“Okay, learn, do you come from the goblin camp nearby?” I say sitting on a nearby rock
“Ya! Tribe a lot of fun!” Learn says with a huge smile.
“Where is the camp? I have some business there.” I say with a tentative look.
This is the most dangerous question yet. Its apparent goblins don’t think highly of humans so asking for the camp location could mark me as an enemy again.
“That way. Not long” The kid says pointing a bit northeast of the road to the capital.
Good it seems either they aren’t keeping it a secret, or this kid trusts me.
“Would you happen to kn-“
gero “Mano-sama it is precisely noon. Would you like me to gather everybody?” Gero says falling again from the canopy of trees.
This time I’m not the only one who is startled by his sudden appearance. The goblin child startled immediately ran off at an incredible speed.
“Hey- Dang! I would have liked that to end differently.” I say turning to Gero.
I must remember to be patient with him as he has no idea he even did anything wrong.
“Gero bring Kera, Kael, and the imps here. Plans have changed, and it would be best to do things quickly.” I command walking back over to the cave.
“Yes Mano-sama” Gero says leaping away immediately.
It is a small time before the group arrives. While I was waiting I used restore and restora on the slime puddles. It becomes harder to restore something the longer you wait to do so, and I still have plans for this slime so I would like its condition to be quality.
“Whatsup princess? Weren’t we gonna go searching for the goblins?” Kera says still sitting on top of her lion
“That’s not necessary anymore. First I want to ask, do you have anything that can hold this slime? My inventory won’t take it in, and I have nothing to transport liquids on me.” I say picking up some slime and attempting to put it in my inventory.
…It’s still incredibly uncomfortable to do so, but urgency wins out and I do so anyways.
“Hmm that’s tricky, didn’t expect you to up and take out the whole cave. A Bull Belly Frog can hold most of it but some of it’s gonna need to be left behind.”
“A Bull Belly Frog?” I ask confused at the new term.
“Lemme show you.” She says reaching into her bag.
I expected her to pull out some kind of item or gadget but again she pulls out a scroll. A chill runs down my spine when I realize the implications.
“Uvt summon!” She says tossing the scroll forward.
My head darts left and right trying to find where it is going to appear.
I hear a croak that gets louder and louder until
…it lands on top of me.
“KEEERA! Get this thing off of me this instant!” I yell violently struggling to get free.
“Sure” Kera says casually motioning with her finger for the creature to come to her.
After it jumps from on top of me I quickly scramble and distance myself from it. It left a slimy oil on me which I frantically try and remove. Why is everything slimy today!?
The summoned creature looks exactly as one would imagine it would. Next to Kera stands a frog nearly as big as her lion. It is rather plainly colored, with a thick green on the top and a light beige shade making up the bottom of its legs and torso. Ugly is the best word one can use to describe it, with skin that looks nearly identical to the goblins, and dopy eyes that look in different directions. Its legs seem to be unnaturally long as well, as a fair portion of the frogs body stays about two feet off the ground.
“Why did it have to be a frog of all things!?” I say still frantically removing the slime.
“Huh? Mano-san, could it be that you don’t like frogs?” Kael says as he watches me in amazement.
“Not just frogs! I hate anything that’s slimy in general. I just got don’t dealing with the slimes too!” I say angrily walking towards the slime.
“So how is a frog going to help us collect slime?” I say looking over my shoulder.
“Well first it’s a toad.”
“Like that matters! Also don’t put “frog” in its name then!” I rebut aloud.
“Iyaa Mano-san has snapped.” Kael says backing away.
“As for the slime it should be rather easy with this guys ability.” Kera says pointing towards the slime… and me.
I quickly scramble out of the way anticipating what was coming next. Like I anticipated the frog quickly jumps in the direction of the slime and stops just short of the first puddle. He then shoots his tongue into the middle of the puddle and the slime starts to disappear. Upon taking in the entire puddle, it becomes apparent that he was sucking it into his gut as he has become slightly larger. He continues forward to the next mass of slimes and repeats this pattern until his size rivals that of the cave itself. He walks rather than jumping out of the cave and stands next to Kera. His walk is awkward considering the size he has bloated to.
“Ugh, it looks just like a frog croaking when it’s like that.” I say backing further away.
“Like I said though, there was too much slime. That last bit will need to be left behind.” When Kera says this I look deep into the cave too see that she was right.
The last bit of the slime is just there in the back of the cave, as well as a bit is on the walls.
“If it’s just that much than I can do something about it. Fal-Kei-Tera Earth manipulation” I say walking into the cave.
This time I try and do it without putting my hands on the ground to see if it was possible to do it with my feet instead. The result was that it became a little bit harder to control and the activation was delayed. I began to move the earth in a way that cupped the slime and channeled it into an area of lowered rock. After the slime was all in place, I moved the rocks around it to form a bowl-like formation. I attempted to make a lid as well, but the result was more along the lines of an oblong rock that basically served the same purpose.
“…Seriously, remind me not to piss you off.” Kera says with a surprised and slightly fearful expression.
I walk out of the cave and stare at the frog and Kera
“Don’t” I say glaring at the frog.
I may have been going a bit overboard as the frog gains a true look of fear on its face and wobbles to stand behind Kera.
Sigh “anyways the reason I told you all to come here is there has been a change of plan. We aren’t going to be exterminating the goblin camp after all.”
Sigh “Oh, thank goodness you came to your senses. We were going to get slaughtered, even with your crazy abilities.” Kael says wiping sweat from his brow
“Instead we are going to go to their camp and negotiate for them to leave.” I say
“Whyyyyyyy?!” Kael crys out in a whimpering voice.
“You really should have seen that coming.” Kera says placing her hand on his shoulder.
“You realize that they are brainless monsters right? That they can’t talk, right?” Kael says pleading to me.
“That seems not to be the case, it seems that you just can’t understand them.” I say with a look that implies “have some pride”
“What, and you can?” Kael says sarcastically.
“Yes, one of my abilities gives me the capability to understand anything that has a spoken language” I say
“Makes sense, lord of the demons, summoner of minions, leader of monsters, it would be common for such a being to be able to talk to just about anything.” Kera says in an oddly serious fashion.
I suppose when it comes to monsters she takes things seriously.
“Indeed. I’ve already talked to a child of their tribe, and learned the location of the camp. I may need to offer the slime as part of the negotiation.” I say pointing in the direction of the camp.
It is rather hard to keep ones baring of direction in the forest, but thankfully having the cave at my back makes remembering the direction Learn pointed rather easy.
“and we are just going to walk into their camp, in the middle of possibly hundreds of angry goblins, and…talk? I think I’ve found a flaw in your strategy.” Kael say defeated.
“If you don’t want to go, then I will go in by myself.” I say
“In fact, Kera you aren’t going in.” I say glaring a Kera.
I can’t even imagine what kind of trouble we would get into if I took Kera to a meeting with diplomacy as the intention.
“Hmm, then tell me about it afterwards.” Kera says continuing her serious tone.
I must say it’s quite odd to see Kera act seriously, as well as not argue. Then again I’ve known her for a very short period; she might have just been in an obnoxiously playful mood earlier.
“You, come.” I say glaring at the frog.
It complexion goes from a typical green to a shade of blue as it attempts to do what I can only imagine is nodding. It’s quite hard to tell though considering how bloated it’s become.
“I’m going to head there now. The less time word of me talking to the child has to spread around the camp, the less likely they will have a defined opinion on me before I get there. Kael, you don’t have to come but it would be useful to have you along.” I say as I begin to walk in the direction the goblin child pointed.
“Wha…uh… me? How can I help? Hey, Mano-san! Wait up!” I hear Kael say behind me as I get further and further away from him.
He catches up with me after a short while when he arrived at my side he said
“Geez, you love dragging me into things don’t you” Afterwards we walked in silence until reaching the camp.
Am I dragging him into things? I was very distinct about letting him have the option to sit it out this time. Why is he coming? He obviously doesn’t want to meet the goblins.
We notice some smoke billowing in front of us through the gaps the in trees. It doesn’t look too far away. The smoke was out of sight up until now because the wind is constantly blowing it in the other direction. We walk a bit closer before-
“Halt!” is yelled in a scratchy voice out of nowhere.
After the voice come four well-armed goblins. These were nothing like the last two we encountered; they had legitimate weapons and armor that looked to be made to fit them.
“Mano-san? Are we in trouble?” Kael says drawing his weapon ready to fight, his voice reeks of being frightened though.
I guess it’s apparent even to him that we are a bit out-matched right now.
“Come, we take you. No worry, won’t be harmed. Trick prisoners.” The goblin that seemed to be in charge of the four says.
What in the word is he saying? Where would they be taking me? They said “trick prisoners” do they mean to trick us and imprison us?
“Speak more specifically unless I know where you intend to take me and why I am going to resist.” I say drawing my weapon as well.
For a moment surprise appears on the faces of all four goblins, after the moment passes though the goblin in charge dons a face full of disgust.
“Gue! Stupid human! Fine! We take you to chief, he say he wants to meet you. Other goblins no know. We pretend you prisoner trick them. Know enough now?” The goblin says in a slow deep voice.
Despite the fact that I’m pretty sure he is mocking me, I think I understand what he is trying to say. Goblins don’t seem to have a very high opinion of humans, so they would not be very happy if one was allowed to walk right in their front door without resistance. The leaders probably managed to get the fact I talked to the child under wraps and plan to keep it secret for the moment.
“Mano-san? What are we doing? They don’t look very friendly you know.” Kael petitions
“We are going to be captured by them, let it happen.” I say putting away my weapon.
“Huh?! Mano-san are you sure we are on the same side here?” Kael pleads as he looks my way.
“Just do it. We are in a hurry here, and I don’t want to be your translator.” I say turning to the goblins again.
“We will allow ourselves to be captured. We will ask that our gear and equipment be left on us though.” I say sternly at the Goblin.
“Wha- no! We take stuff, maybe give it back!” One of the others goblins spouted off.
“No. You take stuff, order from chief.” The goblin leader says as he motions for the others to begin binding us.