None of these commotions caused Key to lose sight of his target. Once he and a group of nine other people stood before one of the supervisors, the rules were once again explained in quick detail.
Being dismissed, Key took a closer look at the claw markings. There were four slashes grooved into the stone tablet. Each slash was jagged in shape as if the slash wasn't clean and smooth.
Either the stone tablet was too hard, or the attack wasn't sharp.
That simple? Why did so many people fail?
Before the others could get a clear examination of the markings, Key already started making his way to the center of the stage platform.
If it were before today, he wouldn't say he had full confidence in comprehending the markings. Now however, wasn't it too easy?
Eyes of disbelief circled around the town square. What was that youth trying to do? Was he trying to say he already figured out how to replicate the technique on the stone tablet? Who could accept that?
Their thoughts were only natural. Key hadn't spent more than five minutes before he was already preparing to test his insights out. Even Ethia who was among the crowd of owners was starting to doubt his results.
The reason for her earlier confidence in Key was because she believed in her own instincts. Key was something extraordinary is what it would tell her.
He was the first person she ever saw jump levels and kill higher ranked creatures. If it was just a rank, it was still within understanding means. But there was a gulf between being titled and title-less. And now, he was once again going beyond her expectations.
How could he really come from the savage settlements in Green Grass Field? He was too abnormal.
Seeing the youth approach the center before he could call the next participant, the old man in black robes raise an eyebrow. "Are you sure your ready? I will only remind you once that there are no second chances. If you shorten your time out of recklessness, no one will show pity."
"I'm ready." Was the reply Key gave. Why did the old man feel to ask this? Wasn't there a few other people who went early as well?
Of course, Key's situation was different. Unlike the rest, he didn't even wait for the study time to pass before he decided to attempt the technique.
All the owners who had been forced into placing bets against Key were showing looks of happiness. Wasn't this an idiot wishing to show off in front of his owner?
If they had known the actions of the tamed speck would be like this, forget just thirty evolution stones, even the original price of one hundred or more evolution stones wouldn't be asking for too much.
Not just them, watching close by was also Pierce. The joy at the sudden turn of events couldn't be expressed in words how he was feeling at the moment. He was sure the filth was sent by heaven to help him.
And when the time came, he would be sure to let the wretched thing watch as he had his way with its master. It was always better when he could perform before others. He could already see and taste it. Sweet bliss.
"Young miss, is it too late to raise the bet? I am even willing to make an offer of 200 hundred evolution stones." These words came from the first middle-aged man that gave his vote of agreement to make things more interesting.
"This..." For the first time, Ethia was lost for words. She wasn't to worry about owing them money, nor the resentment if she decided to bail out on the deal.
In fact, this was all so she could impress Key and give him some free evolution stones in case he wanted to help his people before becoming her slave. She always preferred a willing slave over a resentful one.
Since she wasn't positive in the fact that Key wasn't letting the pressure get to him from wanting to win and be first, her accepting higher bets would be redundant.
But how could Pierce and Trump being willing to let this moment go? This was the perfect opportunity to win back their lost dignity.
"Lovely lady, since everyone is in agreement, wouldn't it be rude to refuse them? Would there even be a point in having a banker that only wants to win and profit from us? I say we go with the original price of one hundred so everyone can be satisfied." Trump said every word with a smile. He was truly enjoying himself.
"If the Fair Tigress is lacking in funds or still unwilling, I could speak on your behalf to lower the price some. But the impression I got from the Fair Tigress, was a woman from an affluential family. I'm sure this is only pocket change to you. Your tamed speck might even possess this little bit."
When hearing the words of the two, the crowd quickly grew heated. If she had the money to pay up, why shouldn't she increase their betting price? It was her own rule in the beginning anyways.
Ethia grew angry, to the point that she had thoughts of forgoing the whole thing and killing the two annoyances on the spot. Did she fear the crowd? At her level, there was no need too.
Taking a deep breath, she looked hard at Key on the stage. Since he had the confidence, she would also be confident in him. "Fine! Don't come crying to me when you all lose your money. I'll be more than happy to take it all. A hundred? Even if you place a thousand evolution stones on the bet, I'll be willing!"
There! It was all or nothing.
Pierce grew even happier. Once her family saw the debt she placed on them, they would be more than glad to hand her over to him for life.
She only needed to wait because her days were numbered!
Key didn't stretch his hand back like some of the others. Instead, he just raised his palm facing up as he inspected his hand. This would be the first time he was solidifying his ambition force.
Unlike the rest, he wanted to concentrate and make sure there were no mishaps.
"Get on with it! Stop stalling!" Shouted a tamed speck that had wanted to go on the stage sooner. Now, he would have to wait and pass with a slower time because of the interference.
"Shut up! No one is to interrupt the testing. As for you, if you are ready to perform, go to the next stage waiting with a supervisor."
Realizing he didn't have to wait, the man left. "Continue."
Despite the actions and words on the outside, Key didn't lose concentration as he forged the ambition force around his fingernails. With more and more ambition force, the length grew to be fifteen centimeters long.
The points were razor sharp like knives with a curve to its shape. Following this, the ambition force solidified into a gold color as Key took an attack stance.
An image appeared behind his back as if an emperor was overlooking everyone. "What! Impossible! The technique can't be comprehended to this extent!" The old man in black robes was overwhelmed at the sight.
Standing in the center of the stage, Key swiped his hand to the side of the stage where the testing clay boulder rested a few feet away. Only taking this strike, would he know that he had completely and correctly mastered the technique.
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