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Chapter 15: Xandra’s Awakening

“The horror… The horror…” Kairo was clumped to the side and felt so… dirty.

Never before was he used as a soap.

“Ah, get over it! You can dive into monsters and move in their guts without a problem! Why are you being so dramatic after I used you like a bar of soap? Relax, Majekon!"

Kairo was still weeping.

"Why don't you try and be someone else's soap!" Kairo wept.

"I guess you have a point there. Well, actually, I’ve been thinking about it… Since you are a slime, can you merge with other slimes? Can you control them? Because, if I had several of you, I could have several Slimes with a specific Sol System. Won’t that make me greater than the mages in the town? And that way, id' have plenty of soap to use.”

“I… never thought about that. I’ve always been a singular slime… But you’re a Monster Tamer! You can Tame other monsters and sync your soul with them. Theoretically… it’s possible!” Kairo was awakened from his depression.

“And that means… You can have other slimes that you would use as soaps or clean after you! It doesn’t have to be me! There is hope! The Eos was just testing my loyalty!” Kairo cheered up.

“Right… Anyway, I guess I’ll have to find a slime colony here. But the slimes in this area are fairly weak. They multiply with incredible speed and need very little need for food. But they are one of the most hunted creatures here in the Edge Lands… The easiest choice is to fight those goblins with a Slime farm… But I’m too weak to fight them!”

“Too weak? A goblin? Master, you performed an apprentice-level Brute attack! That attack you performed. It has a name. Dash and Slash. It’s a standard skill the Quick Draw Swordsman uses. You harnessed half of the Brute Power on your arms to make a strong slash and the other half on your legs to throw you forward. It was actually beautifully executed considering you split that F-Ranked monster in two.”

“That was an F-Ranked monster?!”

“...You didn’t know?”

“I thought Desert Vultures are G-Ranked!”

“The one you killed was larger than the others. It wasn’t the usual vultures.”

“That was a Pack Leader?! I didn’t notice!”

“Ah, there is nothing stronger than a person caught in the jaws of love. It’s even more powerful than the jaws of a gator.” Kairo laughed.

"But regardless. The goblins have a little community of their own. It's not wise to attack them."

Flay went back to check on Xandra.

She was still unconscious, but her expressions were much better now.

“She looks so tired… And yet… so beautiful.” Flay gave a dreamy smile as he gazed at Xandra.

“…Yup. You’re definitely not Pluton. The great Pluton, the god of death, wouldn’t be creepily looking at barely legal teens.”

“Hey! She’s eighteen!”

“Well, thank the Eos for that!" Kairo answered sarcastically.

"But Master, I have something serious to talk about with you.”

“A serious talk?”

“It’s about this lady.”

“Look, I may be an orphan, but one of my big sisters who took care of me in the orphanage already gave me ‘the talk!’ So I don’t want an awkward conversation with a slime about the bees and the birds. Besides, I'm already seventeen years old!”

“What? No! That’s not the talk I’m talking about! It’s about my identity! You have to keep it a secret! You’re identity as Pluton should also be kept a secret!”

“What? Why?”

“I know you want to impress this girl and show your power so she would swoon over you due to your sheer awesome powers.”

“Erm… N-No, I don't! You wanted that!”

“Master, this is serious. The Eos has many enemies. And while they wouldn’t hang around in this desolate land, they still have their minions scattered throughout the realms. It’s even possible that the attacks and dangers that threaten your village is caused by them. And lastly, I want you to keep this a secret because of the plot that sealed and cursed your tribe.”

“You mean the strange obstruction?”

“Yes. The one in you is more powerful that it limited your usage of Brute Power in your fist. But the rest have an obstruction that limits the powers of their Taming Hand. And this cannot be completed unless someone within your village I helping whoever is casting this spell maintains it!”

Flay was shocked at Kairo’s words.

“A traitor in the village? Impossible!”

“It’s the only explanation, Master.”

“No! Look! I may have painted the kids and my peers quite badly. Yes, they bullied me, but in hindsight, I was very arrogant at first. I was treated as a genius before my constant failure in the Strength Measuring Stone. Even my big sisters in the orphanage pointed out that I had it coming! But our culture and the beliefs we carry are one of unity. I want what's best for the village. If that fails, or if each one of us starts to seek out our own benefits over the village, then the village would fall.”

“I understand, master. But it’s possible that a tamer is unknowingly helping the caster continue this spell that all born in the village have. This includes you, who has a questionable origin among tamers!”

“… I guess your right.”

“We have to think of excuses. You can say that I’m a strange slime with some sentience. In any case, they can’t hear us communicate anyway. But you have to start talking to me telepathically.”

“Got it.” Flay thought.

"..."

"..."

“...Master. We’re you… trying to talk to me telepathically?”

Flay nodded.

“Erm… You were just thinking. You weren’t communicating to me telepathically.”

“How about now?” Flay thought again.

“…”

“…”

“Master, did you think again and thought I heard it?”

“Damn it!” Flay cursed.

Suddenly, Xandra moved.

Flay was checked on her and noticed that Xandra fell back to sleep.

“We’ll have to be quiet.” Flay sent telepathically.

“There you go, Master! You did it!” The slime rejoiced.

“Oh, so this is how we do it!” Flay thought again.

“...Master. You were just thinking again.”

“Mother Critches!” Flay cursed silently.

After several tries, Flay finally got the hang of it.

“She’s exhausted. One spell of Heal isn't enough to cure the exhaustion.” Flay turned to Xandra.

“She is quite beautiful, Master. I didn’t expect your village to give birth to such beauties given its barbaric conditions.”

“Yes. This is Xandra Volts. Daughter of the Chief Tamer of the Village. She’s quite strong, too! She cultivated to Rookie-6. But her strength was actually at Rookie-8!” Flay sighed.

“I see. She is blessed by a strong constitution. I can sense the power of Gaia in her. She must have a natural Earth Element affinity, giving her a strong physique that can cross her power levels. Her father must be proud.”

“Actually… she’s supposed to marry some big-shot merchant who trades with our village.”

“What? But she’s very talented!”

“Her talents only mean so much to our village. If she marries that merchant, our village will be in a more favorable position. The merchant promised to help us improve the village. And with Xandra with him, our village will most likely have more food, better weapons, and ultimately change the fate of our town.”

“I see. That does make sense. Her aid in the hunts cannot compare to the benefits your village gets through this marriage.”

“Exactly. She has long accepted her fate. She wanted to join this hunt to experience its glory and be able to serve the village at least once through the hunts. I think she would even have joined the Scouting Tamers. Most women in our village become members of the Scouting Tamers as they are more suited to tame the scout beasts.”

“It seems this beautiful maiden has quite a burden to bear. If only a strong, dashing, and powerful man would come and make the village better that she wouldn’t have to accept this marriage.” Kairo chuckled.

“That’s the least of my worries. The fact that she’s here and that she’s alone means that the Tamers must face a very life-threatening crisis. I only hope we can make it on time. Once she wakes up, I have to go back and find them. Kairo. How much water can you absorb?”

“If you want, then up to two liters. But… You can’t use me like a sword. I can’t use Mercury’s power with any more elements other than my sticky self.”

“Then I guess I have to hop from one oasis to the next if I want to cross this desert.” Flay thought for a bit.

“Ugh…. I’m… alive?!” Xandra voiced out.

“She’s awake!” Flay’s heart spurred, and he moved closer.

“Are you alright?” Flay asked.

Xandra was still groggy and confused as to where she was. But when she saw Flay’s face…

“YOU!” Xandra jumped up and immediately sent a punch at Flay.

The power equal to the strength of a Rookie-8 was behind the punch. Xandra had attacked with the intent of killing Flay.

Flay was stunned at the attack and instinctively held his left arm up to block, and Brute Power aided to harden his skin.

But as he did that, Flay realized that his defense was too hard, and since Xandra was unleashing the full power of her attack, she would end up hurting herself.

Flay dropped his guard but then thought it was very unmanly for him to get wounded from a punch. So as the fist drew close, Flay dodged the punch by a few milliliters.

But Xandra didn’t stop. The fires of her anger burned brighter, and she charged and sent more attacks and employed all the martial arts that her father taught her.

Kairo saw the actions of Flay and was amazed.

“How fast can Master think? He changed his defensive response twice before finally evading!” Kairo marveled.

Xandra made wild and angry swings as Flay shouted her name and told her to stop attacking.

“Xandra! Stop!” Flay shouted.

But Xandra wouldn’t listen as she charged and tackled Flay.

Flay easily jumped over Xandra, and Xandra roared and charged again.

“It’s useless. Flay evaded a Midnight Panther at the last possible second twice and escaped the pecks of the Pteranodon. Why is this girl so angry?” Kairo wondered.

Finally, Flay couldn’t take it any longer. He held his ground, gathered Brute Power on his left hand, and waited.

Xandra charged and threw another punch.

Flay opened his palm and reached out at the punch. As the fist pushed forward, Flay caught it and pulled back. But slowly, Flay began to add more and more resistance until, finally, the punch of Xandra stopped.

Xandra was surprised. Flay was known to have a strength of a Rookie-3! How could he stop her punch like that?

“You! It’s your fault! The Tamers are all dead because of you!” Xandra shouted.

Flay was stunned for a second, and Xandra threw a punch with her other arm.

But at the last second, Flay suddenly realized something. He threw himself back and used his right arm to pull Xandra, and the two stumbled down.

Flay was rolling back and used Xandra’s rush to throw her into the pool.

SPLASH!

“Calm down!” Flay shouted angrily.

“Master…!” Kairo was worried.

“She’s lying. While some tamers could die against the Might Wolves, total annihilation is impossible. They faced more life-threatening situations than this.” Flay declared.

Xandra surfaced out of the water.

“Xandra! Calm down! They are not so weak to die from that! Stop exaggerating and tell me what happened!” Flay shouted back.

Kairo was silently observing his master.

“I guess even if Master is Pluton, right now has no desire for destruction or vengeance. And from the looks of it, even though he was bullied, he loves the village so much that he could shout at the girl he adores.”

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