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17 Tournament

 "Congratulations punks! You have now survived the intermediate exam. This is in itself quite the achievement. However there are still too many of you thus we decided to host this.

Behind me are representatives from the four bodies of my Elephant Foot Guard. 100 of you lucky brats have a unique opportunity. Each of these bodies are looking for 25 warriors from this camp. In other words, after this tournament, we will have 25 Envoy apprentices, 25 Hunter apprentices, 25 Ivory Guard apprentices and 25 Foot Guard Officers! The rest will join the Foot Guard as ordinary infantry men!

As you know, the Ivory Guard is a bit special, thus they have the right to choose first. Thus if any of you want to join them, I suggest you bring out 200% of your efforts brats! The rules are very simple. Every one of you brats are to step onto this platform. The last 100 will be the winners. The last 75 will join one of the three special bodies, and the last 25 will join the Ivory Guard. The last five will have the chance to skip apprenticeship and directly become an Ivory Guard Warrior. The last man standing will become an Ivory Guard Team Leader, how is that brats!"

Tanaka's final words made Taku swallow his saliva. It is common sense that the higher your starting point the more promising your career will be; Thus directly joining the Ivory Guard, skipping apprenticeship and becoming a team leader seemed very enticing. Taku didn't even know what a team leader was but he was sure it was a very high rank!

"Pain before dishonour, death before defeat!"

"Pain before dishonour, death before defeat!"

The children echoed Tanaka's shout of the motto. After four years these children had said this almost a hundred thousand times each, repeating it after it was said became a reflex for them. This however was somewhat different.

It goes without saying that all of the children there were holding dombos, but he moment they said the motto, the dombos in their hands turned into dust. Some of the less intelligent children thought that they had made a mistake and started to panic, but after realising that they were still breathing they noticed this was far from the truth. Not only that, the restrictions on their bodies placed by the dombos were lifted!

This was without a doubt the most pleasurable experience Taku has ever had. It was actually quite embarrassing because many of the youngsters moaned in ecstasy. Taku almost did so but thanks to his resilience he kept his mouth shut.

It was as if his entire body was unshackled, as if a mountain that was on his back had been removed. An energy unlike anything he had ever felt started rushing through his body, resulting in a second desire, one he could not resist. "Ahoooooooo!"

Taku and all of the children shouted to the sky, howling like wolves looking toward the moon at night.

"Hahaha! Finally! I can move freely!"

"My powers are back again!"

"Wow, was I actually this powerful?"

Many discussions broke out among the children at the miraculous effects of losing the dombos. Tanaka grinned and nodded in satisfaction.

"Listen up brats, this is the power of the dombo! Every day, whenever it healed you from you fatigue and injuries, it also improved your body's caliber, over time even improving your talent, allowing you to break through your limits! Be grateful to those rocks brats, in the future, if any of you are still alive, you will truly appreciate them!"

Taku could not help but agree to Tanaka's words, he wasn't sure what, but something had improved qualitatively within his body. It was at this moment that information flooded his mind.

This? This is!

Soul manifestation! Taku remembered what he had experienced with Saru four years ago. He had always wondered when the so called knowledge the Guardian Spirit promised his would arrive, but it never did. Taku hypothesized that the dombo was the reason why he could not access the knowledge and this moment proved him right.

This is quite impressive. Its mainly a support ability, but its very useful, especially to someone like me. Lets see, soul manifestation is the ability to...

While Taku was lost in his thought, the youths around him were messing around with their bodies, jumping around, punching air, activating their unique abilities, doing anything to test their new-found power.

As Tanaka observed the youths going about their business he had a contented look. He had seen such a scene multiple times, but it never failed to please him. Nothing made him happier than to see younglings become stronger. As Tanaka gazed at the children's antics, he noticed an oddity. A young man who was standing still with his eyes closed.

Ho? This looks interesting, I haven't seen a reaction like that before. That should be...hhmm... Takunda Gumbo? Information on him was wiped, all that is known is his name. But Gumbo is the most common surname around these parts. I will keep a look on him.

After a few more minutes, Tanaka finally felt that it was time.


All of the children stopped their antics and stood straight. Taku opened his eyes, and if one were to pay attention, they would notice a certain depth in his eyes that sucks one in...

"Alright brats, now that you are accustomed to your bodies get on the platform. Its time to begin!" As the children climbed onto the platform, the atmosphere around them began to change, from one of happiness to one of seriousness. Each of these children had been involved in many life and death battles, against nature, against savage beasts and most importantly against each other.

Once all of the children were on the platform, Tanaka spoke, "The rules are simple. If you kill someone, you are disqualified. If you step off the platform, you are disqualified. If you are thrown off the platform, you are disqualified. Abilities may be used. May the best man win."

After hearing the second rule, many of the less confident youths tried to squeeze into the middle. This was the moment that would decide their future! They would definitely do everything they could to win. Such cowardly actions immediately caught the attention of the seated Hall Masters, causing some to shake their heads. Taku was one of these children who were moving to the center, thus the sitting Hall Masters immediately pegged him as a weakling.

After all the movement on stage had stopped the hall master finally declared that the battle Royale had started.

The atmosphere was tense as every child was afraid to make a move. If it was a one on one fight none of them would have hesitated when attacking, but the situation this time was totally different.

Most of them feared that if they were the first to attack then they might ganged up on. The silence only lasted for a mere five breaths before the first wail of agony came.

The person who had been knocked out looked at the stage in disbelief. Never in his wildest dreams would he have thought that he would be the first to actually get eliminated. His self pity didn't last long as he noticed that the person who had pushed him off the stage was also on his way down.


The youth below the stage couldn't hold back his excitement as he shouted out. He quickly stood up and cocked his arm backwards and then flung it toward the falling youth.


The youth who had just gotten a punch to the face immediately went unconscious. The youth who threw the punch just casually smiled, sat down and began watching the now chaotic scenes on stage.

After the first two unlucky youths were knocked off stage the rest began frantically attacking in fear of being thrown off too. On one side it was very chaotic, but it was rather calm at the other.

No one really bothered to attack the people on that side of the stage because they knew that they would only be asking for trouble. There was one person that everyone knew not to mess with and that was Tavonga.

Even though everyone in this batch was considered top notch, Tavonga was the person who was at least a level above everyone, or so he thought.

"Not bad!" Ticha exclaimed.

Even though he said this when he took a glance at the teens who were fight mercilessly with each other, he had quickly switched his gaze to the youth who was in the middle of stage.

What really surprised Ticha at this moment was that this youth actually had his eyes closed, but no matter how hard the others tried to hit him, they all failed miserably.

At some point a very sinister looking kid had attempted to attack the boy who had his eyes closed from behind, but just as his fist looked set to connect, he suddenly lost his balance and slammed onto the stage.

This shocked the people around them. They could clearly see that Taku had his eyes closed. The people fighting around them had paused for a second after witnessing this scene.