Chapter 8:Metal Gear Tiger
The armoured tiger pounced.
It stretched out its mighty paws and slapped towards Shiina’s head.
Shiina's honed sense of danger knocked Shiina out of his confusion.
Shiina snapped his head out of the way of the paws, barely dodging it by an inch.
“Metal gear tiger!” The name that brings fear to many adventures, humans and demons alike, appeared in Shiina’s mind.
Born from the combination of metal and highly condensed mana that gained instinct, the metal gear tiger is a demonic beast that fears no damage to its body. Its only weakness is the magic crystal buried deep within its metal body.
One strike is all that is needed to break the crystal, but how can Shiina do that? Forget about breaking the crystal, how can Shiina break pass the metallic body of the metal gear tiger? Although Shiina had undergone training with Astachev, the leader of Lord Gamberdash’s bodyguards, with Astachev’s type of training, all Shiina learned was how to run and dodge.
However, for now, that was all Shiina needed.
The metal gear tiger pounced again in Shiina's direction.
This time, Shiina did not run. Instead, Shiina ran towards the metal gear tiger.
By bending his back a little, Shiina dodged the metal gear tiger yet again by a small inch. Having succeeded in dodging,Shiina sprinted in the opposite direction of the metal gear tiger.
Given the massive size of the metal gear tiger ,which spans over an astonishing 5 metres, the metal gear needs to take some time to turn around to face Shiina's direction.
Although Shiina had only bought himself some time,it was more than enough. Shiina sprinted forward for a few seconds before coming to a stop.He jumped backwards by 2 metres and then into a bush beside him.
“Oh spirits of water, cover me with a layer of water.Bend light to hide my true form and create a real illusion. [disguise].”
A small magic circle appeared under Shiina. Many snake-like masses of water appeared and slid up Shiina's body. They wrapped themselves around Shiina and remoulded themselves. Within a second, what stood in Shiina's place is a unusually clean bush.
“Oh spirits of earth,blend me with earth, hide my presence and fool the enemy.[Camouflage].” The bush chanted and on the bush suddenly appeared some signs of dirt.
Of course, this ‘bush’ is actually Shiina in disguise. Shiina used disguising and camouflaging magic to hide himself. Although Shiina seemed to have taken a long time to set this up, Shiina had in fact only took a few seconds to finish his incantation and hide.
“With this…I should be safe.” Shiina let out a sigh of relief.
Shiina laid down on the ground closed his eyes.
Cold sweat flowed into the soil under him.
It was the first time, since Shiina was born, that Shiina had felt such fear. Although it was not shown throughout the ordeal on his face, Shiina felt terrified.
“Huff…huff.”Shiina took in deep breaths to calm himself down.
“So this… is the third training?” Shiina reorganised his thoughts.
“But why so sudden? Esteemed Father did not even give me time to prepare…”
A thousand thoughts ran through Shiina's mind.
Shiina covered his eyes with his left forearm.
“Did he have no use for me anymore? No, that's impossible. Esteemed Father has already spend much resources on me, there is no way he will throw me away so easily.” Such thoughts flashed by Shiina's mind.
“Then is this about Mother? Did something happen to her that Father did not want me to know about?” At this thought, Shiina’s eyes sprung open. At a closer glance, Shiina’s clear red eyes contained hints of blue.
“I have to help Mother! I have to protect her!” Shiina's calm breath turned hurried.
“I have to go back! I have to go back!” Shiina creamed in his mind.
“To hell with this training! Mother, here I come!” Shiina thought as he raised his head.
Just as Shiina was about to get up, the space above him suddenly exploded.
“Huh?” Shiina's eyes went blank for a moment.
There it was, the metal gear tiger had found Shiina.
The metal gear tiger looked down at Shiina with obvious fury in its eyes.
The metal gear tiger slapped another paw towards Shiina's head.
Shiina hurriedly rolled out of the way.
“Why did it find me so quickly?” Shiina thought.
“Let's do the same thing again.” Shiina decided.
When the metal gear tiger raised its paws, Shiina have already started running to the metal gear tiger’s flank.
The tiger swung its paw down and Shiina dodged it.
What Shiina expected was free space in front of him. But what awaited him after the metal gear tiger’s paws is it’s tail.
Shiina was stroked in the stomach with the spear like tail.
“Pueh…” all air was forced out of Shiina's lungs.
Shiina smashed into a tree and *crack* one of Shiina's ribs cracked.
Shiina slid down the tree and fell on his side.
*cough cough* Shiina struggled to stand up.
Shiina's eyes of determination were long gone. Replacing them were eyes of unprecedented fear.
“No..no…NOOoOoOooo!!!!” Shiina screamed as he tried to stand, but to no avail. Shiina fell flat on his face.
“I can't die here! Mother!” Shiina stared resorting to clawing his way out.
Dirt, snort and tears covered Shiina's face, but regardless of how pathetic Shiina looked, he did not stop.
However, despite Shiina's efforts, he did not go very far before the metal gear tiger had already approached him.
The metal gear tiger gave Shiina another slap and Shiina flew a great distance away.
Shiina fell on his back with a thud. When he opened his closed eyes, Shiina realised,the metal gear tiger was casually moving towards Shiina.
Raising his shaky hands, Shiina screamed. “Oh spirits of the earth, guide earth spirits around me to form a ball of earth, [stone shotl].” Shiina finished his chant and shot a stone at the metal gear tiger.
However, as if without effort, the metal gear tiger only used its paws to swat the stone. The stone was destroyed without it even breaking a sweat.
“[fireball]! [aqua ball]! [wind ball]!” Shiina shot out all of the offensive Low-tier magic he knew. But the metal gear tiger merely swatted then all down the same way as the lightning ball. It slowly moved towards Shiina with amusement in it's eyes.
The metal gear tiger let out a soft growled as it moved closer and closer to Shiina.
As if ‘playing’ with a ball, the metal gear tiger slapped Shiina with its mighty paws to the left. Shiina's bones cracked and he spat out a mouthful of blood. Amused by this, the metal gear tiger slapped Shiina to the right. This time, Shiina was hit with just enough strength to tear his dress and expose his porcelain white skin.
The metal gear tiger continued to slap Shiina around. Sometimes with enough strength to almost break his bones and tear his muscles, sometimes with just enough strength to cut Shiina's skin.
Shiina's battered body continued to accumulate more and more damage. Shiina’s screams continued to echo throughout the forest until it eventually went quiet.
Although metal gear tigers are not the kings of the forest, but without a doubt, they are still one of the lords of the forest. When the Lord is having fun, who dares to interfere! Fortunately or unfortunately for Shiina, no other demonic beasts went to join in Shiina's torture.
After just a few minutes of being toyed around by the metal gear tiger, Shiina was already left in nothing but drabs, with many broken bones and many muscles torn.
“…God…of war…bless me …with a dagger…to fight…my enemies![create dagger].” Using the remaining scraps of mana left within him, Shiina created an iron dagger.
Using the iron dagger as a prop, Shiina raised his body slightly and threw a step forward.
Shiina swung the dagger in his hands towards the metal gear tiger.
Without even batting a eye, the metal gear tiger opened its mouth and bit into the dagger. After chewing for a few seconds, the metal gear tiger burped with a satisfied looking smile.
“…shit…” having used up all his mana, as well as his all of his mental strength, Shiina's sight blurred and he fainted.
The metal gear tiger looked at the collapsed Shiina with pleased looking eyes. It picked up Shiina with its mechanical jaw and ran deeper into the Million Beasts Forest.
When Shiina opened his eyes, what greeted him was a bearded face.
“Hwua!!!” Shiina wanted to leap back but when he tried to, his body ache so much that Shiina fell on his knees instead.
“Now now little girl, don't be scared.” The bearded man comforted.
“Who…who are you?” Shiina asked with a shaky voice.
The bearded man gave a slight cough and introduced himself with a smile.
“My name is Lucas Lugios, you can call me Lucas.”
“Lu…Lucas, where is this place?”Shiina asked.
“Um…before that…” Lucas said with a awkward smile.
“Yes?” Shiina tilted his head and asked in confusion.
Lucas scratched his beard and continued “Please put on some proper clothes first.” Lucas pointed towards a neatly folded stack of clothes on the floor next to Shiina.
Shiina looked down only to realise what a outrageous looking ‘outfit’ he was in.
Shiina blushed and said with a pout. “Please turn around…”
Lucas hurriedly turned around.
This is not Shiina being heroine-like. This is Shiina remembering his training. When introducing himself to others, he should act as a women so that the other party will lower their guard. Like before,I repeat, Shiina is a guy.
“Are you done?” Lucas asked timidly.
“Y…yes, you can turn around now.” Shiina replied softly.
Lucas turned around slowly only to see a well-groomed goddess. Although the clothes were merely made with many different cloth stitched together, when it is on Shiina who has a perfect proportion(in girl form), it became a divine artefact.
Lucas coughed softly. “Let me introduce myself again. I am Lucas Lugios,28 years old, a hobgoblin.Nice to meet you.”
“My name is Shiina Motoyu,12 years old, a one-horned ogre.” Shiina pointed at the tiny horn on his head and said cutely.
“A noble race?” Lucas’s eyes widened in shocked before a hint of hatred could be seen within it.
“Lucas?” Shiina called out in ‘concern’. How can Shiina not tell that Lucas has a grudge against nobles?
“Oh…nothing.” Lucas snapped out of his trance and said with a reassuring smile.
“Are you sure?” Shiina asked cutely.
“Yup, no problems at all!” Lucas’s eyes softened when he saw Shiina looking at him with ‘genuine’ concern.
“If there is no problem then good!” Shiina exclaimed cutely.
Lucas gave a slight cough and said. “I was just enlightened on why you healed so fast. When you just came here, you were covered in blood.”
Sure enough, Shiina's body was already halfway healed. This is one of the many benefits of a high ranked bloodline, fast recovering speed.
“Let me tell you where is this place…” Lucas eyes turned grim before he forced out a wide smile and said, “Welcome to the mana farm!”.