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The Ogre Tribe
All monsters within the cave now run away at the mere sight of me.
Probably the result of my aura.
Pleased, I left the cave.
So I planned, but…
「Gu, who is it! Pursuers?」
「Young master! We’ll only slow you down! Please escape with the princess!!!」
「Wicked demon! Don’t try to deceive our eyes!!!」
And other similar grand statements I could hear from a group at the entrance of the cave.
Height surpassing two meters, a group of large monsters looking like a ragtag militia. Their bodies a lump of muscles, the ogres.
Aren’t these the self-proclaimed rulers of the forest? They look exactly as Rigurdo has described.
So, what are they afraid of, some demon? What’s with that? Scary!
A bit bewildered, I plan my escape.
I check behind me, but don’t feel any presence. No heat signatures either.
So the ogres can see it but I can’t! This might be bad…
Just when I thought I had gained new abilities… I guess I am still far from true strength.
「Ku, a demon? What kind? My bad, but I don’t see it… where is it now?」
While on my guard, I begin to make retreat to ogre’s side.
But they still haven’t responded to my question.
Moreover, they are keeping distance from me.
What? Are they planning on using me as a bait?
The moment I thought so,
「What are you saying? The wicked demon is none other than you, slime! You have not fooled our eyes!!!」
One of the ogres called out.
To call such an adorable slime a wicked demon? That’s not a nice thing to say!
「Oi. Oi! Wait a second. I am a the wicked demon?」
「Are you trying to play dumb? That aura unbefitting of a slime! Did you think you’d fool someone?!」
Hmm? Oh… I was enjoying freaking out the cave’s monsters too much and kept it open, huh.
So I quickly pull back the aura. And,
「I don’t have anything like that! You must’ve imagined it!」
Of course, I couldn’t fool them.
But, after insisting that it was just a misunderstanding for a while, I somehow managed to have them lower their guard.
In the first place, why are they even here?
When I so asked, they told me that they had escaped here.
Looking closely, there are many injured, with some gravely so.
A normal monster would have died by now.
The only reason they are still standing is surely due to the extremely high vitality of the ogre race.
Still, I proceed to spit out some restorative medicine and treat their wounds.
With their high vitality, even the diluted medicine quickly restores them to perfect health.
While appearing surprised for some reason, they thank me.
Now, although their wounds are healed, they are nonetheless clearly exhausted. So I decided to have them rest at my village.
After all, I need to find out what had enough power to so decimate the ogres.
They are a B rank monsters; but, from training, they can raise that to B+ or even A-.
The rulers of the forest. The strongest beings around, or so I heard.
In any case, I’ll guide them to the village.
Deciding to carry them over there, I summoned Ranga.
When called, he appears from within my shadow. That is, I finally succeeded at summoning him.
My pride simply didn’t allow the fact that Gobuta succeeded where I couldn’t. Thus, I practiced.
And good thing I had done so–considering the current situation.
There were six ogres.
Mimicking the black wolf, I carried three and left the remaining three to Ranga; thus we returned to the village.
By foot it would have taken more than a day, but at our pace we managed it in under an hour.
As expected of ogres! Unlike the dwarfs who fainted, they were merely impressed with the speed.
Thus, we escorted the ogres to our village, where I invited them to my tent.
Well, in place of the tent stood a log cabin when I arrived.
Looking just like the blueprint I had suggested.
Seems like while I was away practicing my skills, they quickly set it up.
While thanking the dwarfs and goblins, I enter it.
Looks just like I had imagined. Amazing.
The blueprint I made by drawing on a plank with some charcoal, and, along with measurements, I passed it all to Mildo.
After looking it over, “Got it!” he exclaimed. By the results. seems like my handwriting effectively communicated the design.
Furthermore, the room was furnished just as I had previously requested.
As for the ogres, I show them to the reception room.
And, asking them to wait inside, I head over to the dwarfs.
To pick up the clothing I had requested from Garm, of course.
Assuming my child version, I tried the clothing on.
Steelthread underwear, and fang wolf outerwear.
The materials used, of course, came from the previous pack leader. But, for some reason, the fur had turned black.
Putting on pants and overcoat, I felt like I dressed to impress.
As an extra bonus, it seems that the fur had quite some magical energy stored in it.
「Danna, this seems to have tremendous defense power. It ain’t just some normal fur!」
Satisfied, Garm gave his approval.
The final item was not armor, but a piece of clothing. Which is fine. I’d fine without it, but I guess having it is better.
So I thought, until I heard about,
「Ah, by the way, this attire just happened to have become a magic item. It will always perfectly fit the one who wears it!」
Such wonderful news! In other words, even if I turn into my adult version, the clothing won’t rip!
Well done, Garm-kun.
Chances are, the fur, that had been constantly floating inside my magical energy (stomach), was thus strengthened. So, if I come across any good ingredients, I should remember to allow them to mature inside.
Let’s make a mental note about that.
Now then, I shouldn’t make them wait too long.
Having found a fitting spot, I asked Haruna to prepare tea for seven people, and returned to the ogres.
The ogres patiently waited. Perhaps finding things unusual, they were looking around the room.
Sadly, as the building had just recently been finished, it lacks any decoration.
Haruna brought in tea, and immediately left.
I guess it’s now time to try out my human sense of taste.
I take a sip of the tea. Delicious.
To someone who never made a fuss about taste or anything, this world’s palette has already been able to impress me.
It tastes like matcha–a bit bitter. I also feels its warmth. Not the effect of warmth, but just warmth itself.
A bizarre feeling.
The ogres too seem to enjoy the tea.
And after we had all calmed down, we began the discussion.
Half way through, I called for Rigurdo. And, I also had the remaining four clan chiefs also attend.
Kaijin also just started his break, and came over. Perfect.
Rigurdo and Ririna immediately came over.
The rest are apparently very busy, so we decided to continue the conversation with the five of us.
Why did I call for them?
Because of the gravity of the situation.
If I had to summarize the ogre’s story, it would be simple: a war. And the ogres were defeated.
At the same time as we fought the Flame Giant Ifrit, the ogres were caught up in their own war.
Who could have taken on the rulers of the forest? And to win, at that…
The goblin chiefs were just as shocked.
In a instant, their expressions tightened.
The enemy was?
「They suddenly attacked our village. With overwhelming strength…! Those bastards… Orcs!!!」
Unlike humans, monsters don’t have any rules stipulating a declaration of war.
But, although they can’t badmouthed for the surprise attack, the fact that the orcs even attacked the ogres in the first place is strange.
Orcs rank between C~D. Stronger than your average goblin, but pose no danger to veteran adventurers.
However… these weaklings attacked the strongest, and even managed to win…
Thus, I asked for details.
The ogre village, though perhaps it was too small to call it that, only housed 300 ogres.
300 B rank monsters.
That is the size of a country’s knights order. If you are planning on subjugating such a village with rank B- knights, you’d need about 3,000 of them.
And the orcs possessing that much might? We all have expressions of disbelief.
Considering that nearly every villager was slaughtered.
The village chief and a small group apparently opened up a path for their young master and the princess to escape.
With a pained voice, one ogre said,
「Had I had more power…!!!」
He must be their young master.
The last scene they had seen was that of their chief falling to the orcs.
Also, a giant orc was releasing some strange aura.
There were there others like him.
While the elite warriors of the village approached those four, the remaining orcs invaded the village.
They numbered around a ten thousand. Of course, he did not count each one, but rather felt that there were at least that many.
But regardless of method, there was an absurd number of orcs.
And each one, like the humans, was fully armored in plate mail.
Should that be true, then this was certainly not planned by orcs alone.
Perhaps some country is using the orcs…
「Hmm, perhaps, they have become pawns of the “Demon Lord”」
Does that possibility exist…?
I thought that the Demon Lord avoids the forest on priniciple.
Beyond the forest spreads the demon’s continent.
With fertile land, production is undertaken by the enslaved masses and golems.
Thus, the demon’s country does not starve, and cares little for humans.
And for that reason, a demon lord desiring conquest would be most likely to attack the humans.
However, there could surely be a demon lord who, out of boredom, decides to start a war.
The disappearance of the Jura Forest’s guardian – Veldora – also meant that this particular type of demon lord would no longer be deterred.
In that case, I probably have to put more thought into the defense of the forest.
Now, what happens next…?
I asked for everyone’s opinion.
「I believe the orcs intend to capture our lands!」
Rigurdo answers on everyone’s behalf.
They look at me, waiting for my opinion.
Fight, run, or join them?
The ogres, after all, would immediately become prisoners depending on my decision.
Quickly, the tension rises.
「Well, how about we request some more tea!」
Having said that, I called for a second serving.
As everyone sips their tea, their expressions loosen.
「What are you planning on doing?」
I ask the ogres.
「Isn’t it obvious. Look for a chance, and charge right in!」
「Of course. I have to take revenge for my master!」
「Me too! While I am yet powerless, I can’t let those pigs live!」
「「「We shall follow our young master and princess!」」」
Huh. They know they’re going to their deaths, but…
「You guys. Not interested in becoming my subordinates?」
「What did you say?」
Yeah. Even if they do, the goblins won’t be enough to sway the course of battle.
We need to increase our fighting strength for when the orcs arive.
「If you guys support me, I think I can fulfill your wishes?」
「What are you saying?」
「Simple. I’ll help you guys. Well, I’ll be fighting them anyways eventually.」
「I see… the goblins will help us fight, and we’ll be used to protect this place… right?」
「Exactly. By the way, it’s fine if the agreement lasts until we defeat the orcs! Afterwards, I don’t mind if you request your freedom.
You can stay with the goblins and create a country! Or, you can set off on your own! How about it?」
The ogre called “young master” stopped to think upon hearing my offer.
As expected of a B rank. This “young master” clearly has the abilities of a B+. I can see intelligence in his eyes.
He slowly closed his eyes, and then opened them wide. And,
「Understood! We shall become your subordinates!」
To raise their chances of victory if even a bit, they decided to serve me.
I’m glad, to say the least.
Perhaps I can save these guys too.
I hadn’t known at the time, but the ogres often served as mercenaries.
And, the vanguard army that demon lord had sent out, just happened to be of the same occupation.
They easily accepted my offer.
When I had heard it then, I accepted them as friends without question.
「Alright! Now then, let’s name you guys!」
「Huh? What are…?」
The usual naming.
While the ogres are bewildered by the turn of events, I don’t mind at all.
I’ll quickly give them some names!
Today, I feel particularly creative.
I looked at the color of their aura.
Young master will be “Benimaru”.
Princess will be “Shuna”.
Their guard as well, Kurobee, Hakurou, Souei, Shion.
So I called them.
And then I entered a state of low activity…
Hey, for that to happen from just six of them… what’s with that?
When I awoke (well, I was awake, but…) the following day, I got my answer.
With hair burning like a crimson flame, Benimaru.
Although he used to be big and bulky, his height decreased to 180 cm, and his body tightened.
However, his magical energy changed, enough to mistake him for a different being…
Eh? They evolved that much?
That, of course, was my intention.
Clearly, they surpassed A rank. Truly, Onibito. (TL note: Ogre-men sounds weird)
Two black horns protrude from below the hair. Glowing more brilliantly than obsidian.
Though I bet he’d find it unpleasant if I called him a beauty.
Shuna and Shion are women. If the princess were a guy, I’d be complaining.
Ogre women were surprisingly beautiful, but the evolution made them gorgeous.
What’s with this? Where did these idols come from?
No, no, they aren’t that good!
From within her long, wavy, pink hair, two white horns could be seen. White skin and pink lips.
What a beautiful girl!!! Her height is about 155 cm.
Crimson eyes, with a gaze filled with passion, stare at me.
The other, Shion.
Purple, dark, straight hair, with a single purple horn. White skin, and red lips.
Purple eyes, as if looking into my soul. A height of 170 cm…
Licking her lips as models sometimes do, a true beauty.
I want her as my secretary.
So I thought from the bottom of my heart.
Kurobee is in his prime. A dandy uncle.
Hakurou is a middle-aged man. However, you can’t underestimate him for it.
Souei is the same age as Benimaru.
Darker skin, and dark blue hair. A beautiful man with a different air around him; 190 cm tall.
Blue eyes, that suit him well.
And all surpass A rank!
I’ll say it again. They all surpass A rank!!!
That’s why I had to use that much magical energy!
If you asked me, I’d tell you that all the strongest ogres had fled here…
And they probably already had names.
But really, if they betray us… that ain’t going to be anything to laugh about!
And, as if ridiculing my worries,
「「「Rimuru-sama! We humbly wish for You to listen to our request! If You are so kindly disposed, please accept our loyalty!!!」」」
And, they simultaneously bowed before me!
A reason to refuse…? I have none.
Thus, I obtained new comrades!
… the fact that I slightly feared their strength, we’ll keep a secret!