Amongst the crowd, Emery realized that the fair lady was in the crowd.
The trumpets sounded and two people came forward to show how the test of strength would be conducted.
The first one to test his strength looked like your average person compared to the large man.
The large man and the average man lifted the resting rock beside them and threw it at the same time.
It wasn\'t even a competition though, the rock thrown by the average looking man didn\'t even come close compared to the other rock.
The second person to try was one of the people who guarded the young man and fair lady from earlier.
Again, the situation was the same.
There it is! The opening bout has been finished.
Now, who dares to test their strength against this man exclaimed the host.
Everyone, come and join! See if you can throw farther against the record set by Gregory the Giant!
There weren\'t a lot of people who stepped forward, but those who did, all appeared to be large people as well.
When they stood beside the man called Gregory the Giant, they were all dwarfed by how tall and stocky the man was.
With the urging growl of his stomach and the need for new clothes, Emery stepped forward to join.
He was the only one who looked out of place, barely reaching the shoulders of the large men as well as general width overall, so murmurings from the crowd resounded about how a thin and puny beggar entered a competition of strength.
He couldn\'t blame them though.
He had seen his appearance and if he had been an onlooker himself, he\'d probably think the same.
Emery removed his mantle because it\'d get in the way once he lifted the rock and threw it, but kept his brown scarf covering his face.
He had forgotten he was missing an arm since he had been used to using just one arm for about half a year now, but he was reminded of that when one of the participants said, Do you need a hand
A burst of laughter followed.
Another participant chimed in, He certainly needs one, hahahaha!
Emery smiled underneath his scarf.
He didn\'t mind this kind of teasing, not that he was used to it and didn\'t have self-respect, rather, what was the point Actions speak louder than words, right Even more so, when it came to using strength as basis.
Before he had come here and got trapped in the spatial space with the black dragon, his strength had been able to stand against an adult marauder who looted for a living, and now after receiving several increases of his battle power, he was confident he could beat this Gregory the Giant and the other participants.
That disappeared though as the man, who had thrown the rock before the competition earlier, threw another rock and surpassed Gregory\'s latest rock by two more paces.
Disbelief appeared in the faces of the crowd as well as Gregory, the Giant.
The man-in-arms appeared as if he was just doing something natural as he bowed to the rude young man and polite fair lady Emery had encountered earlier.
Emery stared at man-in-arms before looking down at the sitting rock him.
He looked to the left and right, and noticed that out of all the participants, he was the only one who hadn\'t thrown the rock yet.
As he bent down, once more the distasteful comments entered his ears.
They weren\'t even bothering to hide it and simply said what was on their minds.
However, whether it was pity or insult, nothing they said didn\'t matter to him.
Why is that beggar participating
I think he\'s a clown hired by one of the merchant lords.
Really one hand Who does he think he is
Hey, get out! You don\'t belong there, **ing beggar!
The crowd hurled all kinds of ill-disposed comments as Emery bent down and grasped the rock with his left hand so tight that it appeared to crumble a bit.
He hadn\'t used magic or his understanding of the earth to do this, it was just pure strength from a thin-looking person.
Hush filled the atmosphere.
Everyone was dead silent.
Emery got into position.
He placed one foot behind him, pulled the rock behind him as far as he could, before finally throwing it with all his strength.
The rock fell with a loud thud; half-buried in the ground.
All the onlookers\' eyes widened.
The host, himself, even decided to recheck the rock to believe what he had just seen.
He then gave a gesture to Gregory the Giant, who went ahead and checked the rock.
Since it had been half-buried, the giant had to dig around the rock and when he tried to pick it up, everyone saw how heavy it had been for a man of large stature to lift the rock.
Another man began to count his steps, which brought gasps of disbelief to the audience.
Twenty paces! exclaimed the host.
With just that, all doubts had been erased amongst the crowd and participants.
Amazing! The young man was able throw the farthest! We have our winner, people of Venta! exclaimed the host.
The previously silent crowd quickly changed into an eruption of louds claps and cheers! The young man who looked like a beggar defeated all the large men and set an all time high new record!
What\'s your name, young man asked the host in the midst of roaring and cheering.
Emery wore his mantle once more, thought for a moment before saying, Merlin.
Just call me, Merlin.
Well, we have it everyone! Merlin!
Merlin...Merlin...Merlin… chanted the crowd.
Emery stretched out his hand and asked, Where\'s the prize money
It\'s over here, said the host, placing the pile of coins on Emery\'s palm.
The host turned around to the crowd once more and said, Everyone, give cheers to Mer...lin…
After Emery had received the pouch of coins, he immediately departed, not caring for the praises of the people or anything.
He disappeared amongst the crowd, took several alley turns and once he was completely out of sight, he took a breather.
He had to get out as fast as he could because in a trading town like this, there were bound to be people who would want to take advantage of merchants and beggars especially with a big pouch of coins.
Even though he had shown his strength to be stronger than that large man, it was better to stay hidden and out of trouble.
Emery waited a good few more minutes.
And after making sure no one had followed him, he exited in another alley to do the following: he bought new clothes, washed up, got his hair trimmed, bought another iron sword to hide under his new mantle, rented a room in an inn, and ordered hot food.
At the moment he took a bite of the steaming chicken thigh, a voice called out to him.
It has been a long time since I have tasted freshly roasted meat,\' said the black dragon in his head.
\'Really Just when I was about to eat, you show up\' replied Emery in his head.
\'Give me a break.
I\'ve just woken up.
Anyway, it looks like you\'re near a place of power, northwest of here,\' said Killgragah.
\'Okay, I\'ll ask about it in a bit.
For now, just watch as I enjoy every bit of this chicken,\' said Emery, almost laughing to himself.
The black dragon irked.
I\'ll remember this, human…
After that, Emery went ahead and finished the chicken thigh.
He proceeded to order ale; when the lady caretaker arrived, he asked, Can you tell me more about the forest in the northwest
The caretaker darted her eyes before leaning closer to him and said in almost a whisper, That-that\'s the forbidden forest also known as Evernight forest…