Seeing that their companions had completely forgotten about them, happily devouring the deliciously smelling meat, the others of their party jumped out in the clearing.
"Why the heck are you two just eating the meat? You were just supposed to check if it was safe! You should have called for us before you started eating!"
Looking embarrassed as they had forgotten about their companions, on of the men answered, "Er... we were just checking the food for poison! To make sure that he did not try to poison us!"
"Yes, yes! That was what we were doing! You can never let your guard down!"
Clearly not believing a single word of theirs, the new trio then turned to Foo.
"Ah, can we also have some meat?"
The man that had more expensive and flashy clothes, looking like a noble that was always bossing people around, begged with big eyes. Clearly the allure of the meat made him discard his face, and started to beg with his eyes like a puppy.
Joining him was the two women. With their decent beauty and mature looks, they made a bigger impact than the presumed noble. Not that Foo had planned to refuse any of them. He had made enough meat for all of them after all.
Handing out meat, Foo then took some for himself. He had to say that he was an excellent cook. And from the reaction of the newly arrived party, they seemed to agree. They were all devouring the meat like they were afraid that it would disappear, not caring about any etiquette whatsoever.
The two women began to eat like civilized beings, but quickly threw such sill notions out the window. In the end, they were actually even more frenzied than the males.
Luckily, there enough meat for everyone to eat their fill. Had it not, they might even have started fighting over it.
When everyone had stuffed themselves to the brim, and a bit more, the leader then asked Foo, "How come that you are out here all alone? And making a campfire? Even cooking food! It is suicide! Had we not come, you would probably be eaten by some wild beast. Even now we can't be sure that we won't be attacked."
Realizing that they might take him to be weak, which was perfect for low-keying, Foo pondered on how to respond. The nuance of the question clearly stated that he normally should not be able to be in the forest alone. At least not when cooking aromatic food.
Exposing his strength was a big no-no, but he could not come up with some random lie either. He could not have them suspect him if the lies were seen through.
But Foo had a clever idea, "Ah, I got this marvelous artifact that keeps most beasts away. As long as I have it, it would be relatively safe, even here."
It was a good white lie. The beasts seemed to avoid him as of late, and he could blame it on some random artifact. That would explain the absence of beasts, that they would surely notice if he had them guide him, and why he dared be in the forest alone.
"An artifact that keeps beasts away? I never heard of anything like that?"
"It truly sounds practical!"
"I think I heard some rumors about something like that! But it is quite rare!"
It seemed like they believed Foo's lie. There was no reason not to. The alternatives were even more unbelievable.
"May we look at it?"
And a problem arised. Foo could show them some random item, and tell them that it was the artifact in question, but he had no idea how typical artifacts looked like. There surely must be many types, but if he used something completely off, they might see through him.
But there were simpler and more believable solutions, "I am sorry, but I do not show it to strangers. It is better to be safe than sorry, you know. You have to keep your treasures secret, and something shared with others is not a secret. If I did not have a good feeling about you, I would not even tell you about it."
Perfect excuse! Who would show off their precious treasures? At least not in the middle of the forest, surrounded by strangers. And it also buttered up them a bit. Buttering up was never wrong.
"I see. Such a shame. I would love to see it in person... but I can understand your caution. I am flattered that you even told us about it!"
Foo praised himself inwardly for coming up with such good excuses. But his internal back-patting was disturbed by the surprised yelp from one of the women.
"What was that?!" she exclaimed while pointing behind Foo.
Turning around, Foo noticed that his rucksack was currently in the process of storing the bones from the meat that he had eaten. The fact that there was just a small pile left, despite the hug about that Foo had eaten, indicated that it had been doing it for quite some time.
Due to being focused on their own food, no one had noticed, but now that they were done, it had caught the eye of the woman. Curious, she then moved closer to observe the rucksack.
However, when she got close, it started to make threatening sounds, "Mine! Don't even think of stealing them! Go away! You ugly monkeys should not think that I am easily bullied! I'l let you know that I am the king of the forest! Well... was..."
Having completely forgotten about the rucksack, Foo quickly tried to defuse the situation, "Ah, do not mind what it is saying, it is just a bit possessive. You better stay away from its items."
Quizzically looking at the rucksack, the woman said, "Saying? It does make an aggressive sound, but it just make it look cuter!"
Puzzled at the woman's response, Foo then realized that the rucksack did not talk the human language! Thanks to his [Polyglot] title, he must have gained perfect understanding of whatever language it uses, making it hard for him to notice switching between them.
Now that he noticed, it was not a problem, but he had to make sure to take care in the future. From the event, he learned that humans probably do not understand the language of the beasts. And as such, he had to make sure to not expose that he did. He was being low-key after all.
"Ah, yes! It might bite if you get too close. You should probably take some steps back."
Listening to the advice, the woman took some steps back, and then continued to observe the rucksack.
Deeming it to be safe, the rucksack then continued to happily gobble down the bones. It was crawling around on the floor, moving like a inchworm.
It had lost some of its mobility after being made into a rucksack, but during the hunt it had gotten some cores to eat, improving its mobility a bit. But it was more in the manner of contracting and expanding its body. The result made it look even more adorable.
Curious about what her friend was talking about, the other woman joined her. Noticing that she still had a bone in her had, she then held it up and asked the rucksack, "Hey! Look here! Do you want this?"
As it was done scouring the ground, it was then staring at the bone in the woman's hand. Its eyes following it back and forth when the woman moved her hand.
After a while of teasing the rucksack, she threw him the bone, which it then caught.
"Aww! How cute!" the woman exclaimed. And her friend joined in. Going around to gathering their own bones, they came back with their arms full, and then started to throw them to the rucksack.
A speechless Foo could only watch. What the heck was they doing?
Not able to watch it any longer, he then quietly spoke to the rucksack in the beast language, "What are you doing?! You are not a dog! Why are you fooling around with them? Why the heck are you even gathering bones?!"
"Eh? They can come in handy! And it is really convenient that they do the gathering for me! Then I do not have to move around at all! How kind of them!"
Discarding the thought of telling it to think of its pride as a king of the forest, as it might not stand a chance against its greed, Foo then moved away a bit to sulk.
``How is this low-key?! I have to quickly have some explanation ready for when they realize something is off! Or maybe I can make them exhaust themselves so they fall asleep and forget about it!``
Cheering up, and starting to implement his evil plan, Foo then cooked more meat that he then ate, throwing the bones close to the women. The women did not notice anything out of the ordinary, and was happily taking the mysteriously appearing bones, as they were mesmerized by the cute rucksack.
Being equally mesmerized by the beautiful women playing around, the men did not notice anything either. As such, Foo could even do some quick hunts in the forest for some more meat. Although he had to go quite a bit, as the beasts were avoiding him, his speed and stealth made it easy.
As the sun started to set, he looked at the scene and grinned evilly.
``Muahahahaha! My devious plan is soon complete! By being exhausted you will all forget to question about the oddity of my rucksack! By the morning I can claim that it was a dream or something!``
Foo was not eating all the meat because he was depressed over the probable failure to be low-key. A rare artifact was reasonable, but a living rucksack? He was definitely not drowning his sorrows with food.
There was still the hope that they were all stupid enough to fall for his plan after all...
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