Volume 5 - Slime Time, Chapter 27 - Strange Sustenance
Quess stood up surprisingly well against Yuisu’s torrent of questions about her underground homeland, its culture, and her role as Queen. She also knew a remarkable amount about Japan and its people, for someone who had been literally living in a cave.
Yuisu was actually having a hard time believing it all. I know there’s still a lot humans don’t know about slimes, but everything I’ve read said they were dumb, or at least not any smarter than a child. Her being this smart doesn’t make sense... Yuisu rubbed her temples in thought.
“What is the matter, Yuisu?” Quess asked. “If you have a headache, perhaps you are not sufficiently… uh, what’s the word? Hy…bernated?” She wore a glossy blank expression as she stumbled through the end of the sentence.
Yuisu raised an eyebrow. “You mean hydrated?”
Quess smiled a more innocent and genuine smile than she had worn yet. “Yep! Tha’s the word. Hyder-eated!” She looked down, suddenly distracted by her own massive boobs. She wiggled her chest and watched the translucent pink orbs bounce back and forth.
Despite enjoying the impromptu show, Yuisu felt the need to ask, “Are you okay? You seem a little out of it…”
Quess grinned a silly grin. “Little? I can be little!”
Quess suddenly collapsed into a heap on the floor. Her ‘clothes’ faded back into her body, then she shrunk down in size until she was a uniform pink blob, barely bigger than a basketball. After a second of awkward stillness, there was a PLOP sound, and a yellow tipped tendril popped out of the top of the ball. Then two simple dark pink eyes appeared and the blob peered up at Yuisu.
“Ahh, Quess feels better now,” the slime ball said in an echoey high-pitched voice. It reminded Yuisu of the pinging sound of sonar, if it could somehow be formed into words.
Yuisu’s brow furrowed. She tried to think of something meaningful to say about the ridiculous situation that had just transpired, but all she managed was, “Why?”
The Quess-blob seemed to smile with just her eyes. “Being pretty and smart is hard. Too hungry now.” She bobbled from side to side and hummed, seemingly thrilled just to be sitting on the floor.
I almost don’t want to feed her… She’s much nicer this way, Yuisu thought. But I can’t just let her starve either. Yuisu knelt down and said, “Let’s get you some food, okay?”
Quess jiggled in approval, so Yuisu scooped the little blob up in her arms. She was cool and slippery to the touch, but still pretty easy to hold. Yuisu carried her to the kitchen and set her on the table. “What do you like to eat, Quess?”
“Ummmmmm,” Quess said in her sonar-like voice, her eyes squinting in labored thought. “Flowers?”
“Okay… We don’t have any flowers, but we do have some vegetables. Let’s try that.”
“Okee!” Quess cheered.
An hour later, the Quess-blob was a bit larger but no smarter. Yuisu had fed her some of nearly everything in the fridge and Quess dissolved them all without issue, but none of it seemed to make her any more intelligent or queenly.
“I thought slimes were supposed to be able to eat anything! You had better not starve to death under my roof,” Yuisu muttered.
“What’s that about starving?” Mara’s voice called from the hallway. “I’m pretty starved after all that exercise, but I doubt you were talking about me.”
Mara and Tsuen stepped into the kitchen, both wearing their running clothes and still glistening with sweat. Tsuen spotted the tiny slime on the table and broke into a smile. She galloped to the table, saying, “Ooh, she’s so little and cute and pink!”
Mara ran after her. “Hey, I’m the only one that gets to be little, cute, and pink around here!” She climbed up onto a chair and peered at the blob, who was bobbing up and down happily. “Wait a minute… is this thing… Quess?”
Yuisu nodded. “Yep, that’s her. A while after you left, she got all loopy and shrunk down like this.” She shrugged. “She said it was because she was hungry, but nothing she eats seems to actually do anything…”
Tsuen rubbed her chin in thought. “Maybe she needs specific nutrients. She said she’s from underground, so maybe she needs rocks or minerals?”
Quess beamed up at Tsuen. “Not rocks! Flowers pweez!”
Tsuen let out a squee and grabbed Quess in a hug. “Oh my ancestors, she’s even cuter when she talks! Let’s keep her like this forever!” Tsuen pranced around the room holding Quess. Mara turned to follow her movements, casting a jealous glare at the pink slime.
Yuisu spoke up, “That’s the second time she’s mentioned flowers, but there aren’t really any flowers up here. I could drive into town and buy some flowers at a shop, I guess.” She turned to Mara, since Tsuen was still running around the room hugging the blobby little slime. “Can you two hold down the fort while I’m gone? It shouldn’t be long.”
Mara shrugged. “No problem, Yui. Anything to get the old Quess back.”
Yuisu returned about 45 minutes later, holding a huge bouquet of mixed flowers. She stepped into the entryway, closed the door behind her, and immediately noticed the puddles of water all over the hallway floor. “Hey!” she called out into the house. “Who made this mess? It’s bad for the wood floors to leave water like this!”
Mara rounded the corner and came to an abrupt stop in front of Yuisu. Her spider feet were grippy even when wet, it seemed. She blushed and covered her bare chest and crotch with her arms and palps. “Sorry, Yui! Tsuen got startled in the bath and ran out here, dripping everywhere.”
Yuisu raised an eyebrow questioningly. “Then why are you naked and dripping out here too?”
“Because I got startled too,” she answered matter-of-factly.
This is going nowhere fast, Yuisu thought, but then Tsuen appeared, wet and naked and clutching her chest, on Yuisu’s other side. Yuisu looked between them and said, “Just cut to the chase. What is going on here? And where’s Quess?”
“What a worthless question. I am right here,” Quess said as she strode into view behind Mara. She had been restored to her full size, clothes, and apparently even attitude. “Your first question isn’t quite so pitiful, so I shall endeavor to answer. You see, while I was recuperating in my miniscule form, I was simply—”
Mara cut her off, saying, “She said to cut to the chase, not tell her the history of the world.” Quess looked positively distraught to have been interrupted, but Mara ignored her and turned to Yuisu. “Me and Tsuen were, uh, washing off… together… and mini-Quess was safe in a laundry basket nearby. Before we knew it, she was, uh, groping Tsuen. And then she grew to full size again!”
“Ugh, it figures that you’d misconstrue things so severely. I was not ‘groping’ anyone. I was instinctively seeking out sustenance. Specifically, I sought pheromones and sexual energy, though I would have settled for some pollen or nectar.” Then she noticed the huge bouquet of flowers Yuisu was holding and approached her. “Ahh, this will do perfectly. This many flowers might last me until dinner time. I trust you have more?”
As Yuisu opened her mouth to say that those were all she had brought, Tsuen stamped her hoof and yelled, “It was far more than groping! She practically violated me!” She was breathing hard, her nostrils flaring, and her body was shaking with a combination of rage and embarrassment.
With a scoff, Quess declaimed, “You were basically inviting it. While you and the arachne were mashing faces and groping each other’s breasts, your nethers were wide and dripping.” She held a translucent hand to her breast and blinked innocently. “In my resource starved state, I could not afford to turn down such a banquet.”
Tsuen’s ears twitched and her hands started to shake. Without a word, she turned and fled down the hallway, tail between her legs.
Mara looked up at Yuisu and said, “I’m gonna go calm her down. Have fun with Quess!” Then the naked arachne ran after Tsuen.
Yuisu held the flowers off to the side and stepped forward. She stood tall and imposing over the shorter Quess. “It sounds like we need to lay down some ground rules. First and foremost,”—her voice became deadly serious—”you will never touch someone in a sexual way without their consent again.” She glared down at the slime like a thunderstorm, and Quess shrank back under the pressure of her stare. “Are we clear on that?”
Quess, eyes wide and glistening, nodded eagerly. She was clearly not used to being talked to like that.
The storm passed from Yuisu’s eyes as suddenly as it came, but her mood was still dark. “Alright, now let’s figure out how to keep you fed. I said it before and still I mean it; I won’t have you starving while you live here.”
Quess dropped the haughty manner of speech when she replied. “Well, a big bunch of flowers like that,”—she pointed at the bouquet Yuisu had bought—” is about one meal’s worth, so I’d need three times that to stay at this size for an entire day.”
Yuisu flinched at that. She had bought most of what the flower stall had in stock, and it wasn’t cheap either. Triple that every day just wasn’t sustainable.
Quess frowned and continued, “I could stay in my small form and subsist on far less, but I would prefer not to. Being simple-minded like that makes me feel powerless.”
Damn, Yuisu thought, I was hoping she’d be willing to stay tiny. She’s certainly more manageable like that. “How about your, uh, other way of getting energy? The sex thing?”
“Hmm.” Quess fidgeted with her crown as she thought, even though it was actually an extension of herself, just her normal feeler reshaped. “I estimate that direct exposure to something as potent as what happened earlier should last me a full day or more, since I can store the excess energy. Otherwise, just being in the same room as a few minutes of intimacy is equivalent to a full meal. Physical contact is a bit more efficient, but it sounds like that is off the table…”
Yuisu nodded at that and said, “Alright. For now, you can have these flowers, and I can pick up some more on my way back from work tomorrow.” She looked side to side and blushed a little. “I can’t guarantee anything, but there’s a chance you’ll get some of your other food later after Haru gets home…”