seems in my opinion far too elaborate.
"But isn't this a little excessive? The boss doesn't tend to take things this personal."
"Apparently one scrunched his hand so much he still can't use it right. And I've heard from Seno that he even sustained burns because of something they put on it back then."
I look behind me and see Liqu innocently averting her eyes.
As much you can make this out in this kind of face.
- This slime!
"And then there is what they did to Rick and Gordo. They're dangerous!"
"Sill, twenty men? I want to see what they'd do against those!"
- Probably a carnage.
- Which wouldn't be good.
- Alright, that's enough! Back to business!
We have to get through this door and get done.
As fast as possible I would want to add.
The problem is, it's probably locked and like I said sturdy.
At least I would lock my room if I were in Cid's position.
And it would be a bad idea to start rumbling at the handle to check, concerning the noise.
Yet we have something better.
Liqu moves forward and grabs for the handle.
But instead of pulling it, she pushes, so that her mass encloses the whole area around it.
I just hope that no one hears that sound or at least they dismiss it.
While the lock looked quite impressive there isn't this much it does anymore when the frame around is missing.
Pulling the remaining part of the door open is like this rather easy.
And so we can enter a luxurious apartment.
There is distinctive snoring.
Following that noise, I find our sleeping "soon-to-be-victim".
Now all we have to do is making him vanish and leave the same way we came.
Without the paying party, the bounty on our heads might disappear as well.
At least I hope so.
So Liqu gets close, gliding on her liquid and leaving astonishing little residue behind.
But what is really distressing, is that there is absolutely no sound.
Simply seeing her sneaking in that way to an unsuspecting sleeping person feels off-setting.
But on the other side, this is the best for us.
Fast, clean, and most important silent!
If one wents out assassinating someone at least this should be the premise.
We don't need to worry that much because of the slime traces we leave.
Those should vanish before any kind of investigation takes place if that even happens, considering where we are.
And I'm pretty sure none of these thugs is able to conclude what happened here from a bit of slime.
So it's just important that we don't draw any attention on us.
And while we are at things best done silently.
There is quite a number of coins on the table here at the entrance.
When we are already here...
Well, it is kind of convenient that I can simply stroke with my hand over it without having to worry about any unnecessary sounds.
The slime dims any possible clattering quite well.
And from an ethical viewpoint:
As far I'm concerned he did scam us with the rager so that a little recompensation can't be wrong.
I want at least gain a bit out of this far too vexing day.
I mean too much went wrong.
It can't be expected too much that one time things work out for me.
- Shit, the rest of the lock fell out of the doorframe!
- Don't wake up!
- Don't wake up!
- Don't wake up!
"Liqu! Now!" (Shari)
- Too loud!
- Too loud!
- Too loud!
- This isn't good!
"Hey, was there something? Boss?!"
Why can't ever a plan work out?
- We need to get out here! Now!
- No! There are none!
- Sure there are none! Assassins might sneak in!
We can't afford to leave traces, but Liqu will need a moment till she is done with the whole body and can again move undisturbed.
And I can't find a way to get out here easily.
Etching a new exit will take too long.
The fastest way out is the window in the corridor we came from.
Yet it will take too long for us both to squeeze through the small hole and I honestly don't feel like abandoning my core-shell in this situation.
But it will also take too much time to open the window and get through.
And Liqu needs more time!
- What do I do?
- What do I do?
- I have at most eight seconds!
Well, thanks to the emergency activation of high-speed thinking I can at least press all this panicking in this timeframe but something more substantial would be nice.
Okay, killing them is a problem because I am sure there is a limit to the bodies Liqu can dissolve and still take as body mass with her since giant slime residues would be bad.
This much won't simply evaporate.
Killing them the normal way without dissolving might be possible without too much pointing on slimes as the culprits.
But to be honest, I am not sure if I am proficient enough to make this happen.
Especially when I have no idea how many there are exactly.
And Elin down there is just our absolute last line if they run away after having seen too much.
If I could just stop them from getting up here.
But how without revealing me?
- That's it!
With disturbingly precise control over myself, I dash back into the corridor.
In here is one particular object of interest.
And this is the lamp.
It is a small burning fire beneath protecting glass.
Having no time to remove it, I let my mass glide through the one vent for air above.
It's good that slime doesn't burn.
- And the flame is damped!
With the only light source gone, they won't see us well when they come from the brightly lit hall down there.
I on the other side have my night vision.
"Something is happening up there!"
But this won't help me anymore when they get all the way up and too close for the darkness to shroud me.
And if I come close to fight them off they will see me as well.
"Up the stairs!"
However, I don't need to.
There is one nice point to small copper coins.
They have as the word says just a tenth of the size of a large coin that values ten copper.
And because it would be too much of a hassle to waste much craftmanship on them, they are in fact just small pebbles with an embossment printed on them.
So why am I in this situation giving a lecture about the physical structure of the common currency of the lower segment?
The answer is as follows:
Since I've just swiped a little of the mentioned currency I have a bit at hand, or however you want to call my slime appendages.
And because they have the mentioned properties they are perfect for one very specific application.
And as the situation is like this I have to resort to one certain action:
"There! I can see someone!"
- Slime bullet!
Having my arm already raised in the specific direction and done all the mental preparation I could, I use one of those pebble-like copper coins.
As soon the first one comes into view it starts.
I do it the same way I trained in all the moments I was able to do so, which were less than I would wish now.
I let the already prepared lump made of a coin and high-density slime shell, which is stored where my shoulder would be, set into motion.
I had Liqu explaining me the details and even do some supervising, which delighted her more than I want to reflect right now.
At least I had some time today in our room to make some last efforts.
The way I learned it I pull the matter in front of the lump away inside my arm, without ripping the same accidentally apart.
Which happened many more times than I would want to state now.
At the same time, I increase the density behind the lump as much as I can without losing control and bursting my arm.
Which I also have no intention to report how many times this happened.
Just let me mention this:
Marsha got a little angry at us and we just made it to hide all the residues scattered in the room before she broke through the door.
The most difficult part about this technique is doing this de- and increasing in pressure the whole distance from where the later bullet is located to the place where it will get ejected and at the same time maintaining control over the process.
Not only is it hard to make the pressure move in a constant and controlled motion, at the same time you need to do this at an extremely high speed or you won't have any noteworthy effect, which would make the whole effort pointless.
The only reason there is even the possibility I can perform this is...
You've guessed it: "High-speed thinking"!
And this is the explanation why Liqu said once that I could do it simply because I'm a slime.
Because any living creature who would try this might get a brain rupture.
Aside from the obvious other obstacles regarding their physical composition.
So, to make it short:
This was an incredibly difficult and very risky thing for me to do.
However, as I had a moment to get ready, I was able to use this technique under the best possible conditions.
Having my target right in front of me, a clear line and because of the darkness no attempts to dodge, I can perform a perfectly clear shot.
And the bullet finds its target!
In the end, it was just a pebble and since I'm only a beginner, the force wasn't too high.
Nonetheless, according to what I have seen with my night vision the bullet got stuck.
Not deep- probably just a scrape, and if he had any armor, even leather, it wouldn't have worked.
Yet I don't need a grievous wound.
What I needed was this!
"Wh-what was this?"
"Th-there... I got shot with something!"
- Slime bullet!
- Exactly this!
Haven't even hit.
Just fired at the wall now.
But now they all fear getting shot as soon they approach the stair.
In the end, they are just thugs and like this cheap mercenaries, one cannot rely on them.
Not the kind who would voluntarily risk their lives.
Or in other words:
They won't catch a bullet for their client.
This was at least the idea, but even I am aware that my bullets aren't very dangerous and like this might lose their impact.
So even now there is the chance that someone might take the risk.
And simply because of this I've prepared a nice little surprise in addition.
"Aahh, Aaaahhh! WAAAAHHHH!"
"G-Greg, what is with you?"
"No! Don't touch me! Let me! Let me go! Waaaaahhhhh!" (apparently Greg)
Did you know:
If you just partly dissolve cloudshroom, squish it into a paste, mix it with slime matter, form a bullet shell with it, and then shoot it with high velocity at someone so a hard object inside, like a pebble, can rupture the skin, then this very mixture will have a very impressive effect on the shot individual.
Very simple, right?
Greg will now, haunted by hallucinations, be a very good example to the others down there about what will happen if someone dares to come up here.
Also, at the same time, he makes for a fine distraction.
And right now my all-around view tells me Liqu is finally done.
Felt like an eternity for me.
But this might just be high-speed thinking.
All that is left now is jumping down the window and vanishing into the night.
I don't think they will be able to anticipate our escape route and follow fast enough behind us.
- It seems it works out!
- If nothing happens now we can make it!
- The door left to me!?
"What's the meaning of all that noise out here?"
- Just why?
- Why I had to jinx it?