A Powerful Foe — Part 2
Editors: Sebas Tian, Joker, Speedphoenix
Only one thought passed through my mind as I attempted to peek at the manticore’s stat page. Holy shit. It’s strong.
The gap between our stats was far too large. Analyze was unable to show me anything beyond its race, its class, and its level. And that was in spite of the fact that I used Analyze so often that it had become capable of displaying basically everything. None of the few things that I could see could be interpreted as good news. Its class demonstrated a powerful propensity for violence, and Lefi’s aside, its level was the highest I had ever seen.
I clicked my tongue. The circumstances that had led up to my current predicament could only be described as unfortunate. I hadn’t been able to detect the threat in time because it had come from just outside the dungeon’s boundaries. I wanted to say something along the lines of “sayonara sucker,” and run like the wind, but I highly doubted that the manticore would allow us to escape.
Much to my displeasure, the monster gazed at us with a composed, sadistic smile. Its intentions were clear as day. It wanted to torment us, to treat us like playthings until it felt hungry enough to finally consume its next meal. I had no doubt that it would chase us to the ends of the earth if we tried to run away. Welp. If flight’s off the table, then fight it is.
A part of me had wanted to challenge the beast regardless. The smug look on its face pissed me off to no end. Fuck you too furfag. You know what? When I kill you, I’m going to skin your dumb ass, turn you into a fucking rug, and use that stupid looking face of yours to wipe the dirt off my feet every time I get home.
The first to attack was Rir. He grasped my intentions the moment I first took up my stance, so he immediately activated Everchanging Chains. Fetters burst from the ground underneath the furfag’s feet and attempted to restrain it.
Likewise, the furfag had no qualms springing into action. Literally. It dove at us the moment it sensed the chains appear near its feet. We avoided the attack by splitting up and dodging in two different directions.
Dirt and dust flew everywhere as the monster landed and smashed its paws into where we had been standing just a few moments prior. The simple attack had hit like a truck. It contained so much power that it created a small crater. Hoooooly shit. I do not want to tank one of those. That just looks like an easy way to get myself reincarnated as a lump of ground meat.
Rir corrected his posture the moment he moved out of the furfag’s way and retaliated by clawing at the smug-looking asshole, but his attack was evaded. Sir Douchebag had dodged it by taking a small step to the side.
I took the opportunity to get behind Mr. Cockypants and swing my sword at what was supposedly a blind spot, but one of the furfag’s scorpion-like tails suddenly began to move like a creature with a mind of its own. There was a loud clang as it caught Zaien’s blade head on and stopped it in place. It almost sounded like two metal substances had collided.
A heavy shockwave pulsed through the blade and ran up my arm. The weight of the impact caused me to freeze up for just a second, an opening that the furfag failed to miss. Its second tail immediately darted straight for my heart.
I clicked my tongue as I backed off and dodged the incoming strike. Though I had left my melee range, I had no intention of abandoning my offensive. I quickly channelled my mana and let loose the usual water dragon spell at the sadistic douchebag the moment I landed. It was my fastest magical attack. The reptilian creatures it created tore through the air like arrows and threatened to tear into the manticore’s rear.
But they were stopped short.
The beast had manifested a barrier akin to an AT Field and repelled the attack. The fuck!? 
Furfag’s counter came before I could wrap my mind around exactly what had happened. The asshole suddenly turned around, leapt at me, and drove its claws towards me at an incredible speed. I somehow managed to raise Zaien and intercept the attack, but I hadn’t braced myself enough. The force sent me flying.
I groaned as I crashed into the trunk of the massive tree behind me and knocked it down. Only after smashing into a second tree did I finally lose my momentum.
It hurt. Bad.
The pain was so intense that I felt like I was about to pass out, but I somehow managed to bear with it and remain conscious. My eyes were blurry; I had started tearing up, but I did my best to ignore my suffering as I opened my inventory, grabbed a potion, and downed the whole thing in one breath.
“Whew…” I heaved a sigh of relief. Thank god for pots. These things can basically let me fight like a zombie so long as I don’t actually die.
I glanced downwards as soon as the pain began to recede and confirmed that Zaien was still doing alright. Welp. That’s immeasurable quality for you. This thing just took a super heavy attack but isn’t even nicked or anything.
After inspecting my weapon, I turned my gaze back up towards the battlefield. Rir was still fighting the manticore. In fact, he was in the midst of casting a spell. The sky right above the cocky furfag had started to glimmer.
Not even a moment later, everything, everything turned white. There was a deafening roar as the earth was blown away by the attack.
It was a lightning spell, a spell that he had refrained from using because he hadn’t wanted to get me caught in it.
His spell would have taken any normal monster from full health to nothing. It was so powerful that it had torn the earth asunder and burnt the area around the strike so horribly that it looked like the site of a munitions experiment gone wrong. And yet, the douchebag remained unharmed.
The sight that I was greeted with once the light finally faded was that of its AT Field. Sir Douchebag was standing right where he was before with his grin as cocky as usual. He went out of his way to make a show of “curiously” gazing at his surroundings. It was a clear display of provocation. The asshat was asking Rir whether or not his spell had done anything at all. That thing’s defence is fucking ridiculous.
Seeing the AT Field in action made me want to swear at the furfag until I exhausted every last curse word in my vocabulary. But rather than wasting my time, I directed my efforts into contemplating its weaknesses. I highly doubted that the creature’s AT Field was powerful enough to provide it with straight invincibility. I mean, it defended when I tried using Zaien, and dodged when Rir tried swiping at it with his claws. There’s no reason it’d bother if it didn’t have to, right?
There was a single common point that all the attacks the manticore had consciously avoided shared: they used physical force. Does that mean that its stupid barrier can only defend against magic?
I observed the sadistic asshole as it engaged Rir in a classic Godzilla vs. King Kong style clash of the titans. And its behaviour seemed to coincide with my expectations. It either avoided all of Rir’s physical attacks or fended them off with its tail whilst repelling all of his spells with its AT Field. …I think I’ve got an idea.
Maintaining the status quo didn’t seem to be in our favour. The manticore clearly wasn’t feeling any pressure despite the two on one scenario, which meant that things would only get worse for us if nothing changed. We needed to act and utilize a power that was neither of our own.
“Rir!” I shouted. “We’re getting the hell out of here and heading back over to where we were earlier!”
The wolf paused for a split second to think before dashing over. He had caught onto my plan. I leapt onto his back as he passed me, and the two of us made a hasty retreat.
Sir Douchebag narrowed his eyes in a manner akin to a cat tormenting a mouse before taking off after us in order to chase us down.
 Evangelion. An absolute terror field is the thing that stops regular weapons from murdering angels.
Editor’s note (Joker): Hey, guys! Joker here, coming atcha live from Anime Matsuri in the sunny, sunny city of Houston, Texas. God, it’s so damn hot…how do they cope with it? I’ve had to drink copious amounts of water just walking to the car and back, let alone being out in it constantly. But yeah, if anyone’s at Anime Matsuri this weekend, (June 13-16 2019) hit me up on Discord and we can see if we can meet up. That’d be cool, aye? Getting noticed by senpai IN REAL LIFE? All right, all right. Enough shameless plugging aside, let’s get to what everyone wants to see, Joker’s Question Corner! Lessee… 7 lovely letters for me today, and multiple Nirvash headpats to get through, so thanks to zekkendo, جهاد السعيدي, Karmarov, CaTastrophy427, Sylphian, Mischa, and kx for your lovely letters. Nirvash would like to thank Head parts for everyone, جهاد السعيدي, Mythical_Supremacy, Anime Dragon, Karmarov, Tonatsi, Sylphian, Grauncher, and kx for all the lovely headpats and would also like to thank crismofern for his question. If you’d like to ask me a question, or headpat Nirvash, leave it below in the comments and get featured here! See y’all in the next chapter!