A Powerful Foe — Part 3
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
I was on top of Rir’s back, sitting backwards and facing the direction opposite the one he was running in. I had Zaien ready to fend off the manticore’s attacks.
“Shit…!” I swore as I blocked one such blow. The beast had used a nearby tree as a springboard and obliterated it as it leapt at us to deliver a heavy strike backed by the weight of its entire body. “Fuck off, fatass!”
My arms creaked. They complained by making unnatural sounds that they were never meant to make, but I grit my teeth and swung Zaien yet again to attack Sir Douchebag in return. The cocky son of a bitch fell back and dodged the swing with ease before casting a spell and fired a series of stone spears in our direction.
I clicked my tongue. I couldn’t let even a single one of his projectiles hit Rir. The whole chase we had going on would end the moment I let him take damage, so I forcefully twisted my arms and swung Zaien until I destroyed all the lances that had been aimed at him. And in doing so, I completely ignored all the lances that had been aimed at me.
Several ran me through. I cursed, tensed my muscles, and endured as my blood spilled all over Rir’s fur, staining it in crimson.
The Fenrir barked at me worriedly and turned to check on me, but I dismissed his concerns by barking right back at him. “Shut up, keep your eyes in front and run!”
I wanted to open up my inventory and grab a potion, but I didn’t have the time. I couldn’t just stop defending us. The creepy bastard stalking us would definitely start pushing even harder the moment I stopped focusing on him entirely. But that was fine. I had accrued damage, sure, but it wasn’t enough to break me. My body was far too sturdy to fall to a few minor injuries and a tiny bit of blood loss.
After pulling out only the spears that would impede my movements, I once again began to focus on intercepting the stalker’s attacks.
Except he wasn’t attacking.
The smug-looking asshole was still hot on our heels, but it was just staring and smirking as opposed to actually attacking. The look on its face resembled that of someone that had just nailed a good hit or two in a game of darts. This fucking dickwad…
It was only going to take Rir a few more minutes to reach his destination. We were likely to wipe the cocky grin off of him once we did, but that wasn’t quite enough for me. I wanted to get him once before we arrived. I felt the urge to take all of his composure and shove it right up his ass. Don’t look down on demon lords, asshole!
Getting attacked over and over had filled me with frustration, so I drew the weapon I had holstered on my hips, my fully loaded magical handgun. I raised Zaien to my face and switched from holding with one of my hands to grabbing it with my teeth. It was kind of heavy and made my jaw hurt, but it was necessary. I used my now free hand to reach into my inventory and grabbed a random crappy weapon I had created in my spare time, one of the many failures I had produced for the sake of practice. I chucked it at the furfag with all the force I could muster, which ultimately caused blood to spurt from my wounds, but I didn’t care. Fixing the look on his face mattered much more to me than a bit of blood.
The son of a bitch dodged it with ease and immediately positioned itself for a counter by leaping towards a nearby tree in a manner reminiscent of a dumb looking monkey. And that was when I struck. I pointed my gun at the tree’s base and pulled the trigger.
A bullet erupted from the barrel, roaring as loud as an entire battery of artillery. The projectile, which contained an entire three thousand mana, cleaved right through the tree’s stem and knocked the whole damn plant over. Dumbfuck was left in midair without a destination and he was going too fast to correct his posture. His face contorted in shock as it planted itself into the ground with all the grace of a beached whale.
“Hah! Suck my dick, asshole!” I put my gun away and used the now empty hand to give him the finger whilst flaunting a huge shit-eating grin.
Sir Douchebag’s face twisted in rage as it came to realize that I was actively provoking him. He pumped even more power into his legs than before as he gave chase with renewed vigour.
“Hahah, bitch! Look who’s laughing now! Sure does suck to get a taste of your own medicine, don’t it!?”
Surprisingly, the first response my second taunt resulted in wasn’t yet another angry roar. Rather, it came in the form of a scolding bark. Rir had more or less asked me why I would do something as dumb as provoking the enemy.
“Sorry Rir! Like, you and I both know that I’m a genuine pacifist, but he’s the one that picked this fight!” I laughed my ass off as I explained myself. “And anyone that messes with me gets force fed their own medicine a hundred times over.”
I could tell that I wasn’t exactly in what I would call the right state of mind. I had lost too much blood and my head wasn’t getting quite enough. That said, retaliation had always been a part of my doctrine, as it was key to maintaining a state of peace.
I was far less concerned with that right now, however, and much more entertained by the obvious seething rage on the furfag’s face. Just looking at it was enough to refresh me. Of course, the fact that he had sped up wasn’t exactly in our favour, but it didn’t matter. Our destination was in sight. It was only a few hundred meters away.
We were headed straight for one of the traps that I had set earlier in the day. Unlike the spells that Rir and I had casted, traps didn’t use magical energy or create magical phenomenon for the most part. Rather, they used the mysterious substance known as DP in order to create physical phenomena in a manner that one would be tempted to label as magical. I didn’t see the rhyme or reason behind the distinction, nor was I even a hundred percent sure that my plan would work, but all the evidence seemed to point to the fact that the sadistic manticore’s automatic AT Field-like barrier reacted solely to magic, and that traps that did not explicitly cast magic would ultimately cause physical damage.
In other words, our stalker was more likely than not susceptible to traps.
The only thing I really had to worry about was getting the timing right. I couldn’t activate it too early else risk him realizing. And I couldn’t activate it too late else risk it not popping at all. Everything was riding on me pressing the right button at the right split second.
“Looking pretty desperate there, huh? Sure must suck to get your ass kicked by someone way weaker than you, don’t it? Get rekt, bitch!”
I dodged the attack it aimed at me before continuing to insult it in order to cloud its judgement. In the meantime, Rir kept running and kicking up massive dust clouds behind him while dodging any trees in his way. Almost there. Just a bit further.
It leapt at us again, and once again specifically targetted me, but I twisted my body to dodge its bite before smacking its dumb-looking face with my fist. Almost! Come on, come on!
The sensation of being struck by me caused it to momentarily flinch right as Rir leapt over the point.
Everything was perfect. The trap was right between us and it. It looked at us with an even greater expression of rage and charged in a straight line. Now!
I activated the trap the moment the asshole passed over it. He wasn’t paying attention to what was underfoot, so the cocky bastard stepped right on it and popped it.
A deafening boom assaulted my ears as the landscape before me was dyed a deep shade of red.
There had been an explosion, an explosion powerful enough to take the living out of the term living thing. And yet, I doubted that it would be able to kill the douchey manticore. It was level 96. I felt as if the asshole would likely survive it and get back to his feet if we let him be. And I wasn’t about to sit around long enough to find out if my hunch was correct.
I knew that if I wanted to end the battle, then I’d have to do so right this instant. I jumped off Rir’s back, raised my arms to protect my face, and dove straight into the inferno with my blade at the ready.
Pain assaulted me. I could feel the massive explosion burning me all over as its shrapnel dug into my flesh. But I kept moving. It hurt badly enough for me to think I was going to die. But that’s all it did. That’s all it amounted to.
I loosed a determine shout as I fought against the winds expelled by the explosion. I pushed back with as much force as my legs could allow and carved my way through to the centre of the blast. And as I reached it, I discovered that I had won my bet. His AT Field had failed to activate.
Plunging through the explosion rewarded me with the sight of an injured manticore. He was burned all over and parts of him had even carbonized. Most importantly, his eyes were rolled back in their sockets. The sudden explosion had knocked him out cold. Fortunately, force-feeding him a single trap had been enough to stop him. I didn’t have to resort to my backup plan: running all over the Wicked Forest and showing him the dungeon’s newly established full course meal.
I dashed in front of it and swung Zaien.
The beast recovered right as I did. Its eyes spun back around in their sockets and immediately focused on me.
Crisis detection started to go off. It filled me with an incredible sense of danger and dread.
Its foot slowly moved towards my face and threatened to tear my skull from the rest of my body.
But I didn’t stop.
Because, this time, I wasn’t alone.
A burnt looking Rir, who had also leapt into the inferno, dug his fangs into the manticore’s shoulder and stopped his attack in place.
His actions allowed me to complete my swing.
Zaien sunk into the furfag’s neck.
I felt the sensation of the blade severing the creature’s bone and rending its flesh. Blood sprayed everywhere. There was a literal shower of the stuff as the manticore’s head spun through the air. Even more of the sanguine liquid rained down from the headless stump that was its neck.
And then, after a brief delay, it finally collapsed.
Never to move again.
“It looks like we win.”