Originally, Seth had wanted to test the water alone before looking for a party, but Samuel had moved faster than he had expected. The SDD, too. Back then he had just looked for a way to get them off his tracks but had not thought about the implications.
He had to take care of the whole party stuff before he even got to finish his own equipment. Seth knew that he needed companions if he wanted to survive in this world. The problem was that he was not the best at dealing with people.
Of course, he could go ahead and offer something like a working relationship. He could have them sign a contract and then lend equipment to them. But this was not what he wanted. All of these people before him were special in some way. All they lacked until now was an opportunity to truly grow.
Seth felt that it would be the wrong way to start their relationship this way. These people had suffered, probably more than him. It felt disrespectful to just ”buy ” their cooperation. What would happen once they grew stronger? What if Seth left Y City? Over time his monopoly over good items would diminish. Would his items really be enough to keep an employee by his side?
He didn ’t want these people as subordinates. But as partners, as friends! And he knew that they could be a great team and reach greater height together, than individually.
The gourmet hunter could not just harvest their prey with maximum efficiency but also cook meals that strengthened the party. Seth didn ’t mind that he lacked the firepower of a regular scout or hunter. This could be easily fixed with stronger weaponry.
Wizard Arrcany would grow stronger the more knowledge she gained. Seth had a great sorceress with over 200 years of wisdom. He could offer her greater knowledge than anyone else. Not just on magic, together with the gourmet hunter ’s harvesting, she could dabble in alchemy which was another useful source of knowledge.
Tekar had a humongous amount of defense but was lacking as a tank since he had no helpful skills for a fight. His class lacked skills in attack and crowd control and it was extremely hard for him to learn those. Seth could not just boost his defense to new heights, he could also think of items to grant him such skills.
Seth knew all of this because of Al who had helped him appraise the people in the auction hall. These three had the greatest growth potential if they all worked together.
And Seth knew that in a story the main character would normally find some really smart or natural way to get these people on his side or they would not care and establish a contract. Miraculously the people would become friends over the course of their journey and the earlier work relationship would be just a joke between friends.
But Seth also knew that he could not do that. He did not believe to have such charisma and he was also not smart or eloquent enough to convince people while keeping his secrets. It felt all so bothersome and over-convoluted.
Instead of doing all that, Seth simply told them the truth. He told them his story and about his class. He told them all the aforementioned and even his reason for telling them (that it was too bothersome to plan out something smart).
The three looked at him like some absolute weirdo. This was no calculative or very smart move, but telling the truth had its very own effect. There were no suspicions about how he knew their names or skills. There were no doubts about his reasons. He even answered all their questions and showed proof willingly.
Being honest during the first meeting had become something very special in this world. So even when Seth told them the truth, they still had doubts. And he accepted this, too. He also knew that one of them might leave, if they did not like the truth. But this meant that he did not need to keep secrets before those who stayed.
He was also not afraid of ”betrayal ”. So, what if they knew his secrets? Seth had reasons to be afraid of the world, not of the people at least. Not only had he just finished an epic set and planned to equip himself with even more items like that, but he also had the church behind him. He did not want to see the world burn, but if it provoked him, he felt not opposed to being the fire starter.
”Well, to sum it up. I hope we can be friends and partners who support each other in the future. I understand if you want some time to think about my offer. You can visit me at any time once you come to a conclusion. ”
It seemed like they needed some time among themself. Seth smiled and left the room.
After he left the room, a wave of fatigue came over him. This had been really hard. It was so exhausting to deal with strangers. Now, it was finally over. He had done everything to leave a good first impression.
He relaxed a little and sacked down on a chair in the small side kitchen. He had wanted to make an impressive exit that would leave an impression. He had accidentally entered the kitchen instead of leaving the lounge…
What was he supposed to do now?
They were not shooed away by any staff, but the clerks even kept supplying drinks and cookies.
Silence reigned in the lounge as all of them sunk in their own thoughts. What Seth offered was not a simple job. They threw glances at each other. IF what he said was true, they could go a long way if they relied on him and each other.
”Is it true that you can cook food that gives permanent buffs? ” Tekar suddenly asked the gourmet hunter. The female wizard also peaked her ears for the answer.
Tekar himself felt not too offended for his ”secret ” to be revealed. Anybody could find out about the drawbacks of his class by listening to rumors. The chance to fix these flaws and make a name and carrier for himself weighed much more.
Seth ’s offer was undeniably tempting if what he said about the others was true. This made it even more important for all of them to ascertain whether the information was correct.
The gourmet hunter, Link Lightning, sighed. It seemed he would have to make the start. It irked him a little that his secrets were exposed, but he was never guy to hold grudges. Was it really that big of a deal? Compared to this chance, it was negligible. Especially since he got to know their secrets, too.
”Guess I will go ahead? Yeah. I cannot just cook food that gives buffs, but as long as I get my hands on special ingredients, I have a low chance of making food that will grant a permanent buff. My skill level is still too low to make it something certain.
My turn! Dude, do you really have like double the defense of a normal tank? I heard that you were tough, but that ’s a surprise. And you! Magical Girl, can you really grow stronger just by reading books? ”
He didn ’t feel like being the only one answering questions, so he threw some at the other two. The girl, Alison Arrcany, just squinted at him and nodded in the end.
Tekar blushed a little, hearing that someone like the gourmet hunter knew about him.
”Yeah. It would be great, if I didn ’t lack in every other department aside from keeping myself alive. ” he laughed self-ironic.
They were talking among themself and even the wizard girl had joined them with some short comments.
Suddenly Seth came back to the lounge. With a deep red face, he stormed through the room in a straight line, aiming for a specific door.
”Sorry to interrupt you, but I can ’t wait any longer! I really need to use the toilet! ”
With that he left the lounge again through another door leaving the three with a perplexed look on their faces. After Seth had left Tekar and Link started laughing while even Alison snickered silently.
They took this as a cue to leave. All of them had their own circumstances wanted return home and sleep a night over it before making a final decision.
But in their hearts, they had already decided.
All members of their new party were unique, but their leader was a real oddball.
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