"Thanks for not saving me any."
Aaron had been having the most pleasant dream in his entire life.
Meat! Meat so tender and juicy that it was to die for had been dangling in front of him, enticing him and calling to him, while he ran behind it with a lopsided smile on his face.
Woof was beside him, smiling constantly with its tongue outside and laughing continuously while the both of them chased this heavenly being which had untold gallons of joy inside it.
Feeling someone kicking his leg and hearing this voice, Aaron grumbled but quickly awakened.
The skill of coming into a fully awakened state from a state of deep slumber was something that had been honed over the years spent in the jungle, so, the moment he opened his eyes, Aaron realized just how weird his position was.
He was actually… Hugging the plate in which the meat had been given to him yesterday, and, in fact, as he tried to remember, except for the feeling of continuously chewing the meat and enjoying it so much that he hadn't wanted that moment to end, he didn't remember anything else about the night.
"Ernst told me that the meat was cooked with a very strong alcoholic juice that is a specialty in the area around here. I guess you must have been completely knocked out, but I'm really surprised that your Tera wasn't. It really is special, I see. By the way, you can let go of the plate now. There is no more meat. Both of you finished the amount which usually lasts for a few days. That's the reason I had to settle with more buns for breakfast."
The moment he heard Edmond say this, Aaron quickly let go of the plate and hastily scrambled to his feet.
In the process, he wiped his mouth and started to dust the dirt off of his clothes, as he had been sleeping on the ground.
Looking to the side, he saw that Woof was close to nodding off.
Ignoring Edmond, he bent and touched the Tera's skin, which was when he experienced an intense feeling of wariness from the Husky.
Judging from what Edmond had said, Aaron pieced together everything that might have happened last night.
Now that he thought about it, he could remember eating more and more even while Ernst came forward and said that he might not be able to handle the alcoholic effects of the meat. Of course, he had been in a paradise of flavor the likes of which he had never felt in his life, so he had been in no mood to listen.
After that… It was blank.
The most likely possibility was that Woof had stayed up all night, keeping guard, as the both of them always made sure never to sleep at the same time.
Even though they weren't in the jungle right now, this wasn't a habit they would break, as it had saved their lives more times than they could count.
Patting the Husky, he nodded, following which it fell to the ground and immediately started snoring.
This made Edmond throw his hands in the air and say, "Hey, did you forget that we have a strict deadline? We need to get to the town where my father's imprisoned!"
Shaking his head, Aaron got up and said, "No way. Woof needs to sleep for at least three hours."
Sighing, Edmond said, "Fine. We've been delayed by this long already. What's 3 hours?"
Hearing Edmond say this, Aaron nodded and sat down right next to Woof, with the intention of guarding it in the same way that it had stayed awake despite its wariness and protected him all night.
Grumbling something that he couldn't hear, Edmond folded his hands and turned around.
Taking this opportunity, Aaron looked around to see that a few of the members of the Hamlet who were passing by were pointing at him and whispering something among themselves.
"What are they saying?", he asked Edmond, curious.
This made Edmond turn around and chuckle, before he said, "They're probably gossiping about the odd sight of seeing a grown man and a 'ferocious' Tera cry while eating meat!"
Puzzled, Aaron asked, "What's remarkable about that? It was really that good. I need to speak to Mrs. Ernst before we leave, because I want to find out how she made it."
Oh. Right. Aaron really wasn't… educated in the various ways in which humans found amusement in seeing things which they usually weren't used to seeing. Edmond thought for a moment, but he didn't find a way in which he could explain that crying while eating was something which only babies did when they didn't like the food, so the sight of both of them last night had become the talk of the Hamlet. So, he gave up.
"Forget it. Another pitstop? Fine, just make it quick."
At the same moment, over Edmond's shoulder, Aaron saw the former Chief and the present Chief approaching them.
Seeing Aaron looking at the spot behind him, Edmond also turned around, and as he did so, a smile came on his face.
It was finally time to accomplish one of the things he had set out to do.
Behind those two, there were 10 people who immediately went to a certain spot and started unearthing the rope which acted as the ring inside which the challenge was supposed to occur.
"You ready?", asked Ernst as soon as he arrived, to which Edmond replied by nodding with confidence.
"Alright. Jenny won't be a problem, this time. You should've seen the way that Aaron defeated the butterfly. It was incredible! It'll be talked about long after you two leave, I bet."
Aaron didn't understand right away what was going on, but he did see Edmond turn and shoot a glance at him when he heard Ernst say this.
"Wait till you see what my Bewitching Fox can do. Humph!"
Yes, Edmond was definitely jealous, and he had no intention of hiding it.
After spending a day coaxing the Bewitching Fox with a lot of promises and bribes, he had finally managed to convince it to fight for him, only so that it could grow stronger because he would endeavor to provide it with all sorts of materials and techniques.
Proud of his accomplishment, he had marched out of the healing quarters, only to find that Aaron had high-grade Body Potential, and also that he had already won the challenge against the Hamlet Chief and even integrated with two Cores.
Although Edmond was very grateful for how Aaron had allowed him to form a bond with this Fox, it hadn't stopped him from the burst of intense jealousy that assaulted his heart at that moment. He had always been someone who allowed himself to be manipulated by his emotions, which was partly the reason why he had schemed so much to get revenge on those bullies even if it took a lot of years.
Back in the city, because of his background, although he had been happy, he always did use to be jealous of those individuals who were blessed with high Body Potential that would allow them to sail through life easily by virtue of their birth. He, on the other hand, would definitely have to struggle a lot.
After coming here, although his entire mind had been on saving his father, he had been hoping that he would at least be able to show off a little bit as a City-dweller in a small Hamlet, but being out shadowed even here had caused him to feel quite sour, even though he knew that he shouldn't be feeling so.
Now, it might finally be time to change that, and snatch away at least a little bit of the glory that, right now, belonged to the guy sitting on the ground beside him.
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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