Chapter 889: Embrace

While managing things, and generally enjoying his time back at the Manor, Vahn spent much of his focus on what was going on inside the Dungeon. Though the tensions in Haven were a bit strange between the HDF and those who had returned to continue the construction efforts, Vahn had the assistance of several Captains within the Alliance to manage the administrative and logistical duties on his behalf. In exchange for allowing them to build branches for their Familia within Haven, Vahn was able to borrow their expertise while his primary focus was on the 60th Floor and, very soon, beyond.

Presently, Vahn was helping to clear away the artificial constructs within the 60th Floor while Ais, Tiona, and Tione, wanting to test their skills, fought off any monsters that spawned. Thus far, other than the standard Berserkers, there were the occasional Berserker Chieftan and, even rarer, a miniature Berserker with blue fur that Tiona had named Cobalt Terror after being the first to encounter it. Though only around 130-150cm in height, these minotaur-like creatures were exceptionally fast compared to their larger counterparts. Also, instead of wearing the heavier armor of their kin, the Cobalt Terrors would wear a cloak to conceal their figure while assaulting with a pair of pitch black shortswords, comprised almost entirely of Mithril.

One of the largest boons thus far was the fact that, other than standard Drop Items like horns and hide, the Berserkers, more specifically their variants, had a high chance of dropping natural Mithril weapons and armor. Mithril was a relatively rare resource on the surface so, having monsters drop it at a somewhat reliable rate, was an extremely important discovery. The 60th Floor would likely become a place that is heavily farmed by skilled Adventurers in the future, as obtaining even a single mace or armor drop could earn you upwards of a billion Valis with the current market. This was also a godsend for blacksmiths as well, being that the prices would inevitably begin to lower while the availability of the rare resource would continue to increase…

Currently, Vahn was tearing away a piece of the artificial construct and stowing it into his inventory as he casually remarked, “Five more are about to spawn while a Cobalt Terror is sneaking up from the corridor to the south…” Upon hearing this, Tione flexed her left arm while placing her hand against her bicep, shouting, “Yosh! Leave this batch to me!” Tiona, having already prepared for battle, made a pouting expression as she remarked, “Come on, Tione, you just fought the last group five minutes ago…!” As for Ais, she was using her [Gram] to break parts of the artificial dungeon so that Vahn could stow them away, only fighting if there was a monster party or an interesting enemy.

Hearing Tiona’s words, Tione snorted before asking, “And how many enemies, exactly, have you killed so far…? Besides, I need the chance to improve myself against enemies like this…” Presently, Tiona was far stronger than she was so Tione wanted to fight against tough monsters in order to close the distance, even a little. Though they weren’t particularly strong, at least compared to how strong she had become, the Berserkers were surprisingly skilled. They worked well together and, even though their strength was only around Level 4-5, their ‘berserk’ state could even endanger a Level 6 when they were grouped up.

Instead of arguing, Tiona just plopped down onto the Dungeon’s floor, finding a cushion beneath her before her rump had impacted the hard bedrock. This caused her pouting expression to turn into a smile as she kicked her feet out and said, “Thank you, Vahn~!” in a sing-song voice. Though he had continued to almost mechanically dispose of the artificial parts of the Dungeon, Vahn was still paying attention to everything happening around them. He gave a small nod towards Tiona before turning his eyes to Tione and saying, “You can do it, Tione…” in a calm tone of voice.

Tione brandished the large bladed ring she often used to fight, a confident smile on her face as she said, “Obviously~!” In the next moment, Tione arched her back while spinning around, creating a large momentum as she threw her artifact toward where the Dungeon wall had cracked. The ring immediately began heating up along its edges, cutting through two of the spawned Berserkers in an instant. This caused the other three to release loud howls, their bodies inflating as their fur began shimmering with a vibrant red hue. From the side corridor, the hidden Cobalt Terror launched itself towards Tione’s back with enough momentum to cause the Dungeon to tremble when it kicked against the floor.

Tione’s body was shrouded in a yellow aura from her use of [Cantus Bellax], allowing her to almost completely ignore the two swift blades cutting towards her. She had leaned forward at a low angle, palms against the ground, as she kicked into the chest of the Cobalt Terror before launching herself towards the other three enemies. Her strike had left a dent in the monster’s chest but, after a bluish mist escaped the wound, it had already completely healed. However, even in this small span of time, Tione had already closed the distance with one of the Berserkers. She had jumped directly towards its face, planting her feet against its collar bones, before yanking the two fierce horns protruding from the sides of its head. As a result, the monster’s head and spine were pulled free from its body as Tione jumped away, extending her hand to catch her artifact that had just bisected another one of the Berserkers on its return vector.

As she caught the circular blade out of the air, Tione used the momentum of its return to twist her body around, intercepting a lunge from the Cobalt Terror in the process. This attack had enough momentum to launch her back but this had been intentional on Tione’s part as she extended her hand and shouted, “Magic Arrow, Penetrating Stone~!” Though her skill with Magic was much higher than her sister’s, Tione’s foundation in the arts was still shallow, At most, she could only use [Sagitta Magicka] up to three arrows, with her go-to spell being a single enhanced shot that relied on her own physical strength for increased momentum.

Appearing as though it was shot from her hand, a 20cm long bolt of stone, comprised of Earth Elemental energy, impacted into the chest of the Cobalt Terror. Like most monsters, it had no real resistance to magical attacks and had been defenseless against the sudden attack that tore a gaping hole in its chest. She hadn’t hit its magic core, but the damage was severe enough to make the monster drop to the ground before turning to dust a few moments later. In that time, Tione had sent out her artifact once again, cutting off the head of the surviving Berserker who hadn’t even had enough time to finish its full transformation. After all, from the very start of the fight, only eleven seconds had passed…

Even so, Tione released a heavy sigh before retrieving her artifact and rolling her shoulders, feeling slightly fatigued from the short fight. Though there weren’t many enemies that spawned on this Floor, their strength wasn’t anything to scoff at. If they didn’t go all-out from the start, it wasn’t impossible for them to sustain heavy injuries in a very short period of time. This was because, on average, the instantaneous acceleration of a berserker could easily reach between 800-900 meters per second. If you were caught unprepared, it wasn’t impossible that you would end up as meat paste that was plastered against the hard walls of the Dungeon. This wasn’t a Floor most people could safely navigate and, without the ‘standard’ strength of a Level 7, most people would be killed by a group of Berserkers in their first engagement.

From the moment an Adventurer descended past the 59th Floor, the danger level increased exponentially. Vahn had probed down into the 61st Floor after failing to find the One-Eyed Black Dragon’s avatar anywhere on the 60th. It was here that he encountered something wholly unexpected…though the 61st Floor shared the crystalline structure of the 60th, the type of monsters that emerged there were far more dangerous than the Berserkers. Though they would only appear in groups of 1-3, every enemy on the 61st Floor that Vahn had encountered was a type of Slime…

The 60th Floor was a test of physical strength, speed, and awareness, but the 61st Floor was a place where these things were almost useless. Unless you had Magic Items or a means to counter the specific type of Slime you encountered, it was impossible for most Adventurers to proceed any further. This was because Slimes were almost completely immune to physical attacks unless you had indestructible weapons and could destroy their ‘invisible’ core in a single blow. The reason for this was simple, as the basic makeup of a Slime’s body consisted of an acidic substance that could melt down almost any material in a very short period of time…

Vahn speculated that it was research into Slimes that had been the catalyst for the acidic blood possessed by the plant-like creatures in the past. However, even that paled in comparison to the original and, unless you were fully prepared to deal with them, becoming a victim to a Slime was a terrifying ordeal. Though they melted equipment almost instantly, the process of destroying organic material was completely different for a slime. For metals, they broke them down as waste while the purpose of breaking down organics was for consumption. This process was ‘much’ slower than the former, meaning a person would have to suffer having their bodies slowly dissolved if they were unfortunately captured by a Slime…

The most troubling part was that, barring the ability to kill them instantly, the only reliable means to deal with Slimes was by using Magic. Even that wasn’t entirely reliable, however, as some Slimes would be completely immune to specific Magic. Since most Mages were limited to only three spell slots, their versatility was severely lacking. At the same time, Magic using the pre-existing system was horribly inefficient, making it very difficult to continue fighting for long periods of time. Though the spawn rate of Slimes seemed very slow, making them relatively easy to deal with, this was only the case in ‘normal’ circumstances…

Like all monsters, Slimes also had Variant and Rare species, excluding the basic Elemental Slimes that would appear. During his limited exploration, Vahn had encountered what he named as a ‘Mimic Slime’ and a ‘Slime Colony’, two terrifying enemies that would be the bane of any unprepared party. The Mimic Slime was a ‘trap’ monster that would take on an appearance that matched the crystalline floor and ceiling of the Dungeon. If you tried to pass over this type of Slime, you would immediately become entrapped in its body while, passing under it, would result in a similar outcome. As for the Slime Colony, they were much easier to locate but significantly more dangerous than even the Mimic Slime. This was because a Slime Colony consisted of dozens of Slimes that had fused together, making them several times larger than normal. Not only did this make them more resistant to magic attacks but any physical attack against them would cause the Slime Colony to ‘explode’, separating the Slimes into their individual parts as they swarmed you…

Because of the dangers of the 61st Floor, Vahn had prevented the girls from venturing any lower than the 60th, at least for the time being. Though he intended to venture deeper for his training, during which time they would likely accompany him, Vahn didn’t want them to become the victim of some unexpected horror. It was obvious that the type and nature of monsters would vary greatly as they descended further and, with how dangerous just these two Floors were, Vahn knew they would need to exercise caution before probing too deep. After all, even in the Divination, the Frontier Party led by Bell had only made it down to the 73rd Floor.

Considering that a ‘god-tier’ monster like Typhon had been present on the 60th Floor, it was highly likely that there would even be monsters that could rival the gods in the depths of the Dungeon. Without training in a higher-tiered system of Magic, or breaking through the limits of the Falna, it was almost impossible to conquer the Dungeon. Vahn, however, was confident that they would be able to do so by working together. In the future, it was even likely that people would venture into the Floors beyond the 60th with similar confidence, finding monsters like Beserkers and Slimes as small annoyances instead of dangerous enemies. This would heavily depend on the success of the School, the Academy, and the propagation of Magic Items and Equipment as Haven continued to flourish…

In a few decades, the average strength of Adventurers would likely reach Level 5-6, instead of being around Level 2-3. Instead of one man being crowned ‘King’, even though he was only Level 7, there would be numerous individuals that were able to breach that ‘peak’ in their twenties. On the other end of the spectrum, it was possible that Mages and Scholars may have just as much power and influence as ‘Leveled’ individuals. After all, the blessing of a god wasn’t required to become strong, it just helped promote the potential of the recipient. Even without joining a Familia, it was possible that the world would one day have several powerful individuals that were beyond the system of Levels entirely…

While thinking such thoughts, Vahn felt a large amalgamation of mana converging on their location, causing him to plainly state, “Monster Party.” This time, he turned his attention away from his work and pulled out his bow, feeling a little bored with the monotonous task. As he nocked an arrow and fired it towards the first enemy, Vahn knew the future didn’t solely belong to Mages. He intended to make the ‘Knight’ and ‘Magic Knight’ classification popular in the future as well, similar to those that existed in Eva’s record. From observing the school children, Vahn knew that people had different natures and personalities that dictated whether or not they were suited to specific types of magic. There may even be some, like himself, who had a natural disposition towards the bow.

With a stoic expression on his face, Vahn was loosing groups of five arrows between 5-7 times a second. His attacks liked like rain that was tearing sideways through the air, accurately piercing the magic core of any enemy unfortunate enough to fall under his gaze. It hadn’t been his intention, but Vahn’s proficiency with the bow had always been leaps and bounds above his other weapons. Now, he was beginning to fully embrace this fact and, instead of trying to force his skill with the bow and spear to develop further, he accepted that his talents lay in hand-to-hand combat and the mastery of the bow. He simply lacked the dedication and focus required to truly master other weapons while, ever since he had arrived in this world, his skill with the bow had always increased very naturally…

Because it had helped him survive, Vahn’s appreciation and mastery of the bow had, in a way, become his means for securing his life. This held true when he first entered the Dungeon, still lacking the strength to fight head-on, and during emergencies like his first encounter with the Juggernaut. If not for the effort he had put into mastering the bow in the past, Vahn knew he wouldn’t have even been able to leave the forest. Even his first major quest would have ended in failure, as there were no practical means for him to deal with the Goblin Chief and his horde. Now, with the benefits of both Artemis’ and Freya’s blessings, Vahn was determined to push his mastery with this most faithful weapon of his to the extreme…

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[[Stats]]

Name: [Vahn Mason]

Age: 16

Race: Progenitus, *sealed*

Parameter: [Danmachi: 1-4]

-Level: 6(+)

-Power: 4001+(D564)->(C606)

-Endurance: 5713+(C629)->(A889)

-Dexterity: 5156+(C699)->(SSS1292)

-Agility: 4492+(D545)->(SSS1108

-Magic: 11611+(SSS1208)->(SSS2411)

Total: 30,973+(3645)->(6306)

Soul Tier: 3 (Lord Soul)

[Karma]: 439,202,192->439,293,231

[OP]: 239,633,417->251,941,664

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com
[Valis]: 7,998,400,002->9,494,405,480

Skills: [Will of the Emperor:SSS], [Rakshasa Body:C], [Keeper of the Akashic Tome:B], [Eyes of Truth: B], [Archery Goddess’ Blessing:SSS], [Stealth:S->SS], [Chainbreaker:S], [Heart of the Eternal Flame:SS], [Prometheus:A], [Call of the Reaper:A], [Yggdrasil’s Champion:SSS], [Yggdrasil’s Favor:S], [Veil of the Traveler: S], [Featherfoot:S], [Hands of Nirvana:SSS], [Metallurgy:B], [Fist Strike:S], [Friend of Spirits:A], [Void Ward:A], [Temptation:I]

Magic: [Thria*Mimos:S], [Shundo:SS], [Koku Shundo:B], [Cantus Bellax:S], [Mellodia Bellax:B], [Vis Maxima:B], [Sagitta Magica:S], [Pactio:S], [Magia Erebea:SS], [Dios Tukos:C]

Development Skills: [Blessing of Freya:SS](new), [Wound Transfer:S], [Well of Spirit:A], [Swordsman:A], [Master Smith:H->G], [Mixing:C], [Mentor:A], [Lapidary:B], [Grooming:A], [Arch Mage:F], [Allure:D], [Leadership:D] [Blessing of Freya]

Rank: SS

Use:(Passive): Greatly increases the learning speed of all combat arts, including skills, magic, and abilities. Enhances the efficacy of all charm related skills and improves the users appeal to the opposite sex. Moderate boost to sexual stamina.

[Yggdrasil’s Champion]

Rank: (SSS)

Use: Allows the user to draw upon the energy of [Yggdrasil’s Heir], giving them nigh-inexhaustible

energy and endless vitality. So long as this skill persists, the user will possess eternal life and the ability to purify all negative energies.

[Leadership]
Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

Rank: D

Use: Allows the user’s voice to carry over great distances, making it easily discernable by allies. Increase the impact and believability of the user’s words, allowing them to motivate and inspire others. Provides a small increase to the mental resistance and natural recovery of allies.

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(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Hard Work, Boring Work’,’Slimes imba, please nerf…’,’*pew pewing intensifies*’)

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