Arc 2 – Slaves of the Arch-Slime 1.1
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Thanks everyone for voting on last poll! As promised, this Arc contains gender bender.
About 60% of the story will be freely published (together with its conclusion).

 

Where did it all go wrong?

That’s the only thing I can think about as I struggle against the ooze-like bindings.

It was supposed to be a quick raid into the lair of this slime-lord or whatever it is: Renard and I have a lot of experience, the right weapons, and the drive!

“Come out and face us, monster!” I shout into the darkness. But no answer comes.

“Save your strength,” Renard hisses, hanging from the slime coils wrapped around his wrists and ankles. His armor clinks even if the only movement he’s trying to make by now, is a shallow breathing. “We fell into the trap, and we need to think to get out of here.”

I grit my teeth, but Renard is usually right. That’s the reason why he became an arcanist and I am a Knight. When it’s time to think… I usually follow his lead.

But then why didn’t he smell the trap?

It’s not like we are in the deepest parts of the Hollow, where the most dangerous monsters are.

At least, it does not appear to be: the Hollow’s cave fans out into a wide hall with thick stone pillars, brightened by fluorescent ooze that casts a green-tinted light around. The air smells like just before a storm. It feels weird, and every sound echoes so much by the time it comes back to my ears it’s stretched beyond recognition.

The border patrol only asked us to get rid of some slimes, for Samash’s sake! Just some stupid slimes!

“How can we get out of here?” I ask Renard, trying to get his attention. He blinks and looks around, shaking his head slowly.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he states. “By now we should have found the Arch-Slime already. Why is this so empty?”

A rustling sound comes from behind us. The entrance is many layers above, so it’s unlikely it’s some other adventurer or monster-hunter come to save us.

No, instead the figure that steps into the green light is completely different from anything I could have expected.

First things first, it’s not a slime.

“Oh my my my,” she says, putting a finger over her ruby-red lips. “What did the cat drag in today?”

It’s a pale girl, with long black hair and a slender body enhanced by generous curves. Her rounded breasts threaten to spill over from the black leather barely containing them, and she carries herself with the grace and the confidence of a spider running back to the center of its net to check on its preys. Her golden eyes shine with curiosity and mischief. Behind her shoulders falls a black cape, and something seems to wriggle inside it, but tied up as I am, I can’t really get a clear look.

“Who are you?” I bark. “If you are the one who set up these traps here you are going to be really sorry!”

“Temper, temper,” she replies with a click of her tongue. She cocks her hip, and the motion makes her overflowing breasts jiggle. Even in this situation, I still feel a little distracted by them. “I suppose the border patrol sent someone to take care of the Arch-Slime once again. Are they scraping the barrel?”

“We are anointed Knights, and we have our share of experience, you bitch!” I shout. “We have slain gorgospires, skeleton armies and even a brazen Hydra together! Renard over there could take your head off with a cantrip! And I could slice your arms off with one swing of my sword!”

She chuckles, comes closer and picks up something from the hall’s floor.

“When you are speaking about your sword, you are talking about this iron stick?”

She lifts my blade and takes a long look at it, while I feel anger bubble up in my chest like lava. I struggle against my bindings, but they feel like iron against my limbs. “It’s not bad. I mean, for a little toy. I suppose it does its job, but here is not going to help you much… in fact, your armor will have to go as well.”

A dreadful chill settled in my chest, crushing the flames there. What is she talking about? I don’t like the tingle in her eyes when she spoke about my armor.

I try to look at Renard for some support, but his eyes are fixated on the girl’s cape. It’s still wriggling.

“Wait, are you-” he starts, only to be interrupted by her laughter.

“My word, we have a real smart on here. Arcanist, I presume? Nice career choice, I suppose. Too bad you can’t do much with your hands tied like that… but yeah. You guessed well.” She mockingly bows to us. “The border patrol did send you after me. My name is Amuira, and I am the Arch-Slime that settled in this layer of the Hollow.”

I blink in shock, and Renard seems to be just as baffled as I am.

Then the girl pulls down her cape, displaying her baked back… and the four thick tentacles of clear, pale-blue good that extend out of it. They wriggle and writhe around, like feelers.

“That symbol…” Renard tries to point at the rune etched on her back, but all he can do is weakly try to move his finger inside the ooze that’s wrapped around it. “You sold your soul to the Morningstar?

Uh oh.

I try to put on a brave face, but that does answer a few unpleasant questions… and it also shows why there were no takers for this job.

Or why such a request only had barely two lines as a description… and an absurdly-high reward.

“I wouldn’t say sold…” Amuira retorts, waving her hand. “It’s more like a lend-lease. She is fairly clear on her terms, you should try it.”

“Never!” I shout, even as shaken as I am by the revelation. “I will never sell my soul to demons!”

“Pfft, you make it sound like it’s such a big deal. Besides, as a simple Arch-Slime, what would my perspectives be? Just acquire more slimes to put under my command, and ultimately split into two? No… I want something else, my dears… I want to rule under this layer of the Hollow. And as luck would have it, the border patrol is all too generous to provide me with adventurers!”

She laughs her heart out, and I plead to Samash Renard has an idea…

But all he can do is look at the transformed Arch-Slime with fear in his eyes.

“What… what are you going to do to us?”

“Thanks for asking!” She claps her hands in glee. “Oh, it’s so nice to be able to do this! Could you believe I used to not even have hands until a few years ago? They are not as practical as tentacles, but they look and feel so nice. Now, about your fate… you see, I may have a bit of a fetish.”

She snaps her fingers and the ooze blocking us slithers towards out neck, choking us into unconsciousness. I curse the moment as I decided to take on this job as the world around us falls into darkness.


Thanks for reading! Like for the previous Arc, this one was also a commission, and you can purchase the full novella by clicking on the pic below. At any rate, thanks everyone for supporting me, even just by reading my stuff. I hope you will have fun with this new Arc!

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