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7 Soul Deviation

 Taku nodded vigorously. His name really was Takunda but people just called him Taku. As for the house name Taku assumed that as a villager without one they would just assign his village name as his house name.

Saru did not waste any time and continued. "Well then Taku let me tell you and interesting story."

Taku straightened up his body and started paying attention with all his might. He was scared of offending Saru, so he tried as best as he could to seem like a little boy who was concentrating.

"Now before I tell you the story allow me to explain something. Abilities we Gutu gain from awakening can be graded to how powerful the abilities are. The grades are colour based. From weakest to strongest there are red, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, silver, gold. To enter the guard one has to be at least a green level talent normally. Of course there are a few exceptions.

The method of grading these abilities is beyond your understanding. All you have to know is that the grades work."

As Saru spoke, a spectrum of the colours in the form of stripes appeared in front of the duo, floating in mid-air.

"Envoys are trained to be able to detect the grades of abilities through special methods. They are also able to tell you what abilities you have.

Now let me explain something else. There are five types of abilities. Reinforcers who can strengthen things or their bodies, Summoners who can summon creatures to fight on their behalf, Body Transformers who can change their body parts into something else, Manipulators who can control a certain aspect of nature and Muroyi who are essentially witches and warlocks with connections to spirits. All abilities have to be in at least one of these categories and an Envoy can tell what category it is.

There are some Muroyi who can attack a person's soul directly, resulting in damage to one's soul. This damage is called Soul Deviation and it is lethal. Almost everyone who has it will die in a few years at best and in seconds at worst. The stronger they were when attacked the longer they can survive, and it also depends on the kind of attack used. Below us is a special type of grass, one that induces bloodlust in humans over time. But it has has another effect, which is it facilitates the awakening of Gutu abilities. Its quite a plant. You still with me kid?"

Taku's eyes shined as he nodded like a chicken pecking corn. He was quite surprised because the grass below looked like normal grass.

This must be responsible for the blood-thirst we showed earlier...

Saru laughed and continued, "Now we can get to the story. Imagine this. A veteran Envoy who has awakened countless children goes to a backwater village to do a routine awakening ceremony. Only to come across a child with these results. Grade- Colourless, Ability - Indistinguishable, Ability type- All types. The Envoy was utterly stupefied, thus he knocked out the child and brought him to an expert Muroyi to find out what is happening, only to find out that the child is suffering from the highest class of Soul Deviation! A kind that should be able to leave even the strongest warriors in our empire bedridden! You following me now brat?"

Taku opened his mouth and didn't quite know what to say. He would be a fool among fools if he did not realize that the child in question was him.

Colourless? Indistinguishable? My soul was attacked? Highest class of soul deviation?

Many thoughts ran through Taku's mind as he tried to process what he had just been told.

"Boy, you wouldn't happen to remember being attacked by a spell capable of wiping out an entire country now would you?" Taku's empty eyes said everything. Saru couldn't help but sigh. "I suspected as much."

Taku stood up and started pacing up and down. A serious look of contemplation on his face.

Wait let's look at the facts, my soul came from earth, then fused with the soul of the original Taku. My soul eventually took control, but I never would have thought that this could lead to such consequences.

Taku had no doubt in his mind that his soul entering this body was involved, but he had no idea how on earth he was still walking. After seeing general Maka and co, Taku had a glimpse of how powerful the Gutu can be. Not to mention that they were still quite young. Just how much stronger could they possibly get? What kind of monster do you have to be to attack the soul of a being so powerful?

Taku was not sure if there was a direct correlation between the strength of one's soul and the power of ones abilities, but Saru's words seemed to indicate so.

"According to common sense you should be dead a thousand times over, yet here you are walking. It's quite the tale isn't it?"

This is insane. Why am I still alive?

"As for what could be happening I have thought of three possibilities. One being that your ability is so weak it can't be measured, but your performance at the battle scratched that out. Second was that your ability is too powerful to be registered. Third was that the spell that attacked you is also keeping you alive. The only question remaining is which of the remaining two is correct, or are they both true?" Saru was grinning the entire time, as if he had found his favourite toy, sending a chill down Taku's spine.

"Uhm, is there a way of knowing which one it is?"

Taku had many questions to ask, such as what exactly happened at the battlefield and what soul magic really was, but the pressing matter was assuring his safety.

"Well there is a method, but it will cost me. So, if I am going to use this method to assist you, you need to do me a favour."

What could someone like me possibly do for him?

A scroll suddenly appeared in Saru's hand. It was blood red and blank but it gave one an eerie feeling.

"This is a blood oath scroll. It is extremely rare and expensive. The effect is simple. Anyone who makes an oath on this scroll will be bound by that oath, if they don't follow through with their oath, their soul will be poisoned and would disintegrate, losing the chance to enter the afterlife. The oath I want you to make is simple. I will assist you in finding out the state of your soul, in return you have to promise me one favour that you will owe me in the future and follow one request of mine without fault."

Just when I thought things couldn't get anymore crazy.

Taku wanted to know the state of his soul, but at the same time he also did not want to give this man a blank check. What if he asked him to become his slave? Or something worse...

As if reading Taku's thoughts, Saru smiled. He put down the rod and bit the index finger on his free hand. Then he dripped some of his blood onto the scroll.

"I hereby declare that I will assist Takunda Gumbo with his soul problems to the best of my abilities, if he agrees to owe me a favour, one that I swear will not be harmful to him." As soon as Saru finished, the blood he had dripped on the scroll was absorbed like a sponge.

"Now it's your turn kid." Saru hand Taku the eerie scroll with a devilish grin. This did not bode well for Taku, and to him it was a bad omen. He shakily held the scroll and gulped, weighing the pros and cons of what was being said to him.

"Oh by the way, your soul could disintegrate anytime, and you'll die regretting not taking this opportunity. Just saying." Said Saru as he continued fishing.

Taku's expression turned sour as Saru's words hit home. It was not a pleasant experience for him. Too much information was thrust at him.

Taku spent many minutes pacing back and forth, until he reluctantly came to a conclusion.

Taku looked at his hands, a look of worry plastered on his childish face.

"Any finger will do haha."

What kind of person can casually bite their hand until they bleed?

Taku wanted to vent but he couldn't think of anything, and he was still weary of Saru's identity. As Taku looked down something caught his eye. It was a thorny flower barely 10 centimeters tall. Taku could not help but sigh in relief when he saw it. He quickly used one of the thorns to prick his thumb and dripped some blood onto the blank scroll.

"I hereby declare that I will assist the man before me, Saru, with a task of his request if he helps me understand the nature of my soul."

Hong!

A loud noise, like a bronze bell being struck echoed in Taku's mind, startling him. He dropped the scroll by accident but it mysteriously floated to Saru's side. By the time it had fallen to the ground his blood has already been absorbed.

Taku was shook his head and blinked his head a few times. Saru stood up laughing, "Good, good, good!"

He arrived in front of the somewhat dizzy Taku. "Now to fulfill my obligation."

Taku wondered exactly Saru would do. He was anxious and scared at what the results would be. This was an extremely crucial moment for him, one that could perhaps shed some light on the odd things that had happened to him.

"Okay Taku listen carefully, I am about to send you to a special place. Three things will happen in that place. First is that you will see exactly what your soul looks like, this won't last long so pay attention because you will have to describe what you see to me. Second is that you will be tested by our Guardian Spirits, follow their instructions and do not speak unless spoken to. Last but not least, if they grant you a name, remember it! Down to the pronunciation, understand? You only have one chance at this. Use it wisely!"

Before Taku could reply Saru took action. He formed some symbols using his hands, joining them in different combinations, to Taku these looked like seals used in Asian oriental culture but they were somewhat different.

A few moments after Saru began his movements the space around Taku changed. Immediately it became hard for Taku to move, as if he was trapped in quicksand, yet there was nothing. The wind around the duo began to pick up and clouds started forming above.

Taku's heart started beating madly, as if it wanted to leave his chest. His body started feeling weird, as if he was there but not there at the same time. And just like that Taku's mind went blank. Fear was one of the emotions that he felt when he blacked out, but then it was quickly replaced by excitement and anticipation .It was at this moment that Saru ceased with his hand movements.

He suddenly placed his right hand on Taku's head, placing his thumb on Taku's forehead with quite some force. Taku unconscious reaction was to scream because it was quite painful, but he could barely utter a sound due to the mysterious force that had bogged the space around him.

Saru made his free left hand face the sky and started shouting with a thunderous voice. "Guardian's, hear my call, I your humble servant has chosen this young boy for you. Please bring down your judgment upon him and deem if he is worthy of your protection!"

Boom!

As if an explosion occurred in his body, Taku started vibrating. Saru let go and looked on, worry evident on his face.

I hope I made the right decision. This is all for the sake of the clan!

After consoling himself Saru looked at Taku's body, which was now slowly floating upward as if it was weightless. After floating for a few meters above ground the body stopped ascending and continued hovering. The vibrating stopped and the body calmed as it hovered.

Saru's normally cheerful eyes narrowed. "So it begins."

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