About 2 hours had passed since we began searching for the Snow Panther.
Let alone run into it, we hadn’t even found any traces of it being here.
“There’s really nothing here! I can see all sorts of monsters here and there except that thing!”
“maybe we should looks for some Stray cowbirds at the same time? They showed up in similar locations near Realzard after all.”
“You two, let’s look for it harder still! Maybe we should go an visit the place it attacked before?”
I couldn’t sense even its presence, and even though this was designated location request, we were still running around like headless chickens when Esta, who still hadn’t given up, made a suggestion.
Certainly, maybe it has made a nest near the place it attacked the last time.
We went back from the mountain trail to the main path which people could use, and walked down this road instead.
If I recall correctly,……. it was around here where it last attacked.
Stopping for a second, I looked around hoping to find something when—-
“I can sense a monster. And its coming towards us with great speed from that slope.”
“Wait really! I did think it was odd during the orc herd attack as well, but how in the world can you see that far away?”
“Enough of that and get ready. I don’t if its actually the snow panther but it’s a strong monster regardless.”
Saying that to them both, I drew my sword and entered my stance to face the oncoming monster.
Soon after the identity of the monster that came running down the slope became all too certain.
——no doubt, that’s a snow panther alright.
2 meters in length, pure white fur with blue spots.
Quick and agile in its movements, and possessing sharp fangs and claws.
But even with all its obviously wild looking features, the monster still had a certain beauty in its appearance.
“I’ll be the tank and draw its aggro this time around. Ralf, Esta find gaps and strike them when you can.”
“Yeah, I’m counting you!”
“please take care!”
Giving quick orders, I moved forward to stand in the way of the Snow Panther who was approaching at breakneck speed.
Though I said I’ll be the tank, I can’t really draw an enemy with a skill like Ralf can, so I have to do it with brute strength instead.
First, let’s see how the Snow Panther reacts…….
Even with me standing in its way, it didn’t slow down even for a second and jumped at me with full momentum.
Lunging in, it first tries to pin you down with its claws then uses its fangs to bite you to death——
As if I’d let it actually go through with such easy to read attacks.
With the leather shield in my hand, I swung it at the perfect moment to smash the side of the snow panther’s face.
Since my shield bash landed right when it was in the air, the Snow panther got smashed straight into the ground and rolled across the land but…….
It swung itself back into a normal posture instantly, lowered its head in a threatening stance and howled sharply.
Thanks to it rushing straight at me, I was able to draw a lot of heat without much problem.
The snow panther didn’t even look at Ralf and Esta behind me, and continued howling at me alone.
“C’mon, come at me.”
I doubt it understood what I said, but I motioned with my hand to try and provoke the snow panther to attack me.
If I too had [Roar of the Guardian], I wouldn’t have any need to do something like this, but alas.
While I thought of such things as I very obviously taunted the Snow panther, it prowled in a circle as it approached me to attack once more.
“Ralf, Esta, I’m counting on you two.”
Saying that to them, I fully focused my gaze at the snow panther alone.
It’s way faster than myself.
But no matter how fast, it’s final objective was to attack me so it will come to me regardless.
Without letting its movements confuse me, I stood there in place with a defensive stance, I kept my focus solely on the head of the Snow Panther.
I didn’t fall for its feints, or get baited by its obvious fake openings.
I threw the idea of defeating it myself completely out of my head, and just stood there in stance—-the one who lost the battle of patience was the Snow Panther.
From a distance, it used its claws to slash the air and a wind attack similar to Esta’s [Wind Arrow] came flying at me.
So this was snow panther’s elemental attacks.
Realizing that my leather shield wasn’t gonna do much against that, I quickly dodged and then took another step to get out of Esta’s line of sight as well.
The moment I did, Esta who had waiting for this moment instantly fired a Fire Arrow.
The power of this fire arrow was far stronger than the ones she used yesterday against the Orc herd—-however even though the Snow Panther was stuck in its place stunned, it completely missed the monster and passed by it.
I cut Esta’s attempt to apologize short, and prompted her to get ready to use her next magic.
No challenge is achieved without failure.
If you fear failure, you’ll never grow.
Without reproaching Esta, I once again stood in front of the Snow Panther.
This time it didn’t rush into another attack again, and simply observed me as it slowly and steadily reduced the distance between us.
The Snow Panther’s target was still me it seems.
I gave a signal to Ralf who was behind me and told him to attack this time when the chance arrives.
The next instant, I noticed the Snow panther put strength in its hind legs, so I quickly put up my shield and put my hand on my sword.
As if matching my movements, the Snow Panther opened its jaws, and the now visible sharp fangs started getting covered with ice.