Although Ginger immediately put her hood back up, Requiem had gotten a good look at her. However, he didn’t have the time to worry about her, as the black ooze boss had finished forming, and was now sending out tentacles that shot out like blades. Ginger had to jump aside to avoid one such attack, and others came after Adento, Miai, and Requiem as well.
“Master, the slime should be vulnerable against magic. As much as I hate to say it, you’ll need to depend on Miai for this battle.”
“Clippy, were you aware that Sparrow was Ginger?” Requiem asked instead of acknowledging her advice.
“Geh! Master… that…”
Although Requiem asked, there would have been no reason she didn’t know. She had a complete view of everything that was going on in this digital world, so that would mean she had deliberately held back the information. Requiem felt a fit of cold anger at such an act of defiance.
“It’s just… you did things with her! She’s not important to the mission, and Master didn’t ask!”
“Is it still that? I thought we had already made things clear.”
It turned out that Clippy was still feeling resentment toward Requiem enjoying Ginger’s body earlier. He couldn’t deny he had enjoyed the act. Seeing her suddenly there had caused his heartbeat to change for a fraction of a second. It was undeniable, seeing her had made a part of him feel happy. This was something Clippy would have noticed as well.
Of course, he was an android and Clippy was an AI. Neither of them should have been able to feel either of these feelings. Both her resentment and his emotions were problematic. Since Clippy’s advanced intellect had been taken from his code, Requiem understood that the problem came from his side of things. When they were finished with this, he would need to go through the code line by line and locate these malfunctions and repair them.
Only then would he be able to regain his previous strength. Emotions were a weakness, after all. That said, they had been useful. In this android-oppressive society, his identity as an android was able to be hidden thanks to the seemingly erratic element of his programming. Once he figured out the cause, he may create an emulator to be able to continue to act this way without having it truly affect his decision-making.
At the moment, none of this could be done. Requiem leaped to the side and rolled, narrowly avoiding a wide sweep of a black tentacle. Drops of it fell to the ground, sizzling and burning pockmarks into the rock surface where ever they fell. If that were to land on skin, it would burn or melt it.
“We will discuss this later,” Requiem stated coldly before turning and yelling out loud. “Miai, your spells have the best chance of damaging it. Everyone else distract it and keep the pressure off her so that she may cast a spell.”
“Okay.” Adento immediately agreed with the plan.
“Y-yes!” Ginger spoke up in a less certain voice, clearly still worrying over the fact that Requiem had seen her face.
“What kind of spell should I cast?” Miai asked.
“Ah! Any spell will cause just as much damage to the slime, but-“
“Just use your most powerful spell!” Requiem declared, throwing out several gas bombs he had picked up.
They didn’t do any damage, but they made a loud pop when they exploded. The one blessing when it came to the black ooze is that it didn’t appear to be all that smart. It was easily confused and distracted. At the moment, it swung to attack formed as the bomb erupted nearby.
“Master, you didn’t let me finish!” Clippy cried out. “I was going to say hot spells would cause the slime to boil splattering acid everywhere, so the best spell would be cold which would slow its movements!”
“You didn’t let me finish! I won’t be at fault for this.”
Requiem looked at Maia, and as she held up her scepter and pages swirled around her, a lightning ball was forming. It wasn’t a fireball, at least, but it would still heat the creature.
“Watch out! It might splatter!” Requiem leaped back.
Adento leaped back too, but Ginger was on the other side of the slime and didn’t hear him. Adento who was closer could have repeated what he said, but he appeared to only be worried about himself. Ginger was racing toward the slime as the lightning bolt shot out. It turned out not to be a single lightning bolt, but as soon as it struck, dozens of lightning bolts forked down from the ceiling, covering the slime.
Everywhere the lightning bolt struck, the immediate area swelled and then exploded like a popping blister, sending hot acid erupting out. Miai raised a hand, bringing a mana shield up to protect herself while Adento continued to back away from the mana. By the time Ginger realized what was happening, the slime was starting to swell up. Requiem cursed and began racing around the slime toward Ginger. Miai also noticed her teammate was in danger.
“Sparrow!” Miai cried out as the slime exploded.
A wave of acid rushed out. Adento had made enough distance that he was out of the way, while Miai protected herself with the mana shield. Requiem was still about twenty feet from Ginger as the wave of acid struck. She was drenched in the stuff, causing Requiem’s heart to drop. In a movement smoother than some would think possible, Requiem pulled a blanket from his pack and spun into a jump. The blanket wrapped around him like a spinning cocoon just as the acid struck.
The acid passed by and Requiem tossed aside the cocoon immediately. The blanket, now sizzling and covered in holes, was nearly completely gone by the time it reached the floor. However, Requiem didn’t have a drop on him and was already running. He could see the steaming coming from Ginger’s body. Without hesitation, he grabbed her and tore off her clothing, throwing it aside.
As he did so, he finally could see Ginger underneath, seemingly unharmed. The cloak had managed to block the acid completely. Rather than hurting, she seemed more shocked that her clothing had been torn off and thrown aside.
“Ahhh!” Ginger covered her chest with one arm and then threw out her hand with the other, slapping Requiem across the cheek.
The hit was surprisingly strong, and Requiem found himself spinning away until he hit the ground. Miai raced by, throwing another cloak she had around Ginger’s body before shooting Requiem a glare.
“You’re not hurt.” Requiem lifted his head, feeling slightly wronged.
“That potion I used earlier was an acid resistance potion. I’m highly resistant to acid!”
In the real world, such a concept would be ridiculous, but in a game world, a potion that made someone temporarily immune to acid wouldn’t be surprising at all. Ginger had used such a potion, which is why she hadn’t been as careful as the others and fought closer. However, as soon as she was struck with an acid wave, Requiem had come along and torn off her clothing before she could recover, giving not just himself an eyeful, but anyone who might have been watching the game!
Well, they usually had censors for such things, but even if black censor bars were protecting her privates, what girl wanted to be exposed to everyone? Adento was casually walking back and he let out a roaring laugh.
“Boy, I thought I was bad, but you just take whatever you want, don’t you?”
Requiem felt emotions he didn’t like once again as he stood up and dusted himself off. “I apologize, it was my mistake. I thought you were in danger.”
Requiem wasn’t so full of himself that he wouldn’t apologize for a mistake.
“I-it’s fine… since it’s you…” Ginger said as she stroked back her hair.
However, as soon as she realized what she said, her face went red. Miai’s eyes instantly narrowed, looking between Requiem and Ginger. Requiem’s face didn’t give anything away, but who could look at Ginger’s face and not realize something was up. Rather, what girl would forgive a man stripping her naked unless this wasn’t the first time that happened?
Adento’s eyes turned wide. “You already had her? Damn! Where did you find this little crumpet?”
This only caused Ginger’s expression to turn angry as she glared at the laughing Adento. That explained why she had hidden her face. She was extremely transparent with her emotions. Without hiding herself, anyone could easily guess what she was thinking at any given moment. She was ridiculously easy to read, which Requiem found kind of cute. Not for the first time, he realized that he had started to feel some kind of attachment to this woman.
However, as he dwelled on it, another feeling appeared. It was a feeling of frustration. What was she doing here? Why was she risking her life? He felt unhappy, and he didn’t even know why.
Miai didn’t say anything to exaserbate the situation. However, she did give Requiem a strange look. He felt like for some reason, she was suspecting him more now that she knew they slept together rather than before. Wouldn’t Requiem being in a relationship make him less likely to be an android? He didn’t know what was going through her mind.
The rewards from killing the ooze boss had been destroyed by acid just like everything else. As for the clothing I had ripped off of Ginger, once it left her the acid protection no longer worked and the clothing degraded to an unusable state.
Miai helped keep Ginger modest as she changed into a spare collection of armor that Maia had kept for some unknown reason. This was something designed for a girl. That was to say that it exposed more skin than it should. Ginger who had done everything to keep her body hidden was now wearing bikini armor. Her face was completely red, and Adento’s lewd looks didn’t help either. Learning they had already been together didn’t stem his actions at all.
“We’ll find you something else as soon as possible,” Miai reassured her.
The group of us left the boss room, heading on to the next floor. Seeing Ginger move uncomfortably, trying to use Miai’s cloak to cover herself, Requiem removed his cloak. It was much larger, including a front and a hood. This left him with a much lower armor rating, so he had originally refused to give it up. However, he had been responsible for destroying her last piece, so he decided this was for the best. He opened the cloak and then put it over Ginger’s body, covering her up. She seemed to turn even redder when he did that.
“What are you doing here?” Requiem whispered into her ear as he finished putting the cloak on her.
“Did you think you were the only person who would put their life on the line to change their fate?” She demanded back stubbornly.
Requiem didn’t ask anymore. He didn’t think he would get more of an answer than that. They all had their reasons for joining this death match. Ginger was no different than the others. Well, there was one difference now. Requiem wouldn’t let her be hurt from this.