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64 Totemic Power

 The Gutu were born with three advantages that made the other races look at them with envy. The first one being that their bodies were superior. The second being the natural abilities they possessed. The third one being totems.

Taku had always fallen short in front of Kufa regarding all three aspects, which is why he was in his current predicament. Kufa was particularly blessed regarding totems, while Taku had no talent in that field at all.

Taku never gave much thought regarding totems, but during this fight with Nhamo, he was awakened regarding the value they possessed.

With a spring in his step, Taku launched himself at Nhamo, who responded with a stab from the sword. Taku snorted and ducked, following with a uppercut to Nhamo's belly.

"Aaaaaah!"

A scream unlike anything Taky had ever heard escaped from Nhamo during the moment of contact. A soft, sizzling sound was also caugh by Taku.

"Product X is corrosive?"

Taku didn't have time to ponder over this new development as he continued with a barrage of uppercuts to Nhamo's stomach, lifting up the former. Nhamos lost the sword he was holding during the barrage of strikes. Whenever Nhamo's feet were about to touch the ground Taku would follow with a punch that lifted Nhamo once more. At some point Nhamo spat a mouthful of blood which made Taku jump back.

Taku saw his opponent rolling on the ground in agony. Nhamo's belly had been covered in armor, but there were now fist sized gaps in the armour all over the mid section. Taku's fist had melted the armour away!

Taku looked at his own fist in apprehension. Product X was still in liquid form, so even though it was in a shape, it was more like molten candle wax that was in a state of hardening but never hardened.

Taku looked on the ground and saw that his foot steps didn't corrode the ground. Which confused him.

"That's it!"

Nhamo's shout caught Taku's attention. The former punched the ground and stood up groggily. Zesa started gushing in until steam started forming from his body.

"This is Nether Infusion!"

Taku was surprised. Nether Infusion was a martial skill were by one infused their flesh with the Nether Flame to boost strength and speed. Taku was very familiar with the skill as he had also learned it during his childhood years.

It was a skill that was part of a set, so unless one possessed the other skills in the set, it was advised not to use the skill as it caused irreparable damage by itself.

Martial skills and spells were applications of zesa that one would learn to improve their battle prowess. It was possible to learn martial skills/spells that had nothing to do with your ability or elemental affinity, but it was much more strenuous.

Take Maka for example. She had the earth element affinity and her ability was gravity manipulation. Thus most of her martial skills revolved around manipulation of force and strength augmentation. If she tried to learn spells regarding soul magic she would instead suffer from lack of progress.

Taku knew the full set of skills to use with Nether Infusion, but he was rusty and needed lots of practise as it required a lot of concentration. Not to mention he learned the skills when he was six years old. How much could he remember?

Hand to hand combat skills were much simpler and he had used them before in this body so he was confident. During the dombo trials they had saved his life many a time.

Taku was about to attack when he felt a zesa fluctuation he was all too familiar with.

An apparition of an elephant's foot appeared above Nhamo as his energy spiked.

"Totemic Power!" Taku gasped. Totemic Power was one of the many abilities under the third reason the Gutu were envied. It was a power Taku still didn't quite understand. All he knew was that it came from their ancestors and it could only be unlocked once one achieved the Kusakura level.

To enter the Kusakura level properly one must be able to commune with the ancestors and gain the right to use Totemic Oower. Totemic Power allowed someone to add an extra attribute to any ability or martial skill.

One only gained one Totemic Power per level. Applying Totemic Power was far from easy as it required far more concentration than most martial skills. Hence those who could apply Totemic Power during battle were highly valued as the crème de la crème. Anyone can run. But only the best can make a living from it. It was a similar principle.

"No wonder he is the head of a suicide squad."

Those who could apply Totemic Power in battle at a young age were called chosen. How skilled one was in Totemic Power had nothing to do with graded talent or hard work. It all depended on whether or not your ancestors liked you.

The Gutu empire only had one religion. And it was believed in that religion that when one died their soul would go serve the ancestors. Once the service was done one would reincarnate. If the ancestors were pleased with your service they would grant you a favour in return, allowing you to become a chosen.

Nhamo was clearly a chosen as he was able to use Totemic Power at such a young age. If you were not chosen then you would only be proficient in Totemic Power once you started growing white hair.

Taku had no idea what ability Nhamo had gained from his totem, but he was confident it could augment his Nether Infusion because the steam being released by Nhamo became even thicker once he activated his Totemic Power.

When it camr to Martial skils/spells and Totemic Power, there were two paths of growth. One would either opt for skills that eliminated weaknesses or skills that augmented one's strengths. It was clear that Nhamo had taken the second path of augmentation.

Nhamo's body reaked with the eerie aura of death that the Imperial Nether Flame often emitted. His eyes became bloodshot and veins bulged out from his forehead and other exposed areas.

Right now Nhamo gave one the impression of a untamed beast looking for blood. Nhamo had trouble controlling himself in this state, but Taku had given him no choice. Nhamo could feel that whatever the liquid that Taku's hand was made out of was, it was poisonous. An energy was permeating his body from the point of contacts with Taku's fists.

Nhamo struggled to resist the energy, and felt that the only way to deal with it was to activate all his trump cards at once.

As a suicide soldier Nhamo was ready to die for his mission. He had a nagging feeling that the energy that Taku had brought into his body would only weaken him further, until he was dead. Thus he decided to go all out and give his best. Taku was of the utmost importance to the princess and Nhamo gave his word. His honour was riding on this.

"The princess will definitely defeat the other girl. All I have to do is hold on until the pill's side effects kick in, then my brothers will handle the rest."

With a roar, Nhamo lunged at Taku. "Fast!" Taku could not help but be shocked at Nhamo's new found speed.