That morning was one of the strangest in Aaron’s and Woof's lives.
Actually, if he didn’t count a few days on which they had woken up just inches away from being eaten, this would be THE weirdest one.
Frowning when he heard Edmond say ‘yellow teeth’, Aaron wanted to say that there was nothing wrong with his teeth, but he didn’t when Edmond took out a vaguely round object on which Aaron saw his own face, exactly as if he were looking into the surface of a calm lake.
The image wasn’t very clear as there were imperfections on the object, which was called a ‘mirror’ according to Aaron’s memory, but on it, he could clearly see that there was a yellow sheen when he opened his mouth.
Even though he had never had access to tools, Aaron was used to taking care of his teeth and other bodily hygiene using water from a stream or lake whenever they had the opportunity to get near them. He would use his fingers and water, and he had always felt that that was enough.
Alas, he had yet to realize that he was now in human society, where each and every aspect of a person could be judged.
He was led to that same spot where it had ‘rained’ on him before, where he was pushed into one of the stalls before being shown the correct method by Edmond.
Surprisingly, just one instance of using that branch which gave off a sweet smell resulted in his teeth getting whiter.
After that, he had to relieve himself in a hole on the ground. A hole!
‘How do these people have the time to clear these holes every day?’, he wondered, while trying to aim properly during both his activities as he had been told by Edmond not to make a mess.
However, it was only during his activity that he noticed that it wasn’t just a hole in the mud; no, this hole had a layer of some sort of material, and when he opened the door and said that he was done after washing himself using the water placed to the side, Edmond pointed at a latch on the inside of the stall, which Aaron pulled.
The sound of rushing water reached his ears, before a flood inundated the contents of the hole and swept them away.
No more smell or mess?!
His eyes open wide, Aaron marveled at the practicality before calling to Woof, who had been watching from outside with a very suspicious look on its face.
It was obvious that it didn’t like this, not one bit.
Yet, on Aaron’s insistence, Woof walked inside while Aaron walked out and closed the door.
“Wooow wooow oooww….”
“Row! Row wow!!”
First, they heard puzzled growls, before a loud bark caused all those in the stalls adjacent to the one Woof was in to run out in fright.
Was there some sort of Tera attack going on? That, too, here?! When they heard Edmond who gave an explanation after letting out a sigh, the hamlet folk looked at Aaron strangely.
Meanwhile, Aaron had opened the door to find that Woof had accidentally turned the faucet for the running water, and as the faucet was angled downward so that the water could be filled in a container if needed, Woof was currently fighting that jet of water as if it were an attack from some water-type Tera.
Laughing out loud, he went inside and turned off the faucet before giving Woof detailed instructions.
Although Woof grumbled, Aaron just walked out, trusting it to adapt.
Looking at Edmond, he asked, “Why did you and the others look at Woof like that?”
Indeed, when he had led the husky inside, Edmond had given a strange look exactly like the other hamlet folk who had run out.
His eyes darting around, Edmond looked like he was wondering whether he should answer. Finally, he just shrugged and said, “Because Teras are usually led outside by most so that they can answer nature’s call in the forest.”
This made Aaron frown as a confused expression came on his face.
“But…why? They use this, right?”
“Err…yes. But they’re the Tera Masters. Never mind…you’ll take time to understand. You already bathed yesterday, right?”
Aaron looked at Edmond for a few seconds with that same confusion, but he let it go, acknowledging that he shouldn’t get fixated on things, as there was a lot of stuff he had to learn.
This time, he bathed both himself and Woof, who found the leaves that he used to scrub the dirt off to be very tasty. However, after it bit into one of them, it wrinkled its nose and spit it out, sending a very strong thought that said ‘bitter’ through Aaron’s hand.
Aaron was slowly getting comfortable with where they were, so he laughed again. Usually, they did have moments of mirth in the forest where Aaron wouldn’t hesitate to regale the trees with laughter, and more often than not, it was when Woof, who was captivated with food just as much as him, tried odd things and ended up having reactions to them.
Of course, some times, it happened to him, too, but after one certain mushroom had resulted in a harrowing situation, he had curbed his curiosity.
The only reason he had been so stoic the day before was that he was in a new place that he wasn’t familiar with.
After they were done, Woof’s fur shone in the sun, causing a gang of kids who were passing by to stop and stare with their mouths open in an ‘O’ shape.
This ensued in another chase, with Woof helplessly barking at Aaron and asking for help, while the latter only watched on with a snicker, remembering all the times Woof had allowed him to be chased around until the last moment before swooping in to save him.
From time to time, he glanced at Edmond, who had an impatient expression on his face.
Well, there was a deadline.
Used to a carefree life, this concept of deadlines was new, so Aaron had needed some time to get used to it.
After having a hearty breakfast of more buns, which was apparently the standard food and was made tastier by spicy condiments such as pastes made from certain plants, Aaron finally said, “Let’s go catch that Wolf for you”.
This made Edmond’s eyes light up, while electricity seemed to travel through his body, giving him unprecedented energy.
He had been waiting for this for what felt like a long time, and it was the whole reason he had even been enthusiastic while showing Aaron stuff that was usually taught to babies.
As he led the way toward the forest, Aaron entered a deep introspection about how the favorite thing he liked so far about human society was the food. On the side, Woof howled with joy, as if echoing his thought.
He was still adjusting to this new life which was so different, but the food was definitely helping in that adjustment, even though he had only had a single dish so far.
As for the joy that came from being able to finally pursue the biggest mystery of his life, that was firmly in his mind, along with a thrill that seemed to have been born recently which made him want to discover and experience more of this fascinating new world he had found.
Finding himself at the edge of the forest, Aaron looked up and first remembered everything he had read in that booklet that the Chief had given him before.
Looking at Edmond, he asked, “You need an…Ordinary level Bewitching Fox, right? Because you only have an Ordinary Grade Core?”
Nodding, Edmond replied, “Yes. I see you’ve read the booklet. Teras have Potential, which is basically the level they can evolve to. Teras with high potential are more powerful than other Teras with lower potential at the same level. Higher potential Teras also gain power faster. The level also dictates the number of abilities a Tera has. With each increase in level, a Tera evolves in some way. Right now, there is no specific way to measure the level except grade it according to the number of abilities, which is usually the same number as the number of special mutations which differentiates a Tera from the animal it was before the apocalypse. Unlike humans, Teras can absorb Energy and grow even when outside, but being in a Core increases the absorption of Energy drastically. Fighting results in more absorption and faster growth, too.”
Seeing Edmond rattle away all the important information, Aaron raised an eyebrow before saying, “I already learned all that from the booklet, but thanks for the recap. Unless you want to stop and give more speeches like a Loudmouth Baboon, let’s go.”
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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