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Published at 16th of August 2019 09:05:33 AM

Chapter 838

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Though it was supposed to be a 'Dead Zone', where not too many monsters were known to spawn, what awaited the expedition on the 40th Floor were waves upon waves of enemies. The majority were Loup Garou, the 130cm tall musclebound wolfmen known for their sharp claws and high agility, but there were also Skull Sheep and Peluda in support. The Skull Sheep were bigger than the Loup Garou and had black cloaks covering the skeletal bodies, making it hard to predict their attacks as they used spears to try and assault the expedition. As for the Peluda, they were actually formed into lines at the back of the waves, using their poisoned spines to try and assault from a distance...

Leading these organized assaults were several Variant Monsters that Vahn knew were under the influence of Enyo. He suspected that some were Xenos but, fortunately, they didn't possess the same level of intelligence and it seemed more like they were part of a 'collective' instead of having any individual intelligence. As long as these monsters remained on the battlefield, the other monsters were far more organized in their attacks. They became the priority targets of the Strike Forces led by Ais and Tiona while Lefiya, Ryuu, and Arnya assaulted from a distance. Haruhime was still protected by Lili and Mikoto while Chloe, Maemi, Emiru, and Tione assisted Ais and Tiona.

Fortunately, the moment their 'leaders' were taken out, the monsters would become more chaotic, making them slightly more dangerous but also easier to route. With the expedition focused primarily on defense, forming a tightly packed convoy that made slow and steady progress, the number of injuries was kept to a minimum. Those that did end up taking a spear, spine, or arrow, knew to remove the barb as quickly as possible, marveling at how their wounds would almost instantly heal. With Vahn's support, so long as you didn't immediately suffer a fatal blow, you only needed to deal with a very temporary pain before you were already back in the fight...

Keeping a calm expression, even as holes would occasionally dot his body, Vahn remained vigilant and periodically used his domain to support the girls while looting the monster cores and drop items. The expedition used a lot of crossbow bolts, arrows, and [Burst Oil] to deal with the monster hordes, requiring Vahn to supplement the OP expenditure with the loot left behind by monsters. It was a good thing that the cores and drops were typically worth a lot more than most of the supplies and resources used up by the expedition, or he would be drawing a deficit as they pressed forward...

By the time the expedition had fought tooth and nail to reach the 44th Floor, nearly twelve hours had passed. During this time, Vahn had managed to accumulate nearly 7m OP, a monstrous amount that actually made Vahn's blood boil with excitement. He needed, at the bare minimum, ten billion Origin Points if he wanted to complete his [I Shall Seal The Heavens] Quest. Though his expenses were rather costly, Vahn estimated it would only take around 1200 days to accumulate the required amount, assuming things continued as they were. Though this would probably overtax the Alliance greatly, meaning he would need to put a stop to the endless waves of monster, Vahn still felt hopeful for the future.

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If Enyo was truly on the 60th Floor, Vahn was confident they would be able to deal a critical blow to her forces within the next few months. Beyond the 60th Floor, there were undoubtedly numerous powerful monsters that would be worth a plethora of OP. That being the case, so long as he didn't breach through Tier 4, Vahn knew he would be able to increase his reserves exponentially once Enyo was dealt with. Though he would undoubtedly be busy with other countries, and had more than a few things to resolve back on the surface, it was still possible for him to probe into the Dungeon's depth, drastically increasing his combat potential and OP earnings. Dealing with Enyo would be like finding his footing on a stepping stone that immediately launched him closer toward the future he sought...

Before transitioning into the 44th Floor, Vahn erected a barrier around the expedition and gave the signal to all the Unit Commanders to pass their orders. Everyone in the expedition had two of the [Sage Aldrnari's Relief], the potions that had been brewed by Terra and Naaza. It was the same emerald green potion Vahn had given to Finn before the expedition had set out, allowing the user to replenish their stamina and stave off fatigue temporarily. At the same time, he was using his [Hands of Nirvana] to alleviate a bit of the stress everyone was feeling after fighting almost non-stop for twelve hours. Though it was tempting to stop and rest here, especially since there would be even more monsters in future Floors, their momentum would take a hard hit that would make it even more difficult to recover after such a setback...

Fortunately, the 44th through the 48th Floor could almost be classified as Vahn's domain, as the overabundance of fire elemental energy gave him a massive advantage. It was also an area where the number of monsters attacking them would be greatly restricted, as many monsters simply couldn't survive in the fiery dominion for long periods of time. The only major threats would be Flame Rocks, which weren't a real threat at all, given the fact that Vahn could simply kill them the moment they entered into his domain. Any other monsters that tried to badger them would have to contend against a veritable ocean of fire, provided by the Dungeon and manipulated freely by Vahn.

Once everything was ready, Vahn entrusted Shizune and Tina to Haruhime, as she, Lili, and Mikoto would be able to protect them in an emergency. Then, after taking up the banner of the Alliance from Finn, Vahn waved it proudly and gave a loud bellow that shook the very Dungeon itself. With his own resolution igniting like a volcano about to explode, Vahn shouted, "Onwards! For the future of Orario! For all that we hold dear! Do not slow your steps and allow this accursed Dungeon to stop our advance! We are the hope that will vanquish the darkness and light the way towards the future!"

He didn't expect them to shout or cheer, but Vahn wanted to at least bolster the morale of the expedition a little. To his surprise, however, nearly every single person within the expedition released loud war cries in response to his words. Though it could be an illusion, Vahn felt like a wave of power passed through his body, effectively causing the volcano within to erupt as he joined them with a cry of his own. Then, without any hesitation, Vahn pointed the banner forward and proceeded into the 44th Floor proper. Almost immediately thereafter, several disguised Flame Rocks exploded into fragments as Vahn forcibly 'ripped' the composite Fire Elemental energy in their bodies away. For golems that were comprised almost entirely of stone and magma, they simply stood no chance the moment he became aware of them...

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Unlike the previous Floors, the expedition pressed into the 44th Floor at a much faster pace than before. Vahn eliminated every Flame Rock within his domain and waved the banner around like it was a baton that could manipulate the tidal flood of flames under his control. Any variant monsters that showed up to bar their passage were buried within the flow of these flames as the girls grouped up to eliminate anything that tried to attack the flanks and rare of the expedition. Fenrir put on a big performance of her own here, sending out waves of Ice Elemental energy that, after contacting the fiery terrain, would explode from the temperature differential. She was able to use relatively weak attacks to great effect, riling up the expedition members even more as they actually began something akin to a war chant while marching forward...

Vahn was absolutely certain that he drew power from other people at this point, as the flood of energy in his body almost seemed infinite. The calm within his mind and body was every present, but there was also a fierce motivation burning inside of him that made it feel like he was a tsunami washing over the land. Every time the expedition chanted, Vahn almost felt compelled to make a hurrah of his own, brandishing the banner with a fervor that seemed intent to cut through the very darkness of the Dungeon around them. This, in turn, inspired the expedition members even further, creating a positive feedback loop that caused the Dungeon itself to tremble from the overwhelming momentum they were generating. Each step of the expedition seemed to be in concert, shaking the Floor like an earthquake as waves of bolts and arrows immediately killed anything that even dared to slow their advance...

While this phenomenon continued to loop and compound upon itself, a massive monster that didn't exist within the monster compendium broke free from the Dungeon wall and tried to stop the expedition's advance. It was a behemoth of a creature that looked like a giant wingless dragon that was almost entirely comprised of dark black stone and molten crag. It had several overlayered plates that seemed incredibly durable while a fiery glow spewed forth from its eyes and mouth. All around its body, there was poisonous smoke and smog and, when it released a heaven-shattering roar, the surrounding stone began to bubble and crack as small spouts of magma erupted from the Dungeon's walls, floor, and ceiling.

In response to the monstrous monster's roar, Vahn raised the Alliance banner high and, as if they had agreed to it beforehand, the entire expedition gave a loud war cry along with him. When Vahn dropped the banner down, pointing it towards the unknown monster's head, several links of [Enkidu] burst out of the void and bound the creature in an instant. Vahn then vanished from within the air, appearing atop one of the meter-thick plates on the monster's back before he 'planted' the Alliance's banner down. It was actually an S-Rank item that was made to be nigh-indestructible so that it would always be present and inviolable within a battlefield, so it was able to resist the force of Vahn's blow.

As the sharp point of the banner embedded itself into the monster's back, the plating shattered in an instant and the chains of [Enkidu] tightened, pulling it to the ground. Raising the banner once again, Vahn dropped it for a second time, now causing the hard hide of the monster to fragment and shatter as it released a howl and started to condense a large amount of energy within its throat. Vahn snorted, extending his hand to create a membrane of source energy within the monster's maw as the wave of Fire Elemental energy surged forward. It impacted the barrier Vahn had formed, spreading omnidirectionally and causing the monster's head to explode from its own attack.

With one final war cry, Vahn lifted the banner for a third time before impaling it straight into the massive core that must have weighed a few thousand kilograms. The force of his strike was enough to shatter this core apart, causing the monster to turn to purple, black, and yellow dust. This was confirmation that the creature had been 'infected' by Enyo, even if it wasn't under her complete influence just yet. He quickly looted all of the drop items and core fragments before raising the banner once again, this time with the entire expedition shouting out while he simply smiled victoriously. The fact they were calling out his name made Vahn feel like he could bisect the entire Dungeon by planting the banner once again, even if he knew this wasn't the case.

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Now, even faster than their already quick pace, the expedition continued forward with a monstrous momentum. Vahn continued to clear out everything barring their passage while all straggling monsters were wiped out with overwhelming force. This was definitely a waste of resources and OP, but Vahn didn't care about such trivial things right now as he brandished both the banner and [Laevateinn] together, directing his own flames to consume anything that tried to slow them down. By the time eight hours had passed, the expedition had used its unstoppable momentum to move directly into the notoriously dangerous 49th Floor. However, instead of stopping to try and defend against the coming attacks, Vahn held out the banner and allowed a very excited Tiona to receive it.

Unlike the 48th Floor, the 49th Floor was one massive room, known colloquially as Moytura, the realm of the Monster Rex, Balor. There were no grass or trees located anywhere, leaving only desolate red sand and stone to dot the landscape. Other than the massive pillars that would obstruct the view of anyone passing through, there were no actual obstructions to advancement, which was a 'trap' that the Dungeon made use of. This was the Floor where thousands of monsters would band together in waves to try and overwhelm even normal expeditions. With their expedition being much larger than any other throughout history, it wasn't surprising to Vahn when what seemed like an endless flood of monsters began converging on their position.

Unfortunately for these monsters, which consisted of more than a hundred-thousand Fomoire, goat-like monsters that were known for their massive groups, they had a very exploitable weakness. Being brute creatures that had an almost Pure Darkness Elemental affinity, they were extremely vulnerable to magic, especially of the Ligh variety. Vahn had Lefiya come to his side and she had already started to chant, "Gather, 101 spirits of light, strike my enemy. Magic Arrows, Convergence of 101 Light Arrows~!" Two magic circles appeared behind Lefiya while another appeared in front of her hand, converging together all 101 Light Elemental arrows as Vahn reached out his hand, grasping the incredibly painful ball of magic as he shouted, "Fixate. Seize. Load magic, 'Emperor of Light'!"

Vahn felt like every cell in his body had incinerated in an instant as the Light Elemental energy forcibly fused together with the fundamentally negative energy of his [Magia Erebea]. If not for his body being comprised of Source Energy, it would be impossible to achieve this feat as even attempting to do so would have broken his body down almost instantly. Now, though it was a very painful form to take, Vahn's skin had turned almost translucent white as spirals of pure white energy coiled around his arms, torso, and legs. At the same time, six angelic wings spread from his back while his hair more than doubled in length, taking on a pure gold color that radiated with divine light. His eyes no longer had sclera at all, instead, taking on the appearance of orbs of light as Vahn seemingly illuminated the entire Floor.

The monsters, which had been pressing forward with a fervent madness that seemed nigh-unstoppable, not stopped dead in their tracks. They held their forearms up to try and cover their faces as the few Variants among them tried to use magical barriers to protect their troops. Seeing this, Vahn raised his index finger towards one of the variants and, inserting a small amount of Source Energy into the attack, sent a beam of light that instantly penetrated through the barrier. The Variant Fomoire, which would have the average strength of a Level 5 Adventurer, immediately broke down into purple dust the moment the beam pierced its core. Even then, it didn't stop moving forward and Vahn could 'feel' his attack actually pierce through several Floors of the Dungeon in an instant...

Even without him prompting her to do so, Tiona raised the Alliance banner high in the sky and gave a loud war cry as a smile spread across Vahn's face. Then, raising his hands like a master pianist who was about to perform his greatest masterpiece, Vahn's fingers began to dance through the air, playing a song of purification and death as beams of light rained down upon the endless ocean of Fomoire...

(A/N: Last EPIC for today since I had lost power earlier and had to rewrite this chapter from scratch xD...I kinda like how it ended up though. Vahn got to be a badass this chapter (UwU)~!)

(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Wow, such OP, very cool','The [Will of the Emperor] is the Will of his People~!','Angel of Death...')

https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)


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