“You sure remember Harry being quite desperate about have Lozi gathered, don’t you?” Matt asks.
“I do. But what does the supply of Lozi or a rather a shortage of Lozi have to do with this?”
“While the monsters in the dungeon are mostly bats and insects of varying sizes, there is also that very resilient ant variant that brings you to their nest to protect you from the dangers of the dungeon. They mistake humans for their breed, meaning you can’t run. If you do they bring you back. The only way out is if you have an oil made from Lozi. If you have that on you, the ants will ignore you — unless you attack their queen or their eggs.”
“Nobody tried exterminating them?”
“People have tried. Their numbers don’t reduce no matter how many you kill and they don’t attack unless attacked. So usually, they are just left alone.”
“So rescue operations take too long because Lozi has to be gathered and processed first? So why does nobody gather Lozi regularly?”
Desmond answers instead of Matt.
“Lozi itself is not worth much. And new adventurers these days seem not to gather enough information about the dungeon before going in — and inevitably get stuck in the ant nest. Usually, you would found within a week and the guild would sell you Lozi oil for 6 times the market price when you need a rescue party…
You know, the guild used to have enough Lozi in stock for times where people gather less Lozi. But there a story to the current Lozi shortage: some months ago, a noble kid refused to rub himself with Lozi because it leaves hard to remove stains on the skin. So the inevitable happened and he was taken. As expected he was unable to leave. Even though his attendants begged him to reconsider, he refused. Of course, they regularly brought him food. After a while, his father had enough and finally ordered soldiers to forcefull dump his son into a barrel full of Lozi oil so the kid could be retrieved. They used all the stock doing that. Since then the stock of Lozi hasn’t recovered. From what I hear the boy hasn’t recovered as well — he developed zoophobia.”
Silence. I don’t know what’s worse, that noble kid refusing to do the one thing he was asked to do to get out or the fact they used the whole stock just for him. Matt is the first to break the silence.
“I heard rumours about it, I didn’t think it actually happened. Though I haven’t heard about his zoophobia. Next time I need to deal with that guys, I might want to borrow Raiden. That way, it might become more pleasant to deal with him.”
Kat chuckles. “Oh, that, I’d like to see.”
Oh, so Kat and Matt know that guy. They don’t seem to be fond of him.
“Well, hearing that, we just have to gather lots of Lozi before we set out to the dungeon. Ideally, more than enough for us.”
“I agree. I don’t want to deal with Harry’s disappointed face again.”