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4 The Battle At Hand

 With an earth shaking shout, she managed to silence the entire square. Taku had thought that he was used to seeing the Gutu do extraordinary things, but to him this was ridiculous, her voice had caused a slight tremor, and frightened countless children within the square.

If that is her ability then she is very frightening, if that Is not her ability and she did that through sheer force then she is even more frightening.

"My name is General Maka. I will be explaining where you are and what you will be doing for the next few years of your insignificant lives.

Here your names do not matter, it matters not what tribe you came from, it matters not what clan you hail from, it matters not how talented you think you are, at the end of the day, in this city, only the survivors are strong!

After a year, half of you would be dead, and after another year half of those remaining will also die, this trend will continue for four years until your training is complete and your abilities have truly been awakened.!"

At that moment Taku thought of how children from earth would react. He had no doubt that there would be children crying for their parents, despairing wails and even those who would wet themselves, not to mention how many ten year olds on earth had a true understanding of what death truly was? How many children would be able to comprehend the fact that they would have a one out of sixteen chance to live?

The Gutu from Taku's perspective were truly frightening not only because their bodies were as steady as rocks, but also because their minds were and unbreakable as steel. As far as he could remember Taku had never seen a sentient Gutu child cry. From the moment Gutu children are born, they already have an incredible resolve to live and it shows in their day to day life.

Now Taku was seeing this resolve in its truest of forms. Not only did the children around him know death, they experienced it on a daily basis. Taku judged that the majority of children within this crowd were taken from towns and villages due to their crude behaviours and simple clothing. Taku knew from experience that living in such places was a feat unto itself as one would be close to the jaws of death everyday.

These children definitely understood death and knew what came with it, yet as far as Taku could see, not a single trace of fear could be seen. All he could see was a flame that had been lit within the eyes of all the children here. They had all come here seeking strength, for to them there was nothing as valuable as it. Even though they knew the majority of them would die, it did nothing to dim the embers that had already started growing in their little eyes. Taku marveled at the sheer sight of such blatant disregard of death, he didn't know whether or not to call it courage, all he knew was that he had to survive, and he was willing to do what he had to do in order to do so. He had already died once, and he was not planning to do so again.

Maka nodded in approval when she saw the desired effect, "All of you will be brutally trained to bring out the best of your capabilities. The Elephant Foot Guard are on a scale the likes none of you can even imagine, and we have plenty of duties, but none are more important than the quelling of wild beasts! During your time here, you will battle countless beasts time and time again, for it is only through shedding the blood of your enemy will you prove yourself, and it is only through treading the gates of death will you bring out your true potential!

You have all gone through a basic awakening, but that is nothing, you have barely scratched the potential of what you can really do. Observe."

Immediately after saying these words, Maka raised her hand. Taku was curious as to what she would do, only for his head to smash into the ground. Suddenly from nowhere his entire body felt like it weighed ten times more than it usually did, Taku felt like he was holding a mountain on his shoulders. It took all of his strength to lift his face and look forward, only to see the same thing. Hundreds of thousands of children were lying flat on the ground, struggling to get up just like he was.

Wait? Could it be that everyone is feeling the same thing?

Taku's thoughts only needed a few seconds to come to a swift conclusion.

This is the ability to control gravity!

Indeed Maka's innate ability was the ability to manipulate gravity. What shocked taku the most was not necessarily the ability itself, but rather the range it had. One must know that this square had the capacity to host over a million people and was filled to the brim, yet with a single movement from her hand she was able to make it impossible for everyone within the square to kneel. The only people who seemed unaffected where the soldiers behind her. Taku wondered just how her ability worked, whether it changed the gravity in a specific area, or whether it was target specific. He was thinking that perhaps she had intentionally chosen to shelter the soldiers behind her from her ability, unfortunately, he was wrong.

"Everyone within this entire city center is subject to my power, yet as you can see the warriors behind me are completely unfazed, why? Because they are true warriors who have been baptized by the flames of thousands of battles and have had their true abilities awakened!"

Every warrior behind her stood up from their chair and walked toward her. The walked in a manner so smooth you would think there was nothing different at all. Some were even having a nice chat behind Maka. Taku even saw one reading a scroll as if nothing at all had happened.

"This is a city where warriors a made and weaklings fall! This is a city were titans rise and the weak become their stepping stones! This is a city that will either bring you glory, or it will be your demise. Train till the point where you near death, fight with every ounce of your being and pray to your ancestors, and perhaps maybe in six years you will be standing here with us! Welcome to Madhara!

The soldier who had been reading a scroll then stepped forward. She was a tall and extremely beautiful woman, seemingly also in her late teens. Unlike Maka who's body was extremely bodacious, this woman was very slim. Her body was well proportioned and she had intelligent eyes, eyes that seemed like they could see right through you.

"General Shaya will now send you directly to your first battlefield. Your mission is to fight continuously without stopping until at least half of you are dead. You are advised to use the weapons provided for you and the battlefield, survival of this trial will be considered a pass. You may begin!"

Maka's gravity ability disappeared, allowing the children to regain control of their bodies. Taku got up and sighed in relief, only remember what had just been said.

Eh? Send us directly to our first battlefield?

At first these words didn't register much in Taku's mind, but he couldn't help but feel like something was about to happen. When he looked up, he saw the most incredible thing h had ever seen ever since coming to this world.

General Shaya had send a hand forward, and a small tornado materialized withing her palm, but as the second went by, the tornado got larger and larger, carrying the bodies of all those around with it, Taku was at the edges, so he was one of the last to be carried by the tornado, and he was also one of the few who truly got to see its sheer immensity.

It was hundreds of meters tall and seemed to be even more meters wide, it grew by the second, pulling in children by the hundreds. Never in this life would Taku have expected to see such a thing. The tornado itself was one thing, but the fact that it had been created by someone was another.

Once he was in the tornado, Taku lost his sense of direction and his sense of time. He, like the thousands of other children within, were being hurtled around and incredibly high speeds, often bumping or ramming into each other. Taku lost count of how many times he had rammed into someone else, and he didn't care, because the despair he felt at being treated like this overshadowed everything else.

By the time the spinning stopped, Taku had long since lost his sense of balance, thus it took him quite some time to get up. To his surprise, they were no longer within the city, they were now in an open grassland plain. Another thing that surprised Taku that he was the first person to wake up as far as his eyes could see.

It took minutes before another child woke up after him. After that however the children began to wake up and looked around them to be surprised by the sudden change of surroundings. On the ground were some dagger, sword and spear like weapons fashioned out of stone. Taku had since chosen a spear and was standing in the spot he woke up in, contemplating exactly what he had seen.

The abilities the generals had revealed stunned Taku to his core. Gravity manipulation, wind manipulation, just what else were the Gutu capable off? As Taku was busy contemplating these thoughts, he heard some screams near by. These were neither screams of terror or sadness, these were war cries. Taku was very familiar with this shout as many of the children at his own village would do the same before battle, in an attempt to motivate themselves and also in an attempt to mimic the adults they had seen.

Since the children had done such a think it only meant one thing. An enemy was approaching, or rather the already have. Beings carrying a variety of weapons had flooded into the group of children. Taku was surprised to the point were he could barely move, not because of the fact that they were humans, but because of the fact that they were Caucasian!

Since his arrival into this world Taku had assumed that the Gutu were the only people here, but this site had shattered that notion. "Ha!" A blonde man shouted toward Taku as he attempted to stab Taku with what seemed to be a very short spear. Taku dodged the attack like his life depended on it. Like all off the children here Taku was well aware that this was a test. He was not sure what was being tested exactly but knowing the way the Gutu thought Taku was confident that there was only one way to win in this test. Kill.

In his previous life Taku was accustomed to many martial arts and trained himself every day. Being the mixed martial artist he was he had trained himself constantly from the moment he arrived. His main focus had been on Muay Thai and Taekwondo. As far as Taku was concerned, his body was a weapon. The moment the blonde man neared Taku he lunged forth spear in hand, and Taku sidestepped, then the immediately got into position and did a round kick, aimed right at the blonde man's face. Kacha! To his surprise the blonde man's face twisted in a very odd fashion, which without a doubt was an indication of certain death.

Taku had never killed a man before in this life or the previous one, but it only took him a second to get over what he had done and move on. There were too many enemies and he did not have the luxury to be able to take it all in. Taku steeled his resolve and looked for his next target. Once he found one he instantly went into action. Taku had assumed that his first opponent had been weak so he took his next battles very seriously and approached with caution. The reason was he saw quite a few of his comrades dying at the hands of these foreign men, so Taku did not take them lightly, yet when Taku himself fought them himself he made an odd discovery. They were weak, very very weak.

No, I am just far too strong!

Taku moved like a phantom, breaking necks and disfiguring limbs, as if it was of second nature. The more he fought, the more natural his actions felt and the more he desired to kill. Taku was surprised by this odd vigor but he did not refuse it and welcomed it with open arms. After killing about twenty or so men Taku came to a conclusion. These men were without a doubt trained soldiers. They carried with them a multitude of weapons, from spears to swords to axes, Taku had even seen some archers here or there. And they all moved with trained precision. Taku was very astute and had no doubt that these men had gone through many battles to reach this point, yet at the end of the day, even if they were killing many children, they themselves were falling like dominoes.

Such was the disparity in strength between these men and the Gutu, even a child, given the right training and know-how could kill an experienced warrior with ease. At first The children were overwhelmed by their enemies, but over time the tide of battle slowly started to shift. Like Taku the other children slowly got used to fighting and killing, and blood-lust started to permeate throughout their entire being. Unlike Taku, a majority were unable to maintain control over their minds and went insane. Some were crawling on the ground like animals, others were howling madly as the fought and some even used their teeth as weapons, biting of the ears and fingers of their opponents. It was truly a bloody and gruesome sight, but this sight only served to strengthen the children.

One of the reasons the children had been overwhelmed at the beginning was simple, they were unarmed, but many were smart enough to collect weapons from their foes and fight back. Taku however felt that he did not need a weapon so he fought using only his body. He moved like a leopard seeking prey at every turn, with a punch he would break a man's chest, with a sweep of his foot he would break his opponent's feet, and with a well timed headbutt he could crack the skull of his enemy. The enemy were also armored, but as Taku fought, he came to a discovery.

These men and women are not from the same country. Yes they were all Caucasian, but their armours , weapons and fighting styles varied far too much. Some had simple leather armours, while some were armed to the bone with steel from head to toe. For Taku these were often the hardest to deal with, but in front of a Gutu child ordinary steel was nothing. Indeed, Taku had no doubt that this was ordinary metal, as compared to the ridiculously hardened materials that were in this land.

Twenty became thirty, thirty became fifty, fifty became a hundred. When he passed a hundred Taku became so tired he stopped keeping count and just fought for his life. His initial technique and calmness was quickly being reduced to savagery just like a lot of the other children. Despite his fatigue, Taku still kept fighting on, but as he fought something odd occurred, the children he fought started doing strange things. Some started breathing fire, other would start swimming in the earth as if it were water. Others would summon strange creatures and have them fight for them.

There was no doubt in Taku's mind that these children and fully awakened their abilities, the only question was, how did they do it? The longer they fought, the more children started gaining abilities. At some point incredibly powerful abilities appeared. There was one child who had the ability to release sonic blast waves all around him, harming both his enemies and his foes. Taku had made it one of his points to steer clear of that kid. Another child gained the ability to change into a huge stone giant and began to pulverize his enemies by the tens.

A clear relationship started occurring, the longer the battle raged on, the more powerful the abilities that popped up became.

Does that mean my ability will be incredibly powerful as well?

After killing what he believed to be his two hundredth foe, Taku started feeling a change within his body, at first it was very subtle, but the less Taku had control over his actions the more this feeling took over him. Bloodlust was slowly taking over his mind, and Taku stopped fighting in an attempt to resist it but more and more enemies would come and provoke him. Taku's vision started blurring and his heart beat became erratic, his skin started itching and he suddenly got an urge, and urge to destroy everything, an urge to hate everything and urge to smite!

"Ahhhhh!"

The last thing he could remember was having the urge to scream his lungs out. And so he did