Volume 8, Chapter 4-2: Showdown with a Ram?

Kisai’s Affiliated Dimension, Parts Unknown

“How far away are we from the fortress?” I asked Kisai.

“About an hour, maybe more, but we’re not going there. Tess isn’t around so let’s get some training in for you,” Kisai answered.

“What did you have in mind?” I asked.

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

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

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.

“Right?” Ichaival hissed.

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

They ended their talk and Ichaival remained with them.

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

“What are you really planning?” I dismissed.

“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.

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

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

“You better be right,” I muttered.

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 f*** was that?

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

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

“I already told Jen everything,” Kisai hollered.

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s the plan?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

“Yuki, it’s here!” Jen informed me.

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 f*****. You really are a prodigy, facing this on your second day.

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

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

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

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.

“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.

I searched for a ledge, sliding down after a few attempts at climbing. S***, I sucked. New plan.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

“Okay,” I agreed.

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

“Jen, cover me,” I shouted.

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.

“Good job, Yuki,” Jen reported.

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

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

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

I felt a large gust of wind, glancing up at the sky. You must be f****** 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.

“Jen…,” I said.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

“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.

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

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

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

“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.

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Kisai, just f****** tell me!” I was in no mood for his antics.

“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.

TRAINING FACILITY

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

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

“I see,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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?

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