Volume 2 Chapter 13. An Onlooker’s Looking Glass — Part 2
「I guess I’d better start getting everything ready.」
I decided to get on with the plan after confirming that Minnalis had gotten Barkas and his companions prepared for what was to come.
Two different Soul Blades were required for what I intended to do. The first was the 【Magical Beast’s Egg Blade,】and the second the 【Water Sprite’s Droplet Blade.】
Spare magical energy would always leak from my soul blades during the creation process if I wasn’t careful enough in crafting them. Normally, that would be something that I’d try to prevent. This, however, wasn’t exactly what one could call a normal situation. The overflow of energy was perfect for use in the creation of a scene that would instill an even greater amount of terror into the hearts of Barkas and his companions. Thus, I made sure to emphasize the mana leak, I purposefully formed the blade in a much more reckless manner than usual and caused black particles of light to scatter into my surroundings.
「Strum a tune sung by beasts,『Hellspawn Flower』」
The green, bud-like blade that extended from the sword’s handle began to change as I slowly began channeling my magical energy through it. Veiny lines emerged from within the blade as it darkened into a series of purples and blacks. It pulsed and grew, expanding in all of size, malevolence and impurity. The change was dramatic, and caused Barkas’ group to twitch in anxiety.
「W-What is that…」
「What, this? Oh, you know, just a little something. You’ll find out in due time.」
Rather than ignoring him, I replied in such a way that left in the dark. There was no fun in spoiling his future experiences ahead of time, especially given how well Minnalis’ poison was working. It had done exactly as planned. The viscous, toxic liquid had completely overwritten its misty predecessor and totally paralyzed everything but their faces. They were capable of speaking and moving their eyes, but they were otherwise unable to move even the slightest bit.
All three party members had no choice but to stare at the【Magical Beast’s Egg Blade】as it continued to change. Their faces mirrored the blade; they began warping in fear and anxiety as I forced them to regard the process. Their hair started standing on end, all three had realized that the blade would ultimately cause harm.
I had purposefully slowed down the flow of my mana, so the blade had taken an extremely long time to reach its final form.
But it had.
The bud had finally blossomed.
It began producing a sort of inorganic high pitched screech as it did.
Barkas’ group immediately grimaced as they heard it. The sound was awful, it sounded almost exactly like the reverberation of having someone scrape their nails against a blackboard. It was a bit harsh on the ears, but tolerable so long as it wasn’t something that caught you off guard.
「Nghhh, I really don’t like how that thing sounds.」
I knew what to expect, so I was relatively unaffected, but Minnalis’ hearing was much more sensitive than mine, so it caused her a bit of grief.
「I already told you that I’m fine, Minnalis. You don’t need to cover my ears.」
I’d told her to cover her own ears to minimize her exposure to the sound in order to reduce discomfort, a decision resulted from the fact that we weren’t able to find any decent earplugs despite having gone around the entire town in search of them. It was something we both agreed on at the time, but she’d ended up ignoring it, as she was currently attached to my back and plugging mine instead.
「Ehehehe. Come on, Goshujin-sama. I’m your slave, so you have to make sure to order me around at times like these if you want me to listen to you.」
「Come on, get off me already, and stop pressing your chest against me.」
「What’re you saying? What do you mean by crest?」
Minnalis was suffering from Mana Intoxication, so her actions seemed to have a certain degree of sexyness to them.
「Yeah, yeah, cut it out.」
「Awwww~ Can’t you reward me a bit? Look how much stuff I did.」
「Fine, but not right now. Come on, hurry up and just drink one of these.」
I peeled Minnalis off me and shoved an MP pot in her mouth in an ever so accustomed motion. I made sure to keep cool throughout by telling myself that she was only acting the way she was because she was under the influence. She seemed to be a bit further off the edge than usual, but I figured that it wasn’t an issue, and that she’d probably return to normal once a bit of time elapsed.
「W-What… the hell are they doing?」
「I-I don’t… get them…」
Terry and Dot expressed themselves in a pair of voices that contained both confusion and fear, a mix of emotions only fueled further by the fact that they didn’t understand us or the things that we seemed to be getting ready to do to them.
Barkas, on the other hand, didn’t really seem to mind my sword nor the banter Minnalis and I were exchanging. Instead, he was completely focused on the living thing that’d just so happened to appear right in his line of sight.
「So, how are you feeling, Slucky?」
Slucky, the slime that appeared alongside the ear-piercing screech, responded with a cry so cute it seemed out of place. The Crest of Subordination engraved on its body allowed me to understand that it’d been attempting to convey that it was in perfect form.
The blooming【Magical Beast’s Egg Blade,】on the other hand, had withered and returned back to its usual bud-like state.
「I-Isn’t that just a slime?」
Barkas questioned me in an overly confused manner.
「It is. It isn’t a variant, nor a higher order subspecies. It’s just your everyday average slime.」
I responded to him with the truth. Slucky was the splitting image of your average slime. He didn’t have any eyes or mouths; he was just a translucent, blue blob made out of a jelly-like substance. The only difference between Slucky and a “perfectly average” slime would be that Slucky was a slight bit smaller than average. He was only only about the size of a small balance ball. He wasn’t too small though, he was still within range for one to call him average. There was, of course, also the Crest of Subordination he had engraved onto him, but that was honestly all there was to it.
Slucky continued making his cute cries as he wiggled back and forth on the spot. Seeing him act like that once again made me ask a question that’d yet to be answered.
How the hell is it making those noises?
「I’m going to have to ask you do something a little bit on the more difficult size. You ready?」
I lightly pat Slucky over the head(?) after hearing him respond affirmatively. I was actually rather confused as to exactly where I’d been petting him, as I couldn’t tell precisely where his head was located. All I knew for sure was that I’d petted him somewhere on the upper half of his body. Either way, the sensation I felt from doing so was one that reminded me of how it felt to press my hand against a cooled down piece of soft, springy dough.
I dispelled the【Magical Beast’s Egg Blade】and instead summoned the【Water Sprite’s Droplet Blade.】Unlike the former, the latter sword didn’t have a blade at all. It was composed solely of three pieces, a handle, a diminutive swordguard, and a piece of ultramarine cloth. The last of the three components was wrapped around the first.
「It’s all you, Slucky.」
「Kyuupiiii! Uuuu… kyu!」
Slucky responded as if ready before seemingly exerting himself and splitting into two.
I approached one of the two newly divided halves and pressed my sword against it. The corresponding portion of Slucky’s body was immediately reduced to a tenth its prior volume as it forged itself into a blade.
「W-What the hell are you doing?」
「You tell me. What do you think he’s doing?」
Minnalis, who was aware of what was to come, giggled as she teased Barkas with a smile.
「You’ll find out soon enough. Everything’s ready now, and it’ll be pretty hard for me to keep the sword’s blade in tact for an extent period of time given the amount of mana I have right now, so I won’t keep you waiting much longer.」
I walked over to Barkas and swung the newly formed blade as my lips twisted into a wide grin.
「W-wait… Please… h-hold…」
「Don’t worry. I won’t do as anything as boring as just killing you.」
I smiled briefly as I regarded Barkas’ decapitated, terror struck face before attacking his his two companions in much the same manner; I swung my blade in an arc and tore their heads off their bodies.
「Don’t worry. I won’t do as anything as boring as just killing you.」
The man whose face I was staring up at was one dyed in a sort of mad ecstasy. His smile only seemed to widen as he swung the sword that’d been lying around at the edge of my sightline and beheaded me.
（Shit… Why’d I have to get done in by a brat like him…?）
I wasn’t able to feel pain because of the stuff his slave had forced me to drink, but I could still tell that my severed head ended up rolling after it fell from my body.
I managed to remain conscious despite the fact that I’d lost my head. I could see, and saw both Terry and Dot ending up the same way I had.
I’ve heard that beheaded criminals would still open their mouths and blink for a few moments after their supposed deaths. Having now experienced it myself, I came to understand that it was the truth. But that too would soon come to end. That was just how things were. My consciousness would only remain for another few seconds at best. I would soon be taken into the darkness. With that in mind, I turned my eyes towards my companions, the men who had my back for the last few years, and watched as they too moved towards the light. The lack of pain made the last few moments I experienced almost seem surreal, but I sat put and awaited my death reg-
「W-What…. What the hell is going on!?」
Time ticked by. One, two, three seconds passed, but my consciousness hadn’t even began to fade.
I immediately began questioning whether or not I’d really been beheaded.
「T-The hell’s going on!? Did I not actually get beheaded?」
「What’s going on? Wasn’t I supposed to have my head cut off?」
I heard both Dot and Terry voice their confusion in that order.
I moved my gaze as far as it would go, and examined their severed heads, only to realize that there was something attached to the bottom of their necks.
「Pftttt ahahaha! My bad, my bad. I guess it must be hard for you guys to see what’s going on right now, huh?」
The brat that’d beheaded us laughed loudly before approaching me. I felt the sensation of something pulling on my hair a few moments after his feet stopped right before my eyes.
「W-What the hell!? Th-th-the fuck’s going on!?」
I was hoisted into the air and given a better view of what had happened to me. More specifically, I was given a better view of my own body, twitching, convulsing, and spewing blood as it lay on the ground.
「Y-Y-You have to be fucking kidding me! The hell is going on!? Why aren’t I dead!? Isn’t that my body right there!?」
「Hahaha. Amazing isn’t it? We had Slucky attach a part of himself to each of your necks right when we cut them off. He keeps your blood flowing, at the right pressure, and full of oxygen so you can stay conscious and not dead, even without the rest of your body. He also serves as a substitute for your vocal chords, so you can speak all you like. Minnalis’ poison is keeping you paralyzed and free of pain, so you won’t die from shock either.」
「Haaah!? The hell are you saying? Stop saying shit I don’t understand!」
「All it means is that you can remain conscious even as just a head. Here, you’ll understand if you just get a good look.」
The brat shrugged in an overly exaggerated manner before putting me on top of the rock I’d just been sitting on. He somehow made his sword disappear before violently grabbing both Terry and Dot and holding them right in front of me. The two had rather spaced out expressions. It didn’t take me long to realize that I probably looked the same. I could see a slime-like thing wrapped around the bottom of each of their severed heads. A dark red liquid, their blood, moved around within it as it pulsed in a pump-like manner.
Knowing that the exact same thing had happened to me made me almost want to keel over and faint. It was almost as if I’d been remodeled into some sort of inhuman freak.
「So you understand what’s happened to you now? Isn’t this just great? Not very many people get to die while experiencing something this interesting, you know?」
The monster of a brat continued to smile as placed Terry and Dot beside me while getting ready to toy with our very lives themselves.
The slime cried in response as if to affirm the man’s words before slowly crawling towards us.
「O-Oi… What are you planning?」
The negative emotion swelling up within me led me to repeat the question I had asked earlier.
I wasn’t given an answer. My captor instead turned to the slime and spoke to it in a soft tone while stroking its head, a smile decorating his face the whole way through.
「Feel free to dig in.」
The slime immediately kicked into action and began leaning its body on top of us in response to the brat’s words. The way it acted almost made it seem as if it’d been waiting for his signal the whole damned time.
「Whaaaaa!? Stop thaaat! Our bodies! Our bodies!!」
Our bodies started to make crunching sounds as the slime compressed them within itself.
「P-Please stop that!! Those are our bodies! Stop that right now! Stop messing with them! Who the hell do you think we are damn it!? Stop it! Stop it now!」
Terry began screaming at the top of his lungs the moment he saw the slime begin to consume his body.
「T-The hell is this!? No! I know, it’s a dream! Yeah, it has to be a dream! Gyahahahahahaha! I get it! This was all just a dream this whole time!」
Dot’s words were convincing. This just had to be a dream, a god awful nightmare.
「Heh heh heh. Well, what do you think? Isn’t watching a slime eat you while you’re still perfectly conscious just novel?」
The rabbitkin’s description of the event was spot on. The slime was translucent, so we could see inside of its body; we could see exactly what was going on within it, and we could even hear the occasional crunch through the slimy blob. We heard a particularly loud crack as the slime crushed Dot’s arm and folded Terry’s twisted legs in half. It then peeled off my leather armour, tore my stomach in half, and put my internals on display. I heard something important in my mind every single time a piece of one of our bodies lost its original form.
「This can’t be real. This isn’t possible. This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening.」
「Arghhh! This was all our fault! I’m sorry, we’re sorry! Please, just stop already!」
Dot was the first to break, with Terry following soon after. The former began quietly muttering “this can’t be happening,” over and over while the latter began begging for it to stop. I, on the other hand, began letting out dry gasps. The fact that I saw my own body get broken down and consumed right in front of me made me feel like I was going mad.
I knew that I was going to die. That, I understood. But the way I was going to die wasn’t something I could bring myself to accept. I didn’t want it to end, not like this.
「Hmmm… You guys are boring. You’ve all given up despite not even having felt any pain.」
「We’ve even had goblins entertain us more than them.」
We were no longer able to discern which part of the lump of flesh inside the slime belonged to who.
I wasn’t able to get what was going on anymore. My mind wasn’t able to keep up.
Why? Why…? Why!?
I wasn’t able to comprehend why the two people in front of us were smiling anymore. Why were they smiling and happily chatting away despite the fact that that had happened to me?
The slime that’d consumed us spat a lump of metal, our equips, back outside of it after it was done ingesting and processing our bodies.
「What did we do to deserve this!?」
「Huh? The hell do you mean by that?」
The brat’s words will filled with a burning, violent rage. To him, the answer was clearly an obvious one, but I couldn’t think of any prior events that would’ve led to me incurring his wrath.
「Weren’t you trying to backstab me? Didn’t you want to rape Minnalis right before my eyes? Hadn’t you planned on murdering me?」
「Y-Yeah, but that doesn’t justify something this horrible!」
「What do you mean “justify,” low-life? Didn’t you think you could get away with whatever the hell you wanted just because you were stronger than someone? Didn’t you think no one would care so long as you weren’t found out? Doesn’t all this just go along with that same school of thought? We’re doing as we like because we’re stronger than you, and because no one will know what happened. Shouldn’t we be perfectly justified based on your very own logic?」
「Don’t get all pretentious on us. Don’t be complaining about what we’re doing to you. You deserve this. As scum, you should die like scum.」
Their words made me recall something the local priest had preached to me back when I was a child.
I guess this is what he meant by Karma. Someone did onto us what we did onto others.
I understood that.
But I still couldn’t it accept it.
「No…! No, no, no, no, no!!!」
I don’t want to die. I don’t. Want to die. I. Don’t. Want. To. Die.
Not like this.
I’d long abandoned even the consideration of a natural death. It was something I threw away the moment I became an adventurer. But I couldn’t stand going out like this.
I didn’t want it to end like this.
Not like this.
「It seems like it’s about time for us to bid our farewells. Minnalis, Slucky, we all get one each. Alright?」
「Sure thing, Goshujin-sama.」
The rabbitkin reached into an item bag-like object and pulled out a rusty hammer as she spoke.
「This is allllllllll juuuuuuuust aaaaaaa dreeeeeammmmmmmmmm! IIIIIII’mmmmmmmmm juuuuuuuussssssssstttttttt drrrrreeeeeeeaaaaaaaamiiiiiiinggggggg!! Bye bygrophph!」
The sound of something whistling in the wind passed by my ears as she smashed the hammer into the spot right next to me. Dot’s still warm blood flew through the air and splashed itself onto my face as I felt a vibration shake through the thing I was situated on top of.
「Alright, your turn Slucky.」
The slime extended a pair of tentacles as it responded to the brat’s instructions.
「This can’t be happening! There’s just no way! This is way too unreal! It’s impoasdugkjhasdgjkh!」
The slime pulled Terry’s head into its body and crushed both his bones and flesh into a single small lump. One of his eyeballs flew out of the slime’s body after the rest was consumed, as if it was something accidentally spilled in the act of eating. But not even that part managed to escape, as one of the slime’s tentacles reached out, grabbed it, and pulled it back into the meat grinder that was its body.
「No! Not like this! Why… Why does it have to be like this!?」
「That’s a thought I’ve entertained quite a few times as well. I’ve caught myself screaming that exact question over and over. You see, you guys might not know the reason why this happened, but I do. And I’m pretty sure I’ve already explained it, haven’t I?」
The last thing I saw right before getting my head split in half was the sight of the brat’s bitter smile, one that contained within it scorn even for oneself.
 Original name is a Dragon Quest reference. Idk how they localized it, so I just did it my way. (Surakichi = Slime lucky = Slucky)