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19 Victory...Or Not

 Ticha was a bit flabbergasted by the events of the day. But he noticed that the Hall Master was looking a bit sad. "What's wrong now? Your intermediate class has produced 2 excellent boys. Why are you so down?"

"There was this other boy called Tino who i thought would at least reach the top 4 but he didn't even reach the top 20." The Hall Master was visibly distraught by this matter.

Ticha just shook his head and asked. "Do you still think that Tavonga is going to win?"

"Yes i do!!"

Half an hour went by fast, Tavonga and Taku stood up and stared down at each other for a while. "Just give up!" said Tavonga.

In response Taku only smiled and then charged towards Tavonga. Taku threw a punch At Tavonga's head, which was blocked easily by the latter. Taku let out a series of light punches as Tavonga effortlessly blocked them all.

After Taku was finished with his assault it was now Tavonga's turn to test the waters. He also let out a series of light punches just to judge Taku actual power. But like Taku, he couldn't really properly grasp it.

That having been done, the real fight then began. Taku exploded forward as he threw his right fist towards Tavonga. Tavonga then countered with his own right fist.

Bam!

The two fists collided as they both staggered backwards. Taku had been expecting as much, but this came as a real shock to Tavonga. Before they had begun fighting he had admitted that Taku was a good fighter, but he still thought that Taku was a level below him.

In this moment he finally found out just how naïve he had been. With eyes filled with excitement and shock, Tavonga took the initiative to attack. He punched out twice.

Pa!pa!

But both punches were blocked by Taku. At this moment Taku's expression turned solemn. He wasn't too shocked about Tavonga's power, but he knew that if he didn't get serious he might just lose this battle.

Taku took a step back, but Tavonga followed him relentlessly. He didn't want to give Taku the opportunity to catch his breath. But through all this Taku remained calm, he was slowly bidding his time for an opening.

"Hmmm..." The Hall Master's expression was now solemn. If Taku's previous show of power was shocking, then this one was just down right unbelievable.

Seeing this Ticha smiled. "Starting to have doubts?"

"Tavonga still has the advantage in my opinion..." the Hall Master started. "It's shocking how powerful the brat is, but I don't doubt for a second that he will win."

"Oh..." Ticha was amused by this, "how about we make a bet then."

"I'm listening." The Hall Master replied.

"If Tavonga wins, i will make sure that you get a promotion within 3 years." Ticha started. "But if he loses, i want you to suggest that Taku be assigned to a team that is already out adventuring."

"What are yo-"

"Don't ask what you don't want to know." Ticha smiled. "I have my reasons. Now do you dare or not?"

"Of course I dare."

Back down on the stage the fight had just reached a new level in ferocity. The beast skin that Taku was wearing had been torn in several places. Tavonga was not any better off; his clothes were also quite ripped.

Both their eyes at this point were bloodshot. Taku was ecstatic at the moment; he was enjoying this very much. On the other hand Tavonga was a bit uncomfortable; everything that had happened in this fight was shocking to him.

There had already exchanged at least a hundred moves. At first he thought that Taku would only last ten moves, but after ten moves he changed it 20. Then 20 to 30, 30 to 40 but he soon gave up on gave up assuming and counting, all he wanted to do now was win.

And he was desperate for that win. He threw another 3 quick punches towards Taku.

Pa!Pa!

Taku blocked the first two, and then leapt backwards to dodge the third. The minute he got away for the punch, he unleashed a kick towards Tavonga's waist.

Pa!

Tavonga raised his leg and blocked with his knee, and without giving Taku a moment to breath he leapt towards him wanting to tackle him down. Tavonga dived at him with open arms in an attempt to catch and tackle him down.

Taku then ducked a little, just enough for Tavonga to be two heads taller than him. He turned his body at a 90 degree angle and shoved his shoulder into Tavonga chest. The minute the shoulder landed, Tavonga improvised as he swung his elbow towards Taku's head.

Seeing this Taku smirked as he added more force into his elbow. Tavonga's body leaned back slightly as his elbow missed Taku's head by a hairs length. Taku did not back away as he rammed his shoulder into Tavonga again.

This time Tavonga flew several metres away from Taku. Tavonga summersaulted and landed on one knee. He had a bewildered expression on his face when he stared at Taku. It was one thing to fight him on par with him, but Taku had actually overpowered him, causing him to fly out.

"You hid yourself well..." Tavonga said whilst standing up. "I hope you don't blame me for doing what i have to do in order to win. Fist and legs have no eyes if i end up injuring you too badly, i apologise."

Saying this Tavonga stood up and calmed himself, he didn't even say anything else as he leapt towards Taku. To everyone's excitement Taku also leapt towards Tavonga in full force.

Tavonga threw his right fist towards Taku, and the latter countered with his own right fist.

Ba!

The two fists collided and caused both the boys to take two steps back. This trend continued for some time; a punch to counter a punch, a kick to counter another kick.

Pa!

Ba!

Each time they collided they always took a step or two back. Taku was using 110% of his brain to try get an opening. And after exchanging a dozen or so moves his opportunity finally came.

Tavonga's threw his punch a little too on the inside, this allowed Taku to dodge to the side and then grab Tavonga's hand. He pulled him close and threw his knee towards Tavonga's kidney.

Bam!

The knee connected and caused Tavonga's legs to lift off the stage. Taku used this opportunity to step back and threw a ferocious kick towards Tavonga's temple. The poor boy who was unable to dodge flew over ten metres after receiving this kick.

Bam!

Tavonga landed right on the edge of the stage, and this time it was Taku's turn to be astonished. He had been sure that this kick was enough to knock Tavonga out. But to his surprise Tavonga slowly but surely began to stand up again.

This time Tavonga had blood rolling down his face and the falling to the ground. He had a huge cut on top of his right eyebrow. He stared venomously at Taku and began laughing.

"Haha... Looks like at the end I was in the wrong." Tavonga started. "I underestimated you from the beginning, maybe if I had taken you seriously from the star-... No i don't think even then I'd be able to defeat you."

"Actually you are a little more powerful than I am..." Taku started. "But you emphasize power over skill. I'm better than you in terms of technique, that's enough for me to beat you any day."

"I admit my defeat." Tavonga said as he jumped off the stage the hundred plus youths below the stage were shocked. Never in their wildest dreams did they think that the person they thought was the most powerful would actually lose.

"What the f*ck! Since when has Taku been this strong." Kupa couldn't help but exclaim when it all concluded. Kupa had managed to get into the top twenty but he was too shocked to even celebrate his own feat.

The others were equally shocked as they began whispering to each other.

"Just fucking unbelievable, i can't believe i was actually stupid enough to attack him. I might have reached the top ten if i didn't."

"Sorry for you bro! But I'm happy. I didn't come anywhere near that monster."

Ticha at the moment was staring at Taku with a wide grin on his face. He had thought that Taku could potentially reach the top twenty. But halfway through his expectations rose.

He looked towards the Hall Master whose expression showed a mixture of shock and sadness. Shocked by the result which led to his sadness of not being able to get that promotion

Ticha smiled seeing this. "Now about that time, you'll suggest him to..."

...

"It's funny how, before father got injured these bastards used to send us gifts and praise our family for its strength. But after he fought for their well-being and got injured in the process, they began looking at us with disdain.... I can't even walk down the road without them whispering sh*t." these words were spoken with by a young man who looked as if he had not passed the age of twenty.

There were a series of different expressions that played out on his face as he said these words. Traces of anger, sadness and loss were all plastered on his face. His expression got even worse when he looked at the child he was walking with.

Han Ming, he was barely 12 years old but thanks to the way his family was treated ever since his father was crippled, he became much more mature, way beyond his adolescent age. He himself felt as if part of the ridicule that the family received was because him. It's not that he couldn't cultivate nor was he crippled in anyway, but when he was younger and when he got graded it showed that he was not even close to being a grade 1 talent. The higher the grade talent one was, the faster one could cultivate and the easier it was to sense yuan Qi.

Most children his age who had mediocre talents were already at the 6th layer of Body Refinement, whereas he was stuck at the 1st layer. He barely left their household as he felt that he would lose face for his clan, but due to his father's injury the family had lost most of its status and the only servants that stayed behind were those born into the Han clan. This ultimately forced him into going put and running errands with his older brother.

During this period though, it was hard for them to even run errands without being bullied by other clans or ridiculed by the civilians. When his father got injured around the time he was 5 years old, he had vowed to get stronger and teach these people a lesson, but reality was harsh on the lad, by the time he was 10 he had been shown by a rival clan child just how foolish his dreams were. And since the day that he got humiliated he barely spoke to anyone except his father.

So even when his brother was lamenting their misery all he did was lower his head and walk. This left his older brother at a loss, all he could do was feel sorry for his younger brother but apart from that he felt useless.

"Ming'er, I kno-"

"Don't worry about it too much brother. There is no way we can play God and change the situation so complaining about it won't change anything. Just be happy that father can still spend time with us."

"Sigh, between the two of us I always wonder who is the oldest yet you're 6 years my junior."

"haha, I'm still but a child, I still need brother to protect me." When Han Ming heard his brother's words he couldn't help but chuckle and sheepishly spout out this sentence. And his brother couldn't help but smile at this rare sight of his brother smiling.