Chapter 12: ‘Escape’
“What the hell is wrong with that piece of shit tiger!!!!!!!!” Saigo screamed at the top of his voice.
“It has already been a month, why has it not gotten angry and come kill me?!?!?!”
One month has passed since Saigo has taken over Shiina's body. During that time, Saigo had not placed his hand in the hole to feed the metal gear tiger even once.
“Shit! At this rate I will die of starvation even before it comes to kill me. I have been using my own mana to nourish myself, at this rate I will not last!” Saigo entered a deep thought.
Saigo let out a sigh.
“At least this one month was not spent in vain…” he raised his fist and punched towards a wall of the small dungeon.
An fist imprint smaller than the crater Shiina made instantly appeared. Although the damage done seemed smaller, unlike the crater Shiina made, there are no ‘leftover’ stones. When Shiina punched the wall, the wall exploded and left a large mess. While for Saigo, none of these could be seen. After Saigo punched, everything in the way of his fist were turned into dust.
“Yay, strength control for the win~” Saigo jokingly said.
“God of war, bless me with a dagger to fight my enemies. [create dagger].” Saigo chanted.
A magic circle appeared in front of Saigo.
The magic circle split into two smaller magic circles which are floating parallel to each other.
A ‘river’ of mana flowed from Saigo's hand entered the magic circles.
The mana concentrated between the two magic circles and formed a dagger shape.
The magic circles slowly moved away from each other, extending the concentrated mana between them.
After a minute, a dagger appeared in Saigo's hands.
Saigo swung the dagger at the wall, leaving a small white line on the wall. After a hundred or so swings, the created dagger broke and dissipated into thin air.
A vein popped on Saigo's head.
“Why can that pussy(Shiina) create a dagger so quickly while I can't ?!?!!” Saigo screamed in frustration.
“I have used more mana to make this dagger as compared to when Shiina had created one. Why is the durability still the same?!?!?!”
“Can I actually beat that shifty ass tiger with just this skills?” Saigo looked at his own hands in doubt.
“No, I can't.” Saigo shook his head before answering himself.
“Unique skills are one of the strongest type of skills, in theory they should be way stronger than the magic I use.” Saigo muttered. “If Shiina's dagger could not even leave a mark on the metal gear tiger…and Shiina's magic barely even worked…” Saigo's face turned grim.
Suddenly, Saigo revealed a wide smile. “Yup, I can't beat that shit.”
Saigo fell onto his butt.
“What the fuck Lady Dina, even if you want to amuse yourself with me, why the fuck you set this game at max difficulty from the very start?!?!” Saigo said resignedly.
“I guess when you said that this new life shall trouble in every turn, you were not joking huh. In fact, you did not say enough…” Saigo sighed.
Saigo closed his eyes and spent a minute in silence.
“Well..I guess it doesn't matter.” Saigo opened his eyes, revealing his clear blue eyes.
“I will get you back for this in the future…” a murderous glint flashed through his eyes.
Saigo got back onto his feet.
“But firstly…how do beat that piece of shit outside…” Saigo started to think up of plans, but regardless of what he thought up, he would reject after a few moments.
“…no matter what I do… there is a higher chance of losing huh…”
“OKAY! I’ve decided.” Saigo looked at the hole with a resolute look.
“I shall sneak out.” Saigo said firmly.
“Yup, this is the right choice.” Saigo nodded. “Rather than risking a severe injury, I would rather run and level up a couple of times first before fighting the metal gear tiger.”
“Since the first trouble i have got myself into is already this bad, I doubt that the remaining ones will be better. It will be best if I can escape from here without injuries. This way, I can still have enough strength to face the other problems if they come early.”
“For now, I should spend a few days to prepare.” Saigo walked towards the living quarters with a serious look.
A week later, Saigo finally walked out of the living quarters.
He had activated [disguise] and is wearing the dress Shiina was initially wearing. He had shortened the skirt of the dress for better mobility and used strips of cloth made of Lucas’s pants to strap 5 daggers, wrapped with Saigo's shirt, on his arms, back and legs. He held a extra dagger with his right hand.
“A skirt is surprisingly nice to move in~” Saigo jokingly thought.
He smiled as he spun around and admired himself with a mirror made from water magic.
Saigo’s smile slowly loosened and and a grim look appeared on his face.
He dispelled the water mirror and looked towards the hole.
Saigo closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.” Saigo silently motivated himself.
Saigo opened his eyes and received a tranquil look.
“I will get out of here victorious!” Saigo's tranquil eyes turned bright.
Saigo closed his eyes and a incantation appeared within his mind. He slowly chanted “Oh spirits of darkness. Heed my call, come and merge my body with the essence of darkness. Follow my orders for I am your lord. [Darkness conversion].”
Saigo's horn glowed and his body slowly covered with black fog. After the fog cleared up, what remained is Saigo with a translucent black body.
“Fuuu…” Saigo let out a small breath.
“Here I go!” Saigo dashed at full speed towards the small hole.
Suddenly, as if sinking in quicksand, Saigo's body merged with his shadow under him.
His shadow charged through the hole and Saigo appeared on the other side.
Saigo's head emerged from the shadow and what appeared in front of him is a large boulder.
“What the fuck?” Saigo could not help but exclaim.
His body slowly rose from his shadow and stood in front of the boulder.
“Why is this boulder placed here? It is not big enough to block me from exiting…what is it for?” Saigo muttered. He gave the boulder a few knocks.
“This boulder…sounds hollow?!?!” Saigo's pupils shrunk as he hurriedly pulled back his hand.
“Not good!” Saigo screamed in his mind.
He dived into his shadow and charged in the opposite direction of the hole.
“Shit!!! RUN! RUN! RUN!” Saigo chanted in his mind.
Right behind him, the boulder cracked.
A small growl could be heard from within the boulder.
“Fuck! It's awake already?!?!” Saigo complained in his mind as he controlled his shadow to join the shadow of the boulder.
He held his breath and waited for the disaster to awaken.
2 seconds .
3 seconds .
Saigo slowed down his breathing as he hid in the shadows.
More and more cracks appeared on the boulder as a light shone through them.
*crack* a metal paw struck out of the boulder.
Pieces of ‘stone’ fell off the ‘boulder’.
The light shining through the cracks on the ‘boulder’ slowly increased in intensity.
*GGGRRRAAAAAA!!!!!!!* a roar resounded throughout the cave.
The ‘boulder’ completely crumbled and a shining purple figure on all fours slowly crawled out.
The purple light slowly dimmed, revealing a translucent purple tiger cub.
“Is that… the metal gear tiger?” Saigo thought.
The tiger cub turned around and started sniffing. It looked up and down, as if it is looking for something. Eventually, its eyes laid on a part of shadow casted by the egg it was in. It revealed a small grin as it moved closer and closer.
Saigo held his breath and covered his mouth with both of his hands.
The tiger cub suddenly looked towards the eggshell right beside the shadow Saigo is residing in, sparing a glance in Saigo's direction.
It took a small bite out of its eggshell and a silver gear appeared on its body.
“It’s eating its shell to form new gears?” Saigo thought.
“This may be my chance…” Saigo revealed a resolute look as he looked around for opportunities to strike.
“Even with my current speed, I doubt that I can successfully escape anyway…” when the metal gear tiger looked away, Saigo used the chance to dive into its shadow.
As if it was too busy eating its eggshell, the tiger cub seemed to not have seen the movement of its shadow.
“I shall kill you!”
“This is not the style of a hero…but beggars can't be choosers …” Within the shadow, Saigo readied the dagger in his hands. The dagger was made by Saigo with all of the mana he could muster in one day.
“Although Shiina's dagger could not pierce through its defence, that was when it has its full gear on. Now that it's ‘naked’ I should be able to kill it!” Saigo thought.
Saigo suppressed his killing intent and fear as best as he could.
An incantation appeared in Saigo's mind as he softly ordered. “Darkness, clad my blade with your strength!”
Dark-attribute mana within the shadow condensed around the blade.
Saigo took a deep breath as he leaped out of the shadow.
He held his darkness clad with both of his hands as he trust it into the metal gear tiger’s unsuspecting back.
Sparks flew and the dagger in Saigo's hands shattered.
“Shit! Why is there a metal scale there?!?!” Saigo cursed as he tried to escape by kicking off the metal gear tiger.
Before Saigo could gain any distance, a purple tail wrapped around his legs and with a light swing, Saigo was thrown across the cave.
“FFFFFUUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!!” Saigo screamed in his mind as he hurriedly merged with the shadow cast on the wall. Saigo instantly entered the shadow, weakening his impact.
“Huff…huff…” Saigo panted. “I need to look for another chanc-” Before he could finish his sentence, a strong force pushed Saigo out of the shadow.
Saigo flew out of shadow and rolled to break his fall. Purple light shone brightly throughout the cave, eliminating all shadows around.
“Shit!” Saigo frantically looked around. There was not a single shadow for him to escape to. The metal gear tiger produced glowing mana all around the cave to forcefully remove the shadow Saigo was in, thus forcing Saigo out of the ‘shadow realm’.
The metal gear tiger slowly moved closer to Saigo. All of the metal that it has accumulated in its body slowly condensed in its right paw. Within seconds, its right paw has enlarged to twice its size.
Saigo gulped and took a step back. Cold sweat trickled down his back as fear started to rise from deep within his deep blue eyes. There is nowhere Saigo could hide. There was no counterattack planned. Saigo is completely trapped.
Although he was barely awake during Shiina's fight with the metal gear tiger, he can still vividly remember the torture the metal gear tiger had administered to Shiina.
Even though he had kill many people in his previous life, he had never faced someone stronger than him. With his well trained body, facing off against untrained and weaker villains was as easy as killing a small ant. How would he have known the fear of facing a stronger opponent?
Saigo's hands shook. He slowly clenched it as tight as he could.
“Will I die here?” Such thoughts flowed through Saigo's mind. “Will I die yet again, without even the slightest resistance?”
Remembering the face of the elf that killed him, the look of amusement on Lady Dina’s face.
“NO!!!” Saigo's eyes turned bloodshot.
“A HERO NEVER GIVES UP!!!”
Saigo clenched his fist so tight that blood started flowing. He clenched his teeth as he ripped out the daggers hidden in his sleeves.
“EVEN IF I RIP MY MUSCLES,
EVEN IF I BREAK MY BONES,
EVEN IF I LOSE MY LIFE, I WILL BRING YOU DOWN WITH ME!!!”
“AAAARRRRRRHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” With a mad charge, Saigo dashed forward. Without any tricks, without any magnificent footwork, without any fabulous magic, his translucent black body flashed forward, closing the gap between him and the metal gear tiger in an instant.
At the very same moment Saigo started his assault, the
metal gear tiger raised its right paw. With incredible strength, it slammed it down towards Saigo's face.