Rabbit Dungeon 3
Well, I was able to get the big brother-ish Tokoi to fall for them.
This dungeon’s safety is practically guaranteed if it was able to make Tokoi, a powerful B-Rank adventurer from the capital, into an ally.
Misha, good job picking this dude out.
“Still though, its fur is amazing. There’s no beast-like smell to it at all… like one of those pets aristocrats have.”
Stroking a rabbit from its shoulders to its hind, Tokoi spoke in admiration.
“Right? Normally, rabbits would smell oily or dirty some other way.”
“Yeah, it’s almost like… yeah, like someone’s grooming them.”
His intuition’s sharp… as expected of a B-Rank adventurer.
There’s no helping it, though. Let’s just explain the circumstances. Well, the circumstances I’d prepared in advance, of course.
I turned to Tokoi as if to whisper into his ear.
“… To be honest, this dungeon’s discoverer—that is, Strawberry—has been here many times, she brushes and washes the rabbits.”
“It’s because she’s a rabbit beastkin, she feels a connection with the rabbits.”
“I have heard about beastkin sometimes being able to commune with animals… I see, so Strawberry’s the reason?”
I nodded back to him.
“Alright, so that’s why she looked so unnatural when she entered the room earlier.”
“Exactly. She’s even been camping out here for a long time.”
“She said she didn’t want the rabbits to get hurt… Tokoi-san, can’t you see?”
Tokoi looked over to Strawberry, who’d constructed a cuddle puddle out of herself and various rabbits.
He was observing her in consideration. I felt a cold sweat drip down my back hoping that this B-Rank adventurer wouldn’t figure it out somehow.
… But then he nodded.
“Your words don’t seem to be lies. Strawberry loves these rabbits from the bottom of her heart… I can see that much. I can understand how she feels. If she wants to protect them, I will, too.”
Uh huh. So you seeing her goodness has nothing to do with you being charmed by the rabbits? I mean, you’re still petting that rabbit on your lap.
“However, Kehko, when did you hear that about Strawberry?”
“I met her before you, after all. Besides, we’re both women, so it was easy for her to open up to me… Also, I’ve been wondering… Tokoi-san, isn’t it strange for a man like you to love rabbits like this?”
“… … … … … Yeah.”
His expression reminded me of when he’d accidentally caused Strawberry to cry. He nodded, a bitter look on his face.
“There’s a problem I’ve been thinking about… that is, there will be bandits hunting these rabbits when we open this to the public.”
When Tokoi said that, the rabbit on his lap stood up with a start.
“Whoops… sorry, I let a bit of my bloodlust leak out. Just by imagining that happening…”
“It’s said that rabbits are just cowardly, but they can definitely feel that.”
“Yeah, small animals are particularly sensitive to bloodlust. Rats and the like can feel impending danger and scuttle away from death’s door. This guy here, though… he’s bold.”
Tokoi looked down at the rabbit he was petting.
By the way, it wasn’t exactly a problem if people decided to hunt the rabbits.
I mean, all of these rabbits were just spawned monsters being controlled by Orange and the others.
A little bit of time went into washing and brushing them, but they were just white rabbits equivalent to around 5 DP each. Everything’ll be fine if the person—err, the rabbit on the inside stays safe.
They came from the spawner, so it doesn’t matter how many are hunted, they’ll replenish forever.
Therefore, as long as there are adventurers who come to hang out, it doesn’t matter if some are hunted.
We could add a pitfall trap that only activates for people who hunt them, maybe.
Like as soon as they kill a rabbit, they trigger a pitfall that takes them to a really cold lake.
… Well, they’ll probably survive the fall. But there won’t be an exit or anywhere to rest, so they’ll have to tread water until they die. Good luck.
They might be saved if they can fly, but I don’t think anyone like that would come here to hunt rabbits.
“Tokoi-san, could you say something to stop that?”
“Hmm, if it’s just the capital’s adventurers, there’d probably not be many people that would if I put the word out… but there are some who aim to be powerful adventurers and who don’t care about cute things. It’s also possible for adventurers not based in the capital to come…”
“… I see.”
… Yeah. There’s also the possibility that there’ll be people who fall for the rabbits and take them home. Like what if some proficient adventurer starts a take-home business?
Let’s have them struggle like they really don’t want to leave if someone tries taking them up the stairs. If that doesn’t work, they’ll play dead. It’ll definitely be a trauma for anyone who comes here for the rabbits’ cuteness.
At any rate, these rabbits just act like normal ones when Orange and the others aren’t controlling them… They’re just ordinary spawned monsters if they leave the dungeon’s domain and would die soon enough.
Yeah, let’s talk to Orange about this stuff later.
“Hey, Strawberry. Could you come here?”
“O-Okay. What is it, Kehko-san?”
“Sorry, I wound up telling Tokoi-san that you’ve camped out here a lot.”
“Eh! Ah, eh, u-ummm… b-but I said don’t tell anyooone….”
Strawberry put on a suspiciously flustered expression. It was only half acting, but it was bad acting. It felt like she was trying too hard.
Seeing her, Tokoi spoke up.
“Strawberry. Did something happen while you were camping here?”
“Fueh! Oh, um, n-no. This place, well, it gets dark at night, and there’s safe drinking water… and even without a sleeping bag, the rabbits sleep together and keep you warm.”
“!!! Hoh, that sounds perfect.”
The sheer force of the jolt that ran through Tokoi’s face when he heard her say rabbits sleeping together was astounding. The only reason he didn’t stand up right then and there was likely the rabbit still on his lap.
“Alright, let’s set up camp for the night. As for looking further inside… let’s stay the night first, as we’d planned. If needed, we can stay a second night.”
Yeah, it’s gonna be a two-nighter. No doubt about that.
By the way, our exploration further inside went quickly—there was nothing more than a Core Room with a dummy core in it and a few other small rooms with nothing in them yet.