In a world overrun with monsters, travellers were rare, so they watched the foreigner with cautious curiosity. He seemed pleasant enough, and made it clear that this was just a pit stop before he continued his journey. That coupled with his friendly smile soon won the locals over. They flocked to him, and he returned their attention with wondrous tales of other people in other cities.
More than a few picked up his wanderlust. When he announced his plan to leave in a week, they swarmed him with requests to follow him on his journey.
“If you want to come with me, there are two things you must consider. First, you need to take this supplement.” He shook a bottle of pills of emphasis. “There are no doctors out there, so you have to keep yourself healthy.
“Second, there are many cities out there, and I may never return to this place. So make your choice: stay with what you know or leave for the unknown. There is no middle ground.
“Third, I will only accept one person. It’s a dangerous place out there and I can only promise to protect one person.”
The statement stirred great competition among the young ones who wanted to see the world outside, but in the end, no matter how they tried to sell themselves, the choice was the foreigner’s, and he chose a forgotten young man without a coin to his name.
“This young man needs a fresh start, and there’s no better way to start afresh than a journey into the unknown.”
The foreigner’s explanation silenced any dissent, and they happily accepted his choice.
When the time came for him to leave, they showered him and his new companion with as many gifts as they could carry, then they bade the two men farewell.
They were never seen again.
The foreigner also appears in The Ticket Out.