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64 Part 2

That grasshopper hadn’t necessarily dodged the dumpling lightly simply because it hadn’t seen it coming.

 

But why didn’t it attack Haruki after he had thrown the dumpling at it?

And they had come after him in large numbers before…

 

“Is it because of the grass?”

 

Was it because the grass was these rice grasshoppers’ territory?

Or could it be that their range of action was limited to within the grass?

 

After coming up with those estimations, Haruki continued to follow the path along the wall.

 

Was there any way they could reach the center of the room?

After looking for a while, they eventually found it.

A point where the grass split apart, creating a path that seemingly led straight to the center.

 

“This looks like a trap, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, it definitely does.”

 

The path was surrounded by grass where these grasshoppers dwelled.

It was a narrow road that cut through the middle of the room.

 

If they were attacked there, there would be no way for them to defend themselves or to escape.

 

“Oh well, it looks like we’re better off checking the Wiki to see how we can get past them.”

 

There was a chance someone had posted a way to deal with the grasshoppers on their blog.

Maybe checking on the internet before coming back wasn’t such a bad idea…

 

As he thought that, Haruki’s Detection skill picked up signs of battle.

This battle seemed to be taking place at the other side of the suspicious straight path.

 

“Is someone else there?”

 

But who?

 

When he focused his sight, he could see a big cloud of rice grasshoppers on the other side of the path.

 

The grasshoppers danced in the air, painting it black.

The one fighting those grasshoppers was a golden plant.

 

“Is that…!?”

 

When he realized, his body began moving unconsciously.

 

His blood rushed through his veins.

His heartbeats heated up his body.

 

“Wh-What’s wrong, Karaboshi!?”

“Karen, Rhea, let’s give it our all. We have to completely destroy these grasshoppers!”

 

On this day, Haruki decided for the first time to completely eradicate monsters with a clear killing intent.

Rhea nodded vigorously, waiting for his instructions.

 

That was because the golden plant that was fighting the grasshoppers… was a rice plant!

 

The soul of a farmer burned up vividly in Haruki’s eyes.

 

— Wait for me, tasty rice grains!

— I’ll go save you right now!!

 

* * * * * * * *

 

“Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

“No. I’m really sorry.”

 

After the battle was over, Haruki found himself kneeling apologetically before a daunting Karen.

 

Anyone who saw Karen smiling as if she had summoned both the wind and lightning gods behind her would go down on their knees on their own accord.

If they didn’t, they would be clearly showing a lack of survival instinct.

 

This had been a battle between the rice grasshoppers and a rice plant where Haruki had just flared up and jumped right into.

Rather than a mere battle, it seemed more like a war.

 

The rice grasshoppers jumped into the sky in order to eat the rice.

And the rice plant shot rice bullets at them in order to protect itself.

 

Haruki, who jumped into the war between these two species, drove out the grasshoppers while avoiding rice bullets.

 

He had jumped into such a scenario without a plan.

Of course, he wasn’t expecting to not be at the receiving end of their attacks.

 

Naturally, Haruki had been hit by some rice bullets, and was rushed at by the grasshoppers.

However, thanks to his coat reinforced with the scales dropped by the Lizardman, he received no damage at all.

Rhea, who had been dragged into the war on Haruki’s back, responded to the rice plant’s bullets with her own potato bullets, which she shot at the grasshoppers with great murderous intent.

 

Karen was the one who had the hardest time.

Having to jump into the crossfire of rice bullets and grasshoppers, Karen destroyed grasshoppers with her lightning magic while on the brink of tears.

 

Karen hadn’t been quick enough to defeat them all by herself.

It was Rhea, who had been as fired up as Haruki, who had come to her aid.

 

Rhea got rid of all of the grasshoppers that got close to Karen.

 

Luckily, the hostility of both the rice plant and the grasshoppers hadn’t been unleashed onto Haruki and the others all at once.

Even though they had gotten themselves into the crossfire, neither side actively targeted any of them.

 

If they had, the results could have been catastrophic for Haruki and the others.

 

“Do you realize we could have died there?”

“I’m really, really sorry…”

 

Haruki put his hands together and bowed apologetically.

 

Karen had never been this angry before.

Haruki had let himself be seduced by the rice and ended up putting her in danger.

Haruki was completely at fault.

 

But the rice plant had appeared before his eyes.

 

He would be able to eat rice after such a long time.

With that thought in mind, Haruki couldn’t help but rush recklessly to its aid.

He was sure most Japanese people would have taken those extenuating circumstances into consideration.

 

Rice also appeared in other dungeons.

The most famous one is the one in Niigata.

In that dungeon, rice appears on the first few floors, so there is some supply of rice in that area.

 

However, in Hokkaido, rice can be found in the middle floors.

In the Asahikawa dungeon, rice appears from the 15th floor onwards.

And in the garage floor, it’s only from the 12th floor onwards. It’s always on the middle floors.

 

Since only intermediate adventurers can get to those floors, it made it really difficult to harvest the rice and create a proper supply line.

Even if you wanted to eat rice in Hokkaido, the truth was that there was no way to do so.

 

“I’ll pass judgment now.”

“Okay.”

“Karaboshi. When we return to the surface, you’ll cook rice for me.”

“O… kay?”

“Only then I’ll forgive you. Ah, of course, the side dish is important as well, okay?”

“… Leave it to me!”

 

Haruki stood up, holding his clenched fist upwards.

He would do his best to grant Karen’s wish!

If he can be forgiven with only that, then it was going to be pretty easy.

 

He took out his dismantling knife and began to harvest rice.

Then, when he headed for the rice grasshoppers…

 

“We won’t be using any of these bugs… Okay, Karaboshi?”

“But they taste like shrimp–”

“Okay, Karaboshi?”

 

Karen’s threatening smile sent a chill down Haruki’s spine, who put his hand down.

 

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