Chapter 4 – A hopeless struggle
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Deep inside the forest there were two women slowly riding on their horses, one of them had long fiery red hair tied into a ponytail and was quite tall with slightly above average "assets" in terms of size and was wearing a dark red sleeveless jacket with a black crop top underneath it and some shorts leaving part of her belly exposed, on her legs were long dark red boots stopping below her knees and black thigh highs above them
The other woman had dark brown shoulder length hair and was quite small in height with cat ears on top of her head and a tail of similar colour with a white tip. Her outfit consisting of a black cloak with a hood that had space for her ears and dark leather armor with white accents underneath that had many throwing knives and other similar gadgets which made her look like an assassin

"Do you know when we will reach the shard?"

Asked the red haired woman

"I'm not sure when we will reach it but we must be getting close, the beasts are getting weaker and the only monsters we've encountered for a while were goblins"

Back at the cave

"Kuro do you really think we can fight it?"

"Do you see any other option?"

Deciding to go all out from the beginning Kuro filled up the sheath with as much flames and pressure as possible and charged at the bear which tried to swipe its massive claw at her
After jumping to the side to dodge it and getting to the side of the bear she unsheathed the katana with all the built up pressure accelerating it and swung at the bears side with all her strength
The attack which she expected would do considerable damage slightly cracked her sword and barely managed to cut the hide with the small wound closing almost immediately
While the bear was distracted Tomo ran to the other side of it and attempted to pierce its hide with her trident but even that yielded barely any results and the wounds again closed in mere moments
Annoyed by these tiny attacks the bear unleashed a roar which sent both of the girls flying with the sheer pressure of it

"What's up with that bear!? We can barely damage it and even then it heals in an instant!"

Not waiting for the girls to come up with a new plan the bear opened its mouth which started glowing green

"It's charging something up!"


After yelling that Tomo started running to the side while Kuro went the other direction
The bear, unable to target both of them at opposite sides of the cave chose Kuro as its first target

'Shit, I need to dodge it!'

With the attack ready the bear shot out a beam of green energy from its mouth aimed at Kuro
As an attempt to even slightly deflect the attack she created an ice wall in front of herself and dropped to the floor
The beam connected with the wall and blasted through it with no resistance and hit the floor behind it, the resulting explosion sending shards of rock and ice around and throwing Kuro into the nearby wall

"Gah!" 'fuck that hurts!'

The cloud of dust that rose up with the explosion managed to cover up Kuro laying on the floor, the bear assumed the target was dead, that weakling couldn't possibly dodge it after all
It wanted to focus on the other annoyance but as it turned around it got boiling hot water splashed in its eyes
While the bear was temporarily blinded Tomo jumped on its face and stabbed her daggers into its eyes, she then kicked off it leaving the detached blades of the daggers in it's eyes
Landing on the ground she took spare blades out of a bag and attached them to the handles

'that should help at least for a while'

Those were Tomo's thoughts but the bear was gonna prove her wrong, when it's eyes regenerated the blades got easily pushed out and fell to the ground


The bear was about to charge at Tomo but it was unexpectedly stopped

"Just die you overgrown furry piece of meat!!"

Kuro jumped on it's back while covered in small wounds and a bleeding head and started repeatedly slashing it's back with her sword, sadly it didn't manage to do any damage
The bear started trashing around trying to throw her off, eventually Kuro tried to stab her sword straight into it's back but it ended up shattering the whole blade into pieces without causing any damage, at the same time the bear finally managed to throw her off making her hit the wall behind Tomo and almost lose consciousness

"Shit! what are we supposed to do?!"

Tomo yelled not knowing what to do, they couldn't escape and they couldn't damage this thing, it seemed hopeless

"I'll either get us out of here or I'll die trying!"

With renewed resolve Tomo started conjuring up dark energy and water, She was gonna use the dark to attempt to blast a hole in the wall and use the wave of water to push the bear away giving them enough time to escape
While that was happening the monster wasn't sitting still either, it began to charge at Tomo and was about to reach her just as she was finishing the spells...
But none of that happened
Suddenly there was a loud explosion and a hole opened up in the ceiling of the cave
Then there was another explosion of crimson red flames right inbetween Tomo and the bear which caused Tomo to take a few steps back and pushed the bear back a considerable distance with the pressure of it

'S-so hot-'

'It's like it's burning my skin-'

Even the half conscious Kuro could feel the heat coming off the flames, when they started to disappear a woman could be seen in the middle of them
She had fiery red hair and her whole appearance screamed POWER, in her hands but stabbed into the ground was a claymore with a wide and long mostly black blade with a crimson shine and golden engravings which looked like flowing fire that connected with the crimson handguard also covered in them, the handle of it was black and the pommel gold
She looked back at the girls and flashed them a smile

"I dont know how you got there but i suggest you leave for now"

Without further explanation she focused again on the bear which just regained its footing
Without any warning another woman appeared next to Tomo and Kuro, she had a black cloak and hood with cat ears on so it was hard to tell her exact appearance but she definitely looked suspicious

"Take my hands, unless you want to get caught up in that battle maniacs attacks"

Without many other options Tomo and the now slightly more conscious Kuro took her hands and disappeared into the shadows appearing outside the cave

In the cave

"Haha! Now we have the whole place for ourselves! Let's play you oversized plushie, it took me so long to find you"

In response to that the bear let out a roar and started charging up its beam attack, not giving it time for that the woman appeared in front of it with a flash of flames and gave it an uppercut punch causing it to close its mouth and launch the beam with it closed destroying its jaw in the process, because of the explosion in its mouth the bear got thrown back a fair distance
Angered it stood on its hind legs and smashed its front paws into the ground sending barbed vines out of it at the woman, as a counter attack she summoned her claymore again and swung it sending a wave of flames burning away all the vines

"Ok, my turn!"

Yelling that she disappeared in flames again and appeared behind the bear swinging her claymore at its hind left leg and cutting it off completely causing the monster to tumble to the ground, continuing her swinging motion she stepped closer to the middle of its body and went into an overhead swing cutting its body in half with the aid of her flames
She jumped back from it and the bear was mostly regenerated in just a few seconds

"So you have that kind of annoying power huh? guess i'll just have to destroy you whole at once!"

She took a lowered stance and held the sword just above her left shoulder preparing for a swing, crimson red flames gathered around her in a swirling vortex and infused into her blade
The bear now completely regenerated began to charge at the woman but before it got close her skill was completed

"Blade of flamescion!"

Swinging her sword horizontally a massive wave of crimson fire flew out of it completely engulfing the bear and turning it into ashes in nearly an instant, even then it continued going until it hit the far wall of the cave partially melting it
After the flames disappeared the woman made her weapon disappear in a flash of flame and started walking towards the pedestal with the crystal which came back out of the floor

'I think I went overboard with that skill, my mana is running low now'

With these thoughts running through her head she stood in front of the crystal

'At least i managed to get here before those crazy cultists'

She took the crystal and put it in a bag on her waist, after that she jumped out of the cave through the hole in the ceiling she made earlier

'Time to learn about what those two were doing here...'