Chapter 7:

Horned Mask (3/3)

Path of Pandora – My Worldbuilding System

Bang, bang, bang!

The forest echoed from the violent attack. The tiny birds used their feathers to cover their offspring, so their scared chirps wouldn't attract danger's attention.

Unbeknownst to the forest creatures, they did not matter to the cause of such loud offense. The half-masked goblin only saw one man as its prey: Hachiro Tanuki, who has tried his best to evade or block every attack. His stamina diminished by the minute, and with every second, he could feel his legs get weaker on him.

"What am I missing?" The sentence echoed endlessly in his head, giving him both a headache and some more energy to keep on fighting.

He made sure to circle back around and end up by the Gaia Core, next to his stockpile of carved wooden spears. The goblin didn't notice that, as her wrath blinded her of all things that were not the boy.

She raised her staff again, hit the ground, the horn on her mask lit up with a red light and a horn appeared beside her head, that flew straight at Tanuki.


The shield was nearing its limit. The explosion blew Tanuki back against the Gaia Core. His back went numb from the impact, then returned with burning pain.

But at that exact moment, when breath escaped his lungs and his body experienced a staggering shock, something dawned upon him. It was a eureka so powerful, all other feelings seemed to bow and step aside to give way to her majesty, as she blessed Tanuki with her sacred knowledge.

"I get it!" Tanuki muttered without a voice. "I know how to defeat her!"

His body fell to the ground as if it was already a corpse. Still, Tanuki mustered all his remaining energy and stood back up again.

The goblin summoned another attack and sent it flying towards Tanuki. It was aimed to stop him if he were to run away and try to escape, but going against all odds, Tanuki decided to charge her head-on.

Taken aback, she changed the course of her next attack, which Tanuki countered by revealing two spears behind his back. He threw one at the goblin, which she precisely shattered into pieces. Swiftly, she turned back to face the boy, hit the ground with her staff, and summoned another attack, which she would've shot at Tanuki, but…

The other spear was missing from his hand.

The goblin quickly looked around, but the spear was missing. Then, she heard something with a whistling sound descend upon her.

As she looked up at the night sky, outlines of the spear appeared above her, descending at a fast pace. Tanuki didn't throw the second spear directly at her, but instead, he threw it into the air, so it would strike her from above.

The goblin aimed her staff at the descending spear and shot a horn at it, bursting the weapon into a rain of wooden barbs.

Once she looked back, Tanuki was only a few feet away from reaching her. He bore a vengeful frown and as he raised his fist into the air, the goblin knew what he wanted to do. She hit her staff against the ground, summoned another attack, then raised her hands to block Tanuki's attack while shooting the horn at him.

At that moment, of that night, where only a few stars were on the night sky, one outshined the rest, one's rose above all others. A soul proved to another, that indeed, it had what it took to survive in this world.

The goblin remained unharmed. She lowered her hands and saw that Tanuki lay on the ground a few feet away. Blood leaked out of his nose and his body twitched painfully. He was a hairbreadth away from falling unconscious.

The goblin's face displayed a mixture of emotions. She was both angry and wanted the destruction of the boy, while she was also satisfied with her work and sadistically joyful of the boy's fall.

She took a deep breath, hit her staff against the ground, the horn glowed on her mask, and then…


The horn hummed with dim electricity, before fading away. The goblin aimed her staff at the boy, but nothing flew towards him. She tried to do it again, repeating the same steps as before, but nothing happened.

She was confused at first, but that strange humming noise made it immediately clear what was going on. She gasped nervously before looking at the staff, which had its top half missing.

"Are you looking for this?"

Tanuki raised his hand, revealing the top half of her staff. An even angrier frown grew on the goblin's face, which Tanuki answered with a gloating smile. Putting his weak arms against the ground, he slowly stood up.

"I guess magic works much like electricity. Like a damn Tv, really! You need a power source, that being a mask. Then, you need a conductor for electricity, a wire, that being the staff. Then finally, it reaches the Tv and generates an image. I guess you could say that this image is the horn you summon, but I'm not sure. I still have much to learn about magic, heh!"

The goblin reached below her wool cape. Tanuki raised an eyebrow, then slowly began to approach the monster.

"Now, I don't plan on killing you, but I'm also not afraid to do so. If you value your life, I suggest you surrender."

Suddenly, the goblin pulled out a sharp stone from below her cape. It was shaped like a large wolf tooth, sharp enough to cut flesh.

"You cannot defeat me with that, you kno––"

"Glory to Soup, Daughter of the Blue Minotaur!"

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

Before he could've got an answer, the goblin launched the sharp stone into her throat and cut a large deep wound.

"Wait!" Tanuki yelled, but it was already too late.

He rushed to the goblin but was struck by her one last time, getting his right arm scratched. She tried to run and get as far away as possible, but after only a few meters, she collapsed. As her eyes turned grey, she used her last remaining energy to mutter the words:

"Glory… to… Soup…"

Tanuki wanted to rush after her, he wanted to save the little monster, the first intelligent being he has encountered. Even if it was impossible to save her, he wanted to try something, anything, in hopes of a miracle.

Ultimately, Tanuki was too powerless to help her. He collapsed and fell unconscious just beside the goblin's corpse, which shortly after began to disappear.




[ Wave Cleared ]

[ Beginners' Trial (2/3): Completed ]