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Just then, the leaf inside of Haruki’s hand moved.
He instinctively pointed his long knife at the plant.
However, the potato did not attack.
Of course, it didn’t. It was so weak that it might as well have been waiting to die.
However, the leaf was moving as if it were trying to convey something to him.
What the leaf was pointing to, was Haruki’s bag.
He wasn’t sure, but Haruki was desperate for any kind of lead.
And so he picked up the bag from the corner of the room and looked inside.
Inside, there were three potatoes that had fallen off of the roots and a pot that contained potato stones.
He didn’t see how they could help him keep the monsters alive.
“Maybe it was just me…”
Just as he started to give up, the monster used the last of its strength to stretch itself out and grab one of the potato stones from the bag.
Before he knew it, the monster had buried the stone in the soil.
He didn’t understand.
What did the monster want to do?
Haruki was confused by this mysterious act. However, at the same time, he observed that the monster’s stalk was starting to regain its freshness.
“…Huh? But how?”
It was just one potato stone…
However, Haruki then thought about where they had come from.
Potato stones were throwing items that the boss was supposed to have made as a hobby.
But what if the boss’s power was inside of the stones?
It was quite the leap, indeed.
The only possibility he could think of was that this was an item from the dungeon.
It was made in the dungeon–in other words, maybe it had properties similar to the dungeon dirt?
If that was true, it would make sense why these monsters that were raised in the dungeon would suddenly recover after touching it.
Well, it was more believable than his first theory.
“In other words, it wants nutrients from the dungeon.”
He found himself muttering his idea out loud.
However, the monster reacted to this.
The leaves seemed to sway as if it was nodding, ‘Yes, yes.’
“Can you understand me?”
Again, the monster nodded.
It was not particularly rare for monsters to be able to talk. Monsters that were demi-humans often spoke in human languages.
Silver Wolves communicated with others through variations in their howls.
As for Werewolves, they were intelligent enough that it would not have surprised him if they could talk.
And so, monsters understanding human speech was nothing to be surprised about.
That being said, this was a plant-type monster.
Surely a plant wouldn’t understand human speech…
“No, maybe it is possible?”
There were experiments performed in the past that proved that regularly professing your love to a plant would cause beautiful flowers to bloom, and continued words of hatred would make it wilt.
It was still a little early to assume that this meant they could ‘understand human speech,’ but you could at least say that they did ‘react to it.’
Well, that was the case for plants on earth. So it would not be too strange if the plants that had mutated in the dungeon would understand the human language.
“…I’m sorry. For suddenly taking you all of the way here by force.”
‘Seriously.’ The leaves seemed to say as it swayed in reply.
“Do you….uh, have a name?”
The leaves swayed.
“Okay, then I’ll give you a name. What kind of name do you want?”
I’ll leave it to you. However, I will accept nothing but the best name.
Well, he didn’t know if it actually said that, but the leaves moved up and down.
“Hmm. A potato stalk… How about Jackie—gaah!”
Just as he said the name, the stalk swayed and smacked Haruki in the face.
Apparently, it did not like that name.
Haruki rubbed his nose and tried to think of something else.
“Uhh. Potato. Stalk. Leaves. Monster. Dungeo—gah!”
He was smacked again.
Stop thinking like that! The vines moved as if irritated.
It was quite impressive how it moved.
Haruki folded his arms and thought silently for a while.
“…Alright, how about Rhea? It’s from the goddess Rhea, who was worshiped on the island of Crete and ensured a good harvest.”
This was knowledge Haruki had pulled from his collection of myths, which happened to be one of his few hobbies.
The potato leaves seemed to jump when it heard this name.
Hehehe. What a great name! Oh, well. I suppose you must call me by it.
Rhea seemed to say as its leaves folded.
Rhea was great when it came to body language. It was as if Haruki could hear its voice.
However, it wasn’t actually saying anything.
And so it might really have been Haruki’s delusion.
Was it like talking to a doll? It was too dark for him to laugh.
“There is a reason that I brought you here. It’s because I want to mass-produce potatoes—wah?!”
Before Haruki could finish his request, Rhea started firing potatoes at him.
Haruki tried to dodge them, but they were so slow that he ended up just catching them with his hands.
When he felt them hit his palms, his eyebrows narrowed.
Haruki looked down and saw the shriveled potato in his hand.
Then Rhea used its leaves to hit the soil.
The roots were now exposed.
And along with the roots, were the shriveled potatoes…
“Uhhh…? It’s my fault that your body can’t make potatoes anymore? Hmm. Hmm. So you want me…to take responsibility for it?”
Rhea swung back and forth.
It was like an angry woman beating on a man’s chest.
Haruki was speechless.
No woman had ever said such words to him before, and so they cut him all the more deeply. To think that he would hear them from a plant!!
Haruki’s hands hit the ground as he groaned.
Apparently, the first person he had to take responsibility for, was not a human, but a monster.