As his mind and heart finally calmed down after a few minutes, Aaron took a deep breath and recalled everything he had learned today.
So far, his life had been simple. Eat, run and try not to get eaten. That was it.
Now, with so many complex elements entering it abruptly, he just needed a breather.
His mind just wasn't wired for anything other than an instinctive lifestyle at the moment. Yet, Aaron was ready to change. If anything, he was adaptable.
First, he decided on his motive. The question about his identity had haunted him for too long. So, he decided that he would tread this Path, whatever it was.
Yet, he remembered that he hadn't asked Woof.
So, using his thoughts, Aaron tried to convey to Woof his intentions.
Woof's mind was simple: it understood direct thoughts, but complex sentences were a no-go.
So, he tried to string together three ideas: first, he sent the image of a small family of Crocodrills that they had seen when they witnessed the fight between the two dominant leaders of those tribes.
Aaron had learned this trick of sending images after a long time. It had come in handy loads of times, especially when there was something that couldn't be conveyed using just thoughts.
Using the image, he tried to get the thought across that he was referring to his identity by making the parents stand out.
As soon as Woof understood, it made a questioning sound after raising its head. It also knew about Aaron's quest, as it had often seen him enter melancholy periods of silence during which it had felt his emotions of wanting to find out where he came from.
Next, he focused on the picture of the baby Crocodrill, isolating it in the process before joining it with the full image again. Instantly after that, he sent the image of the Hamlet they had just visited.
Through this string of thoughts, Woof understood that if Aaron wanted to find out more about his parents, or identity, then he needed to spend more time in that place with those strange structures.
Well, that was fine by it.
With delight, Aaron felt the thought of acknowledgment enter his mind, which meant that Woof was ready to follow him.
However, when he saw what it sent next, he burst out into laughter.
It was the image of that plate of steaming buns which they fought over.
Promising Woof that he would definitely obtain many more buns for them to snack on, Aaron got up.
Determination shone on his face. With Woof by his side, he was confident that he could accomplish anything.
He knew that his life was going to change he could never have imagined, but he fixed his goal in his mind: he would get to the top of the Path to the Stars, no matter what it took.
Whatever he encountered along the way, he would just take it in stride and carry on instead of getting overwhelmed and running away like this.
Once Aaron became fixed on something, he knew that he would definitely see it through to the end.
Patting Woof, he took one last look at his home, before heading in the direction of the Hamlet.
It was time…to move forward.
On reaching the gate, Aaron saw that Edmond was actually leaning on it and looking around.
Spotting him, he waved, saying, "So you did find your way back. Come on! The Chief asked me to bring you to him the moment you arrived."
Nodding stoically, Aaron followed after Edmond, remembering the expression he had seen on the man.
Well…why not ask?
In the forest, if he encountered something he didn't understand, he would just ask Woof. There was never any need for thinking twice.
So, Aaron just went with it.
"Why are you so sad? Did you lose someone?"
Hearing his question which was asked in a straightforward tone, Edmond stumbled and almost fell on his nose.
Straightening himself, he chuckled nervously and said, "Wh-what do you mean? I'm not sad!"
Oh. So he was wrong.
Shrugging, Aaron just assumed that maybe, he had been mistaken.
The man said he wasn't sad. So, Aaron had no reason not to believe him.
Nodding, he replied, "Ok. I thought you looked sad when the Chief stopped you before."
Putting it out of his mind, Aaron followed Edmond, but the latter's mind was in turmoil.
How the hell had this guy managed to figure out that he lost someone just by his expression? Was he one of those who were said to be able to read minds using Energy Manipulation?
No…this guy definitely didn't even have a Core. He was just a normal human.
No matter how much he thought about it, Edmond couldn't figure it out.
Resolving to conceal his emotions more effectively, he went over the plan he had formed in his head.
'This guy definitely has no idea about Teras and the ways to subdue them. He won't know what hit him. I'm sorry, my innocent friend. If you want to blame something, blame your lack of knowledge.'
Saying this in his mind while he looked at Aaron, Edmond walked on, but after he turned away, Aaron glanced at him with a pondering expression on his face.
He was very sensitive to the signs given out by any being that was in his proximity. After all, it was essential when he was on the hunt.
This man seemed…nervous, but also excited.
When he thought about it, Aaron realized that he reminded him of a Horned Rattlesnake which was lying in wait to shoot forward and strike to kill its opponent in one go using its sharp horn.
Even Woof growled in a low voice, giving Aaron the signal that it had picked up something, too.
Just as he decided that he would be wary around this man, he looked up to see that they had arrived at that same building where the orientation had taken place.
Entering it, he found the Chief, who only waved at him in greeting and waited for him to reach him.
After he did, the Chief spoke in a solemn tone.
"I understand that it must have been pretty overwhelming. You had already found out so much that must have blown your mind away, so I should have been more tactful. Well, I won't be making the same mistake twice. Here. All the basic orientation information is in this. Go through it, and take some time to adjust. I've assigned a room for you. Come on."
Saying so, the Chief handed over a sheaf of papers, which Aaron felt curiously while that word, 'paper', appeared in his head. They were coarse, and the scratches on them indeed contained all the information that Jenny had explained before.
In response to the statement about adjusting, Aaron nodded, as he knew the importance of taking things slow.
As he followed the Chief, he was led into a small house nearby which had a bed.
"Read, and rest up. I'll talk to you tomorrow. My wife will send you your food. I asked her to send a lot for your companion, too. I just want you to ease into this, slowly. So, just take it easy. See you later."
Nodding again, Aaron and Woof watched as the Chief locked the door. There was an open window, so they weren't very concerned about an exit path.
The rest of the day passed peacefully, with Woof choosing to nap and Aaron going through the papers, which fascinated him even though he had heard most of it before. There was some information that hadn't been told by Jenny, too, so he took the time to go through them all completely.
At night, they enjoyed those same buns again, which made Woof quite happy.
As night approached, the two prepared to rest.
Meanwhile, outside, Edmond was watching that house. Through the window, he could tell that both of them were awake.
Seconds, minutes and hours passed, but the two gave no indication of going to sleep.
Finally, at 2 A.M, Edmond finally saw the dog lying down, while the guy was also motionless on the bed
This was his chance.
Tiptoeing, he made his way to the house before entering it through the window.
Quiet breathing greeted his ears, and his eyes locked on to the sleeping husky, which was his target.
All it would take was a second.
That piece of information he had recalled had also contained another fact: the Teras of those who survived in forests were usually those with high potential, as only those beings were capable of the instinct to protect.
He wanted the Tera.
It was unbound, so if he walked forward and used a tool he had bought in the city, he would be able to own it easily.
After reaching the Tera, Edmond reached in his pocket to take out a syringe-like object before bending.
Yet, at that exact moment, the clouds covering the moon outside parted, resulting in a ray of moonlight to fall on the Tera.
In that instant, Edmond's heart froze, as he spotted the open eyes of the Tera looking at him as if he were prey.
In a flash, it lunged for his throat with its fangs.
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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