The Salesman returned that hollow-eyed look of his. “Unlike certain others, I’m not that difficult to get in touch with. Why would you come to Sair and not Calthos or Kavia?”
“...My information network isn’t as good as yours, obviously. I didn’t know I’d run into you so soon. I just started looking a few days ago. As a matter of fact, um... ah...”
Hector faltered. The thought was there in his head, ready to be finished, but his stupid mouth wouldn’t do what he wanted. And he could just tell that his tongue would trip over the next word a dozen times over if he pushed on too hard right now. He had to relax. And he had to concentrate. Wait, were those opposites? Shit.
Ivan was waiting. “...Yes? As a matter of fact, what? You sure like to take your sweet time with explanations, don’t you?”
“Ah. Y-es. Well... that may’ve contributed to, uh... to the misunderstanding I had with your men.” Hector refocused. Half of this crap was coming out of thin air. But it felt like it was making sense. Hopefully. No time to worry about it, though. “But, ah... I was trying to say that, your information network... is exactly the reason why I wanted to work together. With you, I mean. Mine’s not so good, like I said. Or, uh, rather, it’s more... nonexistent.”
Ivan seemed amused again. “Well, you certainly wouldn’t be the first person to want that from me. But you’ve failed to explain what it is that you are offering. Even if you really are three hundred years old, I can’t say you’ve intrigued me with your battle prowess thus far.”
“I’m not offering my strength,” said Hector. “I’m offering... all of Sair.”
The Salesman laughed outright. “Oh, you are, are you?! Well, then! I can’t wait to hear your explanation this time!”