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44 Grab it by the...

 The next morning Taku woke up with his head feeling like it weighed a ton. His first experience of drinking was both pleasurable and agonizing., he remembered most parts of last night but over half of his memories from last night were blank. He barely remembered anything he said but most of what Nyasha said was still vivid though. Since he was a novice in both cultivation and the art of drinking, he did not know that all he had to do was circulate his Zesa and the headache would soon disappear. Since he did not know this, he dragged his body from his bed, went past Shumba who was still by his window and went straight to the bathroom to take a bath.

He took a warm bath, after he finished he felt slightly refreshed but at the same time that feeling of having a mountain weighing on him did not disappear. He changed his clothes and went downstairs to have breakfast with the rest of the team and as always Tino was silent, Ranga was sticking close to Tadi but the usually quiet Nyasha was now staring at him with a smile plastered on his face. A smile that at the moment looked evil beyond measure. Taku suddenly felt the urge to turn back and go sleep, especially when he thought about the fact that he could barely even remember what he said last night.

What made him feel awful was the fact that he had no idea what type of information he had spilled to this wolf in sheep's clothing. If he remembered then he would be able to cover it up with some lies, but at the moment he had no idea how to counter the words, he didn't know he said. He greeted everyone and sat down but he still looked warily at Nyasha.

Noticing the weary gaze from Taku, Nyasha smiled, "Last night was great wasn't it? We should definitely do it again. It was a real eye opener into your life and I feel as though now that we are sworn brothers, things such as getting drunk and showing each other the right path to man hood, should be things we do on a daily basis."

Taku shivered when he heard this. He was not used to the way Nyasha was acting, he was used to the more quiet and reserved version of Nyasha, not this new and shrewd person. Taku was not fan of alcohol and he had no intention of repeating what happened last night. If anything it only made him more vigilant.

He gulped down his meal in record time and then went back to his room. He sat down on his bed and calmed himself down. He was trying his best to get rid of any unnecessary thoughts before he began cultivating, because he knew that if he began cultivating whilst he was still distracted he would make close to no progress at all. It took him a while, but after what felt like eternity he finally managed to calm himself down.

He sat there meditating for a couple of hours but he still did not feel any type of sensation that indicated that he would be able to break through any time soon. He had now been cultivating for about three months and even though he knew that things like this could not be rushed, and it was heavily dependent on ones talent, he still felt rather low because he thought he was taking too long to power up.

He knew that he was somewhat talented when it came to cultivating but he still felt as if he was way too slow in attaining his breakthrough to the next level. Then he began of thinking of how if he was so talented, then how could a person like Tino who was at least a level below him in terms of talent be able to keep up with him.

Tino was in the middle of the Tohwe level yet his talent was inferior to Taku's. Even though this was mainly due to the fact that Tino had a lot of resources that would aid in his cultivation, Taku still felt it was odd because he was way more talented. With or without resources he should be able to quickly surpass everyone around him.

Taku sighed and knew that any logic he tried to apply to this would not work. He began to attempt to draw the Zesa amplification skill once again. As he moved his finger in the air, that golden soul power remained suspended in the air. He began drawing this complex seal, and when he was to complete it, he felt dizzy and light headed. He gritted his teeth and tried to persevere, he took everything he had but with the last flick of his finger he suddenly felt his zesa turn violent. It was at this moment that his world went blank.

He only woke up that evening when the sun had already set, he felt groggy and it took him a while to actually be able to stand up. Shumba only lifted his head and saw that Taku was awake, and proceeded to put his head down. Taku shook his head when he noticed how lazy and uncaring Shumba was.

Taku calmed himself down and then began inspecting his body. There seemed to be nothing wrong so Taku began inspecting his organs and soul. After the organs, he got the biggest shock of his life when he inspected his soul. Right there on top of the three entities in his soul was a seal. The Zesa amplification seal that he had tried so hard to create was now lying there in his soul.

To say he was elated would be an understatement. He quickly activated the seal and felt his zesa boiling. The brutality of the energy made Taku flinch because of the pain. At the same time he could feel that his zesa was now a lot stronger and also a lot more abundant.

The next two days went by in a flash. In these two days, Taku had tried his best to avoid drinking, but then on the second day Nyasha had somehow tricked him into drinking again. Today was the day that he was finally able to meet Maka again, but as he woke up he felt no joy at all. He did not circulate his Zesa immediately as he took the time to remind himself why it was such a bad idea to drink.

To be frank he did not really mind taking in alcohol. The problem was Nyasha. Somehow this guy would find a way to bring the topic of his escapades. Every time Taku drank he felt like a broken record. The only thing he could think about when drunk was his infatuation towards Maka. Taku shrugged and then circulated his Zesa. After a couple of breaths Taku felt rejuvenated as he went into the bathroom to take a bath.

He quickly went downstairs and had breakfast with the rest of the team. As they finished their breakfast, Taku was getting ready to stand and go get Shumba when Nyasha suddenly spoke. "I am sure you can't wait to see her. You are probably running to take and bath and maybe masturbate a bit so that junior won't embarrass you later."

Ranga gave Taku a knowing look. "There is nothing to be afraid of young one. There is no shame in beating your lizard before your face the person of the opposite sex that you like. I beat mine every morning because I know that I will be setting my eyes on Tad-..."

Before he could finish his sentence, Ranga had already flown half the inns distance. The kick he got from Tadi this time around was very brutal. A couple of Ranga's teeth had fallen off as he spit out a mouthful of blood. With that Tadi did not say a word as she left for her room. Tino opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something but he quickly closed his mouth after a breath.

"Don't be ashamed bro,"Nyasha said to Tino. "We are all boys here. You are probably still a virgin so let us enlighten you two children."

Tino could not find the words to describe how he was currently feeling. He definitely could not tell these people anything. He had spent the last three months with them but he did not feel that they were at the level of sharing such sensitive information.

"Maybe we should use the same tactic you have been using on Taku recently." Ranga said.

"Yeah, yeah,that did get us a lot of information." Nyasha added.

Taku immediately got up and left for his room. He did not want to be part of this conversation anymore. They about three hours before they had to set off and meet up with Maka. He got into his room and found that he had nothing else to do so he reluctantly decided to go back to the rest of the boys.

As he steeped out of the door he heard Ranga's voice.

"There is this other position-"

He quickly turned around and went back into his room. At the moment he was happy that there was no other person in this inn. He thought about the talk he had been given by Nyasha when they were both drunk, and he really felt happy for hearing most of it when he was drunk.

Some information was vivid but some was unclear, and Taku was happy about this. He really felt sorry that there was no way the lad was going to escape the two, and because Tino was sober when hearing this, the effects must be horrible. Taku was struggling in his brain to find a reason why the quiet Nyasha was suddenly so lively.

Three hours passed and a carriage came to get them at the inn. The ride to the front lines was relatively quiet. What shocked everyone was the fact that Ranga actually had a serious expression on his face. Not once did he open his mouth to utter unnecessary words. Today was the day that the battle with the hoard reached its climax and there was no room for complacency.

They reached the city walls and got out of the carriage. There were still no words shared between the five of them as they gazed at the hundreds of soldiers and cultivators that were injured. They could tell from this scene alone that it was a hard battle.

The five of them were brought to an empty tent and were told to wait there as they go inform General Maka that they had arrived. They all had nothing against this arrangement, but they could not help but take glances towards the injured people outside.

Nyasha and Ranga had been on many missions before, but this was the first that they had seen so many injured people. They could only imagine the death rate.

After a couple of minutes a soldier came to get Taku. "Takunda gumbo! The General has summoned you to her tent. The rest of you can wait here and food will be delivered to you shortly."

They all nodded and Taku went with the soldier. They walked for at least five minutes before they reached a large tent that was surrounded by at least two hundred people. With just a glance Taku was able to discern that none of these two hundred people were weak. And his intuition was right, because these people were not only a sub level above him but they had already passed the first sub level of the Kusakura level. To his surprise, when he passed the people greeted him respect, though some looked at him enviously.

He did not understand why they would envy him so much. Just as he was about to discard the thought the soldier spoke. "You are very lucky, you know? Not that many people have the right to have a private meeting with the General. You should cherish this opportunity and grab it by the balls."

"..."

Taku did not know how to respond to that. Is everyone here in love with this girl...

"Here we are! Don't keep the general waiting now."