“Is that a monster?”
“Yes, I suppose…”
“What!? Why is there a monster here!”
“Well, calm down, will you?”
Rhea would get angry if Karen started to lose control, so he wanted her to be quiet.
Haruki soothed her, and Karen took in a deep breath and sat down on the floor.
‘Now, let’s hear your excuses. Though, you’ll be executed either way.’ Came the voiceless voice.
“So, why is there a monster here?”
“The truth is, I brought it from the dungeon…”
“You did what?!”
“And then I planted it here. And it’s going well.”
“Why did you do that!”
“Hey, it’s because you told me that I could grow potatoes at home.”
“I was talking about normal potatoes. Not monsters!”
He had been depressed because he wasn’t able to gather the monster’s potatoes. And then she had suggested he grow them at home…
“…Well, I understand your reason now.”
Said Karen. But her face suggested that she didn’t understand at all.
“But, it is a monster, right? What are you going to do if it attacks you?”
“It’s fine if it attacks me.”
“But what if it attacks you when you’re sleeping!”
“Hmm. It’s still fine. Now that she’s planted here, Rhea isn’t very lethal anymore.”
“Not lethal anymore?”
“Yes. Sorry, Rhea. If you don’t mind.”
He said. And then Rhea hurled out a potato, a little angrily.
Bam! The potato hit the palm of his hand.
But it didn’t hurt at all.
“As you can see, the potatoes become all wrinkly when they aren’t in the dungeon.”
Rhea was not able to damage Haruki.
Even if she hit a good spot, she might be able to make a small bruise at best.
Haruki passed Karen the wrinkly potato, and she squeezed it several times to check its texture.
She was narrowing her eyebrows but there was also a suspicious light in her eyes.
… Apparently, she took a liking to the soft texture.
“I see. So it’s isn’t lethal after all. But it’s still a monster, you know? They are the enemies of mankind.”
“Yes, but Rhea is…”
“Let’s uproot it right now!”
Haruki held Karen as she was about to stand up.
That wouldn’t do. Her eyes were on the target…
Behind Haruki, Rhea understood that she was being threatened, and she turned her body as if to say, ‘Just you try.’
Hey, don’t provoke her.
“It’s true that Rhea is a monster. But she’s a good monster.”
“But that doesn’t look like a good monster to me?”
“How could a stalk of potatoes look evil to you?”
“Hmm…I suppose you are right. But it’s still a monster.”
Haruki put his hands on Karen’s shoulders and looked straight into her eyes.
Uncertainty flashed in Karen’s eyes. And a little color appeared on her cheeks.
Splat. A potato hit Haruki in the back.
Hey, Rhea… Stop butting in.
He glared. ‘Hmph!’ Rhea turned her nose away.
“She may be a monster, but just like wolves and dogs, they can be man’s best friend depending on how you treat them.”
“Alright then. What is the difference between the Adventurers and monsters that are on the first floor of Chikaho?”
Karen grimaced and closed her mouth.
On the first and second floors of ‘Chikaho,’ Adventurers surrounded monsters as soon as they popped, and then lynched them.
It’s not as if those monsters had killed their family or loved ones.
While individual monsters may be guilty, their entire species were not.
However, they were killed as if they were the enemies of the Adventurers’ parents.
They would be hit even after they were dead. Carved. Crushed.
‘Who is the real monster?’
Almost every Adventurer would ask that question upon first seeing that sight.
Haruki had thought it.
Karen must have as well.
“Of course, I’m not saying we should just leave all the monsters where they are. I do think we should defeat the ones we come across. But what I’m trying to say is, when determining whether something is an enemy, it’s not their type, but how they are. Rhea is unmistakably an ally. She didn’t attack me even when I had my back towards her. See?”
“…But she did hit you in the back with a potato?”
Karen was quick to find the smallest contradiction. Haruki scowled.
“Forget about that. It’s just her way of showing affection!”
As he said this, another potato hit him in the back.
Huh? That one hurt a little?
He glared back from the corner of his eye. ‘That’s not what it is!” Rhea insisted.
Haruki had to laugh.
It was funny.
“See, Karen? How can you think that she is hostile?”
“I suppose. But I don’t know. I have a feeling that it has no tolerance for me. Like it sees me as a rival.”
Haruki tilted his head in puzzlement.
..Ah, it’s because Rhea is good with ranged attacks.
“Don’t worry. You’re more of a magic-user, Karen. Rhea specializes in physical potato attacks. And while Rhea can shoot potatoes, she is unable to make new potatoes with her body. So you don’t have to be jealous.”
“That’s true, but… No, that’s not what I meant… Oh, never mind. At least my worst fear didn’t come true.”
Karen let out an exaggerated sigh.
She wasn’t sure why she was apprehensive.
In any case, Haruki succeeded in making Karen overlook his foolishness.