Cronus hadn't even noticed that the small red slime was there until its gelatinous body bumped against his leg, a poor attempt to be threatening. This was their territory, after all, but he had come to this cave for that exact reason: the power contained in them.
A typical slime was a feast in terms of their magic potential. If you could absorb it from them, even temporarily, the little liquid-filled balls of translucent goop were one of the most powerful ways to recover from magical exhaustion. They were scrawny, they were weak, and they didn't put up much of a fight as long as you weren't mobbed by them. Plus, they were easy to spit out later, and wouldn’t suffer any long-term harm.
"Hello, little friend." He couldn't stop himself from cracking an almost mean smile as the little creature burbled, fruitlessly ramming itself against his calf like it had any chance of hurting him. "What exactly are you hoping to achieve here, hm?"
It said nothing, the red mass letting out a series of annoyed gurgles as it failed to intimidate him. This was probably the first red slime that Cronus had actually gotten near, but he had always felt something different about them - an excess of power, perhaps? It was difficult to tell, considering that they had no faces to read, no body language to interpret. Only a couple of them were distinct, and they didn't usually appear around these parts.
The slime limply threw itself against him yet again, but Cronus bent down and grabbed its springy form between his hands, barely managing to not drop the damn thing. It started to burble in response, but it was so wimpy that he barely even needed to try and stop it from squirming.
"Ah. What to do with you, I wonder...? You seem like a particularly weak member of your kind, I doubt the others would miss you." He could already taste the energy oozing out of it, his body begging him to consume it and bolster his own magic reserve. "I wonder what you taste like."
Eating slimes had never been easy, but Cronus was stubborn. He had been able to practice this. Lifting it to his mouth and making sure to hold the slime as securely as possible, he began the awkward process of cramming it down his throat, having to squeeze it into the right shape like it was made of jelly.
It only took a minute or two to get the majority of it down his throat, his stomach gently bulging with the thick, glob-like mass that he had started to swallow. It was definitely a significant meal, but he could manage it, even if it put some pressure on his abdominal muscles and left the cloth around his waist slightly stretched. Cronus didn't even realise he had managed to devour the entire creature until the last swallow sent the full slime down his throat and towards his belly, the heavy mass dumping itself into the base of his stomach.
He felt full. Very full.
The slight swelling of his stomach was quite obvious, but there was nobody else to see him in the cave. Huffing loudly and planting one hand against his distended gut, Cronus let out a little hum of satisfaction, feeling the magical power of the creature flowing into his body. He was already feeling stronger, and he was sure that he could hide the fact that his belly was just a tiny bit more rounded than normal. He would have to remember this cave, the red slimes were-
A shrill, aggressive gurgling left his stomach and echoed through the deep cave, and for a second, Cronus thought that something was wrong with his guts. It took him a second to realise that it was the slime, probably calling out for help now that it was contained in his new potbelly. Chuckling at the creature out of both pity and amusement, he gave his stomach a pat, feeling it gently squirm inside him.
“Now, now, settle down... there’s no need to get upset.” He was unusually satisfied with how full he felt, a sensation he was actually quite liking. “We both know that I was acting in self-defence, don’t we? That’s hardly a crime.”
The burbles stopped, and for a moment or two, Cronus was surprised at how far they seemed to echo. The moment he heard the goop-like squelches of an approaching slime or two, though, it became clear that it was some others responding to his temporary meal’s distress call. He almost wanted to clap with how adorable the idea was - not because it was cute, but because they thought they could stop him.
“Ah, gentlemen, welcome! Or ladies, perhaps? I can never tell with you globs of goo.” Breathing out to push his guts forward a little, he watched them approach, smirking. “I’m afraid you won’t be breaking this prisoner out any time soon.”
More burbles came from behind him, then to his sides. His heart sank as he glanced around and saw more and more of the slime creatures gently creeping towards him, all varying in size and colour. This many could be a minor problem, if they tried to knock him over all at once, but he could probably handle it. “Really, now, you can’t stop me. Let me and this delicious friend of yours leave, and none of you will die.”
They didn’t stop approaching. Some of them sloshed as the thick liquid within them constantly slopped left and right, while others were more solid and seemed to be deliberately increasing their mass as a kind of threat.
Cronus didn’t have much time to react, but before he could get moving, his stomach lurched. Bending over in pain and holding his guts with both hands, he cursed the red slime inside him, only to topple over as the rescue party smashed into his unstable legs and knocked him flat on his ass.
They surrounded him before he was ready, mobbing him and giving him very little room to move. “Fine! If you’re going to be so violent, then I can let your friend ohmghgmmmmh-“
One of the slimes, a yellow one, decided to start pushing itself into his mouth. It felt thicker and heavier, forcing its way into his throat like he was just a space to squeeze through. Unable to get back to his feet, Cronus groaned through the ooze he was being forced to eat, wondering what, exactly, it was trying to do.
One of his hands jumped to the front of his stomach as he felt something start to squeeze itself into the empty space, and his eyes widened in horror as he understood what was happening. It was trying to reach the captive slime through the most direct route possible - down his gullet. Almost instantly, he could feel his insides stretching against his palm, pushing his abs out even further.
His other hand tried to fight off the crowd, but there were too many. All he could do was look down at his abdomen and watch the muscles slowly puff out, his skin growing tauter with each gulp. He was visibly swelling with each passing second. His flat tummy becoming more and more curved as the second creature packed itself in alongside the first. He could feel the two liquid-filled slimes already inside him starting to slosh with each awkward movement he made, the weight constantly knocking him off-balance like they were trying to toy with him.
With one last gulp, he felt the rest of the second creature somehow push into his tight stomach, moaning as his skin distended and his stomach muscles failed to handle the increased pressure. A small bubble of air escaped his throat, turning into a light belch that made his cheeks flush red in embarrassment. This wasn't supposed to be happening, slimes had never acted like this before and he wasn't sure how to deal with it.
Cronus' lungs emptied themselves in a pained moan as the two slimes inside his body decided to start squirming around in his packed gut, obviously trying to cause him as much distress as possible so that he would spit them back out. The magical energy was definitely helping to soothe things a little, but it wasn't stopping them from squishing and squelching around inside his body like a three-course meal. He was almost tempted to try and loosen the metal-and-cloth belt around his waist - it wouldn't matter if he exposed a bit more skin, the slimes clearly just wanted him to return their friend and leave.
Struggling to undo part of the belt, he tried to catch his breath, too full to think properly. "You... you little beasts... if you just give me a moment, then I can mghaghmmmh!"
This time, it was a fat black slime, more solid-looking than the others. Cronus' tried to yell at it, but opening his mouth only made it easier for the creature to start shoving itself down his gullet. There wasn't much he could do except try to pull it off with his free hand while the other massaged his sore stomach, neither of them really helping to resolve the situation. He already looked like a mess, horribly bloated and shaken enough that he could tell his hair looked messy, but he was more concerned with his poor insides being invaded. Each swallow pulled the third slime's body further down, inch by inch, and he let out a small whimper as he began to wonder how much he would even be able to hold. His stomach could only stretch so far, and there were far more slimes in the cave than he had expected to see.
The two slimes already stuffed inside him were chirping out loudly, but it wasn't in victory - they were giving commands, orders. He hadn't considered the idea that the red one was special until now, but as he tried - and failed - to stop swallowing the black slime's globular body, he realised that it was probably some kind of queen. He had read about them before, but never seen one, at least not until now. Eating it must have put the entire cave in danger, so when it called for help, the entire slime nest answered. Cronus tried to keep his head focused on solving the problem he was in, but the moment some of the third slime's body hit his stomach, he realised that he was full. Not just full, but full, stretched to the point that his stomach didn't think it could distend any further.
Moaning into the gunk still pouring down his mouth, he tried to lie back, hoping that he could somehow make more room. He felt his face wince as the skin around the middle of his stomach began to strain, pushing out further than it was normally able to. He felt extremely tight around the middle of his belly, the part where he had been forced to grow the most, but that didn't seem to be stopping the third addition to his over-filled middle. It wasn't until the last gulp that he was finally able to get his breath back, almost collapsing against the cave's cold rock floor as he felt the swelling continue. Little moans and whines kept sneaking out of his throat when he wasn't looking, but they were mostly drowned out by the loud, upset rumbles of his stomach or the gurgles and chirps of the three creatures that had settled inside it.
Well, maybe 'settled' was the wrong word. They weren't settling at all. Each one had started to move with even more force, trying to stretch him out even further and creating little bulges against his skin by pushing themselves in certain directions. Every time he groaned, he felt a belch starting to form, and he wasn't able to hold it back properly when his insides were so hideously bloated and sore. He tried to hold his throat muscles in place and lock his mouth shut, but when a thick belch broke the silent ambience of the cave, he felt a wave of disgust wash over him.
Everything about his current state was repulsive to him - the idea that he could look so shameful, so utterly stuffed, was offensive to everything he stood for. If Cronus had been able to stand up, he would have happily murdered each and every slime in the entire damned cave, but it felt like he had the weight of a full person sitting on his middle.
Another slime - blue, this time - gently pushed itself over to the side of his head, and he felt panic shoot through him. It was going to try and squeeze inside him, just like the others.
"No. No, don't you dare, you disgusting... oof..." Cronus had to pause for a moment to soothe his aching stomach. He was exhausted: the magical energy he was getting still wasn't enough to handle the physical strain his body was under. "...please. Please, don't."
For a few seconds, the slime did nothing. They stared at one another, and Cronus wondered if it was trying to 'size him up', deciding if it wanted to hurt his poor stomach even more. He didn't really have any way to defend himself now, and if the entire cave wanted to cram themselves down his throat, then his fate was sealed. His breathing had become faster and harsher, mostly because he was panicking at the idea of being filled with these creatures until his body broke.
"Don't. Please don't. I can't-" Another hefty belch escaped his body, and he tried to cover his mouth with his hand, but a kick from inside his stomach forced him to start stroking it again instead. "...I can't take any more, I'll let your friend out. Soon. I promise. After a rest."
The little blue slime paused for a moment, then gave off an angry growl and moved towards his jaws. Cronus didn't bother to try and stop it - even if he locked his mouth shut, he would have to open it again to gasp at the pain of his over-stretched guts. This time, though, the slime decided to be far more brutal, basically pushing itself down his throat with little regard for what his body could actually hold. Between gulps of the blue translucent ooze, he continued to moan and wail, almost certain that he would burst open when the slime managed to settle in his stomach.
He still hadn't managed to release his belt, but once the first few mouthfuls of the creature pushed into his bloated belly, it started to become too tight for comfort. He got to watch the horrifying sight of his own body pushing far beyond its limits, his far-too-big potbelly shoving further out each time he swallowed as the chaos in his abdomen got even worse. He could hear all three of the other slimes practically celebrating as the fourth joined them, packing his insides so full and taut that he was barely able to breathe by the time he managed to get the last part of it down his throat.
It hurt so much. He felt like he might pass out if he wasn't careful, the four different slimes in his body constantly squirming and sloshing as they rolled over one another and tried to make room in spaces where there wasn't any left. Cradling his paunch with both hands and desperately trying to hold back the noises of fullness and pain coming from inside him, Cronus lay completely flat on his back, quietly begging for them to stop. Another of the creatures rolled up next to him, grumbling to itself, and he knew that he had to stop them now.
"Alright! Alright alright alright! You win!" His breaths were ragged and harsh, and he felt like a sweating, over-stuffed mess. "I'll let them all out, just please stop! You can have them all back, and I'll never visit here again, I swear!"
The slime next to him waited as one of the four trapped inside him - the red queen slime, probably - started to burble and purr. He had no idea what it was saying, but he was barely in any state to think - his stomach was so stretched and sore that most of his attention fell on trying to soothe each bulge and sensitive spot.
"Please. Please, I'll... ugh, I'll do whatever you need me to do." He hated saying that line, just like he hated submitting to such a simple creature. The thing was, Cronus had no choice: he could either relent and let the slimes out, or he could allow them to fill his guts until he burst. They didn't seem willing to negotiate. "Just... give me a few minutes to... mhn... catch my breath. As soon as I can get back on my... ah, my feet, I can spit you back out."
He couldn't stop a grimace from forming on his face as he felt his insides start to churn, the muscles of his stomach walls aching with how far they had been pushed apart. Getting each slime in had been hard enough - getting them back out was going to be just as difficult. A loud grumble came from the core of his distended belly, and he took a long, deep breath.
Next time, he'd make sure to steer clear of the red ones, no matter how tasty they looked. It wasn't worth the trouble - or the stretched insides.