Claude rounded a tall fence, a fence once part of a larger system meant to keep people on track, only now after years of neglect only this one remained. Passing the fence he came to an abrupt halt next to rotten old signpost, the name of whatever it pointed at long since gone. To Claude this did not matter, there was after all only one road on the route he took, no all he wanted to know was how long his journey would continue.
Taking a chug from his water flask he let the muddy riverwater go down his throat, using all his power available to not immediately vomit it back out. Doing the same to his horse he quickly noted that she had much less problems with handling the murky water.
He just hoped to the Chief God that he won't get stuck with any nasty dissease, especially one spread by one of them.
Taking a loaf of now stale bread he spread a considerable amount of jam on it before taking as large of a bite as his mouth premitted. Chewing slowly he let the sweet taste of jam dispell the taste of murky water from his mouth.
Such royal use of food was in all due honesty not the best course of action, this same rate of consumption led to a life of dirty riverwater. He really couldn't use a shortage of food with that when he had no idea how long he had to remain traveling.
Swallowing the bread he took a better look around him. green grassy plains stretched as far as the eye could see, tall grass hiding everything that deemed it necessary to use said grass for hiding. Knowing this Claude made sure to at all times ride on the middle of the road.
Looking into the distance he spotted a river swirling through the land, the same river he had used as his primary water source for five days straight, and a place he wished to never drink out of again. if not for his own health then for the sake of his tastebuds.
In silence he moved on towards his destination, peering down the endless road for any signs of civilisation, and for any signs of them lurking about. Having spent half a hour peering into the distance he concluded that there were indeed none of them lurking about.
Humming a small tune to himself he let his guard down ever so slightly, only checking the plains every so often just to ease his soul and mind.
Claude on one of his routines stumbled to a halt before a small puddle of blue goo. It's texture reminding him of the transparent pudding the nearby bakery made every saturday.
Getting off his horse Claude grabbed his special bag and spear. kneeling down at the puddle he reluctantly sticked his finger in it, the texture itself didn't feel much different from that of the bakers pudding, though it was easier to penetrate yet remarkably sticky and caused a strange tingling in his finger.
Pulling his finger out he quickly scraped the substance of his finger and ignored the small voice in his head urging to stick it in again. With that he had all the confirmation he needed, this was a leftover from one of those, leftovers of a monster or more specifically a slime.
Taking a deep breath Claude took out a large vial from his bag and started scooping up the goo, his breath rappidly turning ragged as part of his hand dissapeared into the goo, when full he quickly pulled away and once again scraped the goo off himself and the outer vial before sealing it shut.
Walking up to his horse he put the vial in his ingredient bag, Claude looked around for any sight of the slime, he had no real knowledge about the creature apart from the fact that it was able to shape shift and was made of, well goo. And even that information was told by people who had never left the town anyway.
Petting his horse he made to grab his spear with his right hand, yet he found that his fingers were barely able to keep a grip on the wooden stick. Cursing under his breath he swore to wear gloves next time he was going to touch that stuff.
Grabbing his spear in his left hand he practiced a few awkward stabs with it, but the weapon proved too heavy to use one handed, relenting he put the weapon back on it's place, his confidence dipping even lower than it already had been.
Taking a deep breath Claude reluctantly stepped into the high grass of the plains, his breath increasingly getting heavier as the goo's effects spread across his arm, effectively parralyzing it.
Pushing onwards Claude just hoped that the effects wouldn't spread across his entire body. Upon seeing that there was nothing particullary off about the grass he made his way up a small hill.
The journey for the slime was a short one indeed, as soon as his head poked over the hill he could see the creature sitting in the field below. Ducking down he hoped to the chief god that it hadn't noticed him. It had it's back turned sure but one couldn't be carefull enough with monsters.
Peeking over the hill he confirmed that the creature hadn't spotted him. Gulping he made sure he was properly covered by the grass and grabbed his binoculars.
The first thing he noticed upon getting a better look at the creature was that it one, had the form of a little girl, no older than eight years old at best and two, it was completely naked.
Putting his binoculars down Claude for a second pondered over the moral implications of spying on a naked child, all alone in a field. He then promptly excused himself with 'she's just a monster.' and, 'It is for science!' and continued his now more creepy activity.
Besides the creatures young figure Claude noticed that the slime seemed to have trouble with keeping itself in human form, slime constantly dripping down into the small pool of goo that formed just below the creatures thighs. Whether this was something natural or something specific to this slime was to be seen.
For half a hour Claude remained like this, waiting for the creature to do anything at all that might be noteworthy. Yet, for the entire duration of time the creature remained on the exact same spot. Ocasionally prodding into the grass next to it.
This behaviour did intrigue Claude a bit, yet he couldn't hope to see what the creature was looking at without being discovered, so he sat there and waited some more.
Over time he began noticing a change in the creatures behaviour, the frequency in which it prodded the ground was rising, at one point it even gently pushed at it with both hands. What Claude found more interesting was the fearfull and confused expression that had slowly formed itself on the creature.
Scanning it's surroundings Claude found the creature looking more and more like a child seperated from it's parents. Writing this down in his notebook he wondered again if this was truly their natural behaviour or if something was actually going on.
This decided it, he was going up there and see what was going on down there. After luring the creature away af course, he wasn't stupid.
Looking down at his paralyzed arm he took a moment to slightly calm down his ragged breathing, put his notebook, pen and binoculars in his bag and rose from the ground, his bones popping from lying down so much.
The slime took immidiate notice of him, her expression in an instant morphing into a big and happy smile, like a child who finally found their parents after being lost in a crowd. Same type of methaphor but hey, it works.
Claude stared at the slime, he had no idea how it moved so he prepped himself to haul ass if it came too close to him. Though instead this tension quickly transformed into annoyance.
Reason for this was that the slime wasn't charging at him, though it might precieve it as that, instead it was crawling ever so slowly at him. This would be beneficial for him if it didn't move soo slow that he would have to wait so long before being able to inspect what she was prodding at in peace.
The slime also got increasingly aggitated by it's slow movement, using her arms in an effort to speed herself up by crawling, to her dismay this only had an minimalistic effect.
Claude shrugged and sat down on the hill, if he was going to wait he was going to do that sitting.
For the next ten minutes he watched the creature struggle with all it's might to get to him, it's movements and expression getting increasingly desperate to the point where even he started feeling bad for the thing.
Holding in the urge to walk up to it to pet it or comfort it he instead rose from his seat and walked into the direction of the thing, who looked up at him with a hopefull smile. One that got promptly crushed when he walked with a small curve around it towards the location it previously had been prodding at.
Ignoring the high pitched wail of distress Claude moved forward to his goal...to say he didn't like it was an understatement.
In front of him lied the dead body of a man, no older than thirty years old covered in goo and a wound of an arrow long removed, right where the mans heart should have been.
Takin a step back from the wicked wound of a barbed arrow he wondered for a moment what the man had been doing here, and what had it done to deserve getting killed by an arrow?
Had it been because he was captured by the slime? Glancing back at the wailing and panicking creature he quickly ruled that out. He doubted that this thing could ever as much as capture a man even with the greatest of luck, no, this thing had to somehow be this mans daughter.
Licking his dry lips he found that the thought itself left a foul taste in his mouth. This thing was probably a newborn, seeing as she didn't seem to truly recognize the dead body before, and she was all alone, too weak to fend for herself, it would probably be dead by the end of the weak, at the very least if slimes actually needed to consume nutrients to survive. Even so it wouldn't be able to grow seeing as even traveling a hundred meters would take about a hour for it to reach, probably longer.
Claude found it quite saddening to see, no father nor mother, all alone to fend for itself. He actually was somewhat considering doing something for the poor little thing.
He took a few reluctant steps towards the little creature, stopping the creatures wailing as it looked at him in anticipation...and he once again walked in a curve around it.
What had he been thinking? Sympathising with a monster? The man deserved it for his heretical acts of lust and sin and the mother? He hoped she was dead for the world would be a better place.
Ignoring the wailing that borderlined screaming now, Claude marched on, back to his horse and away from this...freak of nature.
Up and down the hill he went, the cries of the creature barely decreasing in aptitude, no doubt desperately doing it's best to crawl towards him.
Claude knew he was in the right, the creature only acted like this because of it's lust he had heard the priests talk so much about, it didn't truly care about the death of it's father other than that it couldn't satisfy itself on him, so it seeked to use himself instead.
Reaching his horse whom was curiously looking in the direction of the crying he climbed on, spurred the horse to move and so continued on his journey.
With the horse riding in a relaxed strut Claude took the time to look back at the the hill the slime was behind. He would probably not see it again even if he kept staring at this hil for the duration it would remain in view, the slime was simply too slow for such a thing.
Sighing he spurred his horse into galloping, wishing to be away from the screaming as fast as he could. As the crying grew more distant he found it safe enough to lean back and reach into one of his horses bags.
Out of this he took a book, it's cover brand new, made only two weeks ago, a thick leathery cover made from the hide of an animal from far far away.
Upon opening the book it showed only empty pages. Sighing he closed the book, It seems I'll have to find another one of them for information.
On the front page, decorated with fancy letters made out of golden leaves was inscripted the words, 'Monster encyclopedia.'
What a truly magnificent start of this journey this has been.
And so he rode on, to his next destination.
Encyclopedia (temporary) entry 1# Slime
The creature commonly known as Slime is a creature composed of a blue goo, they will use this goo to take on a humanoid shape which they have trouble keeping together as goo constantly drips down from their body into a pile of goo forming on the ground near them. This results in a continuous cycle of breaking down and rebuilding itself which should cost a considerable amount of energy, this is however not yet confirmed and the presumption that it costs a lot of energy shall remain until proven otherwise.
The goo is a sticky substance that one is unable to get off unless scraping it off with any, relatively rough surface. Substances like towels are enough to get the job done, so be adviced to carry one with you at all times when traversing the plains. Furthermore, the goo has a numbing efect on any who touch it, where just putting your fist briefly into it causes ones arm to be temporarily paralyzed and ones breath to turn ragged. Adviced is to avoid touching such substance as it's unknown if prolounged exposure causes the effects to pile up.
A slime's speed is very slow comparitively to a humans, so if spotted walking or a small jog should be enough to outrun any slime.