Turning around, Edmond was just about to quickly head out of town when he found his way blocked by a tall, stocky man wearing yellow clothes.
He didn’t recognize him, but Aaron did. It was the Body Practitioner who had demonstrated his power before.
“Excuse me,” he said, trying to find a way around, but as he looked to the side, he saw that the other directions were blocked, too, by two other men.
Seeing this, Aaron inched closer as he wanted to see what these men might do to this man. Till now, he had quite enjoyed being the spectator. Yet, now, he decided that it might be time to take active action and find out more clues so that he could challenge the Chief. Woof, on the other hand, was incredibly bored. So, it just stayed near Aaron and idly looked around, wondering when whether it could have another meal of those fluffy items from before.
Aaron had been hoping that he might obtain some information or the other from the fight, but sadly, that had been a bust.
All he knew right now was that for some reason, exiting the ring that was depicted on the ground using some sort of rope meant defeat.
Why was that?
As soon as he got close to the pompous man who was blocked by those three men, he heard him asking, “What’s wrong, gentlemen? Why have you blocked my way?”
The one with an apparatus on his head who had shot the gun before answered.
“The Chief would like to speak to you.”
Gulping, Edmond stayed put, but when he looked to the side, he saw Aaron looking at him.
Beside Aaron stood that white dog, seeing which Edmond had been quite amazed before.
Momentarily, when he had first laid eyes on it, he had gotten a feeling that it looked very similar to a Tera that the City Lord, a figure who was revered by thousands, supposedly owned.
Yet, that was impossible. Surely, a Tera in the possession of the City Lord would be above even Rare-grade. There was definitely no way that a Tera of that level could be here.
Feeling a hand fall on his shoulder, Edmond turned around to find that the Chief had reached him.
He felt a little bit of fear begin to spread in his mind, but he assured himself that this was someone authorized by the World Government. Yes, someone like that would definitely not engage in something illegal…such as fleecing him for all his money just because he had acted like that before.
Remembering the matter of the Fox, Edmond almost felt like crying.
It seemed that his slew of bad luck hadn’t ended up. After successfully escaping the city, he had headed from town after town while being frugal with the money he had. Yet, that Tera vendor’s words about a Rare-grade Bewitching Fox had completely captivated his mind.
After seeing an impressive display of power, he hadn’t hesitated to fork out all of his savings, following which he had headed to the farthest Hamlet he could find: this one.
He couldn’t let anyone get suspicions about why he was here, so he had put up that act. Well…it wasn’t too much of an act, as he did like to act in that way.
So…a lot had gone wrong, but Edmond struggled not to remember what had happened in the City.
Closing his eyes, he braced himself for a beating, but it never came.
“Did you really think I would hit you or something? Come on, kid. I’ll help you report the fraud. Maybe you’ll be able to get back some of your money.”
A voice with a kind tone entered his ears, which made Edmond open his eyes with shock.
The Chief…was offering to help him?!
He couldn’t believe it!
Aaron was surprised, too. He had watched as a bunch of emotions cycled on the face of the youth wearing the red vest, yet one of those had stood out to him: it had looked exactly like the expression of Woof. On nights with a clear sky, Woof would often resort to stand and howl while facing the heaves. Whenever he touched the Tera, a strong emotion of loss would assault him which would make him feel like tearing up, too. Later, he had found out that Woof had lost its family, including its mate and 8 kids on the day it found Aaron.
This man…had definitely also lost something.
Aaron had never managed to understand that feeling very well, as…he didn’t know what he had lost. He did know how it felt to not know anything about himself, but that was more frustration which caused pain, rather than sadness.
Even if he had parents or loved ones whom he might have lost, he didn’t remember how it must have felt to be with them, which meant that he had no reason to feel that sadness.
Tears appeared in Edmond’s eyes, who tried to wipe them away so that no one would see.
Yet, the Chief spotted them and patted his shoulder, saying, “I understand that you must have been through a rough time. Were you thrown out of the city? Where are your parents?”
Hearing mention of the word he didn’t want to hear, Edmond only nodded, choosing to ignore the second question.
This made the Chief sigh, before he said, “All right. Come on.”
Turning around, he was going to head in a direction, but he spotted Aaron nearby looking at them with interest.
Pointing at him, the Chief said, “You- come with me, too. We need to get you registered in the system. It’s mandatory. It’ll definitely cause problems if you head to restricted areas.”
Aaron nodded in response and followed along with Woof, even though he didn’t know what the Chief meant by ‘Restricted Areas’.
By chance, it just so happened that Edmond was walking beside him.
Just to be polite, Edmond stretched out a hand and said, “I’m Edmond. Nice to meet you. From the Chief’s words, I gather that you grew up in the jungle? What kind of Tera is that, by the way? What grade is it? What level is it?”
Suddenly bombarded by questions, Aaron didn’t know what to say. So, he just reached forward to shake that hand, but stopped when the Chief turned around and said to Edmond, “Kid, if you don’t want that hand to be bandaged for a week, don’t shake his hand. I guess he must be rough in social skills. You two are of a similar age. Why don’t you teach him a thing or two about society?”
Hearing himself referred to as if he wasn’t standing right there made Aaron feel unpleasant, but he didn’t say anything.
Edmond, too, only looked at Aaron’s inhospitable expression and shrugged, as if to say ‘What can I teach him if he isn’t ready to learn?’.
This made the Chief shake his head, but he paused to take out a key and carefully open a door on the backside of the large building where the Orientation had taken place before.
As Aaron viewed this door, he found it to be quite strange.
For one thing, the ‘house’ it was attached to was tiny, with barely enough space for two or three people to fit inside.
The oddest thing was that this small house which shared a wall with the tall building was made of some sort of metal which glinted in the sun, instead of wood.
Holding the door open, the Chief allowed the two kids to enter. Aaron hesitated at first, but went in anyway after seeing Woof indicate that it would stay outside and make sure that he wouldn’t be trapped with no exits.
After that, the Chief entered and closed the door, shrouding them in darkness.
“Skystead Hamlet Chief, Ernst. Authorize.”
Who was he speaking to?
Aaron asked himself this question, but when a female voice answered, he jumped with panic, as he was sure that there was no one else here.
“Identity authorized. Holographic World Government Hub booting up.”
What happened next would be burned into Aaron’s mind forever.
A light appeared on the floor in the center of the room, before it shone upward and caused a brilliant image to appear.
No…it couldn’t be called an image. It had edges and sides, but as Aaron raised his hand, it passed through them.
After a second, a round shape, similar to the one he had seen in the second mosaic in the Orientation, came into being, before bright words appeared and started to rotate around the apparition.
He had believed that there were other humans. He had believed those mystical cores, and he had even believed that those awe-inspiring attacks were possible.
Yet…this, he couldn’t believe.
He had seen a ghost before in the form of a very peculiar beast, so that was what he assumed this was.
Panic filling his mind to the brim, Aaron leaped toward the door, opened it and jumped out, before running in the direction of the jungle which was his home.
This…was just a little too damn much to take in in a single day.
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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