Chapter 105: Juggernaut Subjugation (2/2)

Vahn found his footing before he looked at Lefiya, who had still been staring at him with her accusatory look. Seeing her expression, Vahn felt like something in the back of his mind was sinking and he thought anything he might say would just sound like an excuse. “Sorry…I just don’t like to see people sad.” Lefiya’s expression softened a bit at his words, but it wasn’t long before her brows furrowed again.

“So why is it that all the people you try to ‘comfort’ happen to be girls? I’m sure there are plenty of men and women in the rest of the group that could use your ‘support’.” Lefiya emphasized the important words as she continued to stare at his flustered appearance. Vahn was actually considering her words, and turning his head, he was able to see a number of people that were also worried or scared.

Vahn noticed that Lefiya wasn’t entirely wrong in her claim, and he had actually been focusing more on the characters he knew from the story instead of the entire group as a whole. Realizing his ‘mistake’, Vahn frowned and began channeling his [Hands of Nirvana] into his domain with his maximum effort. A gentle, almost imperceptible white aura began to permeate throughout the corridor. The adventurers behind felt all of their stamina recovering, as the dark shadows that had begun to creep their way into their hearts were diffused by the warm energy.

Lefiya noticed Vahn’s actions and sighed even deeper than she did previously. In a quiet voice, she muttered in a manner that even Vahn wasn’t able to hear. “I see, you’re just an idiot…” Lefiya thought Vahn was the type to just mislead and chase after women, but recalling all the experiences she had with him up till this point, she realized he was just ignorant regarding a lot of things. He seemed completely devoid of a lot of the common-sense possessed by normal people. Even she, who had grown up in a somewhat sheltered environment, had more awareness than he did.

Lefiya felt like, in a lot of ways, Vahn was just a child. Even when he had entered the bath with them earlier, he seemed to be completely immune to the presence of naked women around him. It wasn’t until Tiona kissed him afterward that he began to question his actions. She began to wonder what kind of life a person would have to live to be so devoid of common social skills. In a way, she even began to feel pity for Vahn…she felt like, if someone had tried to take advantage of his apparent kindness, he would have suffered a lot if he hadn’t met Tiona and Ais first.

Vahn continued channeling his [Hands of Nirvana] until the group arrived at their setup location. They could hear the sounds of fighting nearby, and the reverberations of the powerful attacks were shaking the very dungeon itself. The party split into small groups and began forming a concave formation surrounding the corridor that the ‘vanguard’ would be pulling the Juggernaut through. Tensions began to rise as everyone prepared various long-range weapons and defensive spells.

Vahn was assigned the role of acting as a support unit, so he was at the back of the group with Lefiya and Riveria. Tione and Tiona waited at the flanks near the corridor’s entrance and were preparing to blindside the Juggernaut the moment it entered the room. Riveria began chanting a powerful one-way defensive magic that would be able to protect the party while still allowing them to attack. She then began chanting various area-of-effect buffs while targeting the various adventurers in the group.

Lefiya, who was also supposed to be using support magic, looked toward Vahn before she performed her duties. “Vahn, no matter what, make sure you survive. Not just here, but no matter what happens in the future.” Lefiya, like Tiona, believed that Vahn had the makings of a hero. His naive personality, combined with his desire to grow stronger and protect others, meant that, as long as he was able to survive, he would likely save countless lives in the future. Even if his relationship with Ais bothered her, she didn’t want him to die just because he was currently weak.

Vahn gave a bright smile toward Lefiya as his form rapidly changed into that of his Báihǔ transformation. “Thank you Lefiya. I promise I will survive.” Vahn then pulled out his bow and knocked a mithril arrow onto the string. Lefiya was a bit surprised seeing his transformation up close, even though she had seen it during his previous fight. The transformation seemed to enhance his features a bit and gave him a ‘wild’ aura and a confident demeanor. It was almost like, with his physical transformation, his mentality also underwent a drastic change.

“Lefiya, I need your help with the preparations. We are short on time.” Riveria was slowly beginning to become annoyed with how Vahn seemed to distract all the girls in the party since his arrival. She agreed that he had some fascinating aspects to him, but she didn’t expect him to so drastically influence ‘experienced’ adventurers. She felt like, if she hadn’t said anything, she would have had to buff the entire party on her own while Lefiya just stared toward Vahn.

Lefiya jumped after hearing the cold words of Riveria. She began to quickly cast her buff magic on the groups starting from the left, the opposite side of where Riveria had started. Within a few minutes, everyone was ready and the shaking of the dungeon grew in intensity. At this point, the ‘ambush’ party could feel the individual explosions of the attacks and the powerful impacts that resulted from the collisions.

A few moments later, Ais exited from the corridor, and everyone could see she was slightly covered in blood with a few bruises. Vahn, seeing her state, almost ran out to help her, but Riveria shouted, “Wait, Vahn. Stick to the plan or you’ll only make things worse!” Riveria’s command was sharp, and the words seemed to cut straight into him, making Vahn unable to move forward. Moments after Ais’s appearance, Bete and Finn also exited the corridor in a somewhat worse-for-wear state.

Finn was marginally less injured, and he immediately shouted out to the ‘ambush’ party, “Prepare yourselves!” After his shout, Finn spun around and held his spear low to the ground while waiting for the thundering creature to make its appearance. Bete and Ais retreated and began applying potions to their wounds so they could rejoin the fight. After another twenty seconds, a somewhat small figure came launching out of corridor at a fast speed. Sliding about 15m, Vahn recognized the figure as Gareth, who was in a much worse state than everyone that previously appeared.

Almost immediately after Gareth was launched into the room, an incredibly fast moving monster emerged from the corridor. Vahn immediately recognized it as the 10m long, skeletal, Juggernaut. Like before, it was missing half of its face, and it now seemed to be covered in a variety of other wounds. The atmosphere in the room became intense in an instant as the two amazon sisters immediately attack from the sides of the creature.

Tiona, wielding her massive Urga, landed a powerful blow into the torso of the Juggernaut, while her sister, Tione, tried to sever ones of its seemingly frail-looking limbs. Unfortunately, almost as if to make a mockery of the fierce attacks, Tione’s daggers barely left a scratch on the thin arms, while Tiona’s Urga only knocked the Juggernaut into the ground while leaving a small crack on its shell.

Finn tried to use the moment when it was pressed to the ground to impale its head with his spear, but the blade only penetrated a few inches before the Juggernaut flailed and sent him flying with its spinning motion. Using its incredible speed, the Juggernaut tried to attack toward the nearby Tiona, but it was awarded for its efforts by a powerful body slam by Gareth. Though he hadn’t fully recovered yet, Gareth wasn’t the type to stand by and watch his companions get injured.

The Juggernaut sent Gareth flying as Tiona opened up the distance and tried to lose it’s aggro. At this point, there was nobody around the Juggernaut, so a barrage of attacks from the ‘ambush’ party came raining in on it. Though they were predominately ineffective, there were a few lucky attacks that managed to leave light wounds on the creature. Vahn had also loosed an arrow toward the remaining eye of the Juggernaut, but there seemed to be a strange force preventing it from penetrating the eye-socket.

Screaming in rage, the Juggernaut released a powerful aura that knocked many of the projectiles from the sky. Almost as if had realized something in the attack, the Juggernaut turned its gaze before leaning forward in a crouching position. The arrow that had almost penetrated its eye reminded it of a previous encounter, and it turned towards the source and saw the enemy that had escaped it previously. A hazy steam began to build up around the Juggernaut as it began to enter a berserker state.

At the end of its vision, Vahn suddenly felt as if he had been gripped by an imaginary force. The moment his arrow had landed, it was almost like the Juggernaut had locked onto him amongst all the adventurers present. He could see a seething hatred in its eye as his instincts began ringing alarms in his head. Vahn’s pupils shrunk to the size of pinholes as the figure of the Juggernaut began accelerating toward him in slow motion.

Unfortunately, no matter how slow the Juggernaut seemed to be moving, Vahn’s body didn’t seem to be listening to him. He stood there in the motion of just have loosed an arrow as the Juggernauts figure began to approach. All the sounds in the area seemed to become muted as the colors started fading from the vision he was seeing. The only thought passing through Vahn’s mind was that of his impending death.

As the enraged Juggernaut lurched forward to attack, it slammed heavily into the shield Riveria had formed to protect the ‘ambush’ party. She began to frown as she continued channeling her mana to sustain the shield. Finn, who had seen the strange actions of the Juggernaut, was incredibly confused by the turn of events. Though monsters sometimes displayed intelligence, Finn had never seen one completely ignore the people close to it and try to eliminate the weaker opponents first.

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Jumping to attack the enraged creature, Finn tried to follow its gaze and noticed that it seemed entirely focused on Vahn who was standing behind the rest of the party with Riveria and Lefiya. Finn thought, (“Could the Juggernaut remember Vahn having escaped its grasp previously? But, even if that was the case, there is no reason for it to act in such a ferocious manner…”). Suddenly, Finn remembered the green arrow that had collided against the shadowy substance of the Juggernaut’s eye. Seeing the bow in Vahn’s hand, Finn realized it must have become enraged after nearly losing its only remaining eye.

Seeing the Juggernaut smash into the shield, Vahn was finally broken from the spell he was under. The moment of his demise that he had anticipated never came, and now he was able to see the Juggernaut smashing its claws into the shield in a rage. Finn, Tiona, Tione, Gareth, and Ais all began attacking its exposed back with heavy attacks. However, the Juggernaut just flailed and pushed them away with its arms and legs as it continued trying to destroy the barrier. The only thing on its feeble mind was destroying the accursed boy that had destroyed half of its face.

Riveria’s shield began showing cracks, but Lefiya began chanting a spell that enforced its structure. Every time new cracks would appear, they would rapidly heal which caused the Juggernaut to rage even more. Vahn, believing the barrier may not hold, repositioned himself behind Lefiya and Riveria and placed his palms on their backs. Though they were curious about his actions, they couldn’t interrupt their chanting to question him. However, their concerns were soon blown away when they felt a powerful energy seeping into their bodies. Their diminishing mana reserves were rapidly restoring at a rate faster than they were being consumed.

Instead of focusing on inputting the energy into his domain, Vahn imbued the entirety of his energy into his [Hands of Nirvana] with the support of his [Yggdrasil’s Blessing]. He was converting his pure ‘source’ energy into mana, and it was easily able to replenish the mana stores of the two girls. The barrier that had been struggling to maintain itself now became solid and even glowed more brightly than it previously had.

Only allowed on

Seeing the barrier restored, the tensions in the room exploded as everyone began to shout out with loud war cries. The ambush party began focusing their attacks on the damaged areas of the Juggernaut as the Level 5-6 members continued to land heavy blows on the creatures frame. Slowly but surely, the Juggernauts actions began to slow as blood was dripping from the wounds all over its body. In its last moments of life, just as Finn channeled his strongest attack in a leaping lunge toward its core, the Juggernaut stared at Vahn with a hate-filled expression.

Vahn felt a mental attack hit his mind as a powerful and corrosive energy tried to destroy his brain. His [Will of the Emperor] immediately exploded and resisted the attack, but Vahn still took a heavy amount of damage. A nauseous filling immediately overwhelmed him and it seemed like all the energy was draining from his body. Falling between the gap of the two elves, Vahn made contact with the ground at the exact same time as the Juggernaut did.

The two stared at each other one last time before both falling into different forms of unconsciousness. Before Vahn completely blacked out, he mouthed the words that he had used to previously part with the Juggernaut. ‘F*** you’

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