Chapter 84:

First Contact - Part 2


A demon's power level was as varied as their skills, and so, a system to categorize them had to be created. This system was colloquially called ‘threat levels’ by the inquisitors and had four ‘common’ levels and three ‘special’ ones.

The lowest of the common ones was a D-class threat, which meant the same as an average human with a bladed weapon. For obvious, this level was very rare when talking about non-humans.

Meanwhile, an A-class threat wasn't that rare at all and was comparable to a fully equipped high-inquisitor or a paladin. Golems with proper combat capabilities and ifrits usually fell on this one.

Still, these were all, in theory, beatable by a single fighter without abnormal qualities. The 'special' classes were the opposite.

A tactical-class threat, being the first one of the three, was already something that would take a full army division to fight off. It could also signal the need to call a saint or even a full squad of templars, and both of these weren't very common. And the two levels above this one were even more troublesome.

What mattered right now though was the fact that Anna was looking at the textbook example of a tactical threat, a pure-blooded horned demon.

A hulking three meters tall figure was leaving something that seemed like a metal coffin while wearing full armor. His weapons were two massive scimitars, but they seemed way too big to be useful as cutting weapons. Still, the redhead was starting to regret rushing forward like this.

“Mah’ sixth sense didn’t warn me ‘bout this… I was trustin’ ya, dammit.” The redhead said as she slowly tried to backtrack to where she had come from, hoping that the horned demon wouldn’t see her. It was a fair hope since the sounds of gunfire were ringing on other bits of the ship and she was but a girl in skimpy clothes, but it was still just hope.

For one, the moment the horned demon saw her, his eyes locked on the girl right away. And the reason for such became clear right after.

“Found the target.” He uttered in a very simplistic manner. “Orders to smosh her.”

“’Course yer after me, eh…”

Without even waiting for her complaints, the man from the race known as the 'shock troopers of the demon king' charged forward. His speed was based on brute force and, as expected, was something else altogether, but it was a simple attack. And simple-minded attacks were the best for Annabeth.

The hunks of metal cut through the empty air and struck the deck, missing their marks as the girl rolled away from them. Still, the impact itself create enough of an effect to throw her further away while the broken pieces of the wooden floor became shrapnel.

Even with her perfectly timed dodge, in the end, she still received a good deal of damage. Still, from what little remained of the crater beneath the blades, there wouldn't be much left otherwise.

“Hells… Not a good way to start…” Anna grumbled with a line of blood forming at her mouth as she rushed back to her feet and started to fire her pistol. “Hold this bastard in place!”

Luckily, this first strike was all the demon could manage before reinforcements arrived. And luckier even, he didn't seem to notice this much.

As sudden as the charge that had forced Anna to the backfoot, a strike made of bute force was flung towards the horned demon's head. Col had arrived and she was opening the fight with a flying punch filled with all she could.

The strike seemed to also be enough to bend the metal and wood from which the Tortuga was made, but it did little more than nick the helmet of its target. For one, it seemed that all Anna had read about these demons was as true as it could be.

The ludicrous resistance of their body and raw power was on the same level as the biggest weapons available on the continent. And that was without even considering their ability to disrupt magic by controlling the raw energy of the area.

She was also sure that the parts about the low intellect and the inability to use magic directly were also true, though. Things would go above unsolvable if he could lob fireballs while bending steel.

Either way, this place was too bad for Annabeth’s style and needs when fighting. Her weapons weren’t as half as big enough and she couldn’t break her chains while stuck inside a ship. Every sailor would likely end up dead if she did...

It was still a valid last resort if needed, but even if the inquisitor could win this fight by herself right now, she had no need to do so.

For starters, she was only buying time right now.

"My turn, Col!"

And as soon as the first hitter left the line of attack, a pillar of flames surrounded the recovering enemy. Minako was leveraging her fox flames to surround him, likely aiming to follow Anna’s orders.

The heat that was turning the metal plates red didn't seem to be enough yet, though.

“STUPID FIRES!!!” The hulking man punched the deck in front of him, splintering parts of his armor and of the deck in the process, but also creating a wave of pure spiritual energy that undid the fox fires. “Don’t mess with my job, bugs!”

He then turned to the arriving trio, throwing one of the blades before most of them could even react. And how the blade managed to embed itself in the armored turret behind them was enough to make both the witch and the shrine maiden sweat cold. “IS THIS A PURE-BLOODED MARID?!!!” The cop shouted after breaking the prayers and while helping Minako get up. “How one of them reached us without you noticing?!” “Can’t think ‘bout it ‘aight now!” The engaged gunslinger shouted back as she tried to keep some distance between her and the monster. “This one has rights too, by the way?”

She lacked any weapons that could kill this monster, her pistol for one was more of an annoyance than anything, but it was hard to think of a way to capture him. If she had permission to kill the thing, then there was a chance things would go well at least.

“Of course it has rights!“ Karim answered with her usual outrage. "I only ever saw one of them, but they're still citizens..."

“Good luck capturing this one, shorty..." The redhead brushed her partner's words off, deciding that she would need to overrule her 'don't kill' policy this time. "Hit again, Col!”

“On his back!”

And with a shout, Colette charged again, readying another powerful punch. One that the marid saw coming and tried to intercept, although he failed at it, hitting only the air as Col broke her charge and moved away.

That was exactly what was expected from her, though.

“Hearing yer opponent won’t help ya, y’know?” A girly voice called the horned demon from much closer than it could be and then continued as he turned again in a hurry. “Dumb enemies’re always the best.”

A crouching Annabeth mocked her foe as her double-barrel shotgun glued between the legs of the turning demon.

It wasn’t a gun as big as her anti-material rifle, but it had almost the same power on short distances. And she was readying this one to fire since the start of the fight.

Still, getting this close had its fair share of dangers and Anna was somewhat expecting to receive some damage back. She was lucky that her foe seemed to be unable to see her right away, likely due to how high his line of sight was.

But all that really mattered right now was the fact that she had a clear shot at point blank. And the calamity with a shotgun knew this one would hurt a lot.