Benj hates the policy Darius and other triumvirs established early on that there's no such thing as "semi-intelligence," any race previously classified such are recognized as fully intelligent by UVC (and later Balencia).
Darius tells Benj (or Lorelei?) that he's missed adventuring since becoming a triumvir, and then president. He chuckles as he suddenly thinks back to Monogwrangle saying someday government would prevent him from adventuring. He was right, but just not the way he thought.
Benj says "If it's any consolation, I regret your lack of adventuring, too. But wait, you regret? Feeling negative emotions isn't like you, anymore. Have you not been taking your Happiness?"
"I thought you didn't approve of it."
"Just an observation. Not saying it's a bad thing, if you've been cutting back. Maybe it'll actually improve your performance as a leader."
"Oh, don't worry, I expect to get back to using the stuff when I return. Meanwhile, maybe you could try taking some in my stead. You know, pick up my slack."
"Mmm, what a novel experience that would be for me."
"Yeah... wait, what?"
"I got it. It took me a second, but I got it. And I want to thank you for your tireless efforts to bring amusement to all those around you."
"You're welcome, I'm sure. But Honestly, I will have to take care of a lot of your work while you're away. As if I didn't have enough on my own plate."
"I know. Seriously, thank you. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Fail miserably, I expect. Or fall back on your famous luck. Or rely on the fact that your ineptitude is exceeded by that of the majority of others in this pathetic world."
"Ah, pathetic it may be, but at least it has you in it. I often think, I couldn't imagine a world without you. But then, I've always been something of a pessimist...."
Lorelei buys Darius birch beer at Boar & Bear; introduces him to George Taverner. (At some point in future he has his first beer with her there.)
At some point either Darius or Lor says "Thank God we don't live on Earth, where as I hear it, people hook up at the drop of a hat."
Lorelei thinks she figured out a clue in an old Marchen that could lead to treasure. Maybe others have thought the story was based on reality before, but never succeeded in cracking it.
At some point, about something, Lor says "I know, right?"
Benj may contact Capp, an arrangement made by Darius based on old alliance, though the two have had little contact over the years since the Chaos War. Benj needs a guide into the Kimrin Mts; ogres live on far side of Kimrin Lake, where Capp explored on his own shortly after his family moved to Kimrin. Or possibly the Ogres have established their own village, Anthraciteville. Benj has to negotiate the purchase of anthracite (which will eventually lead to a Steampunk era, railroads, factories, etc.)
Ogre makes point plain to Benj: Elves, Merfolk, orcs, ogres, etc. are all derivatives of Men (Basics; basic stock). All are different races of the SAME SPECIES. (Though Benj argues that if that was true, all races would be subject to the Fall's punishment.)
Bubble promises greatest treasure in the world. It is guarded for generations by a dragon clan.
Talk about how they haven't talked since he moved to Kimrin. He doesn't really understand why he did that, or why he's had so little contact with his old friends.
Darius may admit that even though he hopes Marian's happy, he does resent her change of heart. He'd understand if he'd hidden his bad traits, but it's always been important to him that any potential love know both the good and bad things about him. So all she never saw or heard anything but who he was. She knew who he was, he made sure of that, and she said she loved him. So it's totally unfair that without his changing, she should at one point love the person he was, and later dislike the exact same person. Maybe she factored his saying that he hoped to change into her belief that she loved him, but dammit, he said he'd probably never really change, no matter how hard he tried. She should not have claimed to love him if her love was dependent on his changing. Though he also thought he'd improved dramatically since he met her, which perhaps she couldn't see because she hadn't known him nearly as long as he'd known himself.
Darius says some people just aren't meant to be loved. Lor says Dammit, lots of people love you. You're a great guy. Darius says Yeah, that seems to be a popular opinion, whether I share it or not. But if every woman I ever meet loves me as a friend, that's great and all, but ultimately it still means I'm alone.
Possibly mention how Lorelei is the type who anyone who meets her could fall in love with her. Darius loves her, but not that way. And anyway, he kind of wants someone who he feels his love of is more unique. Not that he could love anyone without thinking she deserves to be loved by everyone, but... still, someone he understands, objectively, just isn't everyone's type.
Bubble says the greatest treasure is a lifelong friendship.
Eventually, Darius says: Wow, that was the lamest thing I ever heard in my life. I so totally hate that guy.
Lorelai: I agree in principle... but still, I must admit, it's been really nice adventuring with you again.
Darius: Eh, I can't argue with that.
The Dragon is very pissed that generations of his clan have guarded the bubble for this. They wanted real treasure. Darius has to remind him that he and Lorelei aren't to blame.
Possible Epilog: After Darius and Lorelei leave, the dragon returns to smash the bubble or whatever, but then sees the sorreter's image reappear and say "just kidding, man that would have been lame. the real treasure is..." Possibly there are two pieces of knowledge, one meant for the adventurers and one for the guardian dragon. Ability to make all dragons intelligent? Or to control all dragons? Or something. The dragon ends up getting both spells, and must decide which to use, or both. Maybe it later is used on Tiejo's dragon....