C286: The Arbitrator

The battle between the mushroom and the bamboo shoot continues.

It’s as if to say that fighting is etched in man’s history.
Not that either side is a human, though.

“Wahahahaha! I’ve been certified as a food by the gods! This proves that mushrooms are superior to bamboo shooooooooooooooooots!”
“Don’t be ridiculous! You just fulfilled the requirement to be our equal!! We bamboo shoots are still above youuuuuuuuuu!”

Why must mushrooms and bamboo shoots be destined to fight like this?

“I’ll defeat you!”
“No, I’m the one who’s going to defeat you!”
“But that’s me…” exhaustedly says Veil.

I’m starting to feel sorry for her, so I’ll whip her up a treat later.

“This is becoming a problem…” I thought as I watched from the side.

The dungeon orchard is set up in Veil’s mountain dungeon, so it’s more or less a branch of the farm.
We don’t want to have conflicts here that could negatively impact our farm as a whole.

“What should we do…”

Mushrooms and bamboo shoots are both delicious, so this is quite the dilemma.

“What if we burn them both to nothingness? That way, all this fighting would be over.”

Don’t think of turning them to ashes just because you’re sulking.

“Besides, if we burn them all to ashes, we won’t be able to eat them anymore.”
“Okay, I don’t want that. What should we do then?”

Veil and I fold our arms and ponder.
Then, light shines from the skies.

“Huh? What’s going on?!”

Clearly a strange phenomenon.
Even the mushroom and bamboo shoot bickering with each other took notice of the light and looked at the sky.

“What is this light?!”

They’re both confused.

“Don’t tell me they have descended!”

One of them seems to know what’s going on.

“Stop it… Stop fighting…”

From the sky, there came an enlightened voice.

“Conflicts disturb the mountain’s peace. As a virtuous creature living here, I cannot overlook this any further…”

Just who is talking?!

“If Matan-GO is a personified mushroom and Takenokkon is a personified bamboo shoot…”
“Then they’re the personification of cacao?!”

Cacao, it seems.
Isn’t that what you use to make chocolate?

“What are you guys supposed to be anyway?”

I couldn’t hold back my questions any longer and asked.

I still understand the mushroom since we’ve encountered it as a monster way before.
But when I saw the second one, a bamboo shoot, and the third one, cacao, I couldn’t understand anything anymore.

What are you guys?
Are you some kind of plant monster?!

“We are tree spirits…”
“Tree spirits?”

The cacao thingy, who seems the calmest, answers, “We are a kind of spirit that possesses trees and can move at will, reflecting the nature of the trees we dwell in… The trees you planted for us were some of the most unusual ones we have ever seen, Lord Saint. It was so stimulating that it gave us new potential…”

Well, I did plant a lot of otherworldly trees in the dungeon orchard…
I guess unexpected effects do come when you tamper with nature.

The tree spirit who possessed a bamboo shoot gave birth to the Bamboo Shoot Fiend Takenokkon.
And the one who possessed the cocoa tree is King Kaka?
But Matan-GO is originally a mushroom monster, so I guess he doesn’t count.

And yet, is it the fate of the mushroom to fight with the bamboo shoot?

“Matan-GO, Takenokkon. You must stop disturbing the mountain’s peace and stop bothering Lord Saint…”

In response to the cacao spirit’s appeal…

“Shut it! Outsiders should stay out of this!”
“You gotta be aware that no one, whoever they may be, is permitted to disturb the fated fight between a mushroom and a bamboo shoot!”

How does the calm cacao respond to this harsh rejection?

“Cacao Butter Wave!!!”

With some kind of special move, it sends both of them flying.

“You mustn’t fight… You mustn’t fight…”

You’re the one who solved the problem with brute force, though.

“I understand. I’m sorry.”
“We’ll get along. So please don’t cover us in your cocoa butter again…”

Both sides succumbed to the violence.
It turns out the chocolate envoy ended the fight between the mushroom and the bamboo shoot.

“That should settle the issue,” says King Kaka.
“Seriously?” I ask.
“Lord Saint.”

Now it’s talking to me!
Is this okay?! It won’t come at me with another cocoa butter wave, right?!

“We spirits dwell in trees and become spiritually present in the world. After becoming one with it, we spend the rest of our lives as a conscious plant.”

Something outrageous is thriving in my dungeon orchard, it seems.

“There are already many plant spirits living happily in this mountain. We would like to ask you to acknowledge our existence, Lord Saint.”
“Huh? Are you telling me other trees can talk like you and that bamboo?!”
“Yes, like the apple, mandarin orange, and loquat tree spirits, to name a few.”


“If you leave it to us, we can help you grow the fruit you desire. It’s plenty beneficial, hm?”
“Or do you still want to cut us down talking trees because you find us creepy?”

I see.
So that’s why the tree spirits are so insistent on seeking my recognition.
They fear being destroyed.

“I-I’m the reason Lord Saint can harvest delicious bamboo shoots at any time!” appeals Takenokkon. “I keep the bamboo shoots in their optimal condition so you can harvest them in any season of the year, any time of the day!”

True, no matter what time of day I come, I get fresh bamboo shoots. It makes me happy, but I’ve always found it odd.

Was it because of Takenokkon too?

“I want to coexist and co-prosper!”
“I can grow lots of tasty mushrooms tooooooooooo!”

Even the mushroom is frantically appealing to me now.

“Okay, okay. Then, I leave the fruits’ care to you.”
“ALL RIGHT!!!” joyfully exclaim the mushroom and bamboo shoot.

“And if you can, please be respectful to Veil here.”
“I’m the guardian of this dungeooooooooooooon!!!” she resentfully says.
The mushroom, bamboo shoot, and cacao all bow and say, “Please look after us, o’ great dungeon guardian.”
“That’s more like it!”

Thankfully, that’s all it took to satisfy her.

Thus, the dungeon orchard became more convenient with the spirits possessing each fruit tree to manage its growth… I guess?

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6 months ago

Yep, it’s showing now. Some strange delay happened then. I had even switched browsers and still had seen “9 comments” under this chapter even after posting two. Nothing to worry about now, it seems. It was too good a find not to share, haha.

6 months ago

Where is my comment? I guess stuck in moderation, hopefully.

6 months ago

“The generic name Theobroma is derived from the Greek for “food of the gods”; from θεός (theos), meaning ‘god’, and βρῶμα (broma), meaning ‘food’.”

Confirmed, the series author is casually link-hopping on Wikipedia in search of inspiration. The quote above is from the page about the cacao tree. Can it be a coincidence (using “no, it has to be aliens” voice)?

6 months ago

Fun chapter as always, I will look forward to the chapter where veil faces the king of fruits, the durian spirit

lecora alzuras
lecora alzuras
7 months ago

That’s cheat stuff right there that I’d be happy to have. Optimal growth and harvest for your fruits? Won’t have to worry about them going bad and eat them any time.

7 months ago

English -> Indonesian
Cocoa -> Biji cokelat (Kakao)

7 months ago

The pronunciation remaining the same could still make us think about it. but I’d say the different spelling would help. Better than the actual spelling. XD

Angel Sanchez
Angel Sanchez
7 months ago

Note: change the name of King Caca because some spanish readers like me would get confused because caca in Spanish is shit in English like choco

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