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39 A Powerful Pony

 Time flew and Taku's archery skills progressed at a rate that really made the old man feel hopeless. At some point, Chiwenga just became numb to the astonishment he recieved from the lad.

Taku tried to draw the seals that he had been taught a couple of times after archery, but ultimately it ended in failure. He knew that he had to take his time to practice these seals. His master had earlier told him that it had taken him half a year to be able to completely draw the Zesa amplification skill. It was the simplest of all the seals and the shape itself was rather crude.

Taku calmed himself down as he began to meditate. His soul power was slowly but surely recovering, which led to Taku being slightly annoyed. Before today he had never used his soul power to this point. Before, all he used to do was use his soul power to see everything around him. This was the first time he actually used his soul for something different.

It was at this point that he remembered the soul manifestation art that he had gotten from Sekuru Kaguvi. He had taken a look at it before and had attained some basic knowledge of it, but he had not really taken the time to properly study it due to the dombo trials.

Taku calmed down and then began to search his consciousness for the information regarding the soul manifestation. It did not take him long for him to find it and skipped the first couple of lines because he had already understood them. He then continued reading from where he had left off before.

After reading for a while Taku's face turned grim. He had not expected that after coming from the torture of trying to draw seals he would be required to draw objects with his soul power. Taku was reminded of what one of his tutors on earth had said. " When it comes to studying, sometimes it is wise for you to jot down notes. Once you have written something down with your own hand it is hard for you to forget it, of course this does not mean everyone can do it, but maybe you can."

Taku sighed and then continued reading the information about the skill. The skill had just two levels in total. The first level he has to have drawn an object for him to be able to use his soul power to manifest it. He was only able to attain the second level after he had managed to draw and manifest at least a thousand objects.

If he was able to do that, then he would be able to break through and achieve the second level. If he was able to attain the second level then he would be able to manifest an object just from giving it a slight glance. The first issue about the first level was that he had to draw at least a thousand objects, and he was not able to repeat an object that he had drawn before. The second was that his prowess in the second level were fully depended on the size and detail of the object.

At the moment Taku really hated drawing. He thought that drawing just random objects with his soul power would be easy, but to his surprise it was harder than he thought. He had only managed to draw part of a bow before his soul power was completely drained. After recovering for some time he attempted to draw it again but he again failed.

After trying several more times that night he ultimately gave up. He decided to rest, he after all had to start a journey tomorrow. Taku was already at the apex of the tohwe level and could break through at any time, but his master had advised him not to. He told him to try his best and solidify his foundation at this level.

At his current level he could easily go a couple of days without sleeping, but Taku loved his sleep and would not miss a day of it.

Taku slept soundlessly he whole night and only woke up about two hours before they had to leave. He quickly took a bath and then left to go bid farewell to his master. Th man wanted to say something, it was ckear from his hesitant demeanor, but he decided to keep his mouth shut and wished Taku a safe journey after going over what Taku had learned so far.

He only bid farewell to his teacher after talking to him for over an hour. By the time he left he had about half hour before the team had to set out. He had discussed with his teammates and they had agreed that Taku would meet them at the Ivory Guard base when he was done.

It took only close to five minutes for him to reach the base, but when he got there he saw Ranga in a heated conversation with a couple of people. Taku just helplessly shook his head because he knew that Ranga had a tendency of annoying people. Seeing that none of his other teammates were outside, Taku knew that the rest of the team was already inside.

The moment Taku approached, Ranga turned silent, the people that Ranga was having an argument with were shocked by Ranga's silence and then looked towards Taku. The 4 people saw the embroidered ivory bracelet around Taku and were immediately shocked. Such a young person was actually part of the Elephant Foot Ivory Guard. The quartet did not dare underestimate Taku because of how old he looked, instead they greeted him formally and then turned back to Ranga.

The one at the front who was a burly man who looked slightly older than 20 was the first to speak. "Ranga do not waste your time in this team! There is no future here. Without you it would be hard for us to rise in rank. You left us in such a dire situation in order for you to join a newly formed team. What does this team have that we don't, aren't we actually way more powerful than they are?"

Ranga just shook his head and grabbed Taku and then headed towards the door. Taku did not say anything, it was not really a conversation he could participate in. He had never seen Ranga so conflicted before. Just as they reached the door Ranga turned around and spoke. "There are some things in life that are more important than power. Initially I wanted power in order for me to get what I wanted, but then I found what I was looking for and now I'm pursuing it. This King won't back down just because you are offering me people with more power." Taku had new felt admiration for this odd fellow after hearing his words.

Ranga and Taku then entered the base and reunited with their teammates. Taku greeted his teammates, but Ranga was surprisingly quiet. He was only silently looking at Tadi as if he was looking at a rare treasure, he was looking at her as if his eyes were glued to her. Tadi consciously looked down and did not meet Ranga's gaze.

The rest of the team just shook their heads and did not say anything. A minute later all five of them were seated inside a small room waiting for the mission information. Only after waiting for another 5 minutes did another person walk into the room.

The person who walked in was a middle aged lady who wore a sweet smile on her face, the woman was wearing a very long but tight red dress that caused even Tadi to steal a couple of glances. The woman smiled when she saw the teams actions, she was not really offended by their gazes, in fact she was rather amused.

"My name is Tate." The woman started as she sat down close to Taku. "The mission this time is rather dangerous. The time you guys are arriving is probably when the beast horde will be at its climax. So I suggest that you not get involved unless you are ordered to. Another thing is that the load has been changed. You guys are now transporting medicine and herbs. It will take you a couple of days to reach Bindura via the tunnel, so I will inform you of the dangers inside the tunnels."

Hearing this the faces of the whole team changed. 'Dangers?' the team had assumed that the tunnel was relatively safe, for them to hear that there might be danger caused them to feel rather pressured.

Seeing how everyone's expression had changed Tate smiled and continued. "The dangers you will face are not that bad actually. The worst thing that you could come across is a tier 2 demonic rat. Apart from that there are only normal rats or tier 1 rats. The problem is not their level of power, but the numbers."

The expressions of the five youths did not change at all when they heard this. In this world, those who had power were held in high regard. The issue though was that an individual could be as powerful as twenty men, but he would still fall short if he face fifty men. At times strength came in numbers and this was one such case.

None of them were elated about this arrangement, they had taken the mission blindly because it was the only way that Taku could see Maka. They had put all their effort into trying their best to raise their power that they did not even think to research about the possible dangers they could potentially face.

All five of them just shook their heads and then listened to the rest of the briefing. It was now too late to turn back and regret anything. They had chosen to take up this mission and that was all that mattered. Tate finished her briefing and then left the room.

Taku smiled wryly. "I honestly did not think that it would be this dangerous. If I had known I-"

"We made the choice as a team." Tadi cut him off. "If we did not want to go then we would have said so."

"She has a point," Ranga added. "This King is not afraid of a bunch of rats. If was to break down and cower just because of some rodents, then I wouldn't dare go to the battlefield. This King is a man, and men do not back down from anything."

There was nothing more that Nyasha and Tino could say so they nodded. What they would have potentially said had already been laid out by Tadi and Ranga, so the two of them just smiled to reassure Taku.

Taku was still rather dejected even after hearing them say things like that. Meeting Maka was supposed to be a personal matter, yet he had dragged his teammates into it. Unbeknownst to him, Taku was now already gaining the bearing of a leader.

After a while he strengthened his resolve and led his team away from the Ivory Guard base moving towards the tunnel that they were using for their journey. They arrived after about ten minutes and upon arrival, their eyes almost fell out of their sockets. Taku was extremely shocked when he saw the carriage that was the same size as a truck from back home on earth.

He circuled around the 'carriage' and when he got to the front he felt an urge to quit this mission. There was only one horse at the front of the carriage, one horse! He was about to cuss in his heart, but then Nyasha's voice drifted over. "At least they gave us a good horse!"

Taku was shocked. "This is considered good?"

Nyasha nodded. "This is actually a tier one demonic horse. They look no different from normal horses. The only difference is that demonic horses have a black line that starts from their forehead and reaches the nose."

Whilst talking Nyasha went and properly assessed the horse, giving a couple of nods here and there as he circled the creature. When Taku had seen the horse, he was slightly tempted to take out Shumba and have him pull the carriage, but he ultimately thought against it. One major reason why was because he did not feel as if he could trust such a lazy animal in pulling such a heavy load.