“Uuu, it’s so cute…!”
“Yeah… this is paradise. Fluff Heaven…”
“Heeh, how can rabbits be such wonderful creatures… I can’t eat rabbit meat anymooooore!”
“Idiots, the rabbits here aren’t like those outside… see how clean and pretty they are? … Ooooh…! Are those for them to eat out of your hand…!?”
The adventurers were all over the rabbits.
“Y-Yes, a cup of vegesticks is six copper.”
“Six for that much? Isn’t that overpriced?”
“Idiot. Can’t ye see it’s somethin’ the rabbits love to eat? Imagine them, right on your lap…”
“Oh, that’s cheap.”
“A-Also, the profits a-are used to manage the facility protecting the rabbits! O-Oh, and used cups are bought back for a copper.”
“I see, so they’re really just five copper? I’ll take three, then.”
The vegesticks Strawberry was going around selling were very popular as well.
At any rate, what Strawberry was selling was very popular among the rabbits. They didn’t seem to eat much of the vegetables other adventurers who heard about it brought in, though.
They may have contained something like catnip for rabbits, but the five copper cost included the management of that. It was cheap and sold like hotcakes.
… As for them preferring Strawberry’s, I had them go to eat on their own accord whenever they saw the special cup and judged that it was one of hers. Ignoring that rabbit that could just keep on eating and eating everything put in front of it (the one Ichika was controlling), they ignored mostly everything else.
The recovered cups were reused by Strawberry to be sold again with the recovery rate currently at a hundred percent.
Let’s put some plan in place for managing people who come with their own cups. But like, these rabbits aren’t carefree animals at this point. They’re intelligent creatures running customer service nonstop.
“Haaah, man… this place is better than bliss.”
“Oh, big sis Renyu? You’re likin’ it here too?”
“‘Course I do, it’s too much… fluffy fluffy…”
Some of the people in this second search team were a few cuteness-curious adventurers Tokoi talked about. One of them, Renyu, was a female adventurer.
“I was wondering about the heck Tokoi was on about with the whole rabbit fund but now I think I’ll donate five gold.”
“You’re really liking this place.”
“Yeah, I really do. Haah, they’re too cute. I want to take them home and keep them…”
“Y-You can’t take them. They live here!”
Overhearing Renyu, Strawberry, who was in the middle of selling vegesticks nearby, spoke up.
“Huh? … Oh, yeah. Forcing them to part from their friends would be sad. That’s what you meant, right Strawberry?”
“I wonder if rabbit beastkin can talk to rabbits after all… hey, do you know what this one’s saying?”
“Huh? Mmm, let’s see… yep, yep, I see, I see. [Onee-san’s kind, like! Pat me more, stroke my belly too!] is what he’s saying. Oh, and that he’s full.”
With that, the rabbit rolled over to show off its stomach to demonstrate that her words were true. It was swelling from eating so much.
“Ooh, seriously? I can pet his belly… haah, uwaah, it’s true. He’s so cuuute. Seriously cute… cuuute!”
Renyu immediately went to petting the rabbit’s stomach. Her vocabulary shrinking to some cute-filled amalgamation of baby talk couldn’t be helped, of course. People couldn’t help but saying anything but that something was cute if it was, in fact, cute.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen her like this… rabbits’re scary.”
“They’re just that cute.”
“I kinda want to live here…”
Renyu might have just been joking around, but she did say that.
“I wonder if we could make a village around here?”
“… Probably not. We couldn’t make a village at a dungeon with nothing but rabbits. But if it’s just as a base for us to relax at, we could… wait, aren’t we already using it for that…?”
“Big bro Tokoi was talking about setting up a shop that sells stuff to eat here.”
This was an idea that Kehko (Kehma) passed along to Tokoi.
It was easier to have the idea be accepted from a B-Rank adventurer from the imperial capital than from a no-rank adventurer.
“Doesn’t that sound fine though? What do you rabbits think? … Wait, they can’t understand me, huh? Hey, Strawberry, could you try explaining it to the rabbits so they’ll understand?”
“O-Okay… Umm, it looks like they’re fine with it. Just, the employees will have to reside inside the dungeon so that it doesn’t swallow up the building.”
“In that case, we could set up the warehouse and kitchen outside, then have the shop itself and the rest inside? Or we could have them just walk around with a box like an arena concessions salesperson.”
“Oooh! As expected of big sis, that’s a great idea!”
It happened just as the three of them were having such a discussion.
BNNNG, BNNNG, BNNNG!
A loud noise sounded out.
Following that, the green light indicating the Safety Zone’s boundary blinked and disappeared.
“Wh-What was that sound!?”
“Hey, the Safety Zone’s gone!!!”
The members of the survey team started clamoring. It was natural, of course, as the Safety Zone just disappeared from around them.
“Everyone, take up your weapons! Prepare yourselves!”
“Sis! You’re scaring the rabbits! Quiet down—”
“No, th-that’s not it! It wasn’t Renyu-san’s voice—the rabbits, they’re s-saying enemies… are coming!”
Hearing Strawberry translate the rabbits’ words for them, they once more prepared themselves.
With that, moving stone statues—gargoyles appeared from the passage connecting into the dungeon. Three of them. If they were ordinary gargoyles, the research team would be able to handle them with ease.
“Strawberry, are those the enemies?”
“… Y-Yes, they are! Please defeat them!”
“I see… alright guys, get ’em! Protect the rabbits!”
“”” Yeah! “””
To speak of the results, they were dealt with easily.
They protected the rabbits with their shields, axe, sledgehammer, and sword skills and quickly cleaned up the gargoyles as usual.
Although it was somewhat anticlimactic for it to end so easily, the Safety Zone flicked back into place upon the gargoyles’ defeat.
“The heck was that… uoh!?”
“Wah—hey, hey! What’s wrong with you al?”
Just then, the rabbits that had been frightened up till then gave it their all in loving on them.
“… O-Oh… s-so much… fluffiness…!”
“Big sis! Your face, it’s…”
“Don’t look! … Aw, a-are you all alright? Uoh, s-so cute…—”
They appeared to be incredibly happy at the enemies being defeated.
A few moments later, three more rabbits appeared ferrying along a basket with three potions in it.
“… Th-They say it’s a gift.”
“Haha, thanks! … I see, so that kind of a dungeon does exist.”
“That kind? What do ya mean, sis?”
The sign at the dungeon’s entrance. The rabbits. The rabbits’ enemies. The potion reward.
Connecting the dots, it was easy to understand that it had that kind of rules.
“I’m pretty sure that this dungeon gives items for [Defending the rabbits]. There wasn’t an attack last time people came, so there might be other rules!”
“Heeh! That’s great. That means we can protect these cuties and get items for it to boot!”
“I-It’s a good dungeon, d-definitely.”
“Yeah, well we do need to investigate a bit further in, but it’s probably that kind of a dungeon.”
Strawberry smiled back at the conclusion Renyu came to.