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[Message: 'Poison Release' has been activated. Administering fentanyl to target brain blood vessels.]

[Message: Imparts hallucinogenic effects to the target.]

[Message: 'Poison Release' is malfunctioning. No experience points gained.]

Immediately after the strange characters floated into his mind, surprisingly, the elven men aimed their bows and arrows at each other, shouting in alarm.

"A scale insect worm is coming out! It's crawling towards us!"

"It's me! No, stop! Lower your bow!"

"You idiot! That's not a scale insect worm, it's the lord of the mountain! Don't shoot!"

"Stop it, Nilgiri! Those are my sheep from my house! Don't shoot them! They're wolves! Shoot them!"

Sota frantically lowered himself to the ground to avoid the stray arrows.

—What is happening now? Fentanyl? It's a painkiller, right?

[Message: Indicates the effects of fentanyl.]

[Message: Fentanyl can sometimes cause side effects such as hallucinations, drowsiness, and constipation due to overdose.]


And then it clicked.

—The pharmacist had explained!

Fentanyl is a narcotic. In medical settings, it's meant to be gradually administered to the body to acclimate it and avoid the side effects of such narcotics. Sota realised that fentanyl had been directly injected into the elves' brain blood vessels without such a gradual process. Unfortunately, fentanyl has a particularly rapid penetration from blood vessels to brain cells compared to other narcotics. Moreover, it is highly effective in small amounts.

—They're experiencing hallucinations.

"Lower your bow!"

"Hey, everyone, where did you go?"

"Ugh... it's already this late at night. Goodnight."

"You idiot! Falling asleep in the bath..."

The elves collapsed as if their strings had been cut and began snoring.

Sota let out a relieved sigh. He tried to stand up, but once again, a headache struck.

[Message: Instructions for using 'Antidote' and 'Poison Release' have been installed into Sota Souta's tobacco leaf.]

The text appeared for a moment.

"What was that just now...?"

He muttered such things, but Sota had already understood by now. It was clear to him, so much so that it had been clearly implanted.

—It hurts.

—It hurts. It hurts.

His comprehension was flawless. However, his brain couldn't bear it.

—It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. Hur—

He couldn't withstand the information overload, and he collapsed on the spot, losing consciousness.

After a while...

"Oh no, what should I do...!?"

An elf woman appeared, anxiously fidgeting, having found Sota


When Sota regained consciousness, he found himself inside a stone-walled cabin, tied to a chair. The window was oddly high up.

—A cell?

"You've awakened, I see? Good evening."

The elven woman who had found Sota earlier was seated on a chair.

Her features were well-formed, but the plain attire and the hardships that came with age left their mark, giving a touch of somberness to her demeanor.

—Since they've captured me, they probably don't intend to kill me immediately.

In order to avoid being killed, Sota decided to display a friendly attitude as much as possible.

"Good evening, I'm Sota Souta from Taba Kobayashi."

"...I'm Asugi. As a member of this village, I brought you here."

Asugi observed Sota with a stern expression.

"I apologize for asking so suddenly..."

Just as Sota was about to ask a question, a silly sound – a stomach growl – emerged from his belly.

—Damn it, I haven't eaten anything, I just realized...

Instead of showing a displeased face, Sota put on a smile. Asugi looked surprised. The tension surrounding her seemed to slightly ease.


"...My apologies, I haven't eaten properly for a while."

Asugi cleared her throat and resumed a serious expression.

"I'll bring you a meal. While you eat, please tell me where you're from and why you came here."

With those words, she left the room.


Five minutes later, Sota Souta's wrists were untied, and he was handed a plate and a spoon.

Inside the plate was a thick, brown barley porridge. Green powder was sprinkled on top. A tantalizing and slightly spicy aroma wafted from it. It was still warm.

"Bon appétit...!"

Sota scooped up the barley porridge on the wooden plate with the spoon and devoured it in one go. The texture was thick, but surprisingly sweet when chewed thoroughly. The scent of the green powder that tickled his nose was also pleasant. Bite after bite, and with the hunger in his belly, the warm barley porridge smoothly went down.

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—My body's getting better, and the food tastes...

[Message: 'Antidote' has been activated. Reduces the effects of truth serum and allows free speech.]

[Message: The activation of 'Antidote' has caused the 'Antidote' skill to level up. It has risen from Rank E to Rank D.]

The hand holding the spoon stopped.

—This is bad. No, the taste is better than I thought, but that's not the issue.

—I understand. I was poisoned, but it's not taking effect. That installation earlier must have something to do with this.

"Is there, uh, something you needed?"

"Oh, uh, no..."

"Are you, um, okay? You're not feeling unwell or anything?"

Sota Souta plastered on a friendly smile. As a teacher, he was used to separating emotions and behaving socially.

"Oh, no... I realized I forgot to thank you. Thank you very much."

He could even express gratitude he didn't actually feel.

"Don't mention it... It was just warming up our dinner at home..."

Sota Souta emptied the plate containing Kuqeon barley porridge and drank the offered water.

—What's convenient about this 'Antidote' thing is that it lets me know the types of harmful chemicals and the timing of their intake.

—Since I ingested the truth serum, this woman will believe what I say.

—Honestly, getting nearly killed or poisoned is damn infuriating... but I'll let it slide this time. Our cultures are different. Don't get angry easily, me.

After finishing the water, he let out a sigh.

"Now then, let's talk about your situation. Where you came from and why you came here."

Sota controlled his anger within, putting on a gentle smile.

—If I'm talking to someone who doesn't understand, like before, I'll just knock them all out and make my escape. I've got the hang of it now.

Telling himself that, his anger lessened somewhat.

"All I remember is receiving treatment at a hospital. Probably, I was severely ill and close to dying in a land far from here."

Hearing the word "illness," Asugi tensed up.

Sota noticed and quickly added,

"It's not a contagious disease. It seems my internal organs were failing. Well, I realized it a bit late..."

Asugi let out a sigh of relief. She had been so nervous that it was almost pitiful to watch.

"Have you heard of the country called Japan?"

"No, not at all... I apologize. This village is quite rural, and I haven't had much education myself..."

"No worries, I don't know much about this village either. We're even."

"Are you a mage?"

"I used to be a teacher."

Asugi's face lit up with curiosity.

"A teacher...! A school teacher, you mean...? Well, this is the first time I've seen one."

"Yes, I used to teach chemistry at a high school."

Asugi arched her perfectly shaped eyebrows and tilted her head.

Sota realized that Asugi didn't understand and quickly rephrased his answer.

"I taught about handling substances like medicine and metals at school. I also had some knowledge about plants..."

Just as he was about to continue, the door to the room Sota and Asugi were in was violently thrown open.

"What in the world is this! Barbaric elves... to think you're really abducting and imprisoning humans!"

A muscular man dressed in purple attire burst into the room, shouting what seemed like a crazed proclamation.

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