Chapter 10: Midnight Panther

Kairo began to devour the plants and shrubs that were nearby quickly. It would slowly envelop and digest the plant, and its slime form would change in color. A green coating soon filled it as the leaves of various plants were devoured.

But as expected, the Life essence that it got was not even noticeable to Flay when he tried to absorb some.

After devouring the second plant, Kairo condensed all the green coating into a small ball. Soon, a large ball was formed, and Kairo spat it out.

Flay grabbed the strange green ball. It was slowly starting to melt away.

“Mix that into your body, Master. That should hide your scent. It’s plant essence, so it will make you smell like a walking plant. As a result, most monsters should avoid you.”

“Great! How about them stamina pills? I need to keep running out of here to avoid monsters and get to my village. Normally, we Tamers don’t move in the night. But with my vision, I plan to move as fast as I can.”

“We’ll need a few plants here. I’ve already detected a few nearby.”

“Ok. Lead the way.”

Kairo began to hop and hop towards the place. Despite his small form, Kairo’s speed was not slow, and it was only a little slower than Flay.

Another plant was shown, and Kairo began to absorb it.

“Er… That one? That’s a poisonous plant! We call it the Ever Itch. It makes our body parts very itchy!”

“Its leaves are poisonous, but the plant itself can be harnessed to create a pill that contains great vigorous energy. You should be able to run non-stop for thirty minutes with this.”

“Sounds good. We need to make more. But what about the poison?”

“I plan to harness it and combine it with my mercury form. It’s not a dangerous poison, but the itchy blade would annoy and lower the combat prowess of the enemy. Especially if you manage to land an attack in a vulnerable area.”

“Great idea! If those Might Wolves attack, an attack to their noses would be excruciating for them! Go ahead. I’ll keep watch. There is quite a movement in this forest as many beasts are out to hunt.”

Flay began to sit down and close his eyes as he focused on listening.

Deep in the forest, a large panther was moving with incredible speed and yet was able to mask all sounds.

The power of gaseous darkness covered it, and it leaped from one tree to the next and ignored the nearby creatures.

Flay continued to close his eyes and concentrate on his hearing. He was trying to understand more of his powers as he did this.

He could see that several creatures were moving towards him, but when he applied the ball of green plant essence on him, most of these monsters began to turn their attention away from Flay.

Flay continued to concentrate, and his hearing continued to improve. He was trying to sense how far his hearing had become. It had become strangely precise, and he could focus within a certain area. The more he focused on a certain area. The more detailed his hearing could be.

He then tried to extend his hearing to the furthest space, and he could hear some growls and could sense some beasts fighting and biting each other.

“If I focus my hearing to that which is close by, I could even hear the grass sway even if it’s noisy. And if I extend it as much as I can, I should be able to hear the Pteranodon’s roar and thumps about two kilometers out..” Flay thought to himself.

All of a sudden, he heard a loud thump from afar. It was several kilometers away. But the thumping of the Pteranodon landing on the ground was so loud that Flay could hear it.

“It’s coming…” Flay spoke to Kairo.

“Should I stop and hide now, Master?”

“Not yet. It’s still quite a distance off. Try to create more. If you hide now, the Pteranodon would be moving all over the place.”

“Alright, master. I have enough herbs to create two stamina pills. I’ll condense it now.”

Flay nodded and went back to meditating. He decided to experiment more on his hearing and limited it to only a hundred meters from his current location.

Kairo was jumping from one plant to another, and several bushes were already consumed.

Flay kept sensing the area around him. And in his meditation, it was as if Flay could create a sonar-like ability.

“What the…?” Flay was confused. How was he able to see it.

“This doesn’t seem to be related to my powers from Kairo. This is my own power! And no one in my village has shown any powers similar to mine. There really are stranger things about me.” Flay began to focus harder, and it became clear that Flay could ‘see’ the figure of Kairo hopping from one plant to the other.

Suddenly, he could see several leaves and branches swaying in a specific direction. There was something headed his way. A branch swayed, and Flay could tell that something was watching him.

“Kairo. Get back. There’s a monster here that can escape my ears!” Flay spoke to Kairo.

Kairo immediately stopped devouring and moved closer to Flay.

“A beast that can escape your hearing? It must be a beast that is condensed with elements. That creature should either be a beast of the wind or a beast of dark mist!” Kairo deduced.

“Dark mist? Then it should be only that. I can’t believe it! It lives here?!”

“What is it?”

“We’ve seen this beast time and time again. The Kingdom has set out a bounty for this and would reward us if we are able to kill it. But we dare not invoke its wrath. It's the Midnight Panther!”

“A Panthera beast? They are usually creatures who are born of the wind. The jaguar and the leopard kin are variations of them. But when they draw closer to the darkness, they become a Panther. Is this creature leaking out a strange mist?” Kairo asked.

“The Scouting Tamers was lucky enough to witness it hunt. Yes. It can leap and use its misty powers to glide! Damn it! First the Pteranodon, and now this one! Why am I so unlucky with these creatures?!” Flay cursed.

The panther was observing the two from a distance. But the eyes of the Panther were fixated on the Slime.

“Is it moving?” Kairo asked.

“No. But it should be watching us! I don’t get it! I thought the plant essence hid my scent.”

“Then it could be after me. The Death Mark. It drew its attention. This Death Mark has thick Dark element.”

“So it wants to eat you? Great. If you inside my hand, it will continue to attack me. And this one has great eyesight and will hunt me down…”

“What’s the plan, Master?”

“This is crazy. But I need to fight it! I have to buy more time until the Pteranodon is close by. Get your poison ready. That itchy stuff could be the key to my escape. If I get its eyes, I could blind it for a time. And if you use that green balm to hit its nose, it should lose the scent of me for a bit.” Flay held on to Kairo and closed his eyes.

He waited for the Panther to move.

Suddenly, the tree branch that Flay knew the Panther was swayed.

The Panther had made its silent pounce and was gliding towards Flay.

Flay concentrated.

“Now…” Flay ordered, and Kairo assumed its sword form.

Suddenly, Flay jumped to the side as he made a slashing motion.

SLASH!

The quick slash struck the face of the Panther, and Flay did not hesitate and began to run as fast as he could.

“ROAR!” A pained roar was heard as the poison of the Ever Itch plants was released on the face of the beast. A thick amount of green liquid spilled forth on the face of the Panther as Kairo released the green fluid as he made contact with the beast.

"The sword didn't even cut him!" Flay complained.

"This beast should be a Low E-Ranked beast. It would have strength equal to a high leveled Apprentice expert!" Kairo estimated.

"Still, the poison and the plant essence worked! Give me the stamina pill! I'll be running like crazy from now on."

Flay pressed his hand on the sword, and Kairo spat out the pill, and Flay immediately ate it as he ran and ran.

With his great ears, Flay avoided the nearby monsters.

The Midnight Panther howled angrily, and all the nearby beasts began to flee. It kept on scratching its face as the intense itchiness of the concentrated poison affecting it. Finally, it began to sneeze and sneeze as the green fluid seeped into its nose.

“Let’s move up the trees!” Flay ordered, and Kairo divided itself into two parts, and Flay was using the sticky slime to scale and ran on top of the trees with great haste.

“Master! Shouldn’t I just hide in your Taming Hand? It will find us!”

“I’m counting on it. I need to get the Pteranodon and that Panther off of my tail! So I’m buying time for the Pteranodon to arrive! Just trust me!”

“Understood, Master!”

“ROAR!” A massive howl was heard and the Midnight Panther charged with all of its might.

“It’s fast!” Flay cursed.

The leap of the Panther threw it above the clouds and immediately found Kairo and Flay. Dark energy began to gather around it, and the Panther began to run on air.

BOOM!

The dark mist began to explode at each step of the Midnight Panther. It zoomed through the sky and was rushing towards Flay with incredible speed. Each step created a sonic boom that shot the Panther forward with incredible speed.

Flay ran with all his might towards a tree and combined the two slimes as he jumped. The Midnight Panther was tailing close by.

As Flay moved to pass the tree, he slammed his left arm on the tree with the sticky substance. The leaping Flay made a sharp turn thanks to the fulcrum swing caused by Kairo.

CRASH! CRASH! CRASH!

The Midnight Panther sped forward and ended up crashing on the trees.

Flay was running in the opposite direction after the pivot and rushed forward again.

“Brilliant execution, master! The beast can’t make sharp turns, but you can use me for sudden stops and turns!” Kairo praised

“Divide into two again! But one part has to be small, while the other big!” Flay ordered.

The angry howl of the Midnight Panther could be heard once more, and massive booms were heard.

As it began to move faster and faster.

Flay was scaling the trees and was moving at the top of the large trees jumping from one tree to the other.

The Midnight Panther boomed once more and chased Flay.

“Get in my hand!” Flay ordered as he threw the small half of Kairo upwards.

The Midnight Panther sensed the sudden change of direction and flew upwards as Flay fell. Without Kairo’s sticky powers, Flay hangs on the branches to make a soft landing.

The Midnight Panther bit on the slime and devoured it. But as it did…

“ROOOOAARR!” An angry howl and a loud flap of wings could be heard as the Pteranodon glided towards the Midnight Panther.

The Midnight Panther froze in fear at the sight of the massive creature and quickly used its powers to flee.

Flay was on the ground below, running as fast as he could.

“That will keep you guys busy! Enjoy playing tag!” Flay chuckled as he fled.

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