“Uh… yes,” he replied to you, not really understanding why you felt the need to add all of that extra information in.
“Good,” you nodded, “ok well, umm, I’ll get to work now and then I’ll see you later,” you said to Tamajiki, squeezing his hand then letting it go.
He nodded and you walked over to Delilah.
“Ok, teach me senpai,” you said with a grin.
She was still smiling shyly at Praetorian but then snapped out of it when she heard your over zealous exclamation and turned to you to take charge.
Tamajiki kept an eye on you as he and Praetorian left, then spoke to his guardian as they walked out the door.
“What is this place? We were bought here before,” he said.
“It’s a half-way house,” Praetorian replied, “not divulging any more information.
“I can’t ask too many questions otherwise he will know I’ve got an agenda,” Tamajiki thought, looking around for as much extra intel as possible… but the walls were bare and there wasn’t much to go on.
“I’m assuming you know of the Blue Businessmen?” Praetorian suddenly offered.
“I heard the name when we were asking about leveling up quickly,” Tamajiki said thoughtfully, trying to play it as safe as possible.
“Well, I’m a head guard for one of the organizers of the Blue Businessmen,” he replied, leading Tamajiki out to the house again that was back on his level, “I’ve already told you that I want to train you as a guard… it will be for their clan.”
“Guard for….” Tamajiki probed.
“When they do trips they like to have someone with them who can protect them. Funnily enough the people at the top of this organization aren’t very strong in their level status… but as you can imagine they have a lot of money and often carry expensive items with them.”
“He’s very trusting of me,” Tamajiki thought, “I don’t want to bring him into this mess when it all comes to light at how corrupt this group is. But maybe he already knows…” There was silence for a little bit before Tamajiki spoke again. “Do the higher up’s also have slaves and treat them poorly like what master did to my girlfriend and I?”
“I wouldn’t know,” Praetorian said as he walked, “I don’t associate with them outside of doing my job but it wouldn’t it surprise me if they did treat anyone under their immediate control, poorly.”
“Forgive me if my next question offends… but why are you associating with them if they are dealing underhandedly?” Tamajiki asked.
“It’s a good question,” he replied, getting to the end of town, “I don’t have a good answer to that… call me weird, but my real life job is quite boring and this is an escape for me. I enjoy the thrill of protecting people and being able to make money here that I otherwise wouldn’t in real life.”
Tamajiki nodded silently. “I understand him. He’s not one of the corrupt ones… he’s doing his part the right way.”
“I don’t usually contract people either but I sense something different about you…” Praetorian said back over his shoulder with a smile, “unfortunately, I haven’t been able to share much with you so far- just a lot of mahi- but you’re already close to being able to choose a field of work so that’s what we’re aiming for today.
“Huh?” Tamajiki asked with surprise as he swiped open his menu and looked at his stats.
His eyes nearly fell out of his head when he saw how much Mahi he had in his account and he was also on the verge of hitting level 10- the level necessary for class change.
“I… I hadn’t even thought to look at my statistics,” Tamajiki said with surprise.
“There’s been a lot going on,” Praetorian said with a small chuckle, “ok. Let’s get you leveled up.”
“Ok,” Delilah said as she lead you into the back of the kitchen where a number of other people were working, “I’ll contract you to myself then I can share my stats with you.”
“Sure,” you nodded, “by the way, what is this place, I recognize it from when I was first bought here before I was slave contracted to the first person.”
“Mmmm,” she hummed, opening her menu and organizing the slave contract, “yeah, it’s a type of organization place. The Blue Businessmen use it to move people and items between levels that would otherwise draw suspicion.”
“Oh?” you hummed, “so you work for the Blue Businessmen?”
“Yes we all do. I’m contracted as well,” she said, showing you her arm with the slave contract emblem on it.
“Wait? So it’s like a pyramid scheme?” you asked, “they’ve got people contracting people, contracting people?”
“Yeah something like that,” she replied.
“So what do you do here then?” you asked, wincing a bit when you clicked ok for the slave contracting to commence and the emblem branded your arm.
“We make food for their trips,” she replied, “they’re always moving shipments and whatnot.”
“She obviously doesn’t see me as a threat because she’s doing a lot of talking,” you thought.
Delilah took you to one of the work stations and set you up, showing you how to make some simple biscuits and breads and you found yourself enjoying it.
“I need to up my stats for cooking in my O/N avatar,” you thought, “this is quite fun…“
Then you remembered that your cooking stats would be higher than usual because you were contracted to her so you would have a portion of her stats.
Once she had walked away to check on another player, you opened your statistics to see what skill level you were and nearly keeled over.
“So THIS is the level I have to be at to cook decent cookies and breads?! Man I have a long way to go…”
After a few more in game hours, you and Tamajiki said goodbye to your guardians and logged out.
You were the first to wake in his real life room and you took your headset off and lay there next to him.
It wasn’t long before he woke too and you smiled at him as he stirred and opened his eyes.
“How did you go with Praetorian?” you asked him.
“Good,” he said as he took his headset off, “I’m now guard class- same as Praetorian,”
“Well, my cooking stats are off the charts!” you exclaimed, “I’ll have to make you something sometime. I can make really yummy stuff!”
“I’m looking forward to trying your food in your new avatar, although, I think your cooking as O/N is yummy too,” he said with a soft smile.