Duty Session 78: Is It Wrong to Pick Up Slimes in a Dungeon?
There are plenty of places in Alne that seem to have been left abandoned up until recently. The influx of Adventurers and Landers have caused empty areas of the city to become occupied in quick order. As the city is surrounded by water, it is also particularly prone to infestations of slimes. Landers are reporting that they are having trouble getting water into some areas of the city. They are asking for Adventurers who might be brave enough to face the sewers and waterways beneath the city to clear out some of the slimes in order to help get the water flowing again.
Rec. Party: 3+
World Rewards: Increases in clean water availability in Alne.
'Looking for Adventurers'
I need a party to help me clear some quests as I need resources for some projects.
P.S. - Dinner that tastes like real food will be included on every mission.
"So you are the one looking for a party? The name is Gwen Pendragon. I'm a Holy Knight so you have a tank and what did you say about food? It would be nice to not be the one doing the cooking for once and maybe we can trade a few things after?"
Finally, her gaze lands on the human in the black and red haori, and her eyes sparkle in delight. Shaskur walks and raises her hand in greeting, "Yo. I saw your post." She points her thumb over her shoulder. "I help and get dinner, right?" she tilts her head in question.
Hood up, he made his way towards where Hiffumi was waiting for people to take him up on his offer, "I'm here about the job."
Mizuki has been exploring the area around the stairs on floor 2 just in case there are some HIDDEN RUINS or something that can only be seen from close up. She's also been working through some things. As much as being a cat is awesome and all, she can't shake Proteus's insult and she wonders if it's changing her. She still hasn't found anyone else who resorted to eating raw meat before cooking was reinvented. And of course, being a cat isn't the only change, as her last visit to the slime dungeon made her ickily, clingily aware. Is THAT going to affect her mind?
On her way back to Alne, she passes through the Scale Emblem Alliance camp. Someone's set up a blacksmithing station so some of the ALF newbies can practice. The CLANG, CLANG, CLANG of someone hammering an iron dagger catches her ear and she looks over. A raven-haired man is swinging the hammer, and from the look of him one would think he's been swinging hammers for years to build those finely toned muscles. Sweat beads on his shirtless form from heat of the forge and the exertion of hammering... and Mizuki feels nothing except insecurity about her complete lack of an exercise routine back in the real world. "...He's probably another sedentary gamer who randomized his appearance, anyway."
"Okay, that was three daggers, now it's my turn!" The voice comes from a purple-haired cat sith with tanned skin and a midriff-baring outfit. She swaps into position at the anvil as he goes to quench the new blade. She already had a waiting blank in the forge and moves it to the anvil with tongs, then starts swinging. Her skin and clothes are already smudged with soot from working at the forge, and now the heat and swinging the hammer have Mizuki is suddenly acutely aware that she's begun to stare and should probably go now. Go to... the lake. Yes. The cold lake. That would be good. That is where she should go.
Well, at least THAT hasn't changed.
Anyway, later that day she ends up at the Hunter's Guild reading the job posting. REAL FOOD?! Now THAT's exciting!
Somewhat less exciting is when she arrives at the meeting place and it's another walled-off well. Ears and tail drooping at the thought of getting covered in slime again. Euuuuugh.
There will be food, though! Focus on the food, Mizuki! The thought does lighten her mood a little, ears perking slightly and tip of her tail twitching. Game face, on!
The were fang ninja approaches the group, waving to those gathered. Glad to see Gwen again, too! "Slimes? Mizuki can handle them nyo problem! What've you been up to, Gwen?" Then she turns to Hifumi, suddenly sounding serious. "Remember. You promised us real food after this." ^=.=^
Then she blinks. "Oh, it's you again!" She looks at the well, then back to him. "Have you got some kind of delicious recipe for cooked slime...?"
He leads the group over to the nearest available Hunter's Guild quest. At the well he hands over Miz's dinner as well. "Alright, well take good care of me and maybe I'll throw in some onigiri." he heads down the rope, even slipping a bit but hey he's a caster he isn't exactly built for the whole 'agility' side of the game.
There at the bottom and a short walk finds a bunch of green porings boucning about with their traditional squelching noises as they gobble up organic garbage, not really seeming all that agro in the long and short of it.
"Leave these to me." The others might have better ideas for how to deal with these things, but his idea will be more simple and straight forward now that he knows what he's up against. He slides a pair of daggers out from under his hood, holding them in a reverse grip, and then he pushes forward.
He moves to the side, leaping up onto the side of the sewer wall, before pushing off of the wall and slashing through the slimes with his blade, intent on cleaving several apart with one strike.
The large Sylph woman, Gwen, looked familiar. After a moment Shaskur recalled that she was at the duel where Kirito and Yuuki faced off against each other. She had been friendly then and seemed a decent and helpful sort.
Then she inspected Mizuki, the amber furred were fang. Shaskur couldn't recall anything familiar about her, but she was covered in soot. Maybe she was crawling through a chimney shoot? Shaskur recalled the last time she tried that, it is messy business.
And then there was the man with the food, Hifumi. What a noble soul, giving her a binto dinner. That is pretty much the description of a saint she was pretty sure. Gladly accepting the meal with a nod she quickly stores it in her inventory for later. Mission accomplished!
Well, she had the food.. but might as well continue on with this anyway, need to get XP from somewhere afterall.
Backing off she watches as the others go down before she nimbly climbs down herself. Seeing that Kansai was happy to do the work she simply sidesteps to avoid touching any of the nearby slimes.
She'll eat about anything with actual taste with a few exceptions really so they make it to the well. Gwen just drops and uses her wings to slow fall down into the depths she'll come in for a landing and look at the porings. She gets a few ideas of what she can do with the monsters. She'll then settle on an idea. an idea she'll boot up the cooking menu and rapidly make some cheap food which he'll then launch a good way aware from the party to lure the porings away from them so they have free passage for the moment. Well, that's her plan anyhow.
"Didn't want to drown in Jelopies."
Mizuki is surprised as Hifuni just hands out bento boxes. "You make food AND you pay up front? Everyone's gonna LOVE you." She looks at the wrapped box for a moment, considering checking the contents... then decides that it's not worth potentially messing up the meal, and come to think of it potential rudeness, on the off-chance Hifumi's scamming them. They'll still get the duty reward and it will only work once, after all.
She rolls her eyes as Kasai proclaims he can solo them. "You can turn it down, man. They're just slimes. And we're a team, after all!"
She follows after him, but it turns out that her damage is right around the point where randomization determines if she one- or two-shots them, and despite good rolls last time, she doesn't roll so hot this time. The crowd of slimes around her grows and backs her up against a wall. "Okay, fine, I take it back! A little help here, Mr. Soloer?!"
As they progress along the sewers seem to run dry, which is something of a good at least it means no need to splash about. Then the strange sound comes Boing-nya, Boing-nya, Boing-nya. Slimes that look to be mixed with Tabby cats... cute ears, stripes and adorable mewing mixed with boings and splats and the squeak and crunch of rats being taken down from time to time.
He moves back over and slashes at the slimes backing her against the wall, to free her from their slimy grasp, "Never underestimate any enemy, no matter how small or cute they may be. It could be your end."
As they round the corner and find the tabby slimes, Kasai hmms a bit. No easy attack route, and these are a bit more dangerous than the others, "We should sneak past." He suggests, since attacking outright was not the forte of some of the team. He drops into a crouch and moves to slide around behind the slimes, lest they spot the team and attack.
"Wow. Careful not to cut yourself on all that edge." Mizuki quips, only to regret it when he has to come save her. Once THAT embarassing situation is over with, Mizuki follows deeper into the culvert. Her ears perk up and she starts instinctively tracking the sound. "Rats? Well, there were spiders in the rat dungeon, and dogs in the spider dungeon, so why not..."
But they're just regular rats. The things chasing them are approximately INFINITY MORE INTERESTING.
Mizuki GASPS. "They're SO CUUUUUUUUUTE!" After a rat runs past her she squats down and reaches towards the tabby slime chasing it. It hisses at her... but this is not a small beast, afraid of humans. This is an agressive MONSTER. It leaps up and BITES her arm! She shakes the arm until the slime drops off. "OW! Aww, c'mon, I just wanted to cuddle you...!" ^;.;^ "At least this bite won't get infected..."
After playing around with water hand seals for a few moments, she manages to tune a standard waterbolt into more of a spray. Continuing into the dungeon, as tabby slimes come into aggro range and hiss at her, she sprays them until they leave.
"Why can't they be beasts people keep as pets in this world? Like the peco pecos..." she opines.
"Just slimes? DO you know how dangerous slimes can be? Gelatinous Cubes are a thing you know and there could be worst ones."
Gwen shudders at this.
"Right now moving on and Shaskur? How's it been since the duel?"
She asks while she looks over at Mizuki again.
"...why are these things so cute? I feel like this place is trying to get us to let our guards down."
She'll take a moment as she has an idea she'll start chanting a spell and send a burst of water to sweep the cat slimes away, or at least sweep some of them.
Others seem to be working to handle them in other ways. She's not trying to kill them just get them out of the way.
"Uhuh as for that you expect me? To sneak?"
She's glad in full plate even with how she can move it will make noise.
She looks at Mizuki for a moment
"That be closer to slavery ... they are not exactly beasts now are they?
Mizuki replies to Gwen, "Just because they're not Beasts doesn't mean they're people like the Landers. They're just magical animals. These aren't acting like a society of people or anything, they're acting like cats. Also, I think there was a way to get a pet poring or even a giant poring mount in Ragnarok Online."
As they come across the tabby slimes, Shaskur seems to suddenly become very focused on them. Whenever one becomes visible her head snaps to stare. She can't help but nod along as Mizuki exclaims how cute they are. As the rest of the party starts to moves forward, some silently and others using water, she shakes her head slightly and follows along behind.
As she does she turns to Gwen and blinks a couple times, "I'm surprised you remember me." Then after a pause she continues, "It's been... interesting. I seem to have found myself a.. persistent admirer that keeps to the shadows.. I'm dealing with it. How about you?"
The adorable moves on to more adorable... Slime wizards... "Really.. wizards they come in wizard flavor?"
Additional silver lining: Noone's going to tell a catgirl that fawning over cute slimes is inappropriate for a dude. Then again, this IS Japan, sort of. People are big into kawaii things here, right?
She's almost a little sad as the... clowder? of cat slimes fades into the distance, and they come up to their next challenge: Wizard slimes! After cat slimes, she's kind of inured against their cuteness, even if they do have adorable little hats. "Stall them. I mean, Mizuki has done this challenge before!" The details may be randomized each time, but now she generally knows what to do, at least. She looks over the runes, SORCERER SKILLS telling her what each one means, and starts zapping them herself with magic to activate certain ones to generate more attacks on the slimes!
She flits around the room, looking for the right runes and tapping them. "This one! Aaaaaaand THIS one! Aaaand..."
Muttering a few words under her breath and making a few hand gestures a blast of water shoots out towards one of the wizard slimes, and it does successfully push it away off into the darkness. Success! Until there is a flash and another wizard slime comes zipping along the wet floor on a direct path towards Shaskur at high speed. Just as she prepares to dodge one of the magical blasts hits her foot. Flipping up she comes crashing down just as the slime reaches her.
Well, the slime was dead. But Shaskur was now covered in slime. Slowly getting to her feet she starts to scoop the excessive amounts of slime off herself as she mutters darkly. As she continues to clean herself she backs up behind the group, now happy to let Mizuki finish off doing whatever she is with the runes. After she does what little she can about the slime on her Shaskur starts drawing and sheathing one of her daggers repeatedly, and her eyes are furrowed in frustration.
He does take a moment to inspect Shaskur. Silver Sword, primarily PvE guild. He's never had too many run-ins with them. They're on the same side right now, regardless. The group has made it past the tabby slimes without issue, it would seem. Now they have a new problem. Magic using slimes. He's not able to read the runes on the other side of the wall, and instead opts to just bypass the challenge.
He brings his hands up in front of himself, and makes a couple of hand motions, before vanishing with a bolt of lightning, reappearing on the other side of the room with another flash of lightning.
Gwen's eyes dart over the runes and goes over to them slowly. She will look them over as she makes a plan. She'll take some time figuring out what the runes say and she now has an idea. She takes a moment and will move to activate the runes to turn them upon the slime here. Much like Mizuki is as they turn the runes against the various ones causing bursts of magic to assail the slimes hopefully clearing the way
The flow of water picks up an oily sheen and little fires seem to float along in the oily substance atop the water. The party makes its way into a cistern chamber, a red jelly with big yellow eyes blubs and burbles. It occasionaly burps up little fire balls that ignite the oily runoff, but at least there is no raging inferno... yet.
Shaskur replies to Kasai as she glares around looking for threats, "Well.. Attacking from unexpected directions would make it more challenging. I suppose I get that." She ponders in silence a moment and then shrugs, "I figure if they never see you then there isn't much they can do."
And then they arrive at the large red slime. Flames flicker and burn in the area and the red ooze coats sections of the wall and ground. Without any hesitation Shaskur dashes forward, muttering something under her breath and a dark mist radiates off her body. As she flanks around the slime is seems her mist is dampening the flames near her. Once she has fully circled around behind the slime she mutters once again and the black mist starts to concentrate in her twin daggers. As the others act she lunges forward with her blades to deliver the full force of her spell into this filthy slime with her strike.
After the rune challenge, the water... gets deeper? Eventually high boots can't keep it out anymore. "Euuugh, I don't want this stuff in my furrr...." At least oily water doesn't feel as clingy and squidgy as excessive slime, though.
"Alright... fire... slime thing..." She makes some hand seals and is covered in stone armor. She mutters, "I wish I'd thought to do that BEFORE it soaked my fur..." Now armored up, she wades in to fight the slime with more traditional ninja stabbing!
It's probably a terrible idea, but he reaches behind his back and pulls out a grappling hook, twirling it around a few times before he throws it up to the roof, hooking it onto a pipe near the grate up top. He hauls himself up to the grate, and then looks down below. He'll have to time this right, but if it works, he can break open the grate and knock down the mound of dirt that has collected over top of it due to lack of maintenance. Should provide an adequate substance to smother the flames.
"We seem to be doing pretty well here but what's this..."
Thing doesn't go so well Gwen rapidly attempt to cast an Earth Pillar spell. She gets smacked by the slime and there is also fire there goes Gwen's focus and she backs off trying to put the fire out.
"SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT SLIMES?!"
Once the party follows the flow of the water and it leads out into a huge circular chamber. Flowing water thick with sludge flow into the center of the room, puddling up and pu until a big translucent ooze with a fishy face, it's great maw opening and closing silently. Long tendrils of sloppy ooze glow, as faces drift over and through it, faces that do NOT look healthy.
"Gwen no, hang in there!" Mizuki shouts as she stabs the fire/oil slime.
Once that's dealt with, she stops at the entrance to the boss room. "Hey, let's see if the wash function works in this water now that the source of the oil is gone..." If it does, great!
And then once they enter she looks around and THE ECTOPUDDING rises up from the floor. "Oh hey, it's the boss? Do you know what this means?!" she grins at the others.
"NO POOP SLIME!" She throws her fists up in the air. "Wooooo!"
As the battle begins, she runs around the chamber, getting smacked a few times by the arms but doing a decent job of zapping them.
"So what even is this thing anyway? Some kinda... ghost... fish... slime? Maybe it made more sense in Japanese... is there a myth I don't know or something?"
"Okay more seriously, Gwen, can you draw its aggro for a moment? I've got MP saved up for some nukes!" Once others have its attention, she starts channeling a spell: "Angryspiritsoftheworldstrikenow! JUPITEL THUNDEEEEEEEEER!"
Calling out the name as loudly as she can and dramatically pointing after the incant isn't strictly required but it does look more dramatic as the sphere of lightning forms and repeatedly zaps the boss! She has enough MP to cast it at least twice, too!
After that, she keeps running around, using air magic to midair-dash out of the way of attacks and flinging throwing daggers at the ECTOPUDDING as she circles around the boss room! "We saw cute kitty slimes, we didn't have to fight the stinky slime, and we get food after this! This is the BEST DUNGEON RUN!"
Climbing once again to her feet, now dripping wet, she is cleaner but not much happier looking. To no one in specific Shaskur mutters, "This is my first time here hunting slimes, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how.. messy it is.. but still. There better be some decent loot at the end of this." As they get to the boss and Mizuki shouts for joy, Shaskur just shuddering at the thought of a poop slime.
Then Gwen manages to pull all the aggro, opening up so many options. With a silent mutter a dulling darkness effect plays over herself as a buff takes hold, and then she moves. She is quick normally, but now she was a blur. Moving at an incredible speed back and forth delivering attacks she seems to almost bounce off the walls to return once again. Each time passing just close enough to deliver another few slashes at the fishy slime.
And then Mizuki starts to cheer about this being the best dungeon, and she nearly stumbles right into the slime before she shouts back, "I've been covered in slime and waterlogged, and this is the BEST DUNGEON?! I don't even want to imagine what your last run was like!" and then more quickly she whispers, "but the tabby slimes were cute.."
His blades probably won't be much help here if he doesn't enhance them. But he has ways to do exactly that. He moves his position around, making sure that he's not in the way of Mizuki's spell. Once he's out of the path of that strike, he moves in on his own, channeling air around both of his daggers as he strikes out at the slime with them, trying to carve out pieces of it with the air current around his blades. Should help him keep the slime off of himself while he strikes, too.
His movements are all calculated to avoid taking damage and deliver as much of it as he can.
Bright green light flares up about her as she keeps the Slime busy and will make it pay for going after any of her allies.
The howling spirits of slimes... adventurers... landers? All drift up the celing, before it's like it's raining marshmallow fluff. Splut splat splort. There are a few odd coins left behind with skulls on them. Hifumi looks at the coins and shrugs "Well.. I hope it was worth.. this." he says wiping goop out of his eyes as he goes to collect his coin and hand the others out to those who've joined him.
"Best. Dungeon. /Run/." Mizuki turns away from the boss and repeats to Shaskur, as its death animation starts playing. "The last run was also this dungeon. It started out nice enough but then it got stinky and gooey. Also remember we have awesome food waiting for us in our inventories!"
She folds her arms. "I'm not sure what run you think would be /better/. The one where I got covered in spiders? The one where I got lost in a sewer maze for like an hour? The one where I resorted to eating raw meat just to /taste/ something? The one where I thought I was gonna die for real when Haggar nearly killed me? Oh and where also before that I got bit by a zombie?"
She nods, hair bouncing behind her. "So yeah. Tabby-slime-no-poop-monster-and-not-covered-in-goo-and-I-get-real-food-after dungeon run is the best s --"
SLIME RAINS FROM THE HEAVENS!
"WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" she screams to the heavens, ears flattened and tail bristling. Then her tail droops too. "Ugh it got in my mouth! Uggghhhh..."
Sad kitty in slime ^;.;^
Glumly, she walks over to and picks up one of the coins the slime left behind and squints. "Shouldn't it be 'memento mori'? Ah well, typoes happen." Mizuki pulls up the Appraisal interface. She looks like she's looking at a window only she can see, as she reads: "A simple coin which bears the insignia of a skull on one side and well worn writing on the other. It seems to be some sort of token that the Landers use to remember their dead. It carries a faintly magical feel to the touch, as if the souls of the lost may have left a mark on it." Beat. "Magic and Dark attributes. Useful for Divination and Cryptography."
She looks around and sighs. "Let's get out of here... and wash off... and enjoy our food..."
Mizuki whines while making her way out of the dungeon. "Ughh it's squidgy and clingy agaaaiiin..."
"Still tastes better than menu made food." He says, trying to be as deadpan as possible while wiping his face off on the sleeve of his gear. He pockets his coin, once the loot is dolled out, and then heads back for the surface with the group. He's going to need to arrange a bath.
"Getting clean and actual food sounds amazing to me!"
Once they're out and cleaned, Mizuki sits by the fountain and opens her bento. She looks at the food. It's real food... but it's omelette rice. Not exactly a dish she's fond of, unless perhaps you smother it in cheese, but she knows someone who is. She closes it again. "I'm sorry. There's someone else who I think will appreciate this more. I'll let you know what she thinks, though."