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Reminiscence~ Funeral March
Fire pouring from the sky like rain… that’s the first scene I remember.
My mother’s hand, that I held so dearly, seemed far too light.
I was afraid to look above it.
The napalm bursting in the air turns my surroundings into a sea of flames.
Should I run someplace?
Everything is covered in fire…
Izawa Shizue was slowly drowning in despair.
And then, she felt she was bathed in strong light…
Ah… so this is where I die…
She was just a young girl, but that much she could understand.
She was four at the time.
With no relatives, she lived alone with her mother.
Her father was drafted, and his face she could not recall.
She felt neither blessed nor unfortunate. That being the norm, she could do naught but accept.
“Do you wish to live? If you desire life, answer my call!”
A voice resounded in her head.
Do I want to live? Why? I don’t understand.
She was too young to answer such a question.
However… looking at her mother who was reduced to nothing but a hand… I want to live! She screamed.
＜＜Acknowledged. Answering the summoner’s request… success＞＞
I want to live without having to fear the fire!
＜＜Acknowledged. Acquiring Extra Skill [Fire Manipulation]… success＞＞
The next time I opened my eyes I was in a demon’s lair.
The one in front of me, was a beautiful Demon Lord.
Long golden hair, blue eyes. A well ordered face, almond shaped eyes.
And skin so pale it’s almost transparent.
So beautiful that it wouldn’t be strange to mistake him for a woman.
He is whom the humans call the Demon Lord. Also known as the Blond Devil.
「Aah… failed again.」
He so muttered, losing interest in her.
However, he did not kill the girl whose body was covered in burns.
She did not matter to him.
And the girl, found that fact vexing.
Even now she sometimes recalls. That beautiful face. And, the arrogant eyes, devoid of interest.
But at the time, she could only survive by clinging to him,
In the end, she was saved by the Demon Lord’s whim.
「Wait a second…」
She reached out to him.
“Maybe he, beautiful like an angel, would heal my pain?” So she thought, but…
「Thought it was just trash, but this thing is suitable with fire, huh.」
With those words, he called forth the Flame Giant Ifrit. With no incantation, as if he were breathing.
And the summoned Ifrit, obeyed without question.
「I bestow upon you flesh. Use it!」
Those words, to the girl, became undeniable proof dashing her hopes.
And thus, the pain she felt turned into hatred–
As this curse (trauma) engraved itself upon her heart.
However, is can also be said that this possession enabled her to keep her life.
Since then, how much time had passed…?
As a flame demon, she ruled over one of the Demon Lord’s castle. By his side, as a high demon.
*Gotsun gotsun gotsun*
The footsteps reverberated through the castle halls.
The Demon Lord had already ran away. Abandoning this castle.
The girl was the rear guard. A sacrificial piece.
The Demon Lord had treated her as a tool until the very end. Nothing had indicated otherwise.
The one who was approaching was the “Hero”.
Long black hair gathered into a ponytail, and covering her body–black light armor.
A beauty that would rival the Demon Lord. The only difference, the hero was a woman.
With one glance, she was certain.
I can’t win!
When that thought overpowered Ifrit’s minds, a little of the girl’s ego had returned.
She looked the hero in the eyes.
「He…. help me…」
Words that one’d easily ignored. Who’d trust the words of a demon…?
「It’ll be fine from now on. Good job enduring this far!」
And from then on she was cared by the hero.
The “Anti-demon Mask” she wore restrained Ifrit and hid her burns.
Her whole body she covered with a robe, and thus she followed the hero.
And one day, she came to be called the “Explosion Monarch”.
Then one day the Hero left on a journey.
Her reason she did not understand. It was probably a reason the Hero could not ignore.
The girl as well planned similar action. That one day she’d set of on a journey.
To kill the Demon Lord.
Who had saved her life, and then threw her away.
That is, killing the demon lord Leon Cromwell became her life’s goal.
Therefore, the girl hardly found the hero’s actions reproachable.
But there was one regret left–she had never seen the hero’s smile.
Since then, the girl became famous for her heroic deeds.
Sometimes called one of the founders of the Freedom Association, she had worked for the expansion and benefit of the Adventurer Cooperation Union.
She also took part training adventurers and her successors.
At one time, she had taught excellent pupils.
With a sincere, pure gaze–a boy. Kagurazaka Yuuki.
With a depressed gaze– a girl. Sakaguchi Hinata.
These two were excellent students and fellow Japanese World Travelers.
These two were polar opposites.
The bright and optimistic Yuuki, and the grudge-against-the-world Hinata.
“That’s probably because Hinata was attacked the moment she came here.”
So thought Shizue.
She was able to kill the assailants, and thus escaped safely, but probably made some frightening memories as a result.
She thought that Hinata was somehow similar to herself, and thus grew sympathetic.
But, that was a mistake.
「Sensei, thank you for the care you have shown. I fear there is nothing else I can learn from you. Nor shall we meet again, I think.」
With those words, and without a second glance, Hinata had left.
She, in a mere month, had surpassed Shizue in strength. Such overwhelming excellence…
After a few years, Hinata had received an important post within the empire, but was not satisfied.
Rather, she had treated the promotion with mild indifference…
In comparison, Yuuki was a sweet boy.
After the Adventurers Cooperation Union had formally changed its name to Freedom Association, Yuuki had introduced the current ranking system.
As a result of it, casualties during subjugation missions greatly decreased.
And thus, to this day.
Shizue had been supporting Yuuki behind the scenes.
That is, she no longer could do anything but guide new adventurers.
The time she spent as a demon have begun to haunt her in her dreams.
As her lifespan dwindled, she felt she was unable to restrain Ifrit’s consciousness any longer.
However, the “anti-demon mask” has yet to fail her.
So she told herself, “I don’t have long to live!”
“So, let’s at least shoot an arrow at the demon lord.”
Thus, she decided to set off.
Which she reported to Yuuki.
Without a word, he acknowledged her resolve. Perhaps he had wanted to stop her, but…
At the time, a message came from the the Farmas Kingdom’s guild.
Veldora’s disappearance confirmed. Will continue investigation!
Was it perhaps some divine guidance?
In any case, they needed help to break into the forest.
Someone needed to slip in with the trio.
Their specialties she had heard from Yuuki. And as she had heard, they were a cheerful bunch.
She was glad to have met such good companions on her last journey.
A strange city.
Saved by monsters, they were brought there.
Well, it wasn’t really a city, though; lacking a single building, everyone lived in tents. Clearly a temporary measure.
Even so, it was full of life and monsters (!) happily worked there. A bizarre city.
It was unthinkable, in the first place, to be saved by monsters.
Had she used her flame power she could have easily burned away the giant ants; but, she felt that she shouldn’t.
That is, each time she used her powers, Ifrit’s consciousness would strengthen.
Her negligence could lead to her powers running wild.
Thus, she met a strange monster, with the attitude of a king, arrogantly carrying itself.
Although the monster could speak, the words uttered were,
“Although I am a slime, I am not an evil slime” and such!
A line that no one would ever believe.
The fun times abruptly ended.
I still haven’t achieved my goal…
At the moment her life force seemed to have finally ran out, Ifrit took over her consciousness.
Again… I’ll cause problems for…
As if sneering at her thoughts and hopes, the demon had manifested.
And she lost her consciousness.
I tried to check on the woman’s condition.
Chances are, no matter how long I wait,
She will probably not awaken.
However, as a compatriot of mine, I want to see her through to the end. Those were my thoughts.
The three injured adventurers were in high spirits.
“I won’t be paying your hospital bills!” I wanted to shout, but,
「What is this? The burns have completely disappeared… and my skin feels smooth and shiny!」
「Awesome… with those injuries, I thought we’d be bedridden for weeks…」
「Well, I’ll be… these guys have some amazing medicine.」
They seem to have healed without issue.
「But, with this, we won’t be getting any injury compensation, will we?」
「Yeah… No one we’ll believe us…」
「Yup… but I’d take this over being left with injuries!」
Suddenly they had started to discuss their financial worries.
They can’t read the mood at all.
Let’s tell them to come hang out here sometime,
「What should we report to the guild master?」
But instead, they were the ones who asked.
I happily left a message for them to deliver.
I admire adventurers. But, since I probably won’t be able to avoid a background check, registering with the guild may prove hard for a monster.
Thus, to repay his debt, Cabal will mention the name Rimuru to the guild master upon their return.
Really, what a great guy.
Being pleased with them, I decided to give them some parting gifts,
I handed to them those goods along with 10 pieces of the restoration medicine.
「Wha!!! What’s with this robe!!! So light, but sturdy! Actually, very sturdy!」
「Whoa!!! The famous Scalemail!!! Wait, isn’t this master Garm’s product?! I’ll make it my family heirloom!!!」
「Eeh! Is this fine? This is clearly wasted on someone like me. And to have used the skin of fang wolves…」
What to say, a noisier reaction than expect.
And well, I gave it to them cause they lost their equipment in that fire, and I wouldn’t be able to buy them replacements either.
It was clearly not my fault, but I can sympathize a bit.
And besides, what I gave them is naught but a test product.
Which, of course, I won’t tell them.
Cause they are so happy with the gifts. No need to disappoint.
No problem. No need to tell them either.
Since, even as a test product, it’s good quality!
Well, if they are this happy, they’ll definitely deliver the message.
In the end, the three would call me Danna (Benefactor), and were quite attached.
And although they did worry greatly for Shizu-san, they set off three days later.
And a week had passed.
Shizu-san has awoken.
「This is… I see… sorry for the trouble」
She’s fully conscious.
Seems like she clearly remembers her time as the demon.
「I saw a dream…
A nostalgic dream. Of a city… to which I can no longer return」
「Hey, Slime-san. Could you tell me your name?」
I thought I already introduced myself as Rimuru.
She closed her eyes as if in deep thought.
「Could you tell me your real name?」
So she asked.
Had she noticed? And after a moment of hesitation.
「Fine. You won’t last long anyways. It’s Mikami Satoru.」
My real name. Didn’t think I’d ever say it again.
「As I thought, you’re Japanese, huh… I wondered if that was the case. That air you carry, you know」
Silence. And then,
「I also asked this of my disciples. What do you think became of that beautiful city? The one that turned into a sea of flames…?」
「Oh. Let me show you.」
Having said so, I conveyed my memories with [Telepathic Communication].
A truly useful skill at times like this.
A tear rolled down her cheek. And,
「… Slime-san… no, Satoru-san. Would you listen to my request?」
「What is it?」
Probably some pointless request anyways.
But, since I decided to look after her to the end, I can at least listen to her request.
「Please eat me…!」
What? What did this granny just say?
「You ate the curse placed upon me… It made me so happy. Well, I did want to beat the guy who cursed me senseless, but…
In any case, it would have been impossible for me.
My last request. Could you put me to rest within yourself?
You know, I… hated to be in this world. But, I couldn’t bring myself to hate this world… just like that guy…
There’s a chance I someday… meet that guy again…
So, I don’t want to be reborn in this world.
Please. I beg you, eat me!」
What a request. It’s far too simple for me.
For me to become her seal. For me, to succeed her hatred.
Am I unsure? To put her heart at ease, and to send her off peacefully.. I made my decision.
「Fine. I’ll carry out your vengeance. What is his name? 」
She opened her eyes wide to my question, revealing the burn marks, and with tears flowing down…
「Leon Cromwell. The strongest Demon Lord…」
As if in a prayer, she looks me in the eyes.
「I swear! By the name Mikami Satoru… no, by the name Rimuru Tempest!
I’ll force Leon Cromwell to regret having incurred your hatred.」
Thank you… she muttered.
And, she closed her eyes. And as if falling asleep, her last breath escaped her.
＜＜Activate Unique Skill [Predator]? [YES]/[NO]＞＞
Rest in peace, within me!
[YES]! I respond. And, I pray…
Within me, without waking for eternity, may you see only the happiest of dreams…
Name: Rimuru Tempest
Divine Protection: the Storm Crest
Titles: One who Commands Monsters
Skills: Unique Skill [Great Sage], Unique Skill [Predator], Slime-Specific Skills [Dissolve, Absorb, Regenerate], Extra Skill [Water Manipulation], Extra Skill [Magic Perception], Acquired Skills: Black Serpent [Heat Detection, Noxious Breath], Centipede [Paralysis Breath], Spider [Sticky Thread, Steel Threat], Bat [Ultrasound Waves], Lizard [Body Armor], Wolf [Supreme Sense of Smell, Telepathic Communication, Intimidation, Shadow Step, Black Lightning], Fire Giant [Clone, Flame Change, Area Boundary]
Resistances: Thermal Fluctuation Resistance EX, Physical Attack Resistance, Pain Resistance, Electricity Resistance, Paralysis Resistance
*Gotsun gotsun gotsun…*
The girl lifts her face up.
Her Young, lovely, face.
And, with relief, she smiled.
Here you were! Don’t leave me again!
But the shadows of men only shook their heads, pointing someplace.
The girl, her face turning sad, looked to where they were pointing to.
Filled with happiness, she rushed towards her parent.
The shadows, having confirmed this, disappeared. As if they never existed in the first place.
Perhaps, they were but phantoms created by the girl herself…
And so, the girl reunited with her mother.
Her long journey had now come to an end.
Clown: I’m crying you know…
AK: So am I Clown-sama *wipes away tears and hands back his handkerchief*