Ernst was honestly speechless.
His whole intention behind stepping down and having Jenny take up the mantle was that these two kids would have an easy time.
Of course, he had been fully aware that Jenny was in possession of a flying-type Tera, which had a natural advantage over land-type Teras like Aaron’s husky and Edmond’s Bewitching Fox.
Yet, at least, in Hamlets, it was frowned upon if a Hamlet Chief used a type advantage to bring matches to a draw. The whole objective of Hamlets, or, at least, the easier Hamlets was to give Ascenders a boost of confidence. So, Hamlet Chiefs usually attacked and gave opportunities for Ascenders to defeat them even if they had advantages like these.
After all, at the stage of a Hamlet, only one Tera would be participating. So, unlike in advanced battles where a Tera Master might have access to Teras of multiple types so that they wouldn’t be helpless in similar situations, it was typically impossible for an Ascender to be able to beat their opponent if a type advantage was unduly used when they had just started on the Path.
Even the crowd knew this, but they didn’t say anything as they didn’t want to mess with Jenny, who was the strongest Tera Master in the village if Ernst wasn’t counted. So, they just kept cheering half-heartedly in the hope that some action would unfold.
With a stiff smile on his face, Ernst walked to Jenny’s side while Aaron and Woof stared at the butterfly in the air, trying to decide what they could do.
“Ernst, he scared J. J hasn’t even been eating properly since that incident.”
Seeing the tone of dead seriousness in Jenny’s voice, Ernst slapped his forehead.
This woman was usually very kind-hearted and fair, but when it came to the matter of her Pink-Winged Butterfly which had accompanied her for a long time, she would turn into someone vengeful.
Shaking his head, he considered whether he should be forceful, even though that might result in tension that would be bad for the whole Hamlet.
This was supposed to be a favor, dammit!
Seeing Ernst’s expression, Jenny chuckled.
“Don’t worry. I just want to teach him a lesson. I’ll make sure to have J attack in the next match. Let this be a draw. It’ll do him good, right?”
Sighing, Ernst was about to nod, as it looked like he had no other choice.
Yet, he heard Aaron speak at that moment.
Indeed, Aaron had been pretty flummoxed on seeing this situation. It was an empty ring, so there was nothing for Woof to use as support to leap up high and get the butterfly which even seemed to be gloating on seeing the helpless expressions on their faces.
So, at that moment, Aaron had gotten an idea.
He had been introduced as a Tera Master. Yet, there were 3 additional classes of individuals, too. How did they battle?
“How do other types of Ascenders battle?”, he asked, and the answer from the Chief made him smile.
“They enter the ring themselves, and the same rules apply. Why do you ask?”
“I want to enter the ring, too.”
Hearing this, Ernst frowned.
“You can do that, but it's not needed in Tera Master battles at the Hamlet stage. Weak Tera Masters have no abilities to defend themselves. Later, that gets rectified, but this is a glaring weakness of all Tera Masters who are starting out. Because of this, when the Path first came into being, Tera Masters couldn’t progress at all as they were highly vulnerable targets when inside the ring. So, the World Government laid down a rule that Tera Masters taking part in Hamlet-level Challenges do not need to enter the ring. Their Teras can fight it out against the Challenger, no matter who they are.”
Even Jenny didn’t know why the kid was asking this. He was just a normal human who hadn’t been enhanced in any way! Even the weakest Tera would be able to kill him. If he entered the ring, he would just be an easy target for J!
As if he hadn’t heard the warning in Ernst’s words, Aaron stepped forward without hesitation.
The butterfly was 10 feet up in the air. It looked curiously at Aaron, who looked at it with an odd expression.
If it had known that this was the expression he usually got when he saw food, it would definitely have been feeling fear by now.
After glancing at the butterfly and seeing that it kept shifting positions, Aaron came up with a plan and put his hand on Woof to communicate it.
This made Woof bark excitedly, as it was also quite irked by this cowardly Tera, too.
Bending down further, Aaron dig in the soft ground. A few seconds later, there were three rocks in front of him.
Hefting each in his hands to assess their weights, Aaron told Woof to get ready.
There was pin-drop silence all around. Everyone wanted to see why this kid had shown that much confidence when he had stepped into the ring.
Even Jenny was frowning, as she felt a slight hint of danger. Yet, as she glanced at J who kept moving in erratic patterns to make sure that even if some kind of attack did reach it, it would be able to escape, she told herself that this would definitely be a draw.
The ring had a radius of 10 meters, so there was quite a lot of airspace to exploit. Meanwhile, it looked like the preparations of the duo were done.
Ernst kept glancing between them and the butterfly. Could they really pull off a victory, here?
While he observed, Aaron carried the three rocks and moved to a spot near the border of the ring, while Woof went to the spot directly opposite to him.
The ring was also equipped with special sensors that made sure that if a Tera exited the airspace above the ring, it would be detected so that a loss could be given. Otherwise, there would be no meaning to such battles.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
In a flash, Aaron shot all three rocks with slightly different paths of travel.
Ernst hadn’t seen Aaron’s skill with throwing rocks before, so when he saw the insane speed and accuracy with which the rocks flew, he couldn’t help but feel wonder.
Yet, the butterfly had been prepared for this.
It had been trained to escape projectiles, as that was one of the most basic training regimen that a flying type Tera was put through. With its full focus on the rocks, it dodged one, then the other.
The third turned out to be a problem:it just so happened to come in the direction in which it had dodged.
Still, with a quick flap of its wings, the butterfly dodged again and was about to let out a breath filled with relief.
However, at that moment, the smell of bread washed over it, making it turn around in shock.
A desperate scream from Jenny was also heard, while Ernst also shouted something.
As it turned around, it got a close-up look of two rows of sharp teeth, with two canines standing out, ready to pierce its body and end its life.
This was it, thought the butterfly, wondering why it had followed it's master’s plan.
Only, just when it gave up, the scary dog snapped its mouth shut with an audible sound.
The sound came from right beside the butterfly, which made it faint with fear.
As Woof landed on the ground gracefully, the large butterfly started free-falling but was caught by Jenny who had run forward.
Meanwhile, Ernst was rubbing his eyes. Was this much coordination even possible?!
Aaron had shot out those three stones before running forward and giving a leg-up to Woof, who managed to reach J at the perfect time.
How the hell had they estimated its reactionary path, and calculated the time of the leap so accurately?!
As the crowd burst into cheers, Ernst finally reprised his role of the judge.
In a booming voice, he announced, “The Ascender wins!”
Even as Jenny blushed with slight anger and shame, Aaron walked up to the former Chief and said something that made her feel even more infuriated.
“Thank you for the favor. You were right, it was much easier.”
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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