192 'Flee' but Your Retreat Path is Cut!
(Meeting this guy here of all place... What's the chance of that... Is it even a chance?)
The chance of running into someone you know in this huge crowd should be astronomically low.
It's still reasonable if two are in the same field or something, but there's no particular common point between me and this guy.
I just saved him once. And we would have never met again unless I proactively looked for him.
In fact, I had already forgotten about the man. I don't know how to react now.
"Ah, hello there."
I kinda hate the idea of pretending to not know and ignore him, so I replied with a brusque greeting to avoid further conversation. I don't have any business with him.
"Meeting you again here must be a sign from god! I've been meaning to thank you again!"
I personally wished he didn't bring up god here. After all, I got wish list of one strike lined up.
"Err, well, you see, I didn't do it for rewards. Go ahead and do your business here. Please don't mind me."
Feeling another flag here, I politely tried to leave but the man cut off my retreat path.
"Oh I've already finished stocking up, I'm on my way to my inn. I will never forgive myself if I let this chance to express my gratitude go! Please, if you would be willing to go along with my selfish request. Look, didn't you agree for a tea when we parted that time?"
I only said that as a lip service, never thought it would be used against me here.
"I haven't had meal yet..."
"Let me treat you! I haven't eaten myself in this busy hour, let's go together!"
"I'm still looking for an inn..."
"I'll get you a room in my inn! Of course, I'll pay for it too!"
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He kept cornering me yet I persisted.
"Why would you go so far just because of that little incident? I don't think I've done anything worthy of this treatment. I never asked for compensation in the first place."
"That time I was truly in a dire predicament, unable to go back nor forward.... You're the reason I am able to stay in business like this. The words you said that day truly resounded in me. You are my savior."
This Tagdes merchant doesn't seem to be willing to let me go.
"And besides, your refusal for rewards came as a huge shock to me. Ordinarily, anyone, no matter how benevolent would have asked for rewards after making such a laborious work. In fact, it would have been justified for them to ask for extra reward considering the situation back then. Most people would have ignored me even. And thus, I would like to repay your kindness in kind."
Looks like this world has a shortage of 'empathy'. I recalled how Aryl would do many stuff that could be seen as rewards to me even though I declined her.
How could I have guessed that I should have turned away from the 'Good you do to others is good you do to yourself' mentality back then?
I only saved them for my own sake, just because I didn't want to have it weigh on my mind later. I really don't think my action warrants rewards.
But to them, me doing nothing would have spelled their doom, thus whatever I say now probably would just bounce off. Even if repaying their debt would mean their life.
The 'weight' of 'life' and their 'take' on it are nothing like me. Sense of value I have from my previous life, and the inhabitants' of this world.
After realizing that, I relented as resistance is futile.
"I get it. I'll take you up on your offer if you insist. I'll be in your care."
And of course, I'm stepping on yet another flag here.