In a fight between a black-bear and a tiger, the big-cat would be the most-likely victor. However, when the opponent was a gigantic green-furred, Quad-Tailed Nature-Fox, it was a much different story.
Inari cowered in fear when she was first exposed to those ferocious eyes, and that terrifying roar, but after Michael easily bounced his Arcane Orb against the beast’s head twice, it was dead. He scolded the vixen “Seriously, stop being such a pussy! Ugh, it’s only one level higher than you, and two whole ranks lower! Hey, don’t cry, that’s cheating! Sigh, you’re so adorable that I can’t even get angry at you… Go, eat the damn mana-core and bring me back the carcass.”
Even though it sounded like he was ordering her around, he was actually just talking to himself. The huge fox was simply following her instincts when she ran over and devoured the tiny orange bead, and then he had to walk over and store the tiger himself; it weighed close to six-hundred pounds, and the huge kit didn’t have the leverage or strength, to carry something that big and heavy in her mouth.
He felt as if his attack damage was extremely overpowered, but that was only because he had the advantage in range. A single swipe of those claws could eviscerate him, and a tiny bite could tear his head off with ease.
Michael grumbled “It probably wouldn’t be that bad if I had really amazing, heavy, plate-armor… but at the moment, I’m practically naked. Hell, it feels like ‘Glass-Cannon’ describes pretty much everything I’ve seen so far. Even that damn tree-bear was only hard to kill, because I was just throwing rocks at it; if I had this little ball back then, it would die in eight hits, and probably not even realize it was getting hurt. Of course, I’d still lose an arm again, but that’s exactly the problem. I really wanna be a tank, but I don’t know if that’s even possible in this world.”
As he was eating the last white-rabbit, just to clear out that bag-slot, the two of them were steadily heading deeper into tiger-territory. He noticed that even camouflaged enemies would appear on his mini-map, as long as they weren’t actively using stealth-magic.
Half an hour later, he finally came across what he was searching for; it appeared as a silver dot on his mini-map. Michael snickered and turned to the frightened vixen, while whispering “Calm down Inari, don’t be afraid… I’m here, and you’re a lot stronger than you realize.” while channeling mana into his vocal-cords and gently caressing her fur.
As he was doing that, a notification popped up: “Enthrall Level 2: Charm the target by speaking in a calm and gentle voice, infused with mana. Able to remove fear-related debuffs from friendly targets. Effectiveness is dependent on the Level difference between the caster and the target. Potency is dependent on the Charisma stat.”
If it was impossible to counter ‘Intimidation’ or other similar spells, then all fights would be easily decided based on who had the higher Willpower. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, and once he used ‘Enthrall’ on the giant fox, she received a buff called ‘Courage.’
The enemy before them was one that really deserved to be feared; three-meters tall at the shoulder, a body length of three times that, it was certainly a very dangerous and powerful beast. However, Michael was grinning happily, while sending out a message: “Oh hey, guess what I found? Hehe~, a certain kitty-cat’s gonna finally evolve tonight…”
Above the creature’s head was “White Bengal Tiger of Light, Level-9, Rank-F, Elite.” Aside from being gigantic, and glowing brightly, there wasn’t anything too strange about its physiology.
As the two huge, golden eyes glared at the relatively small man and fox, the monstrous animal roared loudly at them. A beam of ultraviolet radiation bombarded them and not just blinded, but also deafened and caused severe sunburn.
Michael received much more damage, since Inari had fur covering most of her skin. However, they were still relatively healthy, until the gigantic tiger pounced on them, and crushed their bodies into a meaty paste.
While the beast was struggling to find the tiny mana-cores in all of that mess, a pitch-black wisp was floating around, while grumbling “This is gonna be a lot more annoying than I anticipated… Ugh, this fucker only has a hundred and fifty HP, so I just need to stay alive for a few seconds.”
Then a naked Human materialized onto the back of the tiger’s neck and immediately released a blood-curdling scream, enhanced by mana, while pulling both of the creature’s fluffy ears close to his mouth. Unfortunately, the spell was directly related to the Aura-stat, which he had less than two points of.
After being startled, but not deafened, the colossal feline leaped five meters into the air and smacked its head against an incredibly thick tree-branch. Michael was once again crushed to death, though he did manage to cause the enemy to gain a ‘stunned’ debuff, and drop down to 120/150 health.
When he tried to respawn right away, he received a notification: “Still in combat, cannot resurrect at this time.”
He yelled “Oh for fuck’s sake!” as he moved a dozen meters away from the tiger, and tried again, but it wouldn’t work until the ‘stunned’ debuff ended. The moment that he appeared, Michael pulled the Arcane Orb from his inventory, and immediately pitched it at the tiger.
A small ‘-20’ appeared, and he instantly realized the huge flaw in his plan. It took two seconds for the ball to return to his hand, and the damage done seemed to be dependent on the distance from his target.
As the beast sprinted towards him, he was able to get off a second attack at point-blank range, and a ‘-40’ popped-up. Then the gigantic mouth chomped down on the top-half of his body, and he was able to experience a few seconds of excruciating pain, before dying for the third time.
In wisp-form, Michael cursed “This motherfucking cunt!” and didn’t even move away from it, before respawning behind the beast’s massive tail. He roared “You piece of shit! Give me back my goddamn ball!”
Suddenly his mana started to drain at a rapid pace, and the tiger roared in agony, as the relatively small Arcane Orb began tearing its way through the lining of its stomach. After a few seconds, the colossal feline collapsed and its Health reached zero; a huge ‘+36 Exp’ appeared, as he stopped telekinetically pulling on the weapon and simply stored the whole carcass into his inventory.
After shoving it into the newly empty bag-slot four, he sighed and caught the surprisingly clean, brightly glowing ball. Michael smirked and muttered “Seems like this big bastards are still pretty squishy on the inside, huh? Ugh, now I’m naked again…”
He sacrificed five of the regular, level-six, Bengal Tiger carcasses and his last rank-G field-mouse mana-core, to create a new set of fur armor. It had the same ‘+2 Agility, and +4 Defense Rating’ as the silver lioness equipment, but simply had an orange and white, with black-stripes pattern: The level-requirement was also six, instead of five.
The irritated man didn’t bother storing the pair of Human legs that were still laying there, but his sight was drawn to a strange object that was just laying on the dirt. With his enhanced vision, he could obviously see it perfectly clearly, yet he still reflexively squinted his eyes as he approached. Michael reached down and picked it up, while using ‘Scan’ and couldn’t help but ask “What the actual fuck?”
“White Bengal Tiger of Light: A magical trading card. Increases Charisma and Agility by one point if consumed by a Player. Can be used in various card games. Rare Quality, requires level-five to activate.” It was a type of item that hadn’t existed in that world for so long, that even the oldest of the Elves had never seen one.
After staring at it for a few moments, he blew off the dirt and was about to shove it into his mouth, but then it suddenly burst into blindingly bright flames. It didn’t burn him, though the fumes began forcing their way into his lungs, even when he was holding his breath. While he was coughing and choking violently, a message popped-up: “Agility and Charisma have increased by one.”
When he could finally breathe properly again, Michael shouted “I fucking hate smoke! Gah, why the hell does gaining stat-points have to be so painful, disgusting, or uncomfortable?! Shouldn’t it feel good?!” After regaining his composure, he grumbled “Those Goddesses obviously despise ‘Casuals’ huh?”