Chapter 57: Shortcut to Quest Accomplishment
As the system alert came to the end, Sila collapsed and sat down on the ice field that he had created. He began to cultivate so he could regenerate his qi.
Bluebird descended and transformed himself back to human form. Meanwhile, Burapha sealed Lala into his ring as she would regain her power quicker there and walked toward other members.
The two of them didn't disturb Sila as he was recovering his qi. They instead sat on the ice field and calculated the gains and losses from this battle. Bluebird's seemed to have lost the most from this out of the three of them. His clothes were destroyed and his level stayed the same. He didn't tell the others that his clothes were an expensive grade equipment. As for Burapha, after he had deducted his the amount he invested in preparations, he had gained around 1,000 gold coins, indicating how much he had spent on the items used in this battle.
Sila slowly opened his eyes. He felt like his speed in qi circulation had become faster. Maybe it was due to the higher grade of Qi Circulation. However, no matter how he had tried, he couldn't remove Bomb Lurking Psychic from his body. Although he had completely suppressed it, it was still left in his body. The feeling of having a foreign object inside his body was troubling regardless of how harmless it was.
"How are you, Big Brother?" Burapha asked.
"I'm better. I still can't remove Bomb Lurking Psychic out though," replied Sila.
"How long has it been in your body?" Bluebird inquired.
Sila tried to count. "About three weeks."
Bluebird nodded. "Given how long it has been in your body, it is normal for you to have a hard time removing it. Just take your time and slowly remove it bit by bit until it is gone… I guess."
"You guess?" Burapha was curious.
"I don't know for sure. If I did, I would be playing qi type by now."
"Ah? You don't know such information even though you're in an information guild? It's no wonder that you were fired," Burapha mocked.
"Hey, hey, how many times do I have to tell you that I'm not fired? I'm just taking a break to go on a trip of self-discovery. This qi thing also isn't my field of interest."
"Take it easy, you two. I also have a method that I haven't tried yet. This is my own problem. I will deal with it myself," Sila said.
Bluebird and Burapha didn't continue the conversation. Both of them were the same regarding being experienced in meeting many people. Bluebird was a newshawk so that was inevitable. The same goes for Burapha who was a merchant. The two of them were aware that Sila was the kind of person that distances himself from others.
"What should we do next? Are we going back now?" Sila asked.
"Let me take a break first. Although it's true that I can breathe underwater, swimming for hours is too taxing for me." Burapha was sitting cross-legged next to Sila.
"I would like to rest too. I'm not a musclehead like qi-type players who always circulate qi to release fatigue, you know?" Bluebird also sat down.
"I will practice my skills then. Please tell me when you guys finish resting," Sila said and began to close his eyes.
Suddenly, Bluebird picked up an ice cube and threw it at Sila's face. Luckily, Sila sensed it and tilted his head to dodge just in time.
"What are you doing?" Sila was curious. Why did Bluebird abruptly throw an ice cube at him?
"Instead of chatting, you are practicing? Do that later when you are alone, okay?" Bluebird complained.
"When I heard about Big Brother Sila's habit from Big Sister Varee, I thought that Big Sister Varee was exaggerating. Unexpectedly, it's true. You are too hard on yourself, Big Brother Sila. This time I'm with Big Brother Bluebird. It's better for you to halt your practice at the moment," Burapha added.
Sila sighed. He was more used to being alone so he didn't know what to do in this situation. "I see, I get it. What should we talk about then?"
"Can we talk about your story? How did you become an enemy of Montra? By the way, you don't have to be so polite. We are friends. Talking politely is creeping me out," Bluebird said.
"Friends. Yes. What do you think we are to you?" Bluebird said.
"But we just met each other not long ago, didn't we?" Sila wondered.
"You only have a few friends, don't you? Being someone's friend is not connected to the time spent together, you know? Two people chatting every day for a year doesn't necessarily mean that they're acquaintances. Meanwhile, just getting along well together for five minutes can result in becoming best friends."
"Bluebird, do you have a lot of friends?" Sila asked.
"My role is information gathering. Getting along with a lot of people is my job. One more time, just calling me Blue is sufficed. You should cut down the politeness too."
"Yes, of course," Sila replied.
[T/N: It isn't obvious, but Sila has been using polite language when talking to other people for a long time, including this time.]
"Well, well, please tell us your story. I heard that you and Montra are having a quarrel in the real world. What exactly has happened?" Bluebird inquired.
Burapha also added that he wanted to know too. Hence, Sila began telling them the story about him and Montra. This was the first time that he had shared his problem with in-game friends.
In the Slime Kingdom...
Two days had passed but the screams were still echoing throughout the kingdom. The slimes were already used to hearing such voices. The screams had become like a cricket's sound for them.
The Slime King and three Slime Guardians assembled at the central plaza to discuss the future of the Slime Kingdom.
"Divine, about the dimensional portal, how is it?" The Slime King asked.
"I have sent my psychic body through the portal and found that it really can go outside. It's like Your Majesty has speculated. The seals of the eight dragons don't have an effect on this portal. We can go outside. Though, I don't know how long the portal can stay opening. I guess that this night may be its limit," Divine replied.
"That's great. Poluk, Viola, and Divine. Could the three of you go outside and bring Bow back?"
"Your Majesty, I think Sila can protect Bow properly though," Poluk commented.
"I don't disagree that he can protect Bow. But what about taking care of her? I have just listened to Sila's story from Divine. His journey is full of enemies. Can he take care of Bow like that? What if he always seals Bow inside the ring?"
"If it's Your Majesty's command, I will try my best to do so," Divine said.
"Your majesty, aren't you concerned too much? Bow is likely to be fine," Viola added.
"Viola, just 'likely to be fine' is not enough of a warrant for a father at all," the Slime King said.
"Father? Does this mean?"
"Correct. Bow is my biological daughter. She is also an independent NPC like us."
"But, isn't Bow just a monster? If she was an independent NPC, she wouldn't be able to become a pet or partner of a player. Based on the law, only AIs are allowed to be a player's pet or partner," Viola wondered.
"Bow is a special case. She is the reason I made a condition with the game creator to become the king of this cursed kingdom," the Slime King said. The silence fell. No one dared to talk as they knew that the Slime King stopped the conversation to reconsider whether he should go on telling his secret.
"If it's a secret, then there is no need for you to tell us," Poluk broke the silence.
"If it's you guys, I think I can tell… My story started three years ago. Bow was only four years old at that time. She was in an accident and went into a coma. Several doctors tried their best but Bow didn't regain her consciousness despite her injuries being fully healed. All I could do was wait. Wait for her to regain her consciousness by herself.
"Then, I was invited to play the beta version of Monster Soul. It was at that time that I discovered the existence of the brain scanner. Although Bow was still in her coma, she would still be able to stay inside this game world with that device. So, I made a deal with the game creator to allow Bow to live inside this game. However…"
"Her age is the problem, isn't it?" Divine guessed. He was a prudent person so he recognized the problem immediately.
"Yes. A brain scanner has the age restriction for the user. My deal is illegal and has to be done in secret. Bow isn't allowed to truly live as an independent NPC but as a monster. Nevertheless, that is more than enough for me.
"She has been awake in this game for longer than she has in real life. Listening to her request to go outside, I didn't dare to object. Sila also seems like a good person. However, his fate is bound to be filled with battles. How can I allow my daughter to live such a life?"
Poluk wiped the tears from his eyes.
"As independent NPCs, we can do anything as long as it doesn't conflict with the role given to us by the game creator. Regrettably, my role clearly forces me to stay within this kingdom until all of the seals have been broken. However, you guys are not the same."
"Our responsibilities are to protect the slimes, conduct the Way of Slime's trial, and follow the orders of the Slime King. There is no rule that prevents us from going outside," Divine said.
"Yes, so, I would like to leave Bow in your hands. At least until all the seals have been broken."
"Following the Slime King's orders is naturally our duty. Bow is also a slime so this matter is within our responsibility," Poluk said.
"This is not an order from a king but a request from a father. Although it's true that we can die multiple times in this game, but what kind of father would like to see his own daughter dying?" the Slime King asked.
"Naturally, we will gladly help you. However, what about Sila?" Poluk asked.
"You can tell him or not, it's up to your guys to decide. However, please instruct him explicitly that he can't tell anyone this secret," the Slime King said.
"It seems Sila is having a quarrel with Montra. For him to defeat the high-ranking dragon, one method is to use the reward obtained from completing the Decolonize Slime Kingdom quest. However, the next war event will start in four months. Personally, I don't think Sila can finish this quest within four months."
"There's no way," Viola added, "One year might suffice, but it's definitely impossible within four months."
"Yeah. The more he goes deep into the Main Continent, the stronger the eight dragons become. The conditions for them to appear are also troublesome. Some of the condition even requires longer than a month to prepare. The fact that Sila could defeat two of them is very fortunate enough," Poluk commented.
"Anyway, Sila might find another way to overcome the Dragon's Heart skill. There are many methods to do that," Viola said.
"Although what you said it's true, the other methods require all luck, skill, persistence and time. I think we better focus on the existing method," Poluk said.
"In this case, we have to help him," Divine said.
"How? This is a quest for slime-race player. It's not like we can defeat the dragons for him," Viola argued.
"I have a way," the Slime King interrupted. He took three stones out.
"Dragon Sealing Stones?" Viola exclaimed.
"Yes. We are the dragons' mortal enemy so I possess this kind of item. There are only three of them though. Fortunately, it matches up with you three." the Slime King threw one stone to each of them.
Dragon Sealing Stone is an S-graded consumable item that can be used to seal a dragon inside. The condition to seal the dragon is to severely weaken it first. Its downside is, this item isn't designed to tame a dragon. It just locks the dragon within. Once the dragon comes out of the stone, its health would be fully replenished.
"Unfortunately, we are half-NPC, half-monster so we can't contact Sila via the system. Nevertheless, Sila is the sole slime-race player. It shouldn't be hard for us to find him," Poluk said.
"We are a group of three people. Once we go outside, we should travel in different directions to catch different dragons. We will also search for Sila's whereabouts during our trip. If any of us find Sila, that person will take care of Bow," Divine said.
The three of them nodded in agreement. "Deal. There's just one problem. We can't help Sila fight the dragons. I don't know whether he can handle it," Poluk said.
"He has no choice but to do it. Now, Sila has already defeated two dragons. With our help to bring three of the others to him, only three will remain for him to hunt. This is the only shortcut for him to be able to complete the quest prior to the war event."
"We definitely can't catch the Darkness Dragon or the Light Dragon for him, that's for sure. Those two are very troublesome," Poluk said.
"We should go before the portal closes," Viola hurried.
"To prevent you three from becoming the center of attention, you should change into human form," the Slime King suggested.
For all monsters in Monster Soul, upon reaching Lord Rank, they would obtain the ability to change into human form, like Sebastian in the Mansion of the Seven Deadly Sins. For the record, the ranks and levels of all three Slime Guardians were Lord Rank, Level 1000.
Their bodies began to transform. Divine in human form was exactly like him in psychic form. Meanwhile, Poluk was a sturdy man with a short beard. He was wearing cheap wuxia clothes which revealed his breast muscle. As for Viola, she was a red-haired woman with a ponytail. Her facial appearance was charming and mature, and her eyes were red. She was wearing pink clothes designed for a magic fighter.
"Sometimes I wonder, why do you like to change into psychic form when you can just transform?" Poluk asked Divine.
"My psychic form can do more things than my human form, I'd say."
"I don't like my human form. People always say that my eyes are scary. I like myself more in slime form," Viola muttered.
The three of them were standing in front of the dimensional portal. Before they went, Poluk turned his head to ask the Slime King.
"What will you do about these thieves? Although their level doesn't go down, each of them has died more than a hundred times already."
"These guys dared to try kidnapping my daughter to sell so I would like to teach them some lessons." The Slime King's eyes shone with killing intent.
Poluk swallowed his saliva. Normally, the Slime King never showed his angry side to anyone. These thieves were so pitiful. Luckily for them, the dimensional portal could only open temporarily. Once the portal closed, the slime seals would push every one of them out as they were not a part of the slime race. Poluk didn't dare imagine what would happen if these guys used the device that creates a permanent portal.
The three of them walked through the dimensional portal. Would their emergence in Monster Soul help Sila solve his problems or just make more? Only God would know.