I decided to call the dungeon’s executives together to hold an Anti-Leona Strategy Meeting.
The partic.i.p.ants are me, Rokuko, Meat, Ichika, and the three monster girls. Succubus Ring Neru is here on Meat’s finger, too.
My identity was found out, so it suddenly feels like there’s a knife to my throat—more like a guillotine—and I’ve already went through something dangerous…
“Because of all that, our goal is the dungeon’s survival and Leona’s expulsion.”
As a result of talking with Leona… I figured out how much of a hedonist she is—or maybe it’s better to say she’s living in the now for her future—and well, I don’t want to be involved at all. At any rate, I now understand that she has a troublesome personality.
Her actions are entirely based off of whether or not something is amusing.
“Still though, the Last Boss, is it?”
“Yeah, Rokuko. That’s what Leona told me. It almost sounded like a bluff though.”
Having seen the recording of it, Rokuko blinked in surprise when I responded to what she said.
“Huh? Why’s that? She looked pretty enthusiastic about it to me.”
“It was like she was trying to persuade herself… it just looked like acting to me. She’d even obviously prepared it all beforehand, seeing as how there weren’t any logical fallacies. Maybe what she’s thinking deep down is quite the opposite. To to hurry up and kill her or something. The Last Boss is an existence that is eventually overthrown, after all.”
“… Umm, really?”
“If not, she wouldn’t be giving herself those handicaps and playing around, she’d be doing whatever she wants and dominating the world.”
Hmm? But Leona’s already threatening Haku-san, the empire’s top dog. Maybe she’s already finished with her world domination? Well, whatever.
“By her deliberately saying [want to become], not ‘if’ or ‘when’, she’s holding her ground… as Leona.”
“Troublesome, isn’t she…”
It’s not like she’s trying to think about how to become the Last Boss, but rather that she’s going to end up as one. The strange part is that she said that she wants to become it despite herself knowing that it would be like that. It appears that she’s hiding something, but I don’t really feel like figuring out what that something is. At any rate, she herself is aiming to be the incarnation of selfishness itself, so it’s probably something dumb.
Whether it’s the truth or a lie, it doesn’t change the fact that she might just explode at any moment. The best option for us is to get her to leave as soon as possible.
“As Haku-san said, Leona likely won’t kill us, so we can be a bit bullish about it.”
“Kehma, why do you think she won’t kill us?”
“Because [it wouldn’t be interesting]. It’d be over if she killed us. She’ll go with the way that leaves us with some hope. [It would be interesting].”
Seeing as how Haku-san told us to [kill Leona if you get the chance], that’s probably how it is. I don’t think that she’d ever put Rokuko into a dangerous situation.
And I don’t think Leona would approve, either.
“Kehma’s amazing. Even after listening to it all I didn’t understand any of that!”
“Yeah… It feels like she did something when I met her. I started understanding Leona for some reason. I feel sick. I’m also having trouble thinking right… Neru. Please check to see if there’s some condition on me. I don’t even care if you have to possess me for it.”
[Kaaay. But what if the point of what she did was to get you to say you don’t care?] “It might have been a passive skill that improved our affinity with each other, or maybe some kind of persuasion-type skill that could convey your intentions to another person easier… Ichika, do you know about any skills like that?”
“Not that I’ve heard about. It wouldn’t be weird if there were skills rulers could learn that ordinary adventurers didn’t know about though. If Goshujin-sama says so, there’s gotta be a possibility. There’s not in the catalog?”
“None from what I saw, but it’s not like every skill is listed on the catalog… Rokuko, please send a letter to Haku-san and check.”
“Alright. There’s probably going to be other stuff to tell her, so I’ll wait to write it until after we’re done.”
If it’s a skill with the effect of allowing the user’s and the target’s consciousnesses to be tuned to one another, I think that there’d have to be some other adverse effects. Even if it seems mostly harmless on the surface, just having someone know the way you think is, in a way, dangerous.
… That might also have been why Haku-san san [make sure that Rokuko-chan doesn’t get seen by Leona. It’ll corrupt her]…
However, even so, we’re now meeting to set up our Leona countermeasures. Setting up measures against someone we know should be easier than otherwise.
“Master. I understand we’re considering countermeasures here, but what if we went with [Doing Nothing]? To be accurate, make it so that nothing happens. We’ll have her realize that this place is boring and let her grow bored. Wouldn’t she leave of her own will?”
“Rei, you’re definitely on the right track… but it’s too late for that.”
Leona has clearly shown interest in me. She’d also taken an interest in Rei during our conversation.
Even excluding that, Nayuta and Setsuna are here at our dungeon, same with Meat. I doubt she’d get bored of staying here.
… I absolutely don’t want Meat to meet Leona.
Setsuna and Nayuta said that Meat is a [Toy], so the reason Meat can’t remember her past is probably because Leona did something to her. If she met with Leona and they were unsealed, what would happen to the current Meat? I could solve it all since she’s under my control as my slave, but I don’t even want to think about it. If she resented me for turning her into a hug pillow and want to stab and kill me or something, it’d be a pretty big shock.
… Rather, if she regained her memory that she’s Leona’s grandkid and that made her be like Leona… yeah, that’d also be a shock.
“Then maybe it would be a good idea to have something else she’s interested in happen somewhere else?”
“Maybe Haku Ane-sama could do something?”
“That would be scary in a number of ways. On the other hand, the amount we’d be indebted to our neighbor (Ontentoo) by pushing her onto him would be awkward.”
“… How about we win over Setsuna and Nayuta and talk with them to get them to lure Leona to some other place?”
“Oh, that’s a pretty good idea, Rokuko.”
As expected of my partner. She can do it if she tries!
“Come to think of it, what were Setsuna’s and Nayuta’s Leona countermeasures? Looks like it wasn’t too effective seeing as how they were dealt with pretty quick, though. Do you know they’d planned, Kinue-san?”
“Yes. It appears that they’ve procured various things that Leona hates… Seeing the recording, it appears that they weren’t able to take those things out, though.
“… Things Leona hates, huh. I kind of want that information too, so maybe it would be better to win them over as allies? … Getting them to go to the [Avarice Lodge] so that I can talk to them with Euma each and every time is troublesome, after all. So, Nerune. Talk with them about being someone from the dungeon. Be the middleman. Speak about us only ever ambiguously, decide how much you should say depending on how it’s going.”
Setsuna said that she was a Dungeon Core’s child, so we should be able to talk a bit about what’s going on for us.
And as for why I chose Nerune… that’s because Nerune has been getting along with them the best as an employee. Rei feels like their boss, Kinue-san feels like an older sister, and Meat and Ichika have some circumstances stopping them from doing it. There’s not too much of a difference, but Nerune is the closest to them. Her naive appearance seems to have an influence on it, too.
Also, the one least likely to make a mistake is Nerune. Rei has some thoughtless moments…
“Now then, Meat.”
“Let’s ask again. You are what to me?”
“A faithful horse.”
“Wrong. You are my hug pillow… so you don’t need to be a fighter. You won’t be making a move this time so that you don’t get stolen… but even if you are stolen, come back to me. As my hug pillow.”
Meat nodded, her face blushing a little.
I will continue to emphasize that she is my hug pillow till the very end.
assuming Meat has some of Leona’s brainwashing and training in her, there’s a good chance it will activate with her as a [Slave] or as a [Fighter]. Even if there’s something there, it’d be great if her being a [Hug Pillow] works as a loophole.
“It’s okay, Meat. You’re Kehma’s hug pillow right? Then you can just leave everything to Kehma!”
“I’ll also be leaving it all to Kehma this time.”
… Well, that’s good. It’s better that I don’t let Rokuko and Meat meet Leona.
“For the time being, we’ll talk with Setsuna and Nayuta and try collecting some things Leona isn’t too good against.”
With that, [Operation Eject Leona From the Cave of Desires] began.
Rokuko was the one to name the operation, it had nothing to do with me!