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69 Supreme Martialis

 "I have to say young man, I am impressed."

Taku awoke to a familiar voice. He groaned as he sat up, taking in stock of his surroundings. It was the throne room he had been in when he fought the guardians. Taku was shocked and stood up abruptly. For now he knew where he was.

Back when he first came here he had no idea what this place was, now that he understand, he became even more respectful of Saru.

This was known as the Hall of Guardians. It was a place where one could meet with their ancestors. The ancestors would place one in many trials to measure their ability. As the Gutu valued combat above all, the trials consisted of mainly battles.

If any ancestors are impressed by the examinee's performance, then they can choose to become that person's Guardian. The significance of a Guardian was not to be taken lightly, as it was directly linked to Totemic Power, the hallmark of Gutu power.

The Guardian has many roles, most important of which is to bestow the chosen with a title and Totemic Power.

One can only possess Totemic Power if chosen by a Guardian. Certain events in his childhood prevented Taku from being allowed to take the test. Thus he had no access to Totemic Power. Leaving him at a massive disadvantage as compared to his other relatives.

One can only receive Totemic Power once they know their title, which can only be given by one's Guardian. The more unique the title, the more powerful the Totemic Power.

The Gumbo family was incredibly large. Gumbo means leg, and the Gumbo family's totem was the Elephant. As the family was large, variants of the Elephant totem occured. Due to the literal meaning of their namesake, the Gumbo royalty adopted the Elephant foot as their totem. As the first royal family of the nation, they had the right to name the army as they saw fit, hence the name Elephant Foot Guard.

Taku felt aggrieved, because he was confident that Sekuru Kaguvi had not given him his title. The young man stood up in a groggy manner and faced the owner of the voice.

As usual Kaguvi had a relaxed and nonchalant demeanour, except this time there was a hint of excitement in his eye. He looked up and down the young man's body, approval showing from time to time. Taku, now aware of Kaguvi's esteemed status, felt awkward. He wasn't sure how to communicate with such a powerful entity. While he was confused on what to say, the Guardian spoke.

"You are so strange, an existence with three souls. The odds of this happening are just ridiculous. Amusing, truly amusing!" Kaguvi said with a grin.

Taku smiled wryly, "Thank you Sekuru for your compliments, but your servant humbly asks for guidance on a particular matter."

Kaguvi showed confusion and signalled for Taku to go on. Taku scratched his forehead nervously. "Ehem, it's the matter of the title, Sekuru..."

Kaguvi clapped his hands in realization and said, "Oh yes! The title! Of course, how could i have forgotten about that... I am truly sorry young man. This is my first time as a Guardian you see, so I hope you can forgive my grave error. I decided to take advantage of your current situation to bring you here so i can pass it to you"

Taku hurriedly shook his head and said respectfully, "No, no Sekuru, the fault lies with me. Last time i was not myself and failed to mention it."

"Indeed, your soul was a bit messy last time. It seems your sister did you a favour by attacking you."

Taku smiled wryly at the Guardian's comment. Had his sister known that her attack would benefit Taku, she never would have done so. If she knew the consequences of her actions, she would no doubt be fuming with rage.

"Ehem, anyway, I Sekuru Kaguvi, hereby grant you the title, Mosi Oa Tunya! The Smoke That Thunders!" As soon as Kaguvi finished his dramatic speech. Lighting flashed above the duo. The room rumbled as if an earthquake was happening around them. This noise lasted for a few moments before peace and quiet returned to their surroundings.

Kaguvi touched his chin and whistled in an impressed manner, "Wow, that title must be quite impressive. I haven't seen this place react like this before." Kaguvi's words made Taku quite curious as to what the usual reaction was.

Did this mean that his Totemic Power was impressive? How would he even find out what it was? As Taku collected his thoughts and remembered something old Sekuru had said.

"Uhm, Sekuru, you said something about my current situation?"

"Oh yes, you are not in a good spot young man."

"Would you mind expanding on that sire?"

Kaguvi thought for a bit before saying, "Well the effects of that burning power pill got you good. You're completely unable to sense zesa for quite a while. And when you do regain your ability to sense zesa, it will be slightly weaker, although the difference isn't much due to the pill's high quality. So your real issue is not being able to use magic for a couple of months and having your body in a slightly weakened state."

Taku sighed in resignation as he heard the elder's words. He had forgotten about his current predicament as he was in awe of his surroundings.

"Fret not young man. All will be taken care of. I may not look like it but I am very reliable."

It took all of Taku's strength to not frown at those words and curse his own fate. Why could he not receive a more formidable, more experienced Guardian?

"When I was alive, I even had a nickname. Now what was it again?"

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Taku ignored Kaguvi's ramblings and continued thinking about his dilemma. Just before he had passed out, he remembered hearing Chiwenga's voice. So he had no doubt that his master was taking care of his body. With him around, Taku felt a little more assured of his safety. Although his master's true identity was still shrouded in mystery, Taku had seen enough clues to know that he was far from ordinary.

The only question was, who was that girl? Why had she saved him? Taku was anxious to find out the answers to these questions, so he was itching to have Kaguvi bring him back to consciousness.

"Ehem, esteemed Guardian, i am in a perilous situation, so if you don't mind, please bring me back to reality." Taku said in a somewhat panicked tone.

Kaguvi nodded and put his palm on the boys chest. "Your Totemic Power's properties will come to you as soon as you wake up. Since I have no reason to see you anytime soon, we won't see each other for a very long time."

Taku pretended to be hurt by those words and tried as much as he could to appear aggrieved, but truth be told, he could not wait to wake up. Not only did he have to find out his situation, he was also curious about his Totemic Power. Just what would it be?

Right when he was about to push Taku, Kaguvi had a sudden revelation, one that shocked the young man to his core.

"Ah now i remember. They called me the Supreme Martialist! Ah yes, good times... Anyways, by Kiddo."

"What!" Alas Taku was too late. He was pushed back to reality by Kaguvi...