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Chapter 10: 10 - Panther Ausf. A

"Only you can prevent forest fires… It is true old bear… It's true…"

"What are you talking about now Merlin?"

"Nothing, just admiring the view"

Merlin and Jane was currently sitting inside an M4A2 Sherman on the highway of death, they were about 4 kilometers into the forest of death, so far they had not met any big resistance and Merlin was starting to let his guard down, he didn't scan the surroundings every few seconds instead he sat and zoned out, this was maybe why it managed to get so close as it did, suddenly there was an explosion that rang out in the back of the convoy followed by a loud bird-like scream as something big crashed into the forest to the east of the highway of death

[Ding! One 'Puma' tank lost]

"What the fuck!"

Merlin was confused for a moment before he yelled

"Fire at any and all magic beasts in the area!"

The sound of turrets swinging lasted for a few seconds before it was drowned out by the sound of cannon and machine-gun fire, this proved to be the 2nd mistake Merlin made as after a few minutes of fire several roars sounded out to the west of the forest of death before moments later the sound of trees crashing down sounded out, then came the loud sounds of two heavy objects colliding as the Churchill Crocodile was rammed by something, following that another 3 pumas were rammed by something, only the Puma's didn't survive the impact as the shock detonated the ammunition rack

[Ding! 3 'Puma' Tanks lost]

"Yeah I noticed, what the fuck is attacking us, give me control of the scope!"

Merlin turned the turret of the M4A2 Sherman and soon saw the scope of the damage, first was the Churchill in the font that had been rammed by a bull-like magic beast that was almost the same size as the tank, the bull-like magic beast seemed to have its horns stuck as the tracks had warped around them from the impact, the bull-like magic beast itself seemed to be covered in metal like scales

"Load HVAP!"

The 76mm cannon was swiftly loaded with the High-Velocity-Armor-Pricing shell and when the breach was closed Merlin yelled


The Round exited the cannon barrel the next instance before it hammered right into the head of the bull-like magic beast, instantly turning its brain into mush as it passed through and flew off into the forest on the other side after killing the bull-like magic beast whose enormous body collapsed at once, next Merlin turned the turret to the back and saw 3 burnt carcasses of what looked like the same spices of the bull-like magic beast he had just killed, only these had been killed when they rammed into the 3 destroyed Puma's, or more precisely when the 3 Puma's ammunition exploded

"That's great… Suicide bulls…"

"Merlin, what's happening?"

"I've identified the magic beast that killed 3 of the Puma's and mangled the right track section of the Churchill crocodile. It's just the initial attacker that's missing… Let's not exit the tank right now"


The part of the convoy that was still able to move backed up until Merlin saw what had destroyed the first Puma tank

"Is that… A dinosaur?"

A winged reptile with a long beak lay dead on top of the Puma tank that had exploded a little off the highway of death, Merlin quickly pieced together the pieces

"So that's what happened, that… Thing grabbed a Puma and tried to fly off with it, then it detonated the ammunition rack somehow and the tank exploded before both of them crashed down, then I gave the order to open fire and drew in the bull-like magic beasts… From there they destroyed another 3 Puma's…"

Merlin's expression was grim as he spoke, this had been an oversight from him and a very expensive lesson

"You can't just shoot your way out of every situation…"

Jane looked at Merlin and wanted to say something but stopped herself when Merlin spoke

"Let's harvest the cores quickly before we go back to the camp. Can you take the flying thing?"


After the convoy returned from the highway of death Merlin inspected the remaining tanks, he used a total of 4 spare parts on the ones that needed maintenance, combined with the one he had used on the Churchill Crocodile to get it moving again he was now down to 7 spare parts since he got 4 from salvaging the newly destroyed Puma's he had a total of 11 spare parts, as for MRE's? Them he had a little over 50 left, more precisely 54 in total


Merlin sat down in the middle of the camp and thought for a bit before he decided one thing

'These tanks are not invincible… These ones anyway, should I invest in more heavy tanks? Since the convoy consists of 15 pumas, one Tiger 1 and 3 M4A2 and the homegroup consists of 2 Panzer 1's and one BT-5… So overall I have 1 heavy tank and the rest are medium or light tanks…'

"We're going to need a tank that's somewhat movable and with highly penetrating firepower… System, how many points do I have at the moment?"

[Ding! 346 points are available]

"...And how many points are the Panther? The model A"

[Ding! a Panther Ausf. A is 265 points]

"Okay… Let's go hunting for the next few days"

For the week Merlin hunted magic beasts in the plains with a convoy consisting of the 15 Puma's and the 3 M4A2's, after the expenses of spare parts and food was deducted he made a total of 1436 points, which was decent, more importantly, it was enough for 5 Panther tanks. Merlin stood in the morning sun in the middle of the camp, he had just finished training with Jane, even though he had only been training for a little over a week he felt more confident in his survival than before, another thing he had noticed was that the amount of magic beast in the plains seemed to… dwindling rather quickly

'Well that makes sense since I've hunted then without care'

Merlin understood that he had a negative impact on the local population of magic beasts, he didn't care about magic beasts, if he had to say he kind of hated them since the whole Centaur situation, he understood that in this world it was the strong that ruled over the weak

'Well, that's how it ought to be…'

Merlin didn't notice at this point but the Tank commander's jacket he had been wearing had been absorbing 'coldness' from the carcasses of the magic beasts he had been slaughtering in droves… And that 'coldness' was starting to affect him slightly, even though he didn't feel any physical discomfort, in fact, he felt kind of good

"Oh right… The Panther's…"

Jane that stood next to him noticed his mumbling and spoke

"Hmm..? Oh, the new tanks you have been speaking about all week… are you going to summon them now?"


Jane tilted her head slightly before she asked

"Are they similar to the Puma's?"

"Well, they are from the same army, but built for vastly different purposes… If I had to compare then a puma is a scout, lightly armored, meant to engage in short ambushes before retreating with valuable information"

"Okay… Then what about the Panther?"

"Well… Think of a soldier in heavy armor with the mobility of a horse in full gallop… Lugging a ballista around the battlefield, while claiming that it is medium infantry?"

"...Sorry, that only confused me more"

Merlin showed a smile before he spoke

"Well seeing is believing… System purchase 5 Panther Ausf. A. tanks"

[Ding! Purchase successful, 1325 points deducted from the balance, 111 points reaming]

In front of Merlin and Jane 5 Panther tanks appeared, the Panther heavy tank (though the German army claimed it was a medium tank) stood almost 3 meters tall had a with of a little over 3 meters and a length of almost 7 meters, the first thing one would notice when looking at a Panther tank is its sloped frontal armor which increased its effective frontal armor that was sloped back about 45 degrees next was the main armament, the 7.5 KwK 42 L/70 was a monster of a cannon that is almost 5 meters long which is able to penetrate a 100mm armored plate angled 30 degrees from over 1 kilometer away, though the first production models had troubles with the V-12 petrol Maybach HL230 P30 engine which produces 690 horsepower, the later models ironed out some of the problems improving reliability, the Panther tank lives up to its name as it's rather speedy for a 44.8 ton heavy (Medium) tank as it was able to cruise at around 50 kilometers an hour

"That… Doesn't look like a panther at all…"

"No, but they sure are beautiful, I shall name them, Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier and Fünf"

Jane watched Merlin walk over and then rub his face against the first Panther tank while his eyes sparkled with joy before she sighed while showing a wry smile

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