Chapter 473: Hunt

After making their way down into the 51st floor of the Dungeon, Vahn explained to Lili some of the dangers that would be present while also encouraging her to try and understand her ‘rare’ ability, [Atlas]. She had been somewhat surprised to know that her skill shared the same name as the bracers Vahn had forged for her in the past. Being a bright little Pallum, Lili could easily see through the fact that Vahn had done so intentionally in an attempt to spur her into awakening her skill passively over time. As she had been using the [Atlas’s Grips] for several months now, she had some understanding of what her skill might do and the thought made her more than a little excited.

This was already Fenrir’s second day straight of fighting on the 51st floor, so she was already in the ‘groove’ of things as she led the way forward in an alert status. Lili was a little distracted at first, but her disposition changed quickly when she saw the focus of Vahn and Fenrir. Her confidence in Vahn was a little ‘abnormal’ compared to some of the other girls, so she didn’t feel like she was in any danger at all even though the monsters were sure to be somewhat difficult for her level. Since the previous night, it didn’t feel like anything to stop her anymore but she was brought back to reality when observing how seriously Vahn inspected every inch of the Dungeon while entrusting Fenrir to lead the way.

After traveling for a few minutes, Fenrir leaned forward slightly and said, “Seven…Fenrir will go beyond. Lili will protect Vahn and kill what she can…” Without explaining further, Fenrir ran forward and caused the monsters to begin spawning as Lili startled for a brief moment before brandishing her rather elegantly designed naginata and jumping toward the nearest Black Rhinos without hesitation. Vahn still felt it was somewhat strange seeing her wield a weapon that was more than 200cm in length, considering she was only 110cm tall, but the way Lili used it made it seem perfectly normal. Unlike Vahn’s training with Tsubaki, Lili had learned actual techniques from the lively [Master Smith] and it was very obvious in each of her movements.

Using the foundation she had established in the past, where she was constantly in motion, Lili vaulted around the Dungeon in short bursts while tracing perfect arcs through the air and cleaving at the limbs of the monsters. The first enemy she faced hardly had enough time to get its footing before Lili had jumped forward more than 12m in an instant and cleaved a path through both of its legs. There was so much momentum behind her blow, that the Black Rhinos, that weighed more than a thousand pounds, actually spun sides following the path of her blade. As he had watched her fight on the way down, Vahn knew this was ‘abnormal’ even for the relatively Powerful Lili.

Lili released a burst of excited laughter before stepping forward in a somewhat strange manner that made it appear as if her feet slid across the floor without any friction as her waist twisted and she performed a backward cleave that traced a path through the side of the Black Rhinos that had charged her. The blade of Lili’s naginata was around 40cm, so it cut a large gash through the monster that actually sent a ripple through its body as its forward momentum was brought to a stop and it was knocked off its feet. When she saw this happen, Lili released another pleasant sounding laughter before planting her naginata in the ground and doing something that even caught Vahn a little off guard.

When the third Black Rhinos charged at her, Lili decided not to evade it and stood her ground against the monster that was more than twice her height and twenty times her weight. With a terrifying burst momentum of around 700km/h, the Black Rhinos charged at Lili as she stepped forward slightly and twisted her body in a fluid motion. During her movement, Lili gripped one of the fingers on the outstretched hand of the monster before she jerked it’s body low and attempted to flip it using the same technique Tsubaki used to ‘bully’ Vahn with. Using her body as a pivot, Lili attempted to convert the forward momentum of the monster into a rotational force but she was surprised to find that the finger of the Black Rhino detached from its hand when she jerked it downward.

The Black Rhinos was still knocked off balance by her actions, but it wasn’t quite the effect she was looking for since her initial movement was simply ‘too strong’. However, her surprise faded away quickly and she tossed the thick black finger to the side before leaping forward and striking the lower back of the Black Rhinos as it tried to stand. Even without the [Fist Strike] Development Ability, Lili’s punch made a wave pass through the monster’s body as it quickly overwhelmed the tragic creatures Endurance parameter and caused what could only be described as a crater to appear in its back before the front of its body exploded into a gory mess. Though the contact surface of Lili’s fist was rather small, around 8cm, the shockwave that radiated from her blow passed through the body of the Black Rhinos and expanded before a massive hole, more than 40cm, appeared on the opposite side of its body.

Lili was breathing heavily, not as a result of exhaustion but because of the nearly uncontainable excitement welling up inside of her. Though the [Atlas’s Grips] already made her attacks very strong in the past, it wasn’t even remotely close to her current power output. She already harbored some expectations when Vahn revealed the name of her rare skill, but this was way beyond anything her mind was capable of comprehending. It almost felt like she was stuck in a dream and the only thing that kept her grounded was the smell of blood, the sound of ongoing combat, and the sight of the boy she loved looked at her with a ‘proud’ expression on his face…

Seeing that Lili had actually killed her targets faster than she did, Fenrir felt a bit of anxiety inside her heart because she didn’t expect the small girl to be a real ‘threat’. Though she was still dealing with the last two Black Rhinos, Fenrir had turned her attention to Lili as she loosed the devastating blow against her final enemy and it made Fenrir frown deeply before she rolled to the side and evaded the monster that had tried to flatten her. Fenrir knew there were girls that were stronger than her, some much much stronger, but she couldn’t tolerate the thought of someone ‘weaker’ than she was being ‘stronger’. It made her feel vexed and confused because she tried so hard to get stronger and now Lili was able to ‘cheat’ and increase her strength without any effort at all!

Just as she was about to rip apart the closest enemy, Fenrir saw a blur of midnight blue before Vahn twisted the arm of the Black Rhinos and kicked it in the back hard enough to send it smashing into the wall and implanting the massive frame into the hard bedrock. Before she could make sense of what was happening, she saw her Master spin through the air before planting his foot into the shoulder of the final enemy and smashing it into the floor as he vaulted casually away from it and landed next to her. She wasn’t jealous of her Master, Fenrir wished she could use the shiny black scales to crush enemies just like him. Seeing his current form, which was the ‘same’ as her’s, in his Xuánwǔ transformation made Fenrir feel a little giddy until her Master’s warm hand began stroking her head.

Vahn had seen the abnormal state of Fenrir and noticed that, even though the fight wasn’t that hard, she was on the verge of either going ‘berserk’ or being overwhelmed by her ‘hunger’. Though she was a very adorable little creature, Vahn knew that Fenrir was prone to jealousy, especially when she had something she could directly compare between herself and another girl. Since Lili was weaker than she was, but was able to perform borderline ‘ridiculous’ feats of strength, she was probably burning up with jealousy without having an outlet to vent her feelings. Vahn got a ‘fun’ idea that might be able to appease her, so he cocked his head to the side and stared into her glowing scarlet eyes before asking, “Does Fenrir want to hunt with me?”

Fenrir’s ears twitched as she adorably mirrored his action and tilted her head to the side in a similar manner and asked, “Fenrir can hunt with Ma…Vahn?” Vahn picked up her paw and dragged her claws across his own fur-covered forearms to remind her that she couldn’t ‘accidentally’ hurt him right now. Vahn actually wanted to experience what it was like to fight as a Vanargandr, so he didn’t mind giving into his ‘instincts’ a little if it made Fenrir feel closer to him. No matter how he thought about it, it seemed like a fun and unique way that he could play with Fenrir that couldn’t be emulated by anyone else unless they somehow had SS-Rank armor…

To alleviate Fenrir’s confusion, Vahn smiled and explained, “My claws are sharp, just like Fenrir’s, and I also used to use a similar fightings style…remember?” Fenrir’s foundation was actually a ‘mimicry’ of his Báihǔ form, so there were a lot of similarities between them. He had been trying to become more ‘proficient’ lately and hadn’t really let loose like he had when his Báihǔ form was his primary combat style. Though they were strong, the Black Rhinos weren’t a great threat since their lack of Agility made them easy marks since everyone present could easily exploit the gaps in their attacks. Besides, Vahn was interested to see how ‘developed’ his current instincts were as a Vanargandr since it strangely felt stronger than his Báihǔ form of the past…

As she was still somewhat confused, Vahn pulled Fenrir along and said, “Just fight how you want, and I will show you what I mean…” as he looked over and winked at Lili. She had been observing his interactions with Fenrir with a fit of similar jealousy and Vahn wanted to disrupt the momentum of any negativity she might be feeling. It was difficult to manage a party with two girls prone to jealousy, but Vahn expected he would be able to manage as long as he himself loosened up a bit. They were all similar in appearance, though drastically different in size, so Vahn wanted everyone to get along better. When she had seen Vahn wink at her, Lili startled slightly before running over and freeing her naginata from the Dungeon floor and shouting, “Wait for me~!”

After progressing into an adjacent corridor, Fenrir’s eyes darted to several spots as her hair edged out slightly. Vahn surprised her a bit by patting her back and saying, “Fenrir, lets hunt…” as he himself took a step forward while crouching low. Not wanting to be left behind, Fenrir dashed forward and leaped at a Black Rhinos in an attempt to rake her claws across its face and rend the flesh from its body. Her efforts proved successful so Fenrir planned to target the next enemy before her Master appeared in her peripheral vision and gripped her hand. She didn’t understand what was happening but trusted that her Master wouldn’t bring her any harm. As she expected, Vahn pulled her forward slightly, almost as if he were pulling her into his embrace, before he smiled and said, “Fly…” and tossed her at the blind spot of another enemy.

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Following her instincts, Fenrir struck out at the monster but found her foot a bit off when she looked for a spot to bound away from. However, Vahn had moved along with her like a shadow and stuck the same monster with a fierce momentum while ‘offering’ his body as a point for her to bound off of. Though it looked somewhat ‘crazed’, a happy smile bloomed on Fenrir’s face as she planted her paws against Vahn’s shoulder and jumped back before using the ceiling as a second point and bounding once again, this time in a twisting motion as she passed by another nearby monster and decapitated it. A blue of blue passed by her once again and, without any hesitation at all, Vahn buried his own arm into the body of the Black Rhinos that tried to flank her and ripped out its monster core as an explosion of blood coated his body.

Just like when he used to fight in the Dungeon, before his collapse against the Juggernaut, Vahn had a smile on his face as he reveled in the thrill of the moment. His senses were focused to an extreme and the sensory stimuli passed over his body like a wave that made the fur on his arms stand on end as a result of his excitement. Since Fenrir was looking toward him, Vahn matched her gaze before twisting his body in a blur and launching the monster core he just obtained as a lethal projectile that passed clear through the body of another Black Rhinos. He then stepped forward before crouching down slightly as Fenrir’s relatively cool to the touch, and incredibly soft and plush paw pads pressed into his bare back as she launched herself off his body. Vahn kicked off the ground and followed her like an echo as they passed on opposite sides of an unfortunate Black Rhinos and separated its body at the waist.

Lili had been fighting her own enemies, but she couldn’t help but glance over at the ‘duo’ with the desire to join in on the ‘fun’. However, the moment she looked over the second time, Lili heard Vahn shout, “Lili~!” as he kicked back a Black Rhinos toward her direction. She had just managed to deal with her own opponent, so it was almost a perfect window of opportunity for her to transition and deal with the new target. Lili ducked low, allowed the Black Rhinos to pass overtop her body, before smashing up with two open palms and forcing its body to collide with the ceiling of the Dungeon as the majority of the bones in its torso were shattered by her strike. Blood dripped down from its body like rain and fell into the dense midnight blue fur on her head before an excited smile appeared on her face.

Just as she had been feeling a little jealous of Fenrir, Vahn had drawn her into the fight so Lili launched herself forward and threw caution to the wind as she spun through the air and kicked the head of the closest Black Rhinos. A loud cracking sound echoed through the corridor as the head of the monster drooped without support since Lili’s strike had completely shattered its jaw and the neck bone beneath its skull. Even Vahn wasn’t sure exactly how her strikes were generating so much power, but it was quite the sight to behold seeing a girl the size of a human child ‘manhandle’ enemies several times her size.

Since Lili had started to act with complete disregard for her own safety, something Vahn planned to grill her on later, he needed to look after her a bit more but it was much easier now that his domain had evolved to the point where he could sense almost everything within a given space. Even if he was fully focused on something else, Vahn literally couldn’t remove his awareness of his surroundings from his own mind and it was almost like his brain was now capable of focusing on two things at once. With his enhanced senses and the overwhelming amount of stimuli his body was experiencing, Vahn felt nigh unstoppable as he pressed forward and continued the ‘hunt’ alongside the two seemingly feral girls…

For nearly a full eight hours, only stopping to replenish their stamina and enjoy some snacks and cuddling, Vahn carved a path of devastation through the Dungeon while acting as a protector of the two girls. However, it wasn’t that long into the ‘hunt’ that Vahn realized they might not need his protection at all as Lili had gotten caught unawares by a Black Rhinos as it tried to slam down at her. Almost as if her body was reacting on instinct, she lifted up her arm and caught the fist of the monster before tightening her grip. Her fingers dug into the thick flesh of the Black Rhinos before she twisted its body like a rag doll with enough force that she ripped the arm straight out of the socket before slamming her small fist into the hardest part of the monster, its horn, and shattering it like glass.

Vahn had been preparing to go to her aid so he had gotten an up close and personal view of the sequence of actions before Lili turned to him, face and hair covered in blood, and smiled with a very cheerful expression on her face. Though his face had been in a stunned stupor at first, Vahn also smiled before stepping forward and pulling her out of the way of another monster that had tried to ram into her body. She began laughing happily before nuzzling against him for a brief moment and moving on to the next enemy without any hesitation. Lili had started to realize Vahn intent shortly after the ‘hunt’ began so she didn’t want to upset Fenrir by ‘stealing’ advantages. Instead, she decided to ‘earn’ his praise and cut loose with them since it was a lot more fun to fight together instead of on her own…

As a result of their efforts, Vahn pampered both girls when they were taking a break by allowing them to recline against them as he rested his palms on their exposed navels and channeling and replenished their stamina, mana, and source energy. Though he might have earned the disproval of some, Vahn gently stroked their abdomens while making full use of his [Hands of Nirvana] and [Petting] which caused both girls to cover his hand with their paws as their abdomens twitched as a result of the pleasant and slightly ticklish sensation. Lili had eventually even given up on training to contain her laughter as she relaxed her body against Vahn’s chest and simply laughed out loud, only taking a break when her abdomen tensed up and caused her to hold her breath.

Both girls were very slim, but Fenrir’s body could easily be described as ‘thin’ since she had no pronounced muscles on her body at all. Her skin was very smooth to the touch, but it was almost like she had no real fat on her body at all. As for Lili, she still had an incredibly petite and ‘frail’ looking figure, at least at first glance, but Vahn could feel the tension of her muscles as he passed his hand against her abdomen. She had been doing nothing but ‘full-body’ training ever since she began her apprenticeship under Tsubaki, so her entire body had been converted into a small bundle of incredible power. Whenever she tensed up, the lines of her abdomen became very pronounced for a brief moment and this hinted at the power bottled up inside of her diminutive frame. During those moments, Vahn felt like her skin had temporarily become as hard as steel and it was quite interesting…

This cycle continued several times before they finally decided to call it a day as lunch was fast approaching. To wrap things up, Vahn pulled out a large basin and shared a bath with the two girls while also updating their Status Boards to mark their progress. Because they had been pressing forward with an almost ‘mindless’ momentum, they had managed to kill a total of 1,002 Black Rhinos, and seventeen Deformis Spiders, in the eight hour period. Vahn had actually decided to call the excursion to an end at their 1,000th kill, but they couldn’t simply allow the two remaining monsters to go free. As for their progress, Fenrir’s had slowed down slightly but she was steadily nearing the peak of normal Level 3’s. As for Lili, her growth had nothing short of monstrous, which made a bit of sense considering she was only Level 2 and had awakened her Innate. The most important change, however, had been the fact that Vahn felt like his own body was beginning to ‘expand’ as he had started to reach the pinnacle of his parameter development for Level 3…

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[[Stats]]

Name: [Vahn Mason]

Age: 15

Race: Human, *sealed*

Parameter: [Danmachi: 1-4]

-Level:3(+)

-Power: 1906+(E415)->(A808)

-Endurance: 2221+(B733)->(SS1065)

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-Dexterity: 1807+(D597)->(S919)

-Agility: 1959+(E460)->(A867)

-Magic: 3562+(SSS2019)->(SSS2302)

Total:11455+(4224)->(5,961)

Soul Tier: 3 (Lord Soul)

[Karma]: 9023->9108

[OP]: 4,252,009

[Valis]: 643,884,901

Skills: [Will of the Emperor:SSS], [Rakshasa Body:E], [Keeper of the Akashic Tome:B], [Eyes of Truth: B],[Bow Mastery:S], [Stealth:B], [Chainbreaker:S], [Heart of the Eternal Flame:SS], [Prometheus:A], [Call of the Reaper:A],[Yggdrasil’s Favor:S], [Veil of the Traveler: S], [Featherfoot:B->A], [Hands of Nirvana:S], [Metallurgy:B], [Fist Strike:B->A], [Friend of Spirits:A]

Magic: [Thria*Mimos:C->B], [Shundo:B]

Development Skills: [Wound Transfer:S], [Spirit Healing:A], [Swordsman:A], [Master Smith:H], [Mixing:C], [Mentor:A], [Petting:E->D], [Mage:C]

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(A/N: Vahn’s current ‘limit’ is around 6500 parameters per Level, just as an FYI. If you’re curious why his parameters seemed to ‘explode’, its simply an illusion because I hadn’t mentioned it in a few chapters since it was focused on the other girls :P. Keep in mind that he is also using the [Seal of the Challenger] as well (UwU)~!)

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[[STATUS]]

Name: Liliruca Arde

Race: Pallum

LV. 2(+)

POW: 887+(D517)->(S943)

END: 941+(C652)->(A805)

DEX: 676+(F312)->(D558)

AGI: 598+(E429)->(C666)

MAG: 811+(C631)->(SS1002)

Skill: [Artel*Assist:B], [Atlas: Innate:I->G], [Prometheus’s Blessing:A], [Oniyuri:D]

Magic: [Cinder*Ella:A]

Development Skill: [Abnormal Resistance:F], [Spearman:(sealed), [Swordsman:(sealed)], [Crush:(sealed)], [Fist Strike:(sealed)]

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(A/N: See, Lili, now THAT is how you fill out a stat line…PLUS ULTRAAAA~! Btw, her ‘max’ would cap around 4500, though she could ‘endanger’ herself by pushing her body further to around 4700.)

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[[STATUS]]

Name: [Fenrir]

Level:3(+)

POW: E478->C611

END: F340->E495

DEX: C639->A850

AGI: C688->S900

MAG: G299->D513

Skills: [Insatiable Hunger:Innate(-)], [Lunar Cry:A], [Freezing Roar:A], [Chainbreaker:C], [Devour:SS], [Huntress:SS], [Endeavor:E->C], [Severing Claws:E->D]

Magic: –

Development Abilities: [Chain Attack:D], [Fist Fighter:(sealed)], [Acrobatics:(sealed)], [Mimickry:(sealed)]

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