With Shizu absorbed, the adventurers gone, and the village on autopilot, Rimuru explores his new human-mimicking ability, and learns that his default form has no gender.
He can make it any age and as masculine or feminine as he likes, but steers clear of the latter (looks too much like Shizu) and maintains the default form, continuing his practice of looking deceptively twee.
While practicing some of the new abilities he got from Shizu, Ranga reports in: the hunting party is under attack by a group of six ogres. These ogres (or oni) don’t match Mikami’s idea of the hulking, ugly brutes, but one thing’s for sure, they’re confident in their abilities.
Their red leader believes Rimuru is responsible for the destruction of their village and intends to get revenge. Rimuru leaves only the pink mage to Ranga and quickly dispatches three of the remaining five.
But the white ogre knows the skills he’s using and where he got them, and can even slip past magical sense. The red one also has a fire attack, which is obviously useless against the immune slime.
Rimuru decides to remove the aura-concealing mask and show them his true power by breaking out one his newest abilities, Black Flame. Red is impressed and scared, but as the leader of his people he’s not going to back down just because the cause is hopeless. It takes Pinky, who also happens to be his sister, to be the voice of reason among the ogres.
Everyone stands down and they work through the misunderstanding. Both sides’ people are healed up and Rimuru invites his new horned friends back to the village for a feast (which he’ll now be able to taste in human form). And now I know who all those horned folks in the OP and ED are!
As for what their story is, that will have to wait for next week. Until then, I welcome the introduction of six more very cool-looking characters.