If I want to gain her trust, I’ll start with my attitude.
It won’t have any strong foundation if I gain her trust through trickery. Gaining it slowly over a long period of time will be more effective.
Therefore, I will have to be sincere towards Meena to gain her trust.
There was one thing however.
Even if I say attitude, it does not mean I can just talk her.
I need to be polite when I speak to her in the first place.
Even if I’m speaking with a slave, I should not use a rude commanding tone. If it was Mark, he will probably say “Hey! finish your meal quickly!” in a oppressive manner and whip them.
However, I will be different. “Please have some water, drink as much as you want” and give them some water. I will not be forceful nor will I be shouting at them. Since in the first place, I won’t torment them needlessly in anyway.
It should not be just changing the way I talk to them.
How much I talk to them should also be changed.
I made sure to make some conversation with Meena secretly while Mark was not looking.
Conversation was the basic form of human communication.
Not just practical subjects like “Please have some water”.
It should be real conversations.
“You know what, I had a dream today”
“Hey, did you know? There was a really great noble that came today”
And so on.
No matter how you look at it, the discussion was friendly. Or it was something like small talk to pass the time.
It was however my aim from the start.
Talking to her with such trifling subject matters, she just continued listening to it like it was nothing.
“Is that so master Toshiki”
“Yes, he was an extravagant and distinguished noble. It was probably the country’s aristocratic tax collector”
By talking about trifling things this way, Meena was steadily showing her emotions.
She laughs when I say a joke.
She nods when I speak to her seriously.
When I’m being severely bullied again, she will come to me and ask “Are you OK?”.
Her wariness had been greatly reduced compared to last time.
Because Meena did not even show her emotions previously.
Besides, there was more.
Meena would probably still listen even if my conversation with her was just trivial gossip.
I would be jumping to conclusions if I thought that it was possibly just courtesy.
If I put myself in Meena’s shoes, I understood it immediately.
Even if my stories were trivial, it was still a valuable source of information.
For example, about the tax collector mentioned previously.
Since the tax collector personally came to this shop, that means this might be a large store, that they had to check if the store pays the full tax.
Or that perhaps this country’s ethics was so low that someone, like a tax collector for the government, could easily overlook the slave trade.
Such expectations were possible.
Of course as for me, I had already expected this much.
Those kind of information goes through Meena. I do not particularly mind it.
It doesn’t have any negative effect on me. I didn’t suffer any losses. So I didn’t regret it.
It’s fine even if I seem to be just someone useful, particularly for Meena.
It was better that I was useful to her.
Because she will listen to my stories if I’m useful to her.
That is to say, it was synonymous with giving me the chance to gain her trust indefinitely.
Honestly, I can easily gain the trust of a person if I exploit their weak spot.
It was a conversation technique I learned in the previous world. I just have to look very sincere with an honest attitude and make agreeable response as much as possible.
I act sincerely by leading them on.
In that context, Meena was easy since she was a young girl.
She probably had little experience with being suspicious towards a person. Although she prepared herself to be cautious, her wariness was somewhat lacking.
It took quite a while, but Meena was able to completely trust me.
(Great, credibility is at 70%. It seems I’m fairly trusted now)
I could see the credibility gauge in the status screen.
The credibility gauge was usually hidden behind the Name Bar. However, when I call up the display details, the credibility gauge emerges from the Name Bar.
I believe that credibility is only up to 100%. If I’m not mistaken, 100% was the the maximum value in [Fantasy Tale].
If the credibility of the companion was at 70%, the companion unit will show the cooperation skill which is the mark that you have been trusted.
The level was equivalent to real life close friend.
Therefore, Meena sees me now in a favorable light.
“Ah, no, it’s nothing”
I wondered if Meena was doubting me at she stared at my appearance.
She was looking at me with mystified look.
I changed the subject by saying “Speaking of which, it seems the you are laughing these days”, so that she doesn’t get suspicious.
“It might be so, it was fun to hear your stories master Toshiki”
“Really, I’m glad you say so”
It was her compliment.
It was only natural for men to be happy, even if he knew it was just a compliment.
So I “acted” like I was bashful while I glancingly observing Meena.
Meena’s coat was getting better.
Normally the Werecat’s coat were not maintained, but Meena was different.
Meena likes to maintain her coat.
So sometimes I maintain her coat for her.
For example, her back.
Although she can groom herself, the body structure of a Werecat makes it impossible for her to reach her back.
Therefore I’m the one grooming her back.
Meena was very pleased when I groomed her.
It was a woman’s nature to love cleanliness.
Grooming the back probably felt really good.
And so just by grooming, Meena’s appearance changed a little bit.
She was becoming a little bit lovelier.
At first Meena was like a dirty kitten, no, more like a dirty dust cloth.
However, as I patiently fixed her appearance, I noticed that she was becoming better.
The material was not bad in the first place.
Meena’s features were exceedingly refreshing, and her eyes were big and charming.
Therefore, when you properly clean and groom her, she will become lovely.
It was a fact now, but I’m still surprised whenever I see her.
To think that she had changed this much that she had become so beautiful.
I seemed to have been fascinated by her unintentionally.
I was speechless for a long time and Meena asked in confusion “Again? What’s wrong this time?”
“Well, I was just thinking of what to talk about today”
“Is that so? It’s fun you know”
It was fun being next to Meena as I absentmindedly thought about what to talk about.
I have a reason why I, more or less, got fascinated by her.
Because in this tent for low-class slaves, Meena was nude.
“Come to think of it master Toshiki, I saw you mingling with the other slaves”
“That’s right, It was interesting to hear their stories”
Meena pointed out that I was interacting with the other slaves.
It was just normal for me to interact with the rest of the 30 slaves.
Since I don’t discriminate.
But really, Meena took most of my time but I still tried to interact with everyone as much as possible.
Why is that?
Because I just really want to hear their various stories.
For example, the slave that was a former adventurer.
I was able to hear stories from during the time of their adventuring days.
They told me a secret on how to kill a very large demon. How to distinguish edible wild grass from inedible ones.
Such knowledge in a wide variety of subjects was in some way, very important general knowledge to me.
Since I was a reincarnated person.
I’m absolutely ignorant to what was common sense in this world.
Even though I was playing [Fantasy Tale], I can’t tell the difference between edible and inedible wild grasses.
That’s why I need learn it from the people of this world.
I received some advice and got a lot information from them.
Thus I made some steady progress in my initial preparations.
Yes, initial preparations.
Preparations to be independent from the slave trader called Mark.