As the ice covered the fangs—–the overall length of the fangs grew longer and became even more menacing looking.
This was its trump card, ice element attacks.
It could cover its fangs and claws in ice, and greatly increase its slashing ability and got boosted with the cold damage.
What made it annoying was that even if you don’t take a clean hit, the cold damage will still accumulate over time.
Not to mention, I was using a leather shield. The moment I try to block it, my body temperature will instantly drop.
………..I know I planned to leave all the attacking to Ralf, but if its gonna come at with ice attacks, I’ll have to counter attack otherwise I won’t last long.
Well, if I do attack, the battle will end almost instantly, but it can’t be helped in this situation.
I pulled my sword out, and got ready to slash at it at any given moment.
After slowly approaching me for a while, the Snow panther instantly lunged at me to attack with its icy fangs and bite me.
I had waiting for this attack, and I crouched down to be completely below the four legged beast’s leap.
From there, I used my shield to strike its jaw from below to stop its attack and then thrust my steel sword straight at its belly.
At the same timing, Ralf who had been hiding behind me jumped out from over me.
As he rotated in air above us, he brought down his sword straight at the back of the snow panther as it stood in place after getting stabbed in the flank by me.
This will be a fatal blow—–thought Ralf, of course, but also me who witnessed this move from the side but at that moment, the snow panther used the ice to cover its entire body, and not just its fangs.
As if its back had horns of ice growing out of it, Ralf’s simply deflected off of it and broke his balance.
As if it had been waiting for that moment as he rolled on the ground, the Snow Panther slashed at him with its claws but—–
I quickly closed in the distance and deflected its claws with my sword.
………this snow panther, is pretty damn used to fighting.
That too, against human opponents specifically——-I could tell from its rapid decision making.
“Ralf, get back for now. Esta!!”
When I spoke, Esta launched another [fire arrow] from behind.
This time it headed straight at the Snow Panther and got a clean hit…….but this time, the power was weaker.
It was not the powerful blast from before but was closer to the weaker accuracy focused version that she had been using till now.
I mean, yes, when facing a strong opponent, its no time to be experimenting but……this weak kneed attitude is not okay either.
I wanted to warn Esta right now but, I held back and kept my focus on the battle at hand.
When the [fire arrow] hit, the snow panther staggered heavily.
Part of the ice covering its body also began to melt, so I aimed for that part and thrust my sword.
After the belly, now I stabbed right into the base of its neck.
This one struck in really deep, so I’m sure its pretty weakened by now.
All that’s left is to coordinate our next attacks, and if I can land a counter, it’ll kill——or so I thought but……..
The snow panther turned its back at us and while still stumbling, began running back up the slope it came down from.
I never even thought a wild monster would ever run away from a fight, so my reaction was delayed and I let it escape.
Esta’s fire arrow cut through the air but couldn’t hit the rapidly escaping Snow panther.
—–Shit, I let it get away when it was just one hit away.
“Sorry, Chris, all because I lost my balance.”
“We can reflect on it later—–let’s pursue it first. I’m not gonna let it run away after all this.”
“Chris-san, look! There’s still bloodstains on the ground. If we follow this trail of blood we should be able to make it to the snow panther!”
Looking towards the direction Esta was pointing at, you could certainly see traces of blood on the ground.
Must be from the wounds I gave it on its belly and neck.
“let’s follow it then. My second attack hit hard, it should close to dying anyway. Couldn’t have gone too far.”
“True. Let’s be quick about it then!”
With the bloodstains on the ground as our guide, we began pursuing after the snow panther.
Worst case scenario would be if it ran all the way to the summit of the mountain like this but, I highly doubt that’s possible with the wounds it has.
It was a half wish, half realistic conclusion I came to, as we continued climbing the slope in search of the Snow panther.
The further we followed the tracks, the amount of blood began increasing……and the spots of blood had now become a line of blood instead.
“Should be around here no? these signs look like it was almost dragging its body at this point.”
“You’re right! This is definitely Snow Panther’s fur right here!”
“……..Chris-san, you think it’s in that cave over there?”
After climbing up the slope, we were standing in a spot with lots of blood around the place. A further deeper inside, where Esta pointed, was a small little cave.
Looking closely, the blood was also leading to the cave as well which means there’s no doubt its hiding in that cave.
Like I expected, it didn’t run too far away after all but a small cave was an annoying place to hide in.
But we can’t just stand in front of the cave hoping for it to come back out either so we have to go inside no matter what while its still weak.
After taking a deep breath and preparing ourselves, we entered the cave the snow panther had escaped into.
Today, I’m acting as the tank so I was took point as vanguard as we entered the cave.
The stench of beasts was thick inside the cave and now, so was the smell of blood.
The snow panther was no doubt inside this cave.
While looking for its presence, I slowly headed inside the cave, further and further……..
I couldn’t sense even a single monster.
Could the snow panther completely erase its presence perhaps?
I wondered but……suddenly I saw the snow panther lying on the ground in front of me.
Judging by its looks, size and colour, it was the exact same one we fought, no doubt about it.
I gave a couple hand signs to the two behind me and began approaching it steadily.
If it attacks back, I’ll block it with the shield—–and then stab straight at its head.
I approached with this kind of preparedness but, the snow panther didn’t even look towards us. Even after standing right by it, it showed no signs of moving.
Seeing it closely, I muttered so.
Looks like it made it back to its den but collapsed right here.
Part of me wanted to complain about why kit couldn’t die right where we fought, but I’m glad we were able to find the corpse at least…….so I guess all’s well that ends well.
Well, in any case, looks like the Snow panther subjugation has been completed successfully.