It was around the time we had finished eating and entered [Flame Cavern].
Well, although we did take a break to eat, we’d already long since entered [Flame Cavern]’s domain, similar to how it is with our village.
“Come to think of it, flame dragons are said to be the offspring of fire spirits and red dragons coming together, did you know that? There was mention of it in some of the literature in the imperial capital’s library.”
“Heeeh, really? So that’s why they’re so specialized in the fire attribute. You could say a red dragon with a fire spirit’s blessing is an unbeatable existence when it comes to fire, huh. Did you know that, Kehma?”
“… I’ve heard about it from an acquaintance before.”
I was walking along with Meat and Ichika ahead of me. Gozoh and Roppu were following up the rear as though to protect me.
Although Wataru was in the center same as me, it was so that he could respond to both attacks from the front and the rear as quickly as possible. There was basically no difference in our placement, but his role was entirely different.
Gozoh and Meat were slaying the red lizards while Ichika and Roppu focused on dissecting their bodies’ essentials so that our baggage wouldn’t grow too large. Wataru put the goods into his [Storage].
Me? Well, I was just guiding everyone down the path Ontentoo told me about beforehand that would lead to Igni in the fifth floor’s mid-boss room. That is, I was playing the fiend agent. Hahaha, what a great way to share the burdens among us.
By the way, there were periodically red lizards on the path, but there’d be red slimes straight away if I made a mistake on the way to go. Physical damage was ineffective against slimes, so Wataru would do some kind of bash thing on them to deal with them. Heroes are amazing, you’re like some magic swordsman.
Eh, you’ll teach me too? … Isn’t that great, Meat~. It’s a great chance, so learn it.
“Phew, that was the third red slime.”
“Sorry, let’s head a little ways’ back.”
“Red slimes aren’t supposed to appear on the route I investigated. That’s how I memorized the route.”
We headed back a bit. Was it a left turn a bit ago and not a right one?
Just then, Gozoh spoke up.
“By the way, this supposed plan of yours, Kehma… could you tell us about it here soon? What is it exactly?”
“Please, we’re about to put our lives on the line for a plan we don’t know anything about.”
“It kind of feels like we’re bettin’ huh.”
“Heh, I don’t care what the plan is, I believe in Kehma.”
Oh? That’s unexpected, so I guess this figurehead village chief status comes with some faith?
“It’s alright. My plan is—this.”
“… Isn’t that the red pepper paste you were saying you’d make Ichika eat? What good’s that?”
“I heard from a certain source that flame dragons love alcohol and spicy things.”
As an aside, that certain source was the person herself, so it’s definitely accurate.
I asked Ontentoo about it since she looked like a young girl when she humanized, but it looks like there’s no problem with it since she’s a dragon.
“I have plenty of alcohol I procured from the dungeon in my [Storage], as well as some things I had Kinue-san make especially for this. To put it simply, I’m going to lure it with its favorites.”
“I see… I like drinking alcohol too. Give me some.”
“I’ll get you some of the same stuff when we head back. We’re working right now, so hold out.”
“Hyuu! We definitely can’t mess up then. Right Roppu, Wataru?”
“There’s no more of a proper way for Team Bacchus to defeat a dragon than with alcohol. Let’s do it, Village Chief Kehma.”
“It’s the Eight-Headed Serpent! I got it!”
Let’s ignore Wataru’s reference to that Japanese myth.
With that, I had their consent and moved inside. We’d arrived at the mid-boss room of the fifth floor, our destination.
“Oh, it’s here.”
“It’s eating a red minotaur… was that the original boss here?”
When we looked into the room, Igni was eating the red minotaur in her dragon form.
I’d wondered if it was alright for her to eat a mid-boss, but apparently all of the upper floors’ stuff are Igni’s favorite snacks. How much are they spending on their daughter’s food? Talk about ignoring Engel’s law1.
“Alright, I’ll be off then. If I fail, Wataru, I’ll entrust the rest to you.”
“Leave it to me. I’ll take your bones. You can be revived if there’s even a scrap of bone left!”
Eh, this world has revival magic?
“Oh, revival magic has a one in four success rate and costs ten thousand gold regardless of it working or not, but you can leave it to me to do it until it goes through alright?”
“… Wataru, it’d be great if you could afford it.”
That’s great. At the very least, it’s not something everyone can use.
… Oh, maybe it’s a performance for Haku-san to gain followers? There’s a possibility of her using doppelganger for it. It’d just be played off as memory loss or personality change following revival or something.
In that case, I wouldn’t be able to live if I died after all.
“Guh… I would do it if it’s for you, Kehma-san! Same for the travel expenses to the Holy Kingdom, too!”
Moreover, it’s from the Light God’s Decree? Uwaaah, stinks like a scam.
Aren’t they just using that Saintess’ revival ability to show it works sometimes?
“Well, either way, I’m off. Conveniently, it’s a boss room, so just Kuro and I will head in. I’ll call you guys in later if my plan works out.”
“Will you really be alright in there with just you two?”
“I mean, I don’t want to show people my secrets if I can avoid it. I’ll close the door behind me… right, Ichika’s collar will let you know if I die. If that happens, you can decide if you want to come in or run and escape.”
“… For you to use the slave collar for something like that…”
A slave’s collar would somehow know when the master dies.
It’s not like I’ll die, though.
“Kehma-san, is that why you brought these two slaves?”
No, it’s because I didn’t want to tell you about any dungeon secrets.
“Heeeey, Goshujin-sama, Goshujin-sama, if you die, can that dinner ban go away?”
“I won’t die though?”
“Just in case!”
“Alright, if things turn out well, Ichika’s collar will gently constrict twice and strangle her a bit.”
“Eh!? Gently? Gently right!?”
“Radio communications through slave collars…!? You could call it [Slave Collar Transmission], Kehma-san!”
What’s with that shallow book series-like name?
At any rate, Meat and I entered the boss room and closed the door behind us.
… I can finally relax.
[Oh, you’re here! I’ve been waiting, ah, want some minotaur?]
“Oi, quiet down. There’s a chance the hero’s listening in.”
[Oh, right. Sorry, sorry, I forgot.]
Igni scratched her head. By the way, our conversation was being carried out in draconic, so Meat just tilted her head to the side… An ordinary human language would just be understood by anyone listening, after all. I didn’t want to take any chances with Wataru listening in though, so I figured it was alright if we just kept our voices low.
[So, what’ll happen next?]
“First off, the hero’s right outside the room. I have to pretend to do my secret plan.”
With that, I took out a barrel containing the red pepper paste from my [Storage].
“Here, a present.”
[Alcohol and something spicy? You really did bring a present.]
“By the way, you probably already know, but it’s the meeting’s second situation.”
[Hey, hey, I can drink this right? Right?]
“… I want to make sure we’re on the same page first. You do remember the second one, right?”
[Ummm, umm… There was a lot of extra stuff, but something about leaving people behind, maybe?]
Oh, so she does remember?
By the way, the first situation was just me getting here alone. The third was where I’d have to bring someone uninvolved in.
Number three would make the whole thing become a more and more complex farce depending on who it was—but to put it simply, I wanted to avoid having to use my super bullshitting technique. Go me.
“Well, with that being the case, we have it a bit easier than otherwise. You can have it if you don’t take it all at least. You also need to smell like alcohol so yeah, just not enough to make you tipsy.”
[Really!? Yaaay! Love you, Uncle!]
“Who’s your uncle? Aren’t you older than me?”
[You’re Papa’s friend, so you’re Uncle.]
“… At least call me your big brother or something.”
[Thank you, Big Brother~!]
After that, I’d restrain Igni who’ll be pretending to be drunk and call the others in. Once they’re inside, I’ll just have her tear off her restraints and run off. With that, it should look to witnesses outside that she flew off of the mountain towards somewhere else.
It’s a bit painful to have to make her depart so soon after her long-awaited homecoming, but what’s most important is that the farce goes well. Hahahah.
[Uwaaah, what’s this!? This is the first time I’ve ever drank something so delicious! It’s… so spicy! WHAT WHAT WHAT!? It’s so spicy and tasty! Uwaaah, it’s even better than red minotaur!]
“… Hey? Don’t overdo it, yeah?”
[Don’t worry, don’t woooorry, I’m good with alcohol! —Phaaah! It goes well with this spicy minotaur meat! Big Brother, you want to have some too?]
“No, I’ll hold back.”
… Hmm? Wait, why am I getting a horrible feeling about this?