Chapter 34 – Unexpected announcements.
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Once again Silver and all the children were gathered at the main hall, however this time there was a noticeable change in their appearance and the look in their eyes.
While before there were some who had looks of childhood innocence on their faces, currently those looks had been replaced with fierce expressions.
It was almost like before the ceremony a bunch of puppies had been gathered together but after the ceremony, the bunch of puppies had transformed into a pack of blood hounds.
Some might call this cruel but this was “tradition” and like it or not this method allowed the Divine Tiger clan to breed strong warriors every generation while also getting rid of the useless seeds at an earlier stage.
However this tradition wasn’t brought about on a whim but rather it was due to necessity. This world was filled with many dangers for the human race, therefore for major clans such as the Divine tiger clan to thrive and dominate they needed to be strong at all times.
Furthermore this type of ceremony wasn’t just performed by the Divine tiger clan, other clans also had their own versions of “culling processes.” Of course, none of the other ceremonies could compare in terms of the rich “history” and secrets.
Suddenly from a door in the back, came Anvar and following behind him were the Four Lords of the Divine tiger clan. Akela of the South, Tous of the North, Mira of the West and lastly Diver of the East.
As they approached the raised platform in the middle of the hall, each of them were handed a ten inch long stone tablet. All except for Akela displayed complicated expressions after viewing what was written on the tablet.
Tous was the happiest of the four while Diver was the most disappointed. Lady Mira, looked at the stone tablet and couldn’t help but frown however soon after her expression turned indifferent.
After they all finished examining the stone tablets, Anvar was given the signal to begin the announcement.
“Young ones, you’ve faced quite the challenge. Many of you are hurt and some of you even lost lives however we all went through the same treatment as will the next generation and the next after that.
I understand that you are all tired and wish to tend to your wounds but before that we must first take care of some matters.
First of all, the branch with the most kills will be announced and rewarded.
Secondly, the three people with the most kills will also be honoured and rewarded.”
Hearing this, all the children in the hall began to speculate and murmur,
“Senior Wade is definitely going to win.” exclaimed one person.
“Hmph, you Northern people have to be all idiots if you think Lady Fria will take second place.” sneered a young girl who was clearly from the Western branch.
Many names were shouted out and heated arguments were breaking out from every corner of the main hall.
However one group of people was completely quiet. Areq, Yerr and their group of goons weren’t saying a single word and whenever they heard someone mention how “Areq is definitely going to take one of the first three spots” their faces couldn’t help but turn ugly.
Yerr’s complexion was currently a mixture of purple and blue, not because he was filled with fury but because Piore had repeatedly drowned and suffocated him. In the end, he even forcefully removed his two front teeth from his mouth.
Areq on the other hand was filled with fear and dread to the point that he wasn’t even concerned with Silver. He was currently running through various ideas in his head, trying to figure out the perfect excuse to explain to his father how, he not only stole one of his treasures and lost it but also how the carefully crafted plan was ruined right under his nose.
“SILENCE!” shouted Anvar.
The hall instantly quieted down,
“The last thing that will be done here is,
The fifty people with the least amount of kills will be assigned to the Grey ward to undergo training as for the rest who successfully passed, you will receive gold as well as the sign of recognition.” concluded Anvar as he picked up the stone tablet, preparing to announce the results.
This was what all of them were waiting to hear, “the sign of recognition”. With that they would be able to walk anywhere within the territory of the Divine tiger clan with their chests out and their heads held high.
The “sign of recognition” is a small mark that’s placed on the bodies of prospect warriors, these “recognised” youths would be the ones the clan would nurture and provide resources for. These were the good seeds that had the highest possibility of giving a good harvest.
The Grey ward however was the direct opposite of getting the sign of recognition. The grey ward was where the clan trained its farmers, maids, and other non-combat related professions.
There are very few people who were admitted to the Grey ward and were able to leave their mark on the history of the Divine tiger clan. However this didn’t mean that these jobs were useless, it was just that compared to the life of a warrior, it was severely lacking. After all, with great strength everything would be at your feet.
The most notable person who contributed to the clan despite coming from the grey ward was none other than, the War Chef Tyina, who cooked for two weeks straight with no rest whatsoever in order to feed the Great Army of the West.
Silver was also deep in thought, he hadn’t hunted a single tiger therefore you would expect him to be in the bottom fifty however would Akela allow his son to become a waste and be admitted to the Grey ward?
Silver had come to the conclusion that he would at the very least be among the passing youths, which he preferred. He didn’t want to be the centre of attention and be recognised as a genius; in fact that kind of treatment would only serve to hinder his plans and also cause his enemies to constantly be aware of him.
Right now, not many people know of the name “Silver”, as Akela has done his best to keep his cultivation as well as his interaction with others to a minimum and Silver wanted to keep it that way.
He already knew who was going to be named first as he had made various “moves” while in the Sacred land to make it that way, so all he needed to do now was to relax and spectate.
Anvar’s voice rang out once again,
“This year’s leading branch is the Northern branch with a total of three hundred and twenty two kills.
Lord Tous will be personally rewarded by the Patriarch for his contributions and all the members of the North will also receive extra compensation.”
Immediately after saying that, loud cheers broke out from various parts of the hall and there were also some faint jeers as well.
“Next, if I call your name please make your way to towards me.
Ehem! With an impressive total of seventeen slain black tigers and one grey tiger, Wade Kar takes first in the ceremony.”
Many “As expected” noises rang out through out the hall and for the people of the Northern branch, they couldn’t help yelling and cheering in jubilation.
They had not only taken first as a branch but now their fellow Northerner was the first in the entire ceremony plus he not only killed seventeen black tigers but also a grey tiger. Furthermore by the way he looked and walked; you could clearly tell that he had hardly any injury on him. This was just too much!
Tous walked up towards Wade and patted him on the shoulder before walking him up to the platform.
Anvar nodded towards Wade as he faintly smiled, clearly he was happy about the North doing so well.
“Next, with fifty two slain yellow tigers and three black tigers, Fria Mar takes second.”
Most people expected Fria to be in the top three however to kill fifty two yellow tigers, wasn’t that just too much. After all if she had the strength to kill the yellow tigers with such ease then why not just kill a few black tigers and save time and energy.
“And taking third place is Silver Tar of the South.”
Many people started talking and asking,
“Who is that?”
“Could he be the young master of the Southern branch?” exclaimed one person.
“Why haven’t they mentioned how many tigers he’s killed?” shouted one person, however his voice was buried among the many discussions going on about who Silver was.
The youths from the Southern branch began to cheer as they had someone in the top three which was something to take pride in. They didn’t know much about Silver except for the fact that he existed.
Silver was dumbfounded, he didn’t move from where he was standing as he was trying to convince himself that he was just hearing his own things. However when Anvar called out again saying, “Silver Tar, hurry up and make your way here!” that’s when he knew that this wasn’t a delusion.
He slowly began to walk up under the gaze of all the youths who moved out of the way so that he could pass. He looked towards Akela who was standing at the front with a, “I’ll explain later” expression on his face.
He turned to look at Wade who was avoiding his gaze. Wade didn’t know why but he felt a lingering fear when he looked at Silver.
Fria on the other hand was glaring at Silver, she had seen how Silver had disappeared with that grey tiger and was probably the only one who knew that Silver wasn’t as simple as he looked.
She was also getting upset the more she looked at him, after all she had been taught since she was young to show no weakness especially in front of men but in the end she was saved by one.
Silver finally reached Akela’s side and quietly stood there.
The only thing that was really bothering him now was that, underneath his cloak he was butt naked and here he was standing in front of hundreds of future warriors.
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