Chapter 25: A Flower’s Offer
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"Alraune-san...?"

"No no, it's Alraune. Not Alraunesun, my dear."

Kyuki and I have entered the 80th floor. Upon doing so, we met a talking plant monster lady who calls herself, Alraune.

Hmm... What should I do?

It was surprising enough that I would talk to a monster. But what's more surprising is that conversing with her is possible, even though we aren't speaking the same language. And not only that, but I don't sense any form of hostility from her. Which cause me to be even more cautious of her.

Plus, I have used Appraisal on her. And let's just say...

Name: (none)

Race: Queen Alraune

Lvl: 44

Title: [Monster Slayer], [Man Slayer], [Man Eater], [Seductress], [Lord of the Forest], [Elf Slayer], [Demon Slayer], [Dragon Slayer]

Physical Offense: 18,402

Physical Defense: 20,924

Magical Offense: 23,052

Magical Defense: 25,595

Speed: 15,427

...Her stats are insane. If we were to try and fight her, we would be instantly annihilated. But then it's not like we can run away too. Otherwise, we won't be able to escape the dungeon.

Also, I just noticed I can see my appraisal target's titles now. Sweet. Maybe if the Appraisal skill increases its level further, I can one day see my target's skills and points they possess. Oh ho~ That would be great.

But anyways, what should we do now?

"Instead of just standing there, why don't the both of you have a seat?"

Wait, what? Huh?

When did the Alraune-san make a table and chairs out of wood? I have a level 5 Thought Acceleration, you know! I should have at least noticed if she was doing something. And she even prepared snacks on the table for us.

Holy hell, she's faster than my mind with Thought Acceleration on.

"What's wrong, my dear? You both are tired, aren't you? Come now, take a seat and relax. Don't worry, I won't bite."

Hmmm.... I don't know about that. While I can tell she is telling the truth, there is still this strange feeling in my stomach that tells me to be cautious of her. That, or it could just be the Intuition skill doing its work. Either way, I can't trust her just yet. Not until I'm certain of her motive.

Besides, there is one I'm curious about.

"How is it... that I can understand... your words?"

"Hm? What do you— Oh, I see. You must be talking about the Vocal Translation skill I possess, am I right?"

Vocal Translation...? So that's the reason why we can understand each other, despite speaking different languages? Now that's a really convenient skill to have. I should get it if ever becomes available to me.

"Now then, do you have any more questions for me, my dear?"

Questions, huh...? Let's see... Hmm... If she's willing to answer my questions, then I might as well just ask her directly.

"Are you... an enemy?"

"If I say that I'm not, would you believe me?"

Well, considering that I can sense no lies in her voice so far...

"Yes..."

"I see. Then I am not your enemy, for you aren't mine either."

With a calm and gentle smile, Alraune-san then gestured her hand towards the table again.

"Come now both of you, take a seat and relax."

There was a moment of hesitation in my mind. However, I decided to accept her hospitality as I would need to inquire her about where the stairs to the next floor up is. Considering that I do not see any sort of pathway on the other side of this floor. Nor can I find it anywhere else in the area.

That is why, I took my own seat by the table. Whereas Kyuki took its own smaller seat next to me. I then grabbed the snacks which Alraune-san had served, and passed one of them to Kyuki.

These snacks... They look like mochi, feels like mochi, and as for the taste...

It is mochi! And it's good! Hell, it's the greatest thing I have ever eaten since waking up in this dungeon! Ah crap, I feel like I'm going to cry... But no! Hold it in, me. You told yourself that you will never cry again, so don't do it!

"So? What do you think of the snacks? Are they good?"

"They are..."

"Kyuu~"

"I see. Well, I'm glad you loved it. Here, feel free to take some more if you want."

"Thank you... very much..."

"Kyuu~"

"Fufufu. You're welcome, my dear."

...

Now that I'm here sitting face to face with her, Alraune-san seems like a really honest person, no... monster. But I really feel like she's planning something that would involve me and Kyuki.

Nonetheless, I should just ask her about where the stairs up is and leave.

"Umm, Alraune-san..."

"You're still calling me, Alraunesun, huh? Anyways, what is it, my dear?"

"Where... can I find the stairs... to the next floor up...?"

Alraune-san stares at me for moment, tilting her head to the side.

"There are none, my dear."

"Eh?"

"Kyuu!?"

What do you mean there are no stairs up!? How am I going to leave then? How are we going to leave then?

"Fufufu. There are no stairs up, but there is a pathway that can send you up to the floors above."

Oh. So, there is a different method of going up then? Well thank goodness. For a second, I thought there was not way of leaving. You nearly gave me quite a fright, Alraune-san.

"Then... where is this—"

"Oh, I'm not going to tell you."

What?

"...Not for free, that is."

Oh. So she wants something in return, huh? Well, I guess I can do that. But wait... What does she even want from me? Asides from the some monster corpses and my extra clothes, I have basically nothing that might be of interest to her.

No... Don't tell me...

She wants Kyuki, is that it!? Nooo!!! Not my cuddly fox spirit! Kyuki is precious to me!

No no no. Calm down, me. It's not certain yet that she wants Kyuki. That's right... I should ask her first, before panicking internally.

"What... do you want...?"

"One month."

Uhhhhh... I beg your pardon?

"I request that you stay one month of your time here. Once the one month has passed, I will show you both the way to leave this place."

Wait... That's it? I mean, one month is quite the time for me to spend here. But, that's all she wants?

"W-Why...?"

"Kyuu?"

"It's because I'm lonely, my dear. It has been about two hundred years since I last met another soul in this place. And because I am unable to physically leave this area, it can get really lonely here after quite some time. That's why, I simply ask that you spend one month of your time, to give me some company for awhile. In exchange, I shall also train you two to be stronger. To the point where the both of you will have a higher chance of surviving in this prison."

That... That sounds like a really good offer. It's just one month after all. Time like that would simply pass before I know it. Plus, Kyuki and I can get a chance to become strong enough to survive better in this place. It's an opportunity, one can hardly reject if they want to survive no matter what.

"So, what do you say, my dear? Will you two be staying with this lonely flower for a month?"

Well, after considering the pros and cons, there is only one answer to reply with.

"We'll do it..."

"Kyuu!"

"Fufufu~ Great. Then, I shall make a comfy bed for you two to sleep on, when night comes. Would you like it under the tree, or somewhere else? Your choice."

Thanks for reading. 🍫

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