Chapter 17 – Urgent Recruitment, How Plants Growing on the Ground Catch Flying Bird
I’m Alraune, a plant monster girl.
I made a special honey ball to stop Daddy Bear from licking me. However, it was snatched by a white bird I know.
What does this mean!?
Was that white bird aiming for my honey all this time?
That white bird is not new to me. It’s an ugly white bird that often appears in front of me these days.
I was grateful that she splashed water on me when I was almost dying during a drought. Most of the time, she was a bird of bad character who, after observing me from a distance, circled above my head to provoke me before flying away into the sky. Even so, I had never imagined she would snatch my honey ball at the worst possible time.
Someone, please say this is not happening!
If the white bird eats that honey ball, Daddy Bear will surely return to target me again. Then it would be the end for me. There will be no time to make another honey ball again. I will be licked dry by Daddy Bear to the point I can’t be a bride anymore.
Daddy Bear is looking this way again.
Stop, don’t look at me!
I just gave you a honey ball, didn’t I?
Well, it has been snatched by the white bird, but you’ll have to put up with it.
No, don’t point your foot at me!
Don’t walk towards me!
Ugh, this is hopeless….
While I was cradling my head in resignation, the white bird swooped down on us. Then she circled around near Daddy Bear before distancing herself again.
Daddy Bear’s eyes were locked on the white bird, not me. Having caught Daddy Bear’s attention, the white bird flew away from him, to the depths of the forest. Daddy Bear followed the white bird without taking his eyes off her. His footsteps reverberated from the ground gradually became farther away. I was left all alone.
I am saved…? Apparently, Daddy Bear intends to get the honey ball back from the white bird.
Laubbär is a monster what will keep chasing after the humans he encounters in the forest to the ends of the world. I’m sure Daddy Bear will keep chasing until that white bird get caught. It’s hard to believe that a mere bird can escape from the lord of the forest, Daddy Bear, forever.
Too bad for you, white bird.
Your misdeeds will be punished by Daddy Bear!
Daddy Bear probably won’t be coming back here for a while. Even if he successfully gets back the honey ball from the white bird, he should be able to enjoy the taste of my honey in his mouth for a few days, maybe a few weeks if I am lucky. During that time, he would forget all about me. The problem is after that. But for now, I should be happy that I am free. My face was licked, but the rest of me was safe.
Thank goodness. I might still be able to marry….
In any case, let’s just forget about Daddy Bear for now. I’ve suffered long enough, both physically and mentally.
And so I decided to go back to being a priestess for the first time in a long time.
Yeah, it’s time for a ceremony to pray for rain. I really need water now!
I’m running low of water due to the battle with Daddy Bear, but more than that, I’m in discomfort right now. My face is covered in drool. Not only that, Daddy Bear’s drool dripped from my face onto my body and made it all sticky. The stench is also making me dizzy. I want to rinse off my body as soon as possible.
I really want to go take a bath if possible, but why can’t plants take a bath? Even though they love water so much. It’s strange, isn’t it?
Still, even though I’ve been begging for rain for quite a while, not even a small rain cloud show up. Well, If I could make it rain so easily, I would have switched from being an unemployed flower to a priestess of rain.
Then, reluctantly, I spent my time covered in a bear’s drool all day. Humiliation — this word came to my mind every time I smelled a bear’s drool. I kept offering my hands to the heavens with honey dripping from my eyes. Thankfully, the sky took pity on me and it rained the next day.
I will become beautiful again with this.
I caught the shower called rain with my whole body.
Water, is the best…!!!
Purified by the blessed rain, I started thinking about the future.
It’s about Daddy Bear. Even though I could buy time with a honey ball, that guy will surely come back here again. And when he does, there’s no guarantee that things will go as well again as they did this time.
Yesterday, Daddy Bear must have injured his left arm in the fight with the Hellwolf and he must also have been stung by the army of Zornbiene. However, he should be fully recovered the next time he appears. My honey ball has a recovery effect, after all.
If possible, I want to leave this place right now. I want to move to another place and live quietly, undetected by my pursuers. But I am not allowed to do so because I’m a plant. I wonder how many times I have cursed myself for this.
Even if I’m attacked by a foreign enemy, I cannot escape or hide from them. Say, why only plants have such a disadvantageous setting? This is weird. Plants are weird.
But then I found a plant that was even weirder in a different way from what I was lamenting. There was a hole right next to me — a big hole where Daddy Bear gouged out the ground with his right punch the other day. Inside that hole, there was some kind of strange flower. A flower bloomed in the ground as if it had been there from the beginning.
Why did you bloom in the ground?
Are you a shut-in?
Or are you perhaps a flower from a family that’s not good with sun?
No, wait, are you, by any chance, my stalker? Hello, I’m Mary. I’m buried under your ground right now — or something like that.
Well, she was buried and couldn’t crawl out of the ground on her own. I don’t have to worry even if she really turns out to be a stalker. Even so, I’m still amazed that flowers can live in the ground. I’ve never heard of a flower blooming in the ground before….
No, wait a minute. There was such a flower. I’ve read about it in a plant encyclopedia when I was a high school girl. If I remember it correctly it’s called Rhizanthella.
Rhizanthella was a rare flower that bloomed underground. Because they spent their entire life underground, they never showed up on the ground. Rhizanthella was a flower endemic to Australia in the Earth. They were angiosperm like me, but they were the so-called saprophytic plant.
Saprophytes, unlike me, did not get nutrients through photosynthesis, but instead received them from fungi. By living in symbiosis with fungi, they were able to live underground where they were safe from predators and have access to plenty of water.
Must be nice being her.
She can spend her time peacefully and safely in the ground.
I stared at a small flower with a light pink color. It was similar to Rhizanthella in my memory, but not exactly the same flower.
I’m sure it is a flower unique to this world, similar to the Rhizanthella from Earth. I don’t know what it is called in this world, so I’m going to call it Rhizanthella, too.
Rhizanthella receives nourishment from fungi as a saprophytic plant, but I think I’ve read somewhere that it actually received nourishment from the roots of nearby trees via fungi. In other words, Rhizanthella is also a parasitic plant.
Now I understand why there’s a Rhizanthella buried near me. It turns out that she is really my stalker. She has been using fungi to steal nutrients from my roots, too.
In other words, I was being parasitized by other flowers in the ground without my knowledge. Being stalked is bad enough, but this is even worse.
I stared at Rhizanthella.
I couldn’t care less about being parasitized.
I’m more envious of her live rather than that.
Yeah, I’ve decided it.
Rhizanthella, come over here.
Oh, don’t be afraid.
I’m just going to put you inside my mouth for a bit.
Rhizanthella’s ability is now mine with this. I will be fine even if Daddy Bear comes again. If I dive into the ground, even Daddy Bear won’t be able to find me.
That’s great, Rhizanthella!
You are truly a hide-and-seek genius!
But sadly, that’s not how it works. It’s impossible for one little Rhizanthella to make a drastic change in my nature. I can’t live off the nutrients from the fungi alone. I can’t turn myself into a saprophytic plant.
I’ve only ever been able to change one part of me so far. I couldn’t become a Man-Eater myself by eating a Man-Eater. I could only make them grow on my vines. Similarly, I could only partially use the ability of Rhizanthella.
I can use a little bit of Rhizanthella’s ability now.
I inserted my vine into a hole in the ground and I let it move through the ground by pushing it for a few meters away. For a little while, I was able to take nourishment from the fungi. I pulled out my vine out of the ground, but it was also possible to keep it underground as it was.
Yeah. I will be fine for some time, but I can’t rely on this ability to provide the nourishment needed to sustain my life underground for an extended period of time.
While I was experimenting with my newly gained ability, it appeared — a small white dot flying from the far side of the forest.
There’s no doubt.
That’s the stupid white bird.
It’s already been a few days since Daddy Bear’s invasion. That white bird seems to have managed to escape from him. Considering the fact that I haven’t seen Daddy Bear again, I guess it’s safe to assume that the honey ball has fallen into his hands
I’m sure she flew away with a honey ball in his mouth at that time.
Good thing she didn’t eat it immediately.
Well, as long as Daddy Bear didn’t come back, the rest didn’t matter.
Oh, I just came up with a good idea!
I shoved my vine into a hole I dug earlier. Next I turned that vine into a saprophytic plant and let it hide underground. The white bird came descending towards me.
I will not forget the bitterness of having my honey stolen by her during a crucial time.
Plants would not normally be able to catch birds flying in the sky, but what if they set a trap? The poor bird, ignorant of the trap, would be caught without being able to do anything.
I suppressed my grin and waited for the moment when the white bird would land on the ground.
Now is the time to strike down my nemesis, the white bird!
When the white bird landed on the ground, I immediately activated the trap.