Here, 'protecting' is used as an adjective. Participles can be used as adjectives.
1. The Predator roared forth, protecting Lord Doomhammer and the squad of cultists
2.I love the noise of falling rain
adj : shielding (or designed to shield) against harm or discomfort; "the protecting blanket of snow"; "a protecting alibi" [syn: protecting(a)]
Ok but then how do you know if it's being used correctly or not in a sentence.....
I always thought that it needs to modify the noun closest to it...
"Do or do not, there is no try."