- Shari -
Fortunately, all the chaos we left at their base did obstruct the guards as it seems.
So we can get around the next corners without having to deal with any pursuers.
But the more distance we get to that place the sooner the next talk will come up, as our leeway to do so returns.
While running Elin starts.
"Did, did you? Huff!" (Elin)
"He is dead! Satisfied!" (Shari)
I don't need to catch my breath and cannot tire out in the common way, so speaking is possible.
Her facial expression tells that a myriad of emotions is rampaging inside her but she is soon catching up to the situation.
"What happened? "Huff! Who is this boy?" (Elin)
Well, different to me she has to catch her breath.
"Hostage! Of them! More I don't know! He has seen too much!" (Shari)
"Does that mean you are going to..." (Elin)
"He is still alive, isn't he? I don't know! Just away from here!" (Shari)
"But where are we going? Huff! This isn't the way back to the inn!" (Elin)
"They are waiting there! We must find something else!" (Shari)
"And what?! Are you going to rent at this time another room? Are you crazy?" (Elin)
"I, I have an idea! However, the person in question won't like this!" (Shari)
"You aren't suggesting..." (Elin)
"Just run!" (Shari)
So we rush farther through the streets and alleys led by me and my innate sense for navigation.
Fortunately, we manage to avoid running into any guards or pursuers.
Like this, we eventually reach our destination.
"Liqu. Can you somehow get this lock open, without visible damages?" (Shari)
She goes past me and puts her finger inside the keyhole.
"Can you?" (Shari)
"It's not the highest quality. I think I can..." (Liqu)
"You know, I also have lockpicking as one of my various talents." (Elin)
"Thank you very much. Next time please inform us before we are going on a delicate mission." (Shari)
"Isn't it your responsibility as the team leader to keep track of this?" (Elin)
"Thin ice, Elin. Thin ice." (Shari)
"Yes, yes. But shouldn't we get inside before a guard might come here? In these parts they actually patrol." (Elin)
Yes, she is right.
This is the Market.
The economic center in the north of the town.
The part of the town which is wealthy enough to induce the town's uppers to have some guards here at night.
And like this, it comes clear where we are.
"Tamaaaraaahh! Are you here? We need some he-elp!" (Shari)
"Clunk, criek, tock"
"What by all the gods!?" (Tamarah)
Moments later, an utterly displeased alchemist, in her nightgown, is stumbling out of the dark behind the counter.
"Is there any possible explanation for something like this to happen?" (Tamarah)
"Ehm, we got into a little trouble and need shelter." (Shari)
This reminds me:
"Liqu. You can let him out." (Shari)
With this, a totally drenched boy gets expelled on the floor.
As good he can on his shaking, and slippery, limbs he crawls to the next corner and just crouched trembling down.
"What... is this?" (Tamarah)
"I am a little bit at a loss myself. We just need a calm moment to figure it out. If you can grant this to us we will give you as much slime as you want. We have tanked." (Shari)
- With an abundance of corpses.
"This is a bit much at once. Can you at least give me some kind of explanation?" (Tamarah)
"Ehm, it was... We just killed Cid." (Shari)
"So you've finally found someone, Elin?" (Tamarah)
- They know each other that well?
"Yes. Now finally, tell me! Was it painful, agonizing?" (Elin)
"He screamed. Satisfied?" (Shari)
"More than I could ever wish for. I owe you so much!" (Elin)
"Great. Now that we know that Elin is indebted to you, would anyone here be so polite and tell me, what the hell is with that trembling child over there?" (Tamarah)
"Yes, about that. No idea. I guess he was a hostage of some kind. Couldn't let him stay there. However, it might take a while until we can question him." (Shari)
"Fine, got the gist of it. Then get started!" (Tamarah)
"Get started?" (Shari)
"You just made an offer and I take you up on it. If you want to stay here, you compensate me!" (Tamarah)
"Ugh, alright! Liqu, follow! Elin, bring the kid and guard it!" (Shari)
The kid is around ten years old I would guess and has black hair with brown eyes.
And as I said, it's apparent that he went through some hard times.
We go into the back room, where this stupid kettle is located.
At the moment, I have a considerable amount to spend, as creating and shooting these bullets requires a huge amount of energy.
Much more than I expel in the end, which leads to respective amounts of dead matter I have now as excess.
I just hope I won't shrink too much from this.
I wouldn't want to adapt to a new shape.
Or worse, look like a child and have to deal with Liqu in that form.
On the other side, she gave me quite much.
So I rather have too much mass right now and should just get back to normal.
- She gave me this mass!
- She dissolved humans and pumped it into me!
- I've eaten humans!
- Damnit! Damnit! Damnit!
My mood hits an all-time low and I just mentally empty place myself without clothes in the kettle.
Letting go of the mass comes easy.
Probably because I have no intention to hold onto it.
However, it is impossible now to get this out of my system.
- I feel terrible!
I want to cry and scream, but have to stay professional with all that is going on.
"Liqu! We will talk about this with the mass. You know, about cannibalism, right? Later." (Shari)
Tamarah is filling up bottles with the content of the kettle, to empty it for Liqu, who is already waiting yet now rather shaken and distressed.
However, I have now a different matter to attend to.
To be precise: A dripping, wet boy.
After having my clothes back on, I try not to get too close, as he is already certainly traumatized.
Although it doesn't help much.
"Ah-aah-waaahh. N-n-n-no! N-no!" (boy)
The poor thing is just a sobbing mess, completely through.
While he tries to cry and maybe scream, he seems to be too exhausted and scared to utilize much voice.
Honestly, I feel a little guilty.
Elin is also there, but her cloaked figure isn't a too assuring sight.
Anyway, I try to calm him down.
Putting me cross-legged in front of him, I want to show that I'm not going to make any sudden movements.
This might not be entirely applicable as I'm very capable of all kinds of unnatural movements from this position.
"It's alright now. You were silent and have nothing to fear from us." (Shari)
Seems hard to believe me here.
I think I get a hunch how Liqu felt when there were just the two of us in that cave.
Maybe I should bring her.
After all, she has more experience with calming abducted humans than I.
Yet giving it deeper thought, she was terrible at it.
So instead I will just continue trying.
"I absolutely promise, you won't get eaten. Do you need any more?" (Shari)
"Really? He won't get eaten? That's the best you come up with? (Elin)
"Oh I'm sorry. Do you have something more important someone wants to hear when he got captured by a slime?" (Shari)
"No, no. Just proceed." (Elin)
Averting my gaze with a scowl I tend again to the boy.
"Can you please tell me who you are? I would like to know!" (Shari)
Wish I could come up with something.
"Hey, Tamarah! Got anything to eat?" (Shari)
"I have some raw meat if you want to refill yourself. Can I look?" (Tamarah)
"Ugh, not for me. The boy. And please don't ask: Why would he want raw meat?" (Shari)
"Alright, I think I have some bread and cheese left." (Tamarah)
"Great! I think he needs something." (Shari)
He looks a little malnourished.
At least I hope if we provide him some food he will become less tense.
Or he is like Elin and believes we are trying to fatten him up.
I decide that I won't make much progress with the boy and instead turn to the other front.
"Tamarah? You aren't going to say something about us killing Cid?" (Shari)
"Why would I? My business might even profit. The only problem might be that the economy is going to get thrown into chaos. But my stocks are full. So I am good until it settles down." (Tamarah)
"So, can we stay here for the night? Might be that they wait for us at our place. Also you owe us. We totally got ripped off because of your stupid stones." (Shari)
"They wait for you? Did you get caught?" (Tamarah)
"No, no. That's confusing reason and reaction." (Shari)
"So he tried to attack you? Well, you shouldn't corner a predatory life form." (Tamarah)
- Predatory, huh? Can't deny it! Flesh works best!
- Urgh, don't think about your current content!
"To repeat my question: Can we stay here the night?" (Shari)
"Sure, but I have just one guest room up there. The rest of you needs to accommodate yourself in another way." (Tamarah)
"Then please give the room to the boy. Elin can sleep on the ground and we can't use beds in the first place." (Shari)
"Fine, but don't expect too much. If you would excuse me now; it is deepest night and I want to sleep." (Tamarah)
I better not occupy her any longer.
Liqu is already done and back.
Rather meek due to me being a little displeased with her.
I don't pay her any attention as this is the hardest punishment I can give her.
Instead, I speak to Elin.
"Can you bring the boy up in the room above? I guess he wouldn't want to get touched by us." (Shari)
"He is going to throw a tantrum. Do I have to?" (Elin)
"Would be worse with us. You are capable, so do it." (Shari)
"Yes, yes, boss." (Elin)
She goes to the boy and tries to pull him up.
"No, no! Let me! no!" (boy)
But like she predicted he starts to kick at her and whine.
At least he got more lively.
Seems like I need to assist.
I go close and turn to the boy.
"We just want you to go to bed. Please do so." (Shari)
"You have heard her. Do as my Shari said or I will become upset." (Liqu)
- Who told this stupid slime to barge in!
And then coming this close to his face.
And... I think we did it.
The boy is out for good.
He was clearly exhausted and the accumulated stress should have pushed him to his limits.
And Liqu just now one step further.
At least he isn't trying to struggle anymore.
Elin manages to carry him to the guest room and lays him down into the bed.
For the sake of the fabric, we don't participate.
After that, we all gather in the back room of the shop to discuss our current situation.
- God knows it didn't work perfectly!