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Leaving the one-story building, Mel was exposed to the laughter of people as he walked towards the door. People, who heard Grumpy Hanry's last words, were treating the young boy like garbage.

“I have to keep listening to my grandfather's words. Who cares if they think of me as a weak person? So what? I know what I am capable of, and that’s enough for me."

Since Mel learned not to care about the thoughts of others at a young age, he was not affected by the attitude of the people of the settlement.

“But, this is the first time I've heard of these power levels. It wouldn't be bad if I found out the strength of each one."

After setting his top priority, he walked toward the doors that led out of the high walls. He wanted to go where the dense forests were by ignoring the slowly darkening sky.

"Boy, where are you going?"

Trying to get out of the door he came from, Mel was stopped by one of the guards he met in the morning.

"I'm going to the forest."

After getting the answer to his question, a man with the rough mustache raised one eyebrow and inspected Mel for a while.

“You're the kid who didn’t have a wild creature core. Did you manage to register?

Mel pulled the little jade from his bosom and showed it. It was the only thing that would allow him to get in and out smoothly.

“Well done. But I told you before. The weakest creatures in the forest are the creatures that have managed to circulate the power of nature in their bodies. You have no soul power. How do you plan to survive?"

The man was perhaps a tough person and could not establish warm relations with other people due to his duty, but he was thoughtful enough to warn the young boy for the second time.

“Thank you, brother guard. But I'll go anyway. I was born in a mountain village and have been living in the forest for the last three years. If I realize I can't protect myself, I'll run away and come here! ”

After listening to his speech, the guard smiled slightly. Then he made a gesture to the other guard and pulled the boy aside, who he was trying to warn.

 

“Look, lad. You are passionate and you think you can do anything. But things do not work in the real world in the way you think. A year ago, my son went to the forest, saying the same words as you."

“He was ambitious and was ahead of his peers for his age as a physical development cultivator. He wanted to enter the academy. We didn't have the money to buy the proposal coin. So, he wanted to collect and retrieve the creature cores."

"You probably don't know. For the fighter section, you should either have a recommendation locket or bring twenty creature cores from the forest around the settlement!"

"My son had to choose the second option. And the day after he left; here, at this door, covered in blood, he fell on my lap!"

Mel was listening to this story breathlessly. The changes on this man's face convinced Mel that what he was telling was not a fabricated story.

“What happened to your son, brother guard?

The mountain-like man was cramped on this question. His fists got so clenched that the sound of his bones could be heard.

“Since then, he is bedridden. He has wounds that normal medicines cannot heal. We cannot afford to buy high-end potions. Every day, I trick him into thinking that he can get better and take the exam next year. I lie to my own son to keep him alive. I lie to my crippled son so that he can hold on to life until the age of 16, the last age to join the academy!"

While telling everything he had kept inside for a year to a peasant boy he never knew, the man, who held his feelings until the end, began to cry.

“Do not lose your hope, brother guard. Tomorrow is another day. Two days later, I'll be here in the morning. Wait for me! ”

After a few more words to soothe the suffering man, Mel turned to the green area with dense vegetation. Darkness was completely fallen, and many people were rushing into the settlement.

“If they want creature cores from here for the academy exams, it means that the cores of the creatures living in this forest can be easily distinguished. If I can collect a few, I can ask the guard to determine their level for me!”

 

Mel made his plan, pulled his senses to their limits, and stepped onto the damp forest lands. There was an atmosphere that would give goosebumps. He was walking calmly through the land covered with trees all around.

 

“The trees here have already begun to see me as a threat. I can feel that they are uneasy. Considering that the houses in the settlement are built from them, they cannot be considered as wrong. It would be fanciful to try to interact with them!”

Mel was both walking and assessing the situation at the same time while some bumps began to appear on the soil behind him.

A pale green light flashed and faded from the bumps that continued like a long, thin road. When the young boy was a few feet away from these bumps, a head with two pointy teeth flew to its target like an arrow.

It was heading towards Mel's neck. This was a long snake as thick as a human arm. Two teeth, dangling from its jaw that turned sideways, were about to get stuck in a defenseless part of Mel’s body. But there was something the wild creature did not know.

Mel turned like a thunderbolt. He grabbed the snake by the neck with his right hand that was shaped like a dragon's paw. His forked tongue was dangling out of his mouth. Mel fixed his sharp gaze at it as the dark green liquids dripping from its two teeth were eroding the ground.

"You were the first wild creature to enter the killing cycle. So you will die in my hands!"

When he shook his right hand, a bitter hiss made its way into the forest. The snake's head and body split into two different parts. Without trying to remove the core, Mel took the creature as a whole into his ring. The smell of blood spreading around made him uneasy.

“The scream it let out before dying was not because of pain. It wanted to be avenged. Combined with the smell of blood, I will become a completely open target. I have to leave here urgently!”

Mel learned many things in the forest that his grandfather had prepared for him. Ever since he had to flee by falling into the trap of wolves and escaped with the help of the tree rising inside the cave he had refined, his hunting skills had improved.

Mel touched the wound on his face as he was shifting his place. He was doing this whenever he won a victory. He had adopted this as a ritual to protect himself from arrogance.

His predictions were correct. More than twenty snakes gathered in the place where the last cry of the snake, he had caught and killed after its sneaky attack, was heard. They could smell blood, but there was no sign of the dead body of their kin.

“Thanks to my grandfather's library, catching that snake was easy. All the information about creatures I had not seen before was written in the books there. Otherwise, I would not have known which wild creature was approaching from underground!"

 

Mel never neglected to assess the situation after the battles he had done. Regardless of victory or defeat, he would always review what he did right and what he did wrong.

“The snakes' activity will alert other creatures as well. Now, they all know that there is an alien in the forest. The main game starts now. We have two days. Let's see, how it will pass!”

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Sanseiu

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