Titan’s Throne – Chapter 46: The Games Begin

In a forest, a young woman was crouching over a corpse. This was the corpse of a middle aged man in leather armor. The man had been killed only a few moments ago and a hole was visible on his throat, blood was still trickling from the wound as the young woman searched frantically around the man’s body.

“Finally!” exclaimed the young woman, as she held up a little green stone in her hand. She marveled at the seemingly ordinary stone, as if it was a diamond of immense value.

“Ruka, what are you doing? You’re taking too much time on this corpse. We already have new targets.” The young woman looked back and saw a dark skinned man approach her. He had a stern look of reproach on his face and was walking hurriedly.

“Oh, sorry Mark, tell me. Where is this new target?” said Ruka as she moved her attention away from the corpse. Mark, the dark skinned man, pointed at a certain direction and said, “A few kilometers in that direction. I fear another group has already found our target. We need to move quickly. Follow me.”

Ruka nodded and the duo began to run quickly in the direction Mark had pointed to. The two were very fast as they passed a lot of lush green trees and plants along the way. It only took them a few moments to cross a distance that would otherwise take an ordinary man a quite a few minutes to cover.

With practiced steps, the duo arrived at their destination. They arrived behind a somewhat large bush, Mark signaled for his counterpart to stop and put a finger on his lips, indicating for her to be quiet. She nodded her head in response and crouched behind the bush with him.

As she peaked over the bush to look at their so called target, she met quite the unexpected sight. Two young men were surrounded on all sides by a large group of men. These two young men looked to be on the same side, yet their situations differed completely.

One young man had dark hair, narrow eyes and skin so pale you would think he was ill, but the most distinctive part about him were his eyes. They had greyish pupils, something which normally meant blindness, yet the young man himself moved with a practiced swagger.

No attacks, no matter how perfectly timed, could touch him. He had no armor on whatsoever and was only wearing a robe that was as pale as his skin. There was an ethereal feeling from the young man, one that gave the impression that he was no mere human. His face was cold and seemed almost lifeless, as if he was asleep with his eyes open.

The other young man however was completely different. His face was handsome, his long purple hair glistened in a manner that would even make some women jealous. His skin was tanned and his body perfectly proportional.

Unlike the seemingly blind young man, this young man was animalistic in presence, his demeanor striking intimidation straight into Ruka’s already hardened heart. His robes were ripped everywhere and his body was covered in bloody injuries. Cuts, bruises, and scratches covered the majority of his exposed skin. Despite his unseemly appearance, Ruka was confident no amount of dirt could hide his attractive body from her well trained gaze.

His pained groans and his tout posture gave one the impression of an animal, ready to pounce.

Whenever he moved, he gave one the impression of a trapped beast waiting for one chance, one mistake from the enemy, allowing him to strike.

His movements were accurate but very rough, his demeanor was wild and his eyes had a piercing gaze, one that gave others the Impression of true wisdom. This contrast between sentience and animalism struck a chord in Ruka’s heart. Never before had she been so taken by a man before, a young man nevertheless.

“Kenshin! This isn’t funny! Tell me the key chant now! I don’t want to die damn it!” said Bastian as he dodged between strikes from his armed opponents. Their body parts were covered in qi, indicating their intent to fight.

It was normal for warriors of the fighter class to be able to maintain qi over their body parts over an extended period of time. Such was the advantage of being a Fighter.

Kenshin remained quiet as he continued to dodge as if he was taking a stroll. Bastian groaned in displeasure and continued dodging in a manner that looked haphazard but almost always seemed to work, with him taking a few hits here and there.

A Student would only be able to briefly bring qi out of their bodies and cover a small area. A Teacher was able to cover their entire body with qi. Martial Techniques were important because their allowed warriors to briefly project their qi from their bodies.

The five types of qi had main five traits. Fire qi burns, metal qi corrodes, earth qi strengthens, wood qi regenerates and water qi improves agility. The more advanced your cultivation, the more traits from your qi u can bring out. Teachers with the water attribute can use it to freeze their opponents.

Some qi types were more suitable in certain situations than others. For example Fire and Metal qi are suited to offense, earth and wood qi defense, and water qi improves both.

If two qi’s mix, they can produce a secondary trait. For example, earth qi mixed with metal qi creates a reinforcement trait. Fire qi mixed with metal qi creates a penetrative trait. All forms of qi have an ability to improve a person’s fighting capability, but fusing the right qi with the right body part was essential.

The knowledge of the ratios when mixing the different types of qi together for warriors who had two or more elemental attributes was key to improving their power.

Most warriors however still preferred to only have one attribute, because having more than one meant more effort for half the results, unless one has incredible talent.

Metal and wood qi were very rare. Fire qi and earth qi were less rare and water qi was the most common. This aspect manifested itself in Bastian’s current situation.

Most of the warriors around him were using water qi. Warriors who use water qi often favored swords, and would usually focus their qi on their feet.

This resulted in them being very swift in attack and in retreat. Making it difficult for Bastian to move. Kenshin’s cultivation and battle experience put him far above the likes of such people, who were only Fighters at best. In such a situation, he was at ease and looked no different from a boy playing in the presence of a light breeze. Bastian on the other hand, wasn’t so fortunate.

Although Bastian’s mind had received Kenshin’s experience, his body had not. This disparity between ability and knowledge made his movements stiff and made Bastian himself feel very uncomfortable.

Kenshin’s experiences were mostly as a fit Fighter were as Bastian was a middle Student/Novice. To Bastian this was a very discomforting feeling. And this situation didn’t put him at ease.

He himself was only a Student in terms of being a warrior, but he was surrounded by a group of experienced gladiators who were all Fighters, and he himself had no weapon!

As Ruka observed the battle, Mark’s expression grew grim. While Ruka was enamored by Bastian, Mark had been focusing on Kenshin, or to be more specific, his waist, which had a pouch tied to it. The pouch itself was filled to the brim and jiggled every time Kenshin moved.

The sight of the pouch made Mark’s eyes almost pop out of his eyes. This was what he and everyone on this battlefield was after. He had no doubt, that if he obtained that pouch, he would qualify for the Elite Gladiator League!

 

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