21-The danger of a single take

 After a few moments of staring into my eyes, the mayor asked more questions without changing his tone.

You said "first," but do you mean there's something else?
Yes, the second request is for you to accompany me to the underground labyrinth. We're currently short on manpower, so we're in need of some help.
"And you, Mister Mia?

 The village chief's question made Ute look up as if she had been hit.
 She had the face of a mother worried about her daughter.
 I hurriedly continued to reassure them.

I was going to return them at the entrance, but Mia-san came inside, so I had to ask her to come with me to explore. I'm sorry to have caused you so much worry.
"No offense, but she's a meddler. She's probably just worried about you guys. Thanks for your help.
No, no, no. Mia's mage qualities were quite impressive, and she was a great help to us.
"And that's the result?

 You'll be able to find a lot more than just a few things to do.
 He let out a small sigh and continued.

My daughter is a goody-two-shoes, but she's a sweet girl at heart. She's not really suited for a job where she can hurt people.

 In this world, where demons are only found in magical pools, magic and sorcery is directed at people more often than not.
 If you're a mage, you'll be in demand for military service or mercenary work, but it's a tough world for a naive village girl.
 But don't worry, there's more than enough employment opportunities.

"Don't worry, Miss Ute. That's why this is an underground labyrinth. You don't have to be afraid of demons. Kill more and more, collect more and more materials, and you'll get richer and richer.
Is that going to work, ......? Isn't the underground labyrinth something that knights and such go to defeat?
Yes, they are, but Mia-san is stronger than most knights.

 I'm not sure what to do, but I'm sure I'll be able to do it.

I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who has a problem with this.
You're right, that's true.
I'm sure you'll be able to see the proof of my journey to the fifth floor.

 It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.
 I'm sorry, but I can't help you.

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to decline your offer, Mr. Nino.

 Well, I guess that's what he'll do.
 The day after I arrived, he suddenly found an underground labyrinth, manipulated creepy demons as if they were his hands and feet, turned a village girl into a mage in half a day, and even offered to donate very expensive items to the village for free or give a portion of the proceeds.
 You don't think it's a scam, but it's natural to suspect that there's more to it.
 I don't believe it either.

As the chief of this village, it is my job to put the safety of the villagers first. As far as I can tell, you're right, there's probably little danger. However, no one knows what the future holds.

 Yeah, I have to shake my head when I'm asked if I have absolute certainty.

Even if it's safe now, anything can happen in six months, or half a month, or even tomorrow. I believe that the danger in the underground labyrinth is that high. And unless we can be assured of safety, I think the appropriate course of action is to make the labyrinth public and let the lord decide.

 I smiled in my heart, glad to see that the hard man I was in the game hadn't changed.
 However, there is a good reason why Village Chief Dirk is so concerned about safety.

 Emma, the main heroine of the game and the daughter of the village chief.
 Last year, she was attacked by a demon in the forest near this village and lost her life.
 The village chief, deeply saddened by the incident, has come to place a higher priority on human life.
 I was very depressed when Grandpa Eugen told me this story at the drinking party last night.

"My goal as village chief is for everyone to live every day without worrying or fearing about tomorrow.
But that's not going to happen if there's no village left.

 That's a great line from a representative of the demon race, but Ute's retort is unavoidable.
 Besides, the ideal that the village chief is aiming for is probably far from the reality, which is getting worse and worse with each passing day.
 Rather, we should go into the dungeon to be safe.

 Well, I've already guessed that it will be difficult to convince you.
 And this is when alchemy comes in.
 It's about time.

I don't think we should jump to any conclusions yet. Why don't we take a break? I still have souvenirs from the underground labyrinth.

 As I said this, I took out a bag of slime filled with labyrinth water from the item list and put it on the counter.
 Hans-san, as if he couldn't overlook it this time, rolled his eyes and asked me.

I was wondering earlier, where did you get such a large item from?
"Oh, you mean this? I actually have a magic tool that can be stored in a special space.
I've never heard of such an amazing thing! May I see it?
I'm sorry, but it's very difficult to handle. ......
No, no, no. I'm sorry, but you don't want to damage it by messing with it.

 As if to switch places with Hans-san, who backed down easily, Ute-san now asked me a question.

So, what is this? It looks like it's full of water.
"It's precious water from the labyrinth. It's delicious, you should try it.

 The slime bag has a mouth with a ring of very small holes, and when you squeeze them, water leaks out.
 I showed him how to do it by pressing a mug against it, and he quickly got the hang of it.

It's been a long time since I've had such good water.
Yeah, it's really clearing my head.
You can have some, too.

 When I took out a big bag of boss slime and put it on the table, a loud cheer went up.
 Paula immediately came over and filled mugs with water and handed them to the villagers one by one.
 The fairies flew around on top of her as if they were helping her.

 I smiled secretly at their reactions as they looked at each other with delight as the water dwindled quickly.

"Would you like some? How do you like it? How is the water in the labyrinth?
"Well, um, it's very tasty. It's amazing.
The water in the river is terrible. It's going to dry up soon.
Yeah, yeah. ....... Do you think it has something to do with the underground labyrinth?
No, it's the moon. It's the moon that's causing the water to become muddy and dry.
That's absurd! The Queen said it was a good omen!
She said it was a good omen! - If I told you the truth, all hell would break loose. But I've studied the literature in King's Landing and found that the moon is the culprit.
Is that so?

 In the city, I was a simple citizen, but in this village, I was the alchemist that everyone listened to.
 Having experienced failure once, I wanted to succeed in persuading him this time.
 In fact, if I fail here, there is really no way out.
 So, please don't blame me if I used a bit of a sneaky trick.

But with that underground labyrinth, we can provide you with such delicious water every day.
"Yes, yes. It's really delicious. Can I have another glass?
Sis, I'll have one too.
Wait! I'll drink first.
I understand the Chief's concern for safety. But that's why the labyrinth is so important.
What do you mean?
There's a very good chance that you can find ingredients for a cure that will instantly heal any injury.
How is that possible?
You can also find materials for excellent armor. We also have a lot of materials for armor and tools to make your life easier.
So, but ......, but .............
Oh, this is getting tedious. Here, have another drink.

Sister, give me some.
Oh, what delicious water. But for the sake of the villagers' safety. ......

 I'm almost there.

Let's do this. Please accompany the village chief on tomorrow's search. I'm sure your doubts will be cleared up once you actually see the inside of the labyrinth.
Oh, I'd love that!
I envy you! I'd like to see it too.

 I'd like to see the labyrinth myself." The village headman looked as if he was enduring something as his siblings raised their glasses.
 But he couldn't resist drinking another cup and then turning to me.

Oh, wonderful. Everyone in the village is smiling. Is there any happier view than this?

 If you look closely, you'll see that the village chief is smiling contentedly, but he's not looking at me.
 He's staring at the back of my head.

 I hurriedly turned around and heard a loud laugh echoing in my ears.
 At the same time, I saw a scene that made me open my mouth wide.
 I had been so distracted by the chief and the others that I hadn't noticed until now, but the inside of the tavern was in a terrible state.

 Like insects attracted to light, the villagers were swarming to the bag of slime on the central table.
 They fought for the water they were given and poured it down their throats one by one.

 A joyful laugh emanates from the bottom of their bellies.
 Their eyes are unfocused, but they have a strong glint in their eyes.
 Finally, the men and women began to laugh out loud, splashing water on each other.

 In fact, it was the labyrinth water that I offered to the village chiefs.
 I had secretly added a certain ingredient to it.

 The secret ingredient was fairy scales.
 The secret ingredient is fairy scales. It is a slightly dangerous substance that has the effect of lifting your spirits.
 However, there is no danger of addiction or aftereffects, it just makes you feel a little better.
 Of course, since it is not a poison, the demon race's is ineffective.
 Incidentally, it is said that the reason the fairies are constantly laughing is because they are inhaling their own scales.

 I've been trying to get Chief Dirck to think positively about the underground labyrinth for a little while now. .......
 I'm not sure what to make of that.
 Something glittering spilled from the wings of the fairies flying around her and landed in her mug.
 Just as I was about to hastily stop them, the village chief suddenly raised his voice and bowed to me.

Nino-dono, please take good care of me tomorrow!
"Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I look forward to working with you.
"Good luck, Chief! Good luck, Chief! - Cheers to you, too.

Sis, can I have another one?
No, no, no, I--
Don't be shy. Go ahead, have a drink.
Are you sure you don't want to take our drinks?
Come on, have a drink. Mr. Nino.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

 And so my consciousness was swallowed up in the muddle.