Chapter 57: Saved, now what?
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Chapter 57: Saved, now what?

After bracing myself once more, I swallowed her. That’s right, I just ate a slime while she is still alive! I’m going to insist that it’s female because I abhor the idea of anything male being so ‘intimate’ with me. It was awful by the way. The taste was like an almost flavorless gelatin which wasn’t bad, but the texture made it feel like I was swallowing a really big loogie. By using the divine skill, examine, I’m able to keep track of the slime’s progress. Wow, she’s made it into my intestines quickly and is already feasting on the monster core slurry. Good work little buddy!

I quickly entered into a cycle of cultivating to neutralize the monster energy, examining the slime’s progress and checking the corruption percentage. About two hours later, the corruption percentage has reached fifty percent, but it has finally stopped increasing. It takes an hour more for the slime to finish its job and two more hours for me to finally neutralize the last of the monster energy in my system.

[Curse removed: Monster Energy Corruption]

[Gained curse: High Energy Body]

[Gained curse: Monster Bait]

Seriously! I just got rid of the one curse and you give me two more? How is that fair?!

[High-Energy Body] Due to achieving a forced high-energy state from overexposure to chaotic qi and mana energies, your body is now locked in that state. Physical and mental abilities are enhanced, but you are unable to regenerate qi and mana naturally.

[Monster Bait] Due to your body being infused with monster energy, nearby monsters will be attracted to you. You now have a trace of monster aura and pheromones.

Okay, I can manage the inability to regenerate qi and mana by using my vampiric bite and absorbing crystals. The monster attraction is mostly just very annoying, but it shouldn’t be a problem as long as I don’t run into any particularly strong monsters. Taking a good look at my status, I noticed that each of my basic attributes had increased by twenty percent of my current max for my stage. That’s about half a year of daily cultivation worth of attribute gains! The best part was that the increase didn’t cause my control percentage to lower.

“Testing...1...2...3...testing. Can you hear me?”~Flora

“Ah, yes. I can hear you. Did something happen?”~me

“I couldn’t reach you for the last couple of hours!”~Flora

“My body had some issues. Everything is mostly back to normal now. What’s going on with the crown prince’s group?”~me

“Sofy’s mother gathered up some experts from Namiir and went in after the crown prince. From what I heard, they caught up in less than an hour, killed them on the spot and left the bodies for the dungeon to consume.”~Flora

“They killed a crown prince from another country instead of capturing him?”~me

“Camille may have left that bit out. She only told them that a group of slavers lead by some rotten human noble’s son was trying to catch her daughter. When she mentioned the Sylva name, they became even more highly motivated. Not that it was needed since slavery is a touchy subject around here lately. Are you going to use the summon subskill of tamer to bring me to you now?”~Flora

“Stay with them for now. With your current strength, you wouldn’t be much used to me at the moment anyways. Make sure to let the others know that Sofy will need to drink some blood every day from now on. Technically she could skip a few days at a time, but it’s best for a new vampire like her to drink some every day to keep her from going into a blood frenzy.”~me

“Okay, I’ll focus on cultivating for now. Shall I keep you updated?”~Flora

“Please do so. Sofy should be out once the sun sets, let me know if there are any complications and update me daily.”~me

“Rodger, over and out.”~Flora

Flora’s military-play is endearing and loveable. The thought of her posing with a military salute saying that last line while in her sprite form is formidably cute! If she were to do that in front of me, I wouldn’t be able to resist showering her with my affection.

The slime grew to the size of a golf ball after eating so much. She stopped moving just shy of my large intestines and I currently have no method to force her out. My slight monster aura seems to somehow provide it with nurishment which means she probably won’t move due to lack of food.

I think that Kat had mentioned earlier that the nearest settlement was south. Let’s start heading in that direction then. Along the way, I defeat several monsters and beasts. I take my time with the beasts and carefully drink them up to replenish energy. Monsters could also be drunk from, but they taste terrible!

After killing a few beasts and monsters, I’d finally reached over five hundred soul points. I had already accumulated more than four hundred while in the dungeon with Sofy, but I wanted to get rid of the slow learner curse first since it is the bigger problem. Now that I’ve finally reached my goal, there’s no reason to wait further.

[Curse removed: Slow Learner]

Oh, that feels so good! It feels like a blanket that has been smothering me has finally been lifted off of me. It just feels so very nice!

When I stopped for the night, Kat dragged me into her domain again. She first congratulated me on surviving my disaster. Then she laughed until her sides hurt about my new ‘butt buddy’. For the Goddess, that can take quite a while!

“Your expression was hilarious when you swallowed it! Ahh, you’re always so entertaining to watch. The things you do are marvelously unexpected!”~Kat

“Glad someone is enjoying themselves. Any idea how to get it to come out?”~me

“You could try luring it out with something tastier than your monster aura. A monster core should suffice.”~Kat

“Oh, I have plenty of those! This is much easier to solve than I thought it would be.”~me

“Hold up a bit. Your monster aura is as strong as you are which means it’s a stage four meal for your buddy.”~Kat

“Geh! So, not so easy then. Though Sofy and I beat some monsters on the fiftieth floor and got some cores from them, Sofy put them all into her inventory since she was trying to level up that skill.”~me

“There’s a pretty deep dungeon near the settlement you’re headed towards. Though, the furthest in the locals have bothered to go is merely to the forties. You’re not likely to find a stage five monster core up for sale.”~Kat

“Are you doing that on purpose?! Giving me hope, then crushing it? Even when Sofy and I killed a few stage five monsters, it took a lot of effort from us with Trixy as well and we didn’t dare to even stay on the fiftieth floor for long. Is there no other way?”~me

“Since I owe you because of my mistake with the teleport, how about I give you a minor blessing that will increase the number of tamed familiars you can have, among other things. Then you can just tame it and instruct it to move out. Though, it’s really not hurting you any by staying there.”~Kat

Kat continued to have fun extolling about my encounter with trolls. We talked for a bit and she was generous enough to share information about exactly where I am and what to expect when I reach the settlement. I’m currently located in a large ravine that is south of the Magic Forest, smack in the middle of the mountain ranges that are crawling with dragons. The community I’m headed towards consists mostly of halfs. A lot of them have a demon half with fairy being the other half. Others have some beastkin, elf or dwarf in them.

[Gained Blessing: Subdued Grace]

[Subdued Grace]: Reduced difficulty when using subjugation-type skills and doubles the number of beings allowed by subjugation-type skills.

This makes me kind of curious about what other subjugation-type skills might exist. With the extra taming slot, I can now go tame a dragon! WAIT! No, that was supposed to be used to get the slime out. Ahhh, she definitely only told me about the dragon’s because she knew I couldn’t resist being tempted!

The temptation was too much in the end and I decided to hold off on taming the slime. All for a minuscule possibly of getting a dragon as a mount instead. I’d reach the settlement the day after and would only judge then if it would be possible to get a fifth stage monster core.

I had to clear out more than two dozen weak demons that had surrounded my wards during the night before I could set out for the day’s travel. My previous evaluation of the monster bait curse clearly didn’t match up to the reality. It’s way more dangerous than I had thought. If I didn’t have my divine skills that include some wards to repel the wildlife, I may have been unable to rest at night.

Shortly after settling down again in the evening, I received my daily report from Flora.

“Flora calling Lily. Flora calling Lily. Do you read me Lily? Come in, over.”~Flora

“A simple hello would suffice.”~me

“But that’s not as much fun! Anyways, Sofy came out of the dungeon when the sun set just like you said she would. She looked sickly pale and had blood red eyes that seemed to glow. Camille went ahead and fed Sofy her own blood after getting her back to the house. We inevitably had to reveal some things about you in order to explain the situation to Mary and Alice. Sofy plans to stay in Namiir for the foreseeable future. That’s about all.”~Flora

“Thanks Flora.”~me

“Rodger. Over and out.”~Flora