Chapter 85:

First Contact - Part 3


“AAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!” A deafening shout rang across the Tortuga, overpowering the much quieter girly groan that happened almost at the same time.

Anna’s caretaker always said ‘nothing beats a man faster than punching his crotch’, and now this technique may as well have been perfected. At least the horned demon seemed to be in a lot of pain after the two shots were unloaded at him.

The two barrels of the shotgun had different spells to further this effect even. First, a degradation spell to damage the armor, it was too thick to be destroyed this fast, and then a simple magic bullet with ten times the impact.

It also made the massive fighter kick Annabeth away in reaction to the pain, but that was a different matter altogether.

She was now smiling while injecting herself with elixir and watching the groaning creature crouch on the deck though.

“Finish this bastard off!” The evil inquisitor shouted to her companions as she tried to focus her hazy sight and be sure if she had a concussion or not. There wasn’t a real need to ask, though, since Colette was already moving to do this much.

Even crouched, the horned demon was still as tall as the brunette, but she still started her attack by kneeing his face.

Next, she used the remaining momentum to hammer both her hands on the already damaged helmet, breaking it right at the opening for the horns. And after another kick for good measure, Minako gave a sign from her position a few meters away, and Col left the way to let the bombardment commence.

“Should we retreat, Annabeth?” Karim approached from the sidelines of the fight after finishing a small healing prayer to her partner. “You don’t look fine at all.”

“Don’t worry, I’m fine. Ya better worry ‘bout that thing instead of me…” Anna shut her partner down as healing her like this wouldn’t do much. She was better off overdosing on a certain nerve-burning drug than wasting time being healed by holy magic. “I think we’ll need to kill this one, gal.”

“This…” Karim started to answer before biting her mouth and changing her tone. “Are you sure that's the only way? If we could…”

This wasn’t a fight they were prepared to and neither one holding back was a possibility, so even someone like the little cop had to accept this time. They lacked the equipment to arrest or knock down the horned demon without killing him. For one, even under a barrage of fox fire, the horned demon was still getting up.

“What’s the plan now?!” A worried Minako shouted as she kept bouncing her flaming whisps on the armored demon. “He’ll be free in a moment.”

“I would like an idea too…” Col asked too as she tried to recover her breath after overdoing a little. If the redhead’s predictions were correct, she had a third of her energy left while the kitsune should be above half still. The fact that they spent this much on this single foe and he was still fighting back was impressive, though.

Staying alive after all these attacks would be a feat in itself, so it was easy to have an idea of how troublesome the fact that he could still fight back was. The only bright side was that the fighting on the other points of the ship seemed to be going in favor of the sailors.

If there were other horned demons or if they were being overwhelmed too, then all hope of keeping this ship in one piece would be over.

Still, it was either go all-out or find a new weapon to use… Luckily, Annabeth had just noticed one, she only needed enough time to get it ready. So she gave a sign with her head and got ready to run. “I don't think we can knock him out. Unless…" She looked to her partner and then towards her next plan, getting up right after. “I need two minutes!”

“That’s a lot!” The other inquisitor shouted right as the horned demon broke off from the fires with a hand wave powerful enough to create wind pressure. But right after doing so, he ignored the two girls engaged with him and went to the one that seemed like a bigger threat. “At least don’t make him fucking follow you if you want time, dammit!”


Most of the monster’s armor was melted or breaking apart by now, but he could still keep going. And right now, he had his eyes on the brat that caused the most pain to him.

“Tch!” Anna clicked her tongue as she rolled away from another explosive sword swing, taking a few extra wounds from the shrapnel caused by it. “Leave me alone!”

In a swift motion, she drew her pistol again and turned its automatic mode, unloading the whole magazine on the heavily damaged lower half of the demon’s armor. And by his reaction, the area was still sensitive after the first hit.

The pain forced him to stop the chase again, and like before, Col and Minako re-entered the fight during this window. This time though, the number of moving flames was down to two and the punches from the saint candidate weren’t managing to connect that well.

It would even be fair to say that they both were being pushed back this time around.

And then, by the third or fourth exchange, dodging finally failed Colette and she had to block the slash head-on. Her gauntlets could take it and she was strong enough to survive one or two of these, but her knees almost buckled by the impact. And that was without even talking about the sorry state that her weapons ended after this.

“Get… out… my way!” Their enemy kept on putting strength on the locked weapons, further forcing Col’s tired body.

“Anna! Move... On...!” She shouted while doing her best to push back the overpowering force trying to embed her into the cruiser. And since all her focus was stuck on keeping the status quo, when the horned demon decided to throw a kick, the best Colette could do was cushion her fall. “Guh!”

And with the first one out of the way, the monster in burning armor turned to the shrine maiden trying to keep him in place with fire.

“Now the fox.”

“I guess that’s it this time, eh…” Minako went with her cryptic words as she saw the massive figure charging in her direction. But before anything could happen, an explosion put him out off-course, tumbling the colossus barely a meter away from the maiden.

“Yer not dyin’ yet, ‘kay?” Anna said while firing her double barrel with her left hand and aiming her pistol with the right one. By her side, at the rails of the deck, four shotgun shells colored in bright gold were resting in wait.

"You again... JUST DIE ALREADY!!!"

"Not happenin', bastard." She fired on the marid again as he got, causing another big explosion and pushing him back a small amount, but then had to reload the bigger gun.

As she was doing so though, her right hand was focused on firing the pistol, aiming at any possible weakness that would force the huge demon to slow down. And then, as the two new shells were ready, another explosion went to his face.

She could repeat this process again even.

He was still advancing and there wasn’t much to advance at all, but it was a snail’s pace at this moment. The demon’s anger was clear on his face and it was likely that all the little logical thinking in his head had vanished by now. All he wanted was to deal with the annoying gunslinger.

Sadly for said gunslinger, she was now at range of the marid's remaining blade.

“Say bye, insect.”

Almost two hundred thousand ducats worth of explosive ammunition went by and now Anna had no way to dodge from this close. Still, the redhead was smirking in a mocking tone as she threw her weapons down.

“Bye-bye.” Anna mocked the demon as she, right as the marid’s blade started to move to finish the job, threw herself back, falling to the sea in a single moment. She was waiting by the corner of the ship for this one reason either way.

And the volley of anti-air rounds started right on the next moment.