V2 Chapter 20: The old man battles against the boss.

The fight against the boss, the Minotaur has begun.

I started running directly towards the Minotaur as Selene caught up, giving an apology for being late to the front.

The Minotaur stood up from its crudely made throne, lowers its hips and points the large horn on its head in our direction. The horn then begins to glow.

It’s coming.

Selene held her shield up in an attempt to receive the attack.

 

 [Don’t get hit! Dodge to the side!!!] (Youya)

 

The situation was dire from the start, Selene who was delirious from the Minotaur’s roar earlier had forgotten the precautions that I had told everyone in advance before the battle. However, somehow Selene regained her senses as she attempts to jump to the side.

The next instant, a large impact roared throughout the room as the Minotaur disappeared from the throne. The ground between me and Selene begins to shake as if an earthquake had struck the room. Looking behind us, the Minotaur’s horn pierced the wall in the corner of the room.

That was the Minotaur’s signature move, Horn Crash. It was a skill that required a set amount of distance to accelerate to its maximum power, but it was the Minotaur’s most powerful charging technique. Just attempting to follow him with my eyes made it seem as if he had disappeared. It was said that the moment the Minotaur’s horn begins to glow, everyone has to jump to the side immediately. It wasn’t an attack that can be received using Fortress, it is an attack that is impossible to match.

However, it was an attack with a large range of motion, giving an opening of several seconds even after the horn begins to glow. Meanwhile, in that opening, it is a given that we have to dodge that attack. It may seem like a dangerous attack that easily slaughters every opponent, however it is an attack that is easily rendered ineffective if you were cautious from the beginning..

 

 [This is the power of a special monster… If I took that then I would be dead…] (Selene)

 

Selene’s voice trembled as she started to lose her grip on the battle. I hadn’t realized that her heart was this fragile in a life-threatening battle. The Minotaur finally recovered from his charge and turns around, charging with his axe. It’s target was Selene. Selene, while panicking directly received the axe with her shield. As a result, Selene’s body was blown and crashed into the wall from the Minotaur’s heavy attack. That is the result if she were to receive a blow head-on without using the spike to stabilize her footing.

 

 [Gah… Hah… This level of strength. Am I supposed to keep defending against this?] (Selene)

 

As Selene leaned against the wall, trying to recover from the previous attack, the Minotaur approached Selene and raised its axe. Selene began trembling as she stared directly at the axe, without any indication of preparing her shield. In that instant, arrows began to rain all over the Minotaur. Til was running around at a distance, biding her time releasing arrows one after another. However, that wasn’t all she was doing.

 

 [Lightning Arrow] (Til)

 

She released the beginner-tier magic, Lightning Arrow which struck at the speed of lightning simultaneously. It is a newly-obtained skill after she obtained the passive skill, Arrow Generation which increases the power of her arrows. Since it is a beginner tier magic which only struck a single target, it has a short casting time with high attacking power, furthermore it has a low mana consumption. As compared to the advanced tier magic, Thunder, it has a far higher damage to mana efficiency in this situation. Til began to shower the Minotaur with a volley of arrows and thunder.

 

 [GUUUUMOOOOOOOOOO!!] (Minotaur)

 

While getting struck by countless arrows and lightning arrows, the Minotaur stare directly at Til. It looks like it had changed its aggression completely towards Til as it ran towards her.

 

 [Selene, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and use War Cry!] (Youya)

 [Eh? Uhn.] (Selene)

 

Her reaction is too slow! The Minotaur is already approaching Til in a charge.

Our original plan was for Selene to hold the Minotaur’s aggression using War Cry. Otherwise, Til who was our party’s specialized attacker would be targeted first. If Til who has low defensive stats were to fall here, we will lose our party’s main firepower. Selene herself knew this fact. However, when the Minotaur released Horn Crush as its first attack, it was an attack which was meant to completely annihilate everything in its path. Selene’s head was completely dominated by fear after nearly losing her life and getting blown away from the monster’s basic attack.

 

 [Mr. Cow. You can’t just focus on the front, your sides are open. Assassinate!] (Luna)

 

Unnoticed, Luna who was running parallel to the Minotaur with similar speed almost condescendingly releases Assassinate as the ringing unique to critical hits could be heard throughout the room.  Assassinate is a skill that has a drastic increase to the damage dealt whenever it landed as a critical hit. The Minotaur whose weak point on its flank was stabbed by Luna, stomped the ground and bellowed in fury.

 

 [GYUUUNOOOOOOOOO]

 

The Minotaur raised its axe filled with fury and swung it downwards Luna. However it was easily avoided by Luna who did not overstep her boundaries as she immediately jumped backwards to avoid the attack, increasing the distance between her and the Minotaur. In our party, Luna played the vital role of being the middle-guard to follow up on our backline, Til’s attacks whenever she sees an opportunity to land a deciding blow. I had placed firm emphasis on that teaching. Although the Minotaur was irritated at Luna’s attack, its focus returned to its original target, Til. However Til had already created a distance between herself and the Minotaur and was preparing another volley of lightning and arrows. The Minotaur continued towards Til in rain of lightning and arrows as it caught up to her with pure speed and swung its axe. The axe which was moving towards Til’s head..

Was obstructed.

 

 [Good job Luna, thanks to you I made it in time.] (Youya)

 

Thanks to Luna’s distraction which caught the Minotaur’s attention for a few moments, I managed to close the distance and intercept the axe before it reached Til. Originally it was Selene’s role to be the tank, however as she was currently overwhelmed by the Minotaur’s strength. Until she recovers, I won’t have a choice but to be the tank in her stead.

I activated War Cry to catch the Minotaur’s attention. It has lesser of an effect as compared to a crusader, however it is still effective for a short amount of time as the Minotaur swung its axe down towards me. I used my signature Deflect to divert the blow away. It was an extremely heavy attack, however with my current status it is possible for me to completely divert it away. Selene earlier was also supposed divert the attack rather than receiving the attack head on.

If it was the usual Selene, then it was possible for her to do so. That was how I had trained her, however fear has clouded her judgement. Doesn’t matter how much power or skill a person possesses, so long as there isn’t the presence of mind capable of demonstrating it, it may as well be all for naught. In order to obtain the strength in your heart, it must be capable of overcoming your own fear.

I continued to take control of the Minotaur subsequent attacks while Til was continuing to fire volley after volley of arrows and lightning arrows towards him, slowly but surely damaging him.

Suddenly, the Minotaur threw away his axe and its two hands began to glow, resembling the activation of a skill.

It looks like it was coming as I immediately raised my concentration and focus to the limit.

 

 [GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA]

 

Hurricane Rush.

It is a flurry of powerful attacks coming from both its fists.

One, two Three. Even though I could deflect each blow to an extent, heavy fists continue landing one after another. Through my Deflect, my posture was steadily collapsing as the weight of each blow was higher than its normal attacks. The effect of the skill also included an increase in his defensive stats, making it pointless to interrupt the attack. For now, all I can do is to endure it.

At the ninth hit, with my posture completely disrupted, I had no choice but to receive the blow head on as I received the punch with my sword. While the punch was about to land, I jumped backwards and was blown backwards. I rolled on the ground in an attempt to kill the momentum before standing back up. Finally, his skill ended as the Minotaur suffered a backlash from the powerful Hurricane rush and remained on the spot.

 

 [Full of openings! Assassinate] (Luna)

 [Just how much do we have to attack before you fall!] (Til)

 

Luna landed another blow with Assassinate as Til fired yet another volley of arrows and lightning.

 

 [GUUUUUUUUUGGGGAAAAAAAA]

 

The Minotaur screamed in pain as it continued to accumulate damage from all the successive attacks. However there wasn’t any time to be relieved. From that one flurry of attacks, even with Deflect I still lost about 30% of my health.

This is a boss battle.

Once again, it’s aggression was focused on Til who had dealt a significant amount of damage and begins attacking her once more. Matter of fact at the moment is that I am unable to fight back against this opponent. Just Deflecting is taking all I have. Furthermore with each hit my accuracy is decreasing as my arms become numb. To add insult to injury, as I am unable to participate in the attacks, our damage output is garbage compared to our maximum potential.

In order to have a better chance of winning this battle, Selene’s power is necessary. Even if she did not continue in the battle, we could win but it will still be a tough battle. However, if we do not help Selene recover from this beating then she might have the memory of running away from this difficult battle. Fleeing from one battle and leading to another. Sooner or later she will never learn to step up whenever the push comes to shove. Having a tank whose first thought is to escape will never be a competent tank. While receiving the minotaur’s heavy blow, I shouted at the top of my lungs.

 

 [Selene! How much longer do you plan to just stand there!? Are you the kind of warrior that can only pick on monsters weaker than you!] (Youya)

 

Selene’s shoulders shuddered at my sudden outburst.

 

 [No matter how weak I was, I had always challenged the strong with feelings, with a craving for victory far stronger than anyone I have ever faced. Yearning for the strength to overwhelm them with my own. Isn’t that the figure you have always looked up to? You said that you always wished to be like me…. Unfortunately, my strength was always a counterfeit. And yet you still continued to look up towards me. That’s what I have always thought about you. If that is true, then show it to us, and bring out your courage!] (Youya)

 

Selene who was in a visibly miserable state lost her voice as she appeared unable to say anything, neglecting her own stance as her chest sunk into her knees. For an instant, her consciousness seemed to disappear, dissuaded by the power of the minotaur’s basic attack earlier.

 

 [GUMOOOO!] (Minotaur)

 

The minotaur’s attack continued as he threw another kick towards me. I tumbled to the side in order to avoid the first attack and stood up with conviction. With a swift motion, I took out the black magic sword and circled around the minotaur, slashing his open side.

 

 [GUMOOOOOOooo!] (Minotaur)

 

Even with Selene being in this state, Luna and Til continued to say nothing. Instead, they continued to convey their thoughts to Selene through their actions. No matter how afraid they were, they continued to perform their role and do what they had to do.

 

 [Selene, if you don’t stand up in this battle then you will never be able to change. CHOOSE! Continue to chase after the figure you wish to be, or continue to be satisfied raising your levels and your status! As your teacher I am telling you now, your strength and techniques are enough! Open up your eyes and look! Is this beast’s attacks sharper or faster than any of my attacks during your training!?] (Youya)

 

I may be forcing a hard decision onto her, but I know fully well how difficult it is to repair a broken spirit in the heat of battle. However, if we neglect this opportunity, then Selene will never be able to grow. Selene grinded her back teeth together, however the person herself didn’t move an inch.

Just when I thought it was hopeless.

 

 [War Cry!] (Selene)

 

Selene activated her provocation skill, pulling the monster’s aggression towards her. She activated a dangerous skill despite her trembling legs. The minotaur’s attention turned towards Selene as it charged towards her. Meanwhile, its axe regenerated and appeared in its hand. It swung its axe towards Selene as she held shield, however she hadn’t activated her spikes. She looked directly at the minotaur’s axe without blinking and lowered her upper body, holding her sheld at an angle.

 

 [Nice.] (Youya)

 

The spikes are effective and convenient to use, however it isn’t something that should be activated without any thought. Ideally, the spikes should only be used for powerful attacks that can’t be avoided. Aside from that, we should be handling the situation using our own techniques and combat skills while using the spikes to increase the effectiveness of Shield Bash.

By learning to deflect attacks to the side, you receive lesser damage as compared to receive an attack head on, plus it makes it easier to transition into an attacking stance. Furthermore, once it is used it can’t be used for a short period of time. This method also has the merit of allowing the person to reserve their Fortress for another time. This is the battle style of the Battle princess Renoir. Her current figure in battle is heavily reminiscent of the figure of Renoir seen in the game.

No, I’m mistaken, it’s not just her. Although she was using a shield, I could see a trace of my sword somewhere in her shield. That was proof that my teachings are being embedded into her.

 

 [Uncle Youya. I’m sorry. My eyes are finally opened. It’s attacks are heavy but its much slower, sloppier and softer to sink as compared to Uncle Youya’s attacks.] (Selene)-

 

Selene’s voice was still trembling, however I could feel her conviction behind her words.

 

 [Selene is late! However, now we can finally fight as planned.] (Luna)

 [Right? Selene is our tank, Youya is a close quarters fighter, Luna is our middle guard while I am in the back guard. That is how our party battles.] (Til)

 

Luna and Til shouted out a clumsy encouragement each as Selene smiled back while receiving the minotaur’s attack.

With this, we can finally demonstrate our original battle plan against the boss. Me and Luna crossed eyes as we began to run towards to the boss, Luna continued to the right while I turned to the left. Gathering magic power onto my left hand, it condenses and turns into a flame, burning brightly.

 

 [Assassinate.]

 [Napalm Strike.]

 

Now that its attention was completely occupied by Selene, I can afford to release a powerful attack. My left hand was imbedded into the minotaur’s flank as the explosive effect of the spell runs through its body. Meanwhile, Luna landed a critical attack using Assassinate. Simultaneously receiving a super high power spell on the left and the right, the minotaur was completely pushed back.

 

[UGAAAAAAAAAAAA] (Minotaur)

 

Without missing a beat, the minotaur further lowered its waist and turned its head towards Selene. Its horn began to glow. It was the characteristic of Horned Crash. In response, Selene began pouring mana into her shield, preparing to release her spikes.

Is she starting to get too excited and forgot my instructions? The explosive power of Horned Crash wasn’t something that could be prevented. Even if she uses her spikes and Fortress in preparation, it isn’t enough to protect her against the attack. It is an attack that can’t be stopped. However, looking at Selene’s composure, I decided to stay silent. She clearly remembers my words and wasn’t panicking just like earlier but with a look of conviction in her eyes. This was the move that she planned to bring for victory. Selene began to run forward.

Continue to run forward. With all your might!

 

 [HAAAAAAAAH.] (Selene)

 

The minotaur’s horn locked onto the figure of Selene who was currently running forward with her full strength and its skill was activated. The instant it was activated, Selene launched her spikes onto the ground and applies her entire weight onto her shield.

 

 [Fortress.] (Selene)

 

A wall of light appeared from Selene shield, the crusader’s special skill that increases their defense multiple times for several tens of seconds. However, Horn Crush was still too powerful to be stopped by her increased defense. However, that didn’t happen because Selene had ran forward. By closing the distance between her and the minotaur, the distance required for the minotaur to reach his sure-kill level of power was reduced, hence reducing the amount of power she received. When the minotaur collided with Selene’s wall of light, Selene was being pushed back, causing the spikes to gouge out the ground under her, throwing dust everywhere. In the end, Selene stood strong as the Minotaur failed to penetrate Selene’s shield and was actually damage by the recoil of its charge, breaking its horn. The minotaur’s defense was wide open when his horn was broken.

It was an opportunity to push the offensive.

 

 [Til!] (Youya)

 [I know that!] (Til)

 

I began chanting as Til concentrates her volleys of Lightning Arrows and normal arrows onto the minotaur’s stomach, gouging its flesh while simultaneously burning the area.

Electricity begins to crackle on my palm as the air around my palm begins to tremble. My long chant is finally over

 

 [Superconductive Bullet!] (Youya)

 

My customized magic made from Lightning Storm. By increasing the casting time and sacrificing its area of effect, the spell was remade into a single shot of lightning with explosive range and power. I fired the spell onto the exposed flesh at the minotaur’s belly,  further gouging out its flesh while burning the surrounding area, inflicting damage incomparable to Til’s damage and paralysis onto the minotaur. The next attack will decide the battle.

 

 [End it, Selene!] (Youya)

 

While I called out to Selene, I began moving towards Selene as she nods back, increasing her pace towards the minotaur.

Twist your hips and stick out your arms, eject the spikes as the arm is accelerated, increasing the acceleration of the spikes to the maximum.

 

 [Shield Bash!] (Selene)

 [God’s Strength!] (Youya)

 

I have watched her repeat this movement countless times, making it easy for me to match her timing. Just before her spikes crashed into the minotaur, Shield Bash converts her defense power into attack, and I amplify her increased power using my Customized Magic: God’s Strength for several moments.

Together with a loud explosion, her attack which was amplified multiple times pierces into the Minotaur’s stomach where we had previously attacked, penetrating its body and transferring all her kinetic energy into its belly, causing its stomach to bulge up like a balloon.

 

 [Your…Power…Seen. Reward…Items..However…Weakest.. Yet to see….Challenge… Real fear… Now on.]

 

It seems that the attack earlier was the finishing blow as the Minotaur says its last words before turning into blue particles, leaving behind two items. First was the item I’ve been hoping for, the Thread of Bonds which increases the party member limit. The second was the rare item unique to the minotaur, the Scarlet Horn. We’ve gotten extremely lucky ever since coming to Greenwood. First was the Starfish Larvae, second was the minotaur and now its the rare item drops.

After the Minotaur completely disappeared, Selene knelt on her knees as she had an astonished look on her face.

 

 [I.. won? I actually survived.] (Selene)

 [Yeah. You got of to a slow start but it was a magnificent ending.] (Youya)

 

This experience will serve well to give Selene courage in the future. Next time it won’t be so easy for her to be overwhelmed by fear, helping her grow significantly.

 

 [I see.. I’m glad. I was scared.. And couldn’t move my legs. Everything went white. The moment I heard uncle Youya’s voice.. I thought that I had to do it.] (Selene)

 

Selene jumped into my chest as I hugged her and pat her back.

 

 [Even so. You did it. You became stronger. This time, you are genuinely stronger.] (Youya)

 

At the start, Selene couldn’t help but panic as she faced death. However she still managed to pull it together and recover from her trauma. That was proof in of itself.

 

 [Now then, let’s return home. There should be a vortex somewhere at the back. We’ll continue the training once we are back but there will be a bonus for defeating the boss.] (Youya)

 

After hearing the word “bonus”, Luna and Til ran over.

 

 [Bonus!] (Luna)

 [Tonight is going to be another feast!] (Til)

 

The two girls began chanting and danced as if they were performing a ritual. I wonder where did they get this idea from.

 

 [Uncle Youya.. I have a request.] (Selene)

 [What is it?] (Youya)

 [I don’t have any strength left in my legs.. Could you carry me.] (Selene)

 

Selene said her request with a bright red face. I smiled bitterly at her request.

Till the bitter end, she still hasn’t changed a bit. I guess that can’t be helped.

 

 [Kyaaa. This is embarrassing.] (Selene)

 [Today is a special day.] (Youya)

 

Instead of the usual piggyback, I carried her with a princess carry as a reward for working her hardest today.

 

 [Youya~, Luna’s legs can’t move too.] (Luna)

 [Me too!] (Til)

 

The two girls who seemed to have completed their rituals had envious looks as they sat on the ground.

 

 [Give me a break. I can’t carry three people at once. Maybe another time.] (Youya)

 [Roger that!] (Luna)

 [It’s a promise okay!] (Til)

 

The two people who claimed to be exhausted suddenly jumped up in excitement.

Seriously? These girls.. Well I have to admit that this is kinda fun.

Now then, it’s time for us to return. Let’s not forget the reward for breaking through the trial for today. We seem to be celebrating a lot recently, however today was definitely a good day for a celebration.

Above all, it’s been extremely fun.

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