Rabbit Dungeon 2
“I was thinking there’s no way there’d be an undiscovered dungeon this close to the capital, just half a day out—but here it is. Kind of simple. I can see why it hadn’t been found.”
Tokoi spoke his thoughts as he looked at the dungeon’s entrance.
What we saw was a single sign and a staircase covered by what looked like a grass-woven lid covering it.
The sign read [There are adorable rabbits here. Please get along well with them.]
“… Hey, what do you think this means? Some kind of riddle?”
“How about we ask the discoverer? So, Strawberry-san?”
“Fukyui!? Oh, umm… I-I think it’s asking us to-to… to get along with some adorable rabbits…!”
Oooh, yeah she’s definitely nervous. Me tagging along was definitely the right choice.
“Looks like there’s a staircase under this lid thing. How about we go in?”
“Yeah… But keep an eye out for traps.”
“Of course. Tokoi-san, you take the rear.”
We carefully followed the stairs down with me in the lead, followed by Strawberry, then Tokoi.
Touching the stairs and walls as we went down, Tokoi kept examining them for traps.
“Hmm, this seems to be a fairly new dungeon.”
“Eh, you can tell?”
“Although this staircase is made from clay, it’s lacking any wear and tear. Old dungeons and dungeons with a lot of traffic going through them tend to have their clay and stone stairs rounded at the corners and generally worn out. Also, the air down here is moist, but there’s no moss down here, let alone any dust anywhere. That and more makes me think this is a new dungeon.”
I see, that was informative. Unlike me, Tokoi’s not a B-Rank for nothing.
“This room has—no traps, it looks like. Rather, it looks like a meadow inside. It even seems to be a Safety Zone.”
“It gave us an environment room Safety Zone right away? It’s as if it’s trying to tell us to take a rest here.”
Oh, environment rooms is meant to be a room that’s like entering another world, like the one our dungeon has. They can be things like jungles, deserts, or whatever.
To be exact, it was listed as a [Meadow] in Orange’s catalog. Probably because there was nothing but grassland all around outside. Together with setting it as a Safety Zone, it was really cheap.
“Ooh!! P-Please let me see you, you adorable little rabbits~!”
Just then, Strawberry had entered the room with an awkwardly mechanical motion and called out. Following that, ordinary white rabbits headed her way and—were gripped by the scruff of their necks by Tokoi.
“Gueh!? Wh-What are you doing…!?”
“Idiot, that’s dangerous! Even Safety Zones can be trapped!”
“Hyii—-! S-Sorry, sorryyyyyy….!”
“O-Oh, uh, I didn’t mean to make you cry, sorry.”
While Strawberry was holding onto Tokoi and sobbing, I walked into the room pretending to be vigilant. Then, I sat down on something I’d prepared as a chair beforehand—a suitably large stone.
“Tokoi-san, it’s alright. That’s just how Strawberry is. Let’s take a break.”
Tokoi seemed to be a man weak to a woman’s tears. As expected of Misha’s recommendation.
Fluffy white rabbits went over to the crying Strawberry.
[You can pull through!]
They rubbed up against her and twitched their noses as if to say those things.
“… Uuu…. thank you, everyone…!”
“Those are some friendly rabbits.”
“Yeah, maybe because there haven’t been any humans here yet? … They have some nice fur. If their meat’s good as well, I bet they could fetch—”
“Nyuu! No hunting them!”
Strawberry shielded the rabbits behind her. Her expression looked brave, even.
I will protect these children—that sort of feeling. It looked like Tokoi understood, too.
“… Alright, I won’t. Even that sign at the entrance asked for us to get along with them.”
“Yep! We can just play with the rabbits!”
"Yeah, but I'll leave it to you and Kehko. It'd be impossible for me..."
Saying that, Tokoi sat on a large stone, dejected.
But just then, a single rabbit hopped closer to him, one small leap at a time. It was one of the ones that had been hiding back in Strawberry’s shadow.
Then, after a short moment of staring at Tokoi in thought, it rubbed its body against him with only a slight bit of hesitation.
“What a friendly rabbit.”
“Y-yeah. It is… it really is.”
Tokoi, not thinking about its pelt or meat at all now, timidly reached his hand out… and pet it.
Closing its eyes, the rabbit the gingerly sniffed the scent on Tokoi’s other hand.
Caught by surprise, Tokoi stopped petting it. Now, the rabbit tilted its head as though to ask [Done already?] before in turn rubbing its head against his hand.
Seeing that it was very intently not attacking him, Tokoi knit his brow in embarrassment.
With that, Strawberry spoke up as she embraced a rabbit of her own.
“E-Excuse me, Tokoi-san. Did you know? Petting a rabbit on the back is nice, it calms you down.”
“Does it? Strawberry is well-informed.”
Following Strawberry’s advice, Tokoi began to stroke the rabbit down its back.
The rabbit hopped up onto his lap and let itself be pet.
As Tokoi continued, the severity to his face lessened as it was replaced by a natural smile.
… Hook, line and sinker.
I felt the corners of my mouth raise steadily.
Incidentally, these rabbits were all being controlled by Orange and the others. They were using [Monster Operation] from his original dungeon along with a [Monster Spawner: White Rabbits (500 DP)].
They’d gave it their all training under Ichika’s supervision to make their movements not look too overkill.
Adventurers were those who lived hunting animals and generally had next to no experience in being liked by them. Only powerful monsters would become tamers’ partners, yet rabbits were weak and pitifully cute creatures.
Naturally, they’d have absolutely no chances to interact with them like this.
In other words, you could say that they also had absolutely zero resistance to being loved on by cuteness.
So they would all fall for them. Particularly big strong men like Tokoi who’d normally be feared.
Honestly, it took longer to train them to move so cutely than it did to make the dungeon.
But just seeing the look on Tokoi’s face—it was all worth it.
I was convinced this strategy would work.