Chapter 87:

Volume 4, Chapter 5: Showdown With A Ram?

Heroes of the Past


“We split up. Jen, you go with Tomo. Kuan, you’re with me. Darryl, who do you want to go with?” Kisai ordered.Bookmark here

“Uh… I’ll go with you guys,” Ichaival decided.Bookmark here

Kisai yanked his friend aside. The three men held a small conference, where Ichaival’s face displayed a range of emotions, from shock to anger. Just hurry up already.Bookmark here

“Right?” Ichaival hissed.Bookmark here

“You have a good point. That will work,” Kisai agreed.Bookmark here

They ended their talk and Ichaival remained with them.Bookmark here

“You ready to fight a dragon, Tomo?” Kisai asked, his face serious, but not his tone.Bookmark here

“What are you really planning?” I dismissed.Bookmark here

“I’m going to take you to a good training spot. Don’t worry, this thing isn’t too dangerous, but it will put up a fight. I fought it on my second day here, you know,” Kisai boasted.Bookmark here

“Are you sure we’re going to be okay?” I questioned, having a hard time believing Jen and I would make it out unscathed.Bookmark here

“You have Jen. She’s won’t let you down,” Kisai confirmed, nodding his head.Bookmark here

“You better be right,” I muttered.Bookmark here

Kisai relayed me coordinates and I transferred everyone there. We were in a rocky area, full of ledges, with a river cutting the area in half. I heard a loud roar from the distance. What the fuck was that?Bookmark here

“Good luck, Tomo!” Kisai dashed off with a goofy grin.Bookmark here

“You can’t just leave me here, without telling me anything,” I shouted at him.Bookmark here

“I already told Jen everything,” Kisai hollered.Bookmark here

“Damn you, Kisai! If I get injured, I’m blaming you!” I yelled in response.Bookmark here

“I’ll make it up to you by teaching you something useful next time,” Kisai offered.Bookmark here

“Yuki, we don’t have much time,” Jen said, pointing upward at the sky.Bookmark here

“Tell me we’re fighting something small,” I hoped.Bookmark here

“Sorry, Yuki, I’m afraid that won’t be the case,” Jen revealed.Bookmark here

“What’s the plan?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Jin told me you’ll handle that,” Jen said, giving me an encouraging smile.Bookmark here

“Jen, give me a quick rundown on what status effects your arrows can inflict,” I requested.Bookmark here

“Sleep, paralysis, poison, burn, freeze, and ‘drowning’. ‘Drowning’ makes the target feel like they’re underneath water, running out of air,” Jen listed.Bookmark here

“What’s the probability any of those will work on the enemy we’re fighting?” I asked.Bookmark here

“Less than half. Jin’s information makes me think that it’ll take a lot of shots,” Jen replied.Bookmark here

Crap, that wasn’t optimal. Even if she couldn’t inflict status effects, I recalled her arrows contained other helpful properties. In that case, I would trust her judgment on when to use them.Bookmark here

“Yuki, it’s here!” Jen informed me.Bookmark here

The ground shook and a large beast entered my line of sight. It had curved horns like a ram, bipedal, standing on ripped legs. Its sharp claws were dipped in a red goop, originating from its mouth. It didn’t notice us yet. Crap, crap. Were those spikes on its tail? Kisai, you fucker. You really are a prodigy, facing this on your second day.Bookmark here

“Jen, what the hell?” I asked, hiding behind a large rock.Bookmark here

“I don’t want to attack it yet. It’ll charge at us,” Jen replied, readying her bow and adjusting the string.Bookmark here

“Yeah, maybe we should just watch…,” I started and then rock bits pelted us.Bookmark here

I turned around, the rock no longer hiding us. Its horns and menacing red eyes were right in our faces. Jen leaped down, rolling away from the tail. I gulped, following her. I thought about transporting it away with Ichaival’s portal, but if that failed, then I couldn’t use them anymore.Bookmark here

“Yuki, I’ll distract it. Attack from the back. If you can, try jumping onto it, but don’t hurt yourself!” Jen yelled, shooting a few arrows upward.Bookmark here

I searched for a ledge, sliding down after a few attempts at climbing. Shit, I sucked. New plan.Bookmark here

“Let’s do it,” I murmured, transporting myself onto the beast’s back.Bookmark here

I arrived, materializing my sword right away. Its roar was more piercing than a police car siren. Time for a little stabbing action.Bookmark here

“You did it! Please hang on! I know it’s hard but I need the time to shoot at its weak spot!” Jen said.Bookmark here

My blade bounced off its skin. I hung on for dear life, grasping onto anything close by. Crap, maybe magic?Bookmark here

“I hope you like getting shocked, motherfucker!” I shouted, slamming my palm against the creature’s back, discharging a large amount of electricity.Bookmark here

Sparks bounced off of it and the creature shook. I had no choice but to jump off. The beast rolled around, depositing red goop onto the ground. Its swatted Jen with its tail, sending her into a large rock.Bookmark here

“Jen, you okay?” I shouted, sprinting over.Bookmark here

“I’m fine. Yuki, get over here!” Jen shouted, shooting four arrows near the enemy.Bookmark here

I dodged the beast’s claw, approaching Jen. Thick smoke filled the area, obscuring its vision. When the smoke cleared, the creature moved sluggishly. Her arrows exploded, striking it in the leg. The beast lost its balance, collapsing to the ground. Jen pointed, telling me to attack. I blasted fireballs at the thing, not sure if it was even effective. It spat out more red goop, which dripped down into the river.Bookmark here

“Jen, can you get that thing over to the water?” I requested.Bookmark here

“Yeah. Here, take these,” Jen responded.Bookmark here

She handed me a bundle of metal stakes. You know I can’t fire arrows, right?Bookmark here

“Infuse these with your magic and I’ll detonate them,” Jen commanded.Bookmark here

“Okay,” I agreed.Bookmark here

I charged the stakes with Zhang’s electric elemental. The beast ignored us, salivating more red goop.Bookmark here

“Jen, cover me,” I shouted.Bookmark here

Jen readied her bow. I stabbed the metal stakes near the riverside. The beast finally noticed me, charging with its horns. Five arrows whizzed past me, landing near our enemy. The beast raised its leg, ready to stomp on the arrows. Jen waved her hand, telling me to return. I glanced back, seeing a slew of wires explode out of her projectiles. It wrapped around the enemy’s leg, forcing it into the river. Jen strummed the string of her bow, setting off the stakes I planted. Smoke filled the area and I coughed, waiting for results.Bookmark here

“Good job, Yuki,” Jen reported.Bookmark here

The beast writhed around, electricity coursing through its body. It continued squirming, unable to stand back up.Bookmark here

“Jen, I have a feeling we’re not done yet,” I said.Bookmark here

“You might be right,” Jen agreed, already notching an arrow.Bookmark here

I felt a large gust of wind, glancing up at the sky. You must be fucking kidding. Kisai, get your ass back here, because I will not fight that thing. The sky creature was twice the size of what we fought. A large pair of red wings extended out from its back, a large spike on the tip of its wing. It didn’t leak out red goop, but when it screamed, I saw a vicious pair of fangs. Two horns jutted out from its head, with a large, curved metallic horn in between.Bookmark here

“Jen…,” I said.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I know, Yuki,” Jen simply responded.Bookmark here

We both ran. It swooped downward, the center horn scraping against the ground, causing us to lose our footing. I grabbed Jen, teleporting us out of the area. We were now near the tree Ichaival slammed into last time.Bookmark here

“I think we’re safe,” I panted, tired from our frantic escape.Bookmark here

“You saved us,” Jen nodded, collapsing down onto her knees.Bookmark here

“Jen, you okay?” I checked up on her condition.Bookmark here

“Just… a little tired. I used up a lot of magic,” Jen answered.Bookmark here

“Come on, I got you. Are you able to contact Kisai?” I asked, assisting her to the tree.Bookmark here

“Yes, Kisai should be able to see this,” Jen replied.Bookmark here

Jen grunted, standing back up again. She fired a flare into the air. Good thinking, Jen really was versatile. No wonder she ranked above Ichaival. Although her powers weren’t as powerful, she made up for it in versatility.Bookmark here

“I don’t how long it’ll take, but he should see it. Let’s rest for now,” Jen said, sitting back down, her breathing sporadic.Bookmark here

“Jen, you look terrible. Are you sure you’ll be fine?” I checked up on her.Bookmark here

“I just used up a lot of energy detonating those stakes. Your magic is really powerful, Yuki,” Jen gave me a weak smile.Bookmark here

“I should accept that as a compliment, but if that’s what hurt you….,” I replied.Bookmark here

“Don’t blame yourself. I wasn’t used to your magic yet. I didn’t synchronize with it too well,” Jen disagreed, shaking her head.Bookmark here

Ichaival, Kuan right behind him, stepped out of a portal. Kuan held his left arm, a look of pain on his face. Ichaival walked with a slight limp. The hell happened to them?Bookmark here

“Looks like you’re okay,” Ichaival said.Bookmark here

“Yeah. We barely escaped that monstrosity. Where’s Kisai?” I asked.Bookmark here

“He’s back there dealing with the thing you ran from,” Kuan replied.Bookmark here

“That thing injure you?” I stared at his left arm.Bookmark here

“No, something else. We got into a little fight,” Kuan replied.Bookmark here

“We ran into a couple of knights, same as the you saw last time,” Ichaival provided additional details.Bookmark here

Ten minutes later, Kisai appeared. His breathing was ragged, sweat dropping down from his forehead, and right hand covered in red. He took off his cap, sitting down on the ground.Bookmark here

“Ready to go to the fortress?” he asked, moving his cap back and forth in the air.Bookmark here

“Kisai, this is no time for your jokes. Besides, Jen’s too fatigued. We should head back,” I suggested.Bookmark here

“You’re right. We’re not ready to take on the fortress, but we’ll head there next time,” Kisai agreed, standing up.Bookmark here

“What the hell was that thing, Kisai? Did you know it would be there?” I demanded answers from him.Bookmark here

“I had no idea. Shit, I had a hard time taking it down. Someone, probably the knights, summoned it,” Kisai winced, glancing at his hand.Bookmark here

“They would try to get such a dangerous thing on their side?” I inquired with disbelief.Bookmark here

“A great asset in battle. Wish I beat it faster,” Kisai said.Bookmark here

“How do we go back home?” I asked, ready to head home and sleep.Bookmark here

“Exiting’s easy. You just, you know,” Kisai replied, taking out his key.Bookmark here

“Kisai, just fucking tell me!” I was in no mood for his antics.Bookmark here

“Enter the key into any door, take it out, and walk through the door. It’ll always take you back to the training facility,” Kisai explained.Bookmark here

TRAINING FACILITYBookmark here

“Kisai, I want to ask about that red goop,” I asked Kisai.Bookmark here

“Magic resistance, lowers damage. Blocks certain spells too,” Kisai explained.Bookmark here

“I see,” I said.Bookmark here

“Yeah, have to be careful about things like that. Good job today. You’re doing pretty well, Tomo,” Kisai complimented me and then left.Bookmark here

Looked like everyone left unscathed for the most part. Jen seemed pretty out of it and I wanted to make sure she was okay.Bookmark here

“Jen, you feeling dizzy? Any headaches?” I asked.Bookmark here

“No, just exhausted. I appreciate the concern, but I’ll be okay. Oh, that’s right. Good luck with midterms next week!” Jen reminded.Bookmark here

That’s right. My week wasn’t over yet. I needed to study for my math and chemistry midterms. The joys of being a university student and also a hero at the same time. Doesn’t sound so fun anymore, does it, Ichizen?Bookmark here

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