After his grand proclamation, Ernst waited for some sort of reaction other than being frozen from the two in front of him.
Yet, after an awkward silence which was punctured by another yawn from his Viper, he awkwardly dropped his hands while a few guffaws sounded from the crowd.
It appeared that the people of Skystead Hamlet were used to such incidents from their Chief.
The Chief was flabbergasted, as he usually saw one of two reactions from those whom he gave this speech to.
There was either fear, or excitement.
He had grand reactions prepared for both of these cases, but encountering someone like this who just stared at him as if he were a ghost, he had no idea how to react.
Laughing sheepishly on realizing that he shouldn't have tried it on someone who had probably spent years in the jungle, the Chief walked up to Aaron, but was stopped by a growling sound from the large dog that had stayed still till now.
The crowd had already started to disperse on seeing that although this youth was interesting, he was nothing more than a poor kid who had had to live for years in the forest alone.
Talking among themselves about what sort of hardships he must have endured, they went back to whatever they were doing before, while Mrs. Ernst wondered whether she was supposed to go forward and pick up the plate that had been knocked out of her hands before.
So, there were few present to see this sight of such intelligence from the 'cute dog'.
Raising an eyebrow on noticing the protective instinct of the beast, he stopped and said, "I mean no harm. I just want to talk to your master."
Woof didn't understand the words of the thickset man, but it could tell that he wasn't here to harm them.
So, it stepped to the side, as it had walked in front of its friend before on realizing that the kid was in too much of a shock to defend himself.
This was the first time Woof ever saw Aaron enter such a state for such a long time, so it was pretty surprised, but it just chose to wait and protect him while he sorted his thoughts.
After it stepped aside, the Chief shot another glance at it before reaching Aaron and laying a hand on his shoulder.
This made Aaron finally snap out of the second time today where he let go of his defenses and just stood there, ready to be devoured by any passing beast.
They were just…too many mind-numbing revelations for one day.
For years, he had thought that he was the only member of his species, and right after that assumption had been shattered, he heard mention of the only clue about his identity.
On lonely nights which were spent in trees hiding from beasts which they couldn't defeat, Aaron would often mull over that sentence.
He would stare at the stars, wondering whether he was supposed to find some sort of aerial beast and literally fly to reach them.
So, when he felt that weight fall on his shoulders suddenly, he first leaped back with alarm on his face, thinking that he was still in the forest.
There, if he really had allowed something to get this close, the next moment would have involved him being eaten.
"Whoa there! I just wanted to help you to calm down. I know that it's too much to take in. If you were someone normal, I would give this speech and either tell you that everything will be Ok as the strongest humans are out there, protecting us, or I would encourage you to grow stronger so that you can join those humans. But I don't know what to say to you."
Hearing this, Aaron furrowed his eyebrows, but he, too, didn't know what to say.
First of all, how was he supposed to greet someone of his own species?
If it was a 4-armed gorilla, he would have clapped twice, once at chest level and once at abdomen level, as that was their method of greeting. Of course, they did both at once because they had 4 arms.
As he thought about it, this question was answered in the same way he had been able to read those strange scratches before.
A gesture surfaced from his memory, and it felt as if he had done it a lot of times.
He stretched out his right hand, seeing which the Chief felt surprised before walking forward and shaking that hand.
Yet, Aaron's memory ended there, so he couldn't figure out what to do next. These memories were usually like that: things which he felt he had done a lot of times, such as the action of riding on Woof which he had been a natural at even though he had been unconscious, would appear forth and give him a hint about what he was supposed to do.
However, they were seldom complete, as if their tail ends had been cut off by whatever wall was in his mind which prevented him from remembering anything from before the time when he had been found by Woof.
So, Aaron squeezed Ernst's hand hard, as if it were one of the river reeds he would pull out of from the bank to make ropes from.
This made a glint pass through Ernst's eyes, as he often loved putting his muscular strength on display by handing out excruciating handshakes which would end only when the other party acknowledged that he had grown stronger since the last time they met him.
However, the moment Aaron squeezed, a yelp almost escaped Ernst's lips while a grimace flashed across his face.
How the heck was this scrawny kid so god damn strong?!
Gritting his teeth, he tried to squeeze back, but it was to no avail.
Aaron was busy trying to decide what to say, so he didn't notice the weird expression of constipation on the Chief's face.
It was only when the Chief finally gave up and yelled "Ok, you win!" did he realize what he was doing and let go.
Ernst first hurriedly looked around, making sure that no one was present to see this embarrassing incident.
Thankfully, there was only his wife, who was stronger than him anyway, especially at home whenever he tried to get away from doing the chores.
"Kid, are you a body practitioner or something?", he asked, while he massaged his hand that almost looked swollen.
Aaron could only look at him with a puzzled expression again, which made the Chief sigh and say, "Attend the orientation first. You'll find out everything there. After that, come meet me. We can decide what to do with you. With that kind of strength, I bet you'll fit right into the body practitioner group we have in the hamlet. For your sake, I hope you're not a lot older than 18. Martha! Can you lead this kid to the orientation? You can bake more bread later!"
After shouting the last two sentences toward his wife who glared at him briefly before heading in Aaron's direction, the Chief nodded at him before walking toward the viper which was fast asleep.
After reaching it, he did something so otherworldly and astonishing that Aaron rubbed his eyes, wondering whether he was seeing things.
The Chief reached out with his hand to touch the viper, and between his knuckles, a transparent, white gem appeared out of nowhere which flashed like a star.
The next second, the viper disappeared, leaving behind a cloud of dust in its wake.
This time, even Woof stared as if it couldn't believe that it wasn't dreaming.
Together, the husky and the human had the same question in their minds.
Wh-where the heck had that fat viper gone?!
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I'm an aspiring author who fell in love with writing the moment I wrote my first story.
Most Notable Work: World Domination System, an 800,000 word ongoing fantasy novel which can be found at https://www.webnovel.com/book/11413811606356705/World-Domination-System