Beluga was giving Ben his first lecture. "Benjamin, I'll tell you this. Mastering the art of seduction is a long pursuit, but it isn't as hard as you think to get started. Ok, lesson one. Stand up and repeat after me. 'I'm the best looking and most charming man you've ever seen.'"
Ben was hesitant but followed his instructions. "I'm the best loo—"
"No! Say it to me..." Beluga interrupted.
Ben tried again. "…You're...the best looking and most charming man I've ever seen?"
Beluga looked into a mirror he had hanging on the wall to his side. "I know. Ok, good. You've got potential."
Ben leaned over to Antonio and whispered, "Some of the stuff he said was interesting, but is this guy serious? Or is he only fishing for compliments?"
Antonio replied with confidence, "Trust me, he's no joke. He's a legend in our community. His rep on the forums is top-tier."
Ben's eyebrows knitted. 'Did he say forums? Is this an epic 4chan troll? I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound reliable at all…'
When Beluga finished admiring his reflection, he continued speaking. "Benjamin, we're having a nice banter here, but you can't just walk in here and become my disciple. You need to prove yourself first. Only the bravest of men are qualified to become true pick up artists. I need you to show me you're willing to do what it takes."
Benjamin glanced at him. "Was wearing a thong not enough?"
Beluga answered, "No, that was my gift to you. A free style tip. Next comes the proper test in the field."
Ben thought, 'Keep your damn gifts next time! ...Is he going to make me wear the thong in public?' Ben wasn't excited about this test but decided to see what Beluga proposed first.
The three went to a public shopping mall nearby. Being midday, it was loaded with people. They were near the food court which had many cafes and people sitting down eating. Ben looked around. There were many women in the vicinity.
As people passed them, some would point at Beluga. It wasn't a surprise. He hadn't changed at all. He wore his purple pimp hat and bathrobe with pride.
Ben wanted to run far away from him, but he was also wearing a thong underneath, so he wasn't holding the moral high ground either.
Beluga put his hand on Ben's shoulder. "Ok. Here's what you'll do. You see that female sitting down? Approach her and say this…" He gave Ben his version of a divine line.
Ben's eyes widened in shock. "Are you serious?"
Beluga gazed into his eyes. "I've never told a joke in my life."
Ben gulped. He gazed at the woman Beluga told him to approach as his heart sped up and his hands became clammy. It wasn't the line that made him nervous. It was the idea of approaching a woman...
"You're worried, right? Afraid?" Beluga asked.
Ben hesitated but nodded.
Beluga said, "Look. Think of it this way. What's the worst that can happen? Say you open her and she rejects you. Then you'll be in the same place you are right now. Isn't that the worst case scenario? Why should you care about that? Why should that stop you?"
Ben blinked a few times while processing the information. "But…"
Beluga interrupted him. "No buts. You know why you're scared? It's because your body is still programmed from the caveman days. Human society has advanced but our bodies have lagged behind. It's not surprising. It takes thousands or even hundreds of thousands of years for significant evolution to occur. In caveman times, if you approached a female, you may have had to fight some man to the death for the opportunity to mate with her. Now? Nothing. There's no such negative consequence…"
Beluga continued. "We live in a country full of police where even fighting can get you sent to jail and sued. People are civil. There's nothing to be afraid of, yet your body is still hard-wired to be nervous about an impending deathmatch against a caveman. That's why despite your mind knowing you have nothing to lose, your body is resisting,"
These words were a shock to Ben's mind. 'Is that true? …Why am I so nervous?' He stood there for a minute as he visualized what could happen if he approached the woman and failed. A while later, he realized...there wasn't anything that bad! Most likely, she would say no and that was it.
'He's right...' Ben understood the truth and his nerves eased a little. He looked down and clenched his fists. So what if she rejected him? Hasn't he been getting rejected by everyone his entire life?
When Ben looked up, his eyes changed. They were filled with determination. He took a deep breath, glanced at the woman, and walked towards her.
"Excuse me, miss…"
The woman was surprised an unknown teenager was speaking to her, but was cordial in her reply. "Yes?"
Ben recalled the line Beluga gave him. He didn't know if it would work, but Antonio said Beluga was a legendary master. He chose to trust him for now. Still, his nerves were shaking and he had to calm himself down. 'You can do this. Remember, there's nothing to lose. What's the worst that can happen? She'll say no and you'll walk away. No Big deal.'
The woman observed Ben. Here was a nice boy with an honest face. He seemed like a dependable student, the future of America.
Wearing his sincere expression, Ben gazed at the woman. He radiated righteousness. With bright eyes and a clear heart, he told her his best line.
"I love your tits."
Ben walked back to Beluga with a red palm print on his face.
Author's Note: Not exactly a divine line, but there's a good reason Beluga gave him a line like that. It'll be explained around chapter 10. Things will get better for poor Ben soon. I promise :)
Male Lead Rankings: 5: +2 chap. 4: +3 chap. 3: +4. 2: +6. 1: +8.