1. The World Is Overflowing with Monster, I’m Taking a Liking to This Life 40
    A New Friend

I look at the quivering red slime at my feet.
It was looking back at me with a look of expectation.
Though, it didn’t exactly have any eyes.

But it seems that this little guy really wants to be friends with me.
It’s hard for me to admit this myself, but what about me was even appealing?
Was this slime blind or something? Oh, right. He didn’t have eyes.
I scratch my head irritably.

“…I said it before, but I don’t have any intention of having you join…hmm?”

I noticed something while I was talking.
The red slime’s body.
Aside from the core, which was the size of a pickled plum, there was ‘something else’ floating inside of it.

“Is that…a magic stone?”

It looked like a brown magic stone.
Somehow, it seemed familiar. Could it be…

“That, is it the magic stone that I was carrying?”

The slime jiggled when I asked this.
I think it was saying that I was correct.
This guy…

“Give it back, that was supposed to be for Momo—”

“Bark!”

Just as my hand reaches out towards the slime, Momo jumped in between us.

“…Momo?”

“Bark! Bark!”

Momo barked at me as if to protect the slime.
Huh, Momo? What happened…?
Did I do something to make her upset?
Damn, it was making me want to cry…

“B-bark!”

Seeing me upset, Momo frantically tells me that I misunderstood her.
Then she lightly puts a paw on top of the slime and looks at me.
The slime shuddered like pudding. It was kind of cute.

“Momo… Do you want this slime to join us?”

“Bark.”

Momo nodded.
Apparently, Momo wanted me to accept the slime.
I mean, wait a minute…

“Hey, Momo. Did you throw the magic stone out of the window in order to give it to this guy?”

“Bark.”

Momo nodded again.
I knew it. Momo had acted strangely while we were eating earlier.
Especially because she really liked those stones. So that was the meaning behind it all.

Momo had realized that the slime was right outside.
And she had some motive in offering the slime the stone.

Motive… The only thing I could think of was to strengthen it, or give it a ‘skill.’
Just as Momo had eaten the shadow wolf’s stone and got the ‘shadow’ skill, the slime may have…
I looked towards the slime, and it seemed to have just finished digesting the mimic stone.

“Bark.”

“…(shaking)”

Momo howled towards the slime.
And then the slime shuddered, and its body ‘transformed.’

“Oh, ohhh…”

I couldn’t help but exclaim.
The slime’s body slowly changed, and it transformed into an empty plastic container.
Hey, that was the garbage I gave to it to eat.

“Transformation…no, mimicking skill maybe…”

That was amazing.
You could not tell the difference by looking at it.
I even tried touching it, but it felt the same.
However, the weight was different. Likely, it was the same weight as the slime.
And just like with the mimic, it was invisible to ‘Scouting.’
This was an amazing skill.

“Bark.”

Momo howled again, and the slime returned to its normal form.
And now that it was back to normal, both the slime and Momo looked at me with expectant expressions.

…So, was this a way for the slime to make its case?
Like, look at what I can do!

“…Momo, did you know about this? That it would get the mimicking skill if it ate the mimic stone?”

“…Bark…”

Probably, I at least had an idea about it.
She seemed to say.
Was it an instinct that animals had?
Still, it was amazing that she realized this.

<<The red slime is looking at you like it wants to join your party. Allow it to join?>>

The voice echoes in my head again.
Momo and the slime look at me.
And I sigh deeply.

“Ahh…alright, Momo. You win.”

A slime with mimicking skills.
With this, it would no longer get in the way of my skills.
Even more, it was immune to physical attacks, so it was a good addition to my fighting force.

But more than anything…Momo had given her opinion for the first time.
And so I had no choice but to believe.
Both her and the slime.

This time, I select ‘yes’ inside of my head.

<<The red slime has joined your party>>
<<You have reached the requirements>>
<<You can now acquire the job ‘Monster User’>>
<<The job ‘Beast User’ has been integrated into ‘Monster user’>>
<<If you select the job ‘Monster User’, you will start from LV2>>

Oh, a new job has been added.
‘Monster user’ huh…
Judging by the voice in my head, it was like an advanced version of Beast User.
I was curious about what skills I could get from it, but I would have to wait until I could get a third job.

“…(shaking)”

Perhaps the slime was overjoyed at being accepted because it was now shaking uncontrollably.
Momo was even petting the slime as if to say, ‘good for you.’
Bark-bark. Jiggling. Pet-pet.
…What the–it was so cute.

I check my status.
The party member section at the way bottom now showed the slime.
Red slime LV5, it says.
So, monsters really did have levels then…
Unlike Momo, it did not display a name.
But that would be inconvenient if I ever had to call it…

“Hey, red slime. What do you think about getting a name?”

The slime immediately responded to this question.
Apparently, it wanted me to do just that.

“Hmm… Okay, how about ‘Aka’?”

Aka, the red slime.
I had very straightforward sensibilities when it came to names.
However, the red slime seemed to like it.
Its body shook with pleasure.
Oh, it was stretching itself like mochi.

I checked my status and saw that the name had been added.

Momo
Shiba dog LV9

Aka
Red slime LV5

Momo’s level had gone up.
She was very close to reaching level 10.

“Alright, let’s go then.”

“Bark!”
“…(shaking)”

And so Aka, the red slime joined our party.
With our new friend with us, we left the apartment building.

In another location—.

“Ahhhhhh! Shi-Shibata! He-help…..Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”

Blood splattered, and another one fell to the floor.
Shibata looked at this in shock.

He didn’t understand.
What was happening?
How did things turn out like this?

They had to spread out further in order to search for food. And so they had come out here.
Things had been going well up until now.
All the monsters that appeared were lone goblins or zombies.
They were nothing to them, now that their levels had been raised.

“Let’s go on a little further.”

Who was it that had said that?
But no one disagreed.
They had become too confident after killing monsters, gaining levels and skills.
They could do it. They could now take on even stronger monsters.
They would collect lots of food supplies and surprise everyone.
This was what they thought, as they spread out even further, and came all the way out here.

However, their powerful advance came to a sudden end.
They had arrived at a giant shopping mall.
And here they encountered a ‘monster’ that defied their wildest imaginations.

“…Wha-what is that, that thing…!”

Shibata, the punkish student was shaking as he hid behind some nearby bushes.

“Gaaaahhh!!!”

He heard the scream of another of his companions.
Should he go and help? No, it was no use. He could not fight this enemy.
It was on another level.

“Ha…ha..ah..ah…! Da-damn it!”

He breathed quietly and finally came to a decision.

“Hey, hey! Shibata!? Where are you going!? We, we need to go and help them—AGHHH!!!”

Ignoring the cries of his friend, Shibata ran away.
He had chosen to ‘run.’
While the others were distracted, he would make as much distance from them as possible.

(I’m sorry…everyone, I’m sorry…!)

He repented in his heart over abandoning his friends.
And yet, his legs did not stop.

“…I, I need to go and tell Nishino. Hurry…I must hurry…!”

Someone…someone had to survive and tell him.
Tell him about the monster. The others had to know about it.
He shuddered as he ran, and all the while, the screaming of the monster echoed in his ears.

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