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Together, Tauren and Astrada set off to begin the search. Population estimates for earth was somewhere between seven and a half billion and seven and three quarter billion people. Every single one of these beyond the age of twelve might be the champion they were seeking. Their search was likely to be extensive and take a good deal of time, time being something more crucial to the living earth than to purgatory, but in this case, important there, too.

A champion, on being found, would have to accept her or his role and then go through extensive training. Their search would need to be comprehensive. There was no room for a mistake. The two searchers, working together, would do their best to take a systematic approach. They would carefully prioritize their search, beginning with the world’s top athletes, work their way through them, then proceed down the line of lesser athletes before moving on to the warriors. In most cases, they were soldiers from a variety of nations and their armed forces. The two searchers would begin with the most proficient of these.

After that, if they had failed to find the champion, they would broaden their search to include anyone and everyone. If they didn’t find the champion on the first go through, Tauren and Astrada would start over, continuing until they found the required champion. They hoped soon to come across their target among the athletes. The champion should be a natural.

However, it didn’t seem to be the case. Instead, it became what they had hoped it wouldn’t, a long and tedious search. Even after an extensive exploration, they had not found the one they sought. It forced them to try again. By the third search, Astrada was ready to leave it behind, head back to purgatory and prepare her own army of defense. Tauren, partly out of persistence and partly out of stubbornness, was not ready to give up. “The champion is there, somewhere, and it is for us to find him,”

Astrada grumbled, but remained with him, carrying on the annoyingly complex and involved quest.

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