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We arrived at the insect area – a jungle. Insects in a jungle…isn’t that way too cheap?
“For now, let’s head for the boss room.”
In response, Sword scratched his head, “Sure, why not. Is there anythin’ of interest for you in this area?”
“I follow the doctrine of not eating cooked locusts,” earned me a knuckle on my head.
“Listen, even I don’t eat ‘nythin’ like that! That ain’t what I was askin’! Military bees appear on these floors!”
Bees with a camouflage pattern? I mean I like a military look, so I have some interest, but going this far…
“The loot item they drop is honey!”
“Alright, let’s hunt them down to the last. Bees are living beings, hence, a large-scale vacuum spell will work against them. I’m going to annihilate them quickly.”
When I immediately stated my opinion, Sword became flabbergasted.
“Your totally gung-ho ’bout this, aren’t you…? But, you can produce honey outta wheat, no?”
“Wheat honey and normal honey are completely different. Honey, you see, can be used for making liquor. High-quality honey becomes high-quality liquor.”
“Gotcha! Leave it to me! Though it’s not reachin’ your level, I can use wide-area spells as well!”
The Ryokus also made their fighting spirit known by dancing. All of us were roaring to go!
Rushing through the locust, caterpillar, moth, praying mantis, and spider floors, we headed straight for the honey floor.
“They’re gonna start appearin’ after two more floors. They’re strong and attack in groups, but that doesn’t concern us, right? We’ll pass the first floor where they appear since we’ll be hindered by other folks.”
In other words, we’ll gather, no, hunt honey right before the boss floor.
“Fuhahaha! You may call me 『Poo-san』! Or 『Seiran-san』 would work as well!”
I go hunting while being super excited
“Uwwwooohh!! You shiiitts, become liquor for meeeee!” Sword’s inner voice, his soul scream, echoed throughout the jungle.
We hunted them down to the extent of not a single bee respawning anymore.
“Okay, it’s noon, so time for lunch, I’d say,” I announced after a look at my watch.
“Your right. While at it, please prepare some liquor for me too,” responded Sword.
Since it was a special occasion, I made the food and drinks while using the honey we obtained. I grilled some spicy honeyed grilled chicken (styled), then roasted it together with some veggies, and finally used it as a filling for bread. I also gave Sword a honey-lemon High Ball as a freebie. I drank the same, but without whiskey.
“Ohhh!? How very kind of you!!”
Don’t say it as though I’m usually an unkind woman. The mansion’s servants and Bennyboy keep telling me that I’m pampering you way too much.
Sword went for the High Ball first.
“Aaahh! This rocks, really! It’s sweet, but it makes the whiskey’s flavor taste even better. This one here tastes much better than the usual High Ball, when it comes to a light drink as aperitif.”
“The flavor and fragrance of high-quality honey seems to go well with whiskey. The lemon’s sourness and aroma further enhances both.”
After Sword downed the drink in one go, he looked at me, “Your really…… It ain’t like your drinkin’ liquor yourself, so how come you know how to make such an incredible liquor?”
Being very seriously stared at, I answered in kind.
“……That’s probably because you drink and eat everything while repeatedly calling it delicious.”
“Hah?” Sword was dumbstruck.
“The dishes made by me aren’t the one and only gourmet food. Depending on individual preferences, those eating it should have some parts they like and some parts they hate. In the first place, there’s a bunch of people that are picky about ingredients, right? Even our restaurant uses that principle as foundation, and we have guests, who book a reservation, tell us about their preferences in order to make a menu catering towards their taste. …You don’t say anything like that. You empty your plate while obviously enjoying the food. You also tell me that it’s great. For a cook, you see, that’s the highest praise they can get. The cooks and I always say that we prefer being told that something tastes good over being buried with money. As a matter of fact, when I finally told the cook that his food was good, he cried. ……Even though I always ate up everything he made.”
“…” After taking a long, hard look at me, Sword smiled, “I see. So, does that mean I’m the perfect partner for you, after all?”
……He started prattling something outrageous.
When I averted my face in a huff, he hugged me.
“Heeey!!? Ain’t that the moment where you’d usually answer, 『Don’t state the obvious, idiot』?”
“As if I care!”
“What’s with you? Are you shy? You consider me the perfect partner, don’t you?”
“No clue what you’re talking about!”
Don’t ask me something so obvious, idiot!
――Since the bees didn’t respawn even after we wasted time with such a conversation, we gave up on waiting and headed to the boss room.
The boss was a queen bee. She’s really huge. Amazing! Moreover, she’s got all this fluffy, gorgeous fur.
“Ah, I think I know what we’ll find inside the treasure chest of this boss.”
“Huh? What is it?”
A single flash of my wooden sword later.
“It’s ［Royal Jelly］!!”
“…The heck’s that?”
Hmm, how is it called over here…?
“Umm…I guess you can call it “the meal of the queen military bee.” It should be something the bees spat out together with their saliva after having eaten pollen and nectar beforehand.”
“Ugh, listenin’ to that explanation, I don’t feel like eatin’ it ‘nymore.”
“The nutritional value is supposed to be quite high. Eating this or not should also decide whether a military bee is regarded as queen…but, the one over here is summoned by the Dungeon Core.”
When I opened the chest while explaining, it was inside, just as suspected.
“Yep, no surprise.”
“Can you use this for somethin’?”
I placed a hand on my chin, brooding.
“…Hmm. It’s definitely good for your health, but mostly for its high nutritional value. It’s unnecessary for us young ones.”
Sword blinked. Then he laughed.
“Until now you’ve totally treated my like an old man, so what’s this ’bout?”
“I simply didn’t know your true age. For you to have been such a fledgling….. Isn’t that an age where you’ve barely become half a man?”
This time he looked at me full of surprise.
“Eh? Men at my age were treated like that in the world where you lived before?”
“Yeah. At your age they’d be in the third year of their first workplace? It’s an age where guys are often pushed around by their bosses as the newcomer underlings they are.”
This gave Sword a shock.
“This healthy food can wait, let’s see…I think at an age past forty it’d make sense. To begin with, I’ve created an ［Anti-Oxidation］ medicine, you remember? That’s an elixir of perennial youth. It’s much more effective than this one, too.”
“Guess we sell it then. Let’s also add your explanation to it,” decided Sword and tossed the jelly into his magic bag.
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