Chapter 153: Takusha
As nightfall loomed, a plume of smoke from a campfire began to rise into the air.
Danba sat next to the campfire quietly as if he were thinking about something. Light from the flickering flames danced across his face, giving the inscriptions on his face an otherworldly quality.
The Ferocious Race rarely did much contemplation.
The Ferocious Race didn’t like contemplation, but Danba was an exception.
Danba liked to think about things quietly and on his own.
He was very different from the other barbaric Ferocious Race youths, who wanted to brawl as soon as they felt even the slightest bit bored.
His youth wasn’t filled with much happiness because of this.
It was only because of their Head Ancestor’s support.
The Head Ancestor said, “The Ferocious Race doesn’t like thinking things over; because of this, they might even look down on Ferocious Race individuals who use their brains. But the Ferocious Race’s existence and expansion rely on those who can use their brains. So don’t worry about thinking too much, Danba. You not only need to learn how to use your fists to kill your enemies, but you also need to learn to use your intelligence to size up your opponents and control yourself!”
From that day on, Danba became the youth in his tribe who liked to think the most, and he also became the Head Ancestor’s favorite youth.
When Gravel Lizard Tribe Leader Barca Lunt came to the Head Ancestor to request people, the Head Ancestor didn’t recommend the temple’s most powerful youth, Kaza, but Danba instead.
He had said, “Take Danba with you. He will surprise you.”
Just like that, Dan Fei had been made one of the three captains on this expedition.
Unlike the human race, who had divided up all of their participants neatly by numbering them one through forty, the Ferocious Race had simply chosen the Temple Warriors as captains, with the rest of the Ferocious Race youths subject to their commands.
This had nothing to do with intelligence or how much they thought things over.
Danba felt somewhat sad, but there was nothing he could do.
This was his race. He had to respect the way his race thought about things.
As the night progressed, the sky grew darker. Gradually, the only light that could be seen came from the flames of the campfire.
If it were Danba, he would have chosen to extinguish the flames. This way, they could avoid revealing their position to the opponents.
Unfortunately, however, he wasn’t able to.
Ferraro didn’t agree.
He reckoned that this was too cowardly, not something that should be done by true warriors. True warriors weren’t afraid of exposing themselves. If they were discovered, then so be it.
If it weren’t for Danba holding him back, Ferraro probably would have chosen to charge the whole group of people during the day.
That was a group of nearly ten human youths.
He really was something else!
But even so, Ferraro was very unhappy about it.
“Danba, I think that standing guard here is pointless. Either we should go and finish them off, or we should leave this place and search for other humans on their own. I feel like I’m wasting my time standing here!”
Ferraro sat down next to Danba as he complained unhappily.
“But this is the best way for us to deal with them,” Danba replied. “They have almost twenty humans gathered there. There’s no way they won’t do anything. With us keeping track of their movements, they’ll be hard-pressed to do anything. Yes, perhaps we won’t be able to do anything right now, but we will give our comrades more opportunities. In addition, if our comrades have the absolute numbers advantage, they’ll sweep through this entire place and kill all of the humans here. We can then take everything from here.”
“But that’s of no use to me, right?” Ferraro yelled angrily. “I came here to make contributions under my name, not to serve others!”
Danba replied, “Trust me, that is a contribution! After we return victorious, when everyone realizes that the three of us alone were able to suppress twenty opponents, the Ferocious Race will cheer for us.”
“Are you telling the truth?” Ferraro glanced a bit doubtfully at Danba.
Danba nodded his head seriously.
“Fine, then I’ll listen to you this once. It’s just that not fighting makes me very sad.” Ferraro hugged his axe and went back to sleep.
As he watched Ferraro return to the tent, Danba muttered, “There will be fighting...... and perhaps bitter fighting at that.”
Daybreak. The sky was still a hazy gray.
Danba, who had just been asleep, suddenly opened his eyes.
His years of training had given him frightening perceptive abilities. He discovered that something was off almost instantly.
Someone was here!
He walked out of the tent and quickly woke up Ferraro and Mendiano.
Not long after, four silhouettes began to emerge from the early morning haze.
They were heading right towards the tent.
That damned Ferraro, I told him we should have extinguished the campfire, Danba thought to himself, but he remained silent in the end.
When he saw the humans appear, Ferraro’s desire to battle surged.
“Four people, only four people! Danba, you won’t stop me from fighting with them now, will you?” Ferraro licked his lips in anticipation.
“No, wait a moment!” Danba said.
He stared at the humans walking towards them, his expression serious.
“What is it?” Ferraro didn’t understand.
“Look, what is that?” Danba pointed at the person at the very front.
That person was a skinny human. To the Ferocious Race, all humans were skinny and weak; they preferred thick, sturdy physiques, even in women. Gu Qingluo and Yue Longsha, who were considered beauties in the eyes of many humans, were like poor-quality goods that wouldn’t last for long. They found Zheng Bashan much more attractive in comparison.
However, that wasn’t important. What was important was the item that person was holding in their hands.
A flag that had been constructed out of a tree branch and a piece of cloth dyed with blood.
A battleaxe was drawn on the flag, with two large bones directly underneath, symbolizing death and violence.
Upon seeing this flag, the three Ferocious Race youths froze before saying at the same time, “Takusha!”
Takusha, an old ceremonial tradition that had been passed down amongst the Ferocious Race through the years. Takusha was a word from their ancient tribal language that meant something similar to a duel.
When two Ferocious Race individuals had a struggle that couldn’t be resolved, they would propose a Takusha.
The loser would perish, while the winner would be considered righteous.
To the Ferocious Race, Takusha was a sacrosanct word.
No Ferocious Race individual could violate a Takusha; otherwise, they would have betrayed their own race, and refusing a Takusha challenge would be seen as cowardice and weakness.
Because of this, Takusha also became a common method that certain Ferocious Race individuals would use to challenge their right to the throne.
Seizing control of the tribe could be very simple.
One didn’t need to move massive armies. All one needed to do was carry a large flag representing a Takusha challenge in front of the tribe leader’s tent and stab it into the ground, then wait for the tribe leader’s response.
The tribe leader could refuse the Takusha and still remain as the tribe leader, but they would be viewed as a weakling and would lose many of their supporters. If a Ferocious Race warrior organized a coup d’etat at that time, the success rate would be much more likely.
Because of this, the Ferocious Race’s tribe leaders were usually the most powerful warriors. Their strength was nothing to be sneered at.
If you weren’t strong enough, you would be easily overthrown by other warriors.
One could say that the reason the Ferocious Race placed so much value on strength was directly related to Takusha, where only the strong could be victorious and the losers would be eliminated. They resolved everything by fighting; if you didn’t value strength, what would you value?
Danba had never expected that these humans would actually come over waving a Takusha challenge flag.
“They want to duel!” Ferraro couldn’t believe his eyes.
Then, he began to howl with laughter. “They must be looking for death!”
At this moment, the group of humans had drawn near to the three Ferocious Race youths.
They made no proclamation. All they did was stick that tattered flag, which represented a sacred tradition of the Ferocious Race, into the ground
Nothing needed to be said.
“Ho!” Ferraro yelled. “Want to Takusha, is it? That’s great! May the ancestors witness our victory here!”
Ferraro was about to meet them head-on.
“No!” Danba held him back.
“What do you want to say, Danba?” Ferraro asked.
Danba replied, “The humans know how strong we are. There’s no way they would initiate a Takusha for no reason. There must be some kind of ploy they’re trying to pull.”
Ferraro said impatiently, “Your problem is that you think too much! The Ferocious Race doesn’t fear ploys or petty tricks.”
“Takusha is just a method that Ferocious Race individuals use to duel with each other. These humans came to battle, not to duel. We can just ignore it.”
“Enough!” Ferraro howled angrily. “Takusha is Takusha; it’s a sacred ceremony. The Ferocious Race cannot avoid a Takusha, regardless of whether it was initiated by a human or a Ferocious Race individual. If you’re afraid, you can watch from the side. No underhanded tricks are allowed during this sacred duel. Stop their shamelessness and prevent those humans from getting any opportunity!”
Danba relinquished his hold on Ferraro’s arm.
He knew there was no point in trying to restrain him anymore. At this point, even Mendiano was staring at him intently.
Even though he was just a normal Ferocious Race youth, Mendiano’s excitement was no less than Ferraro’s.
Their eyes were filled with longing.
Danba nodded. “Okay, Ferraro. You’re right, I shouldn’t be holding you back. I should be preventing them from scheming something during this Takusha. Since they want to Takusha...... we’ll give them Takusha.”
Ferraro laughed with satisfaction. “That’s what a real Ferocious Race individual should say!”
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