It didn't take to long for Joshua to make his way out of the marsh and back up the cliff. When he had reached the top and gotten back into the beginners forest area Joshua decided to take a little breather and found a decent sized rock to sit on nearby. After being around the pressure that those giant beast were giving off for so long Joshua had to calm the tension that had built up in his body before deciding what to do next. The funny thing was he wasn't sure whether the tension was from fear of the pressure the giant alligator was giving off or excitement at the possibility of fighting it in the near future.
Now that he had made it back to the beginner area Joshua no longer had to worry about creatures attacking him in the vicinity. In fact when he sent out an aura pulse to check the place out anything that felt his presence immediately started running for their lives. Joshua smiled a bit at this, but it didn't particularly matter much for the moment. At first Joshua was thinking about heading back to the hub city he was assigned to and getting in some more training to max out on his stats once again before coming back out to explore some more. He could also try to do some research on alligator like beast to see what types of weaknesses that they had so he could take it on the next time he came back down to earth. The only problem was the fact that even if he did take down that monster there was no way he wouldn't want to explore the dungeon it seemed to be protecting.
'I guess I should go check out the beginner dungeon before heading back.' Joshua thought as a plan started to form in his mind. Although Joshua was strong and could take care of himself he also had no clue how dungeons actually worked with the system. Having his first dungeon experience be something that involved a completely unexplored dangerous dungeon without any form of back up wasn't a particularly good idea. He couldn't really ask for help since most of his friends were already far above the level of the dungeon so it would be a waste of time for them. On the other hand most new people would probably not have enough skill to enter the hidden dungeon with him if the group of four he had seen earlier were anything to go bye. Besides he didn't really want to work with people that he didn't know in the first place unless he felt they could build a decent relationship with each other.
In the end the best option he had was to go experience this beginner level dungeon and see how these things worked in the first place. At least then he would know what to expect when he explored the more dangerous dungeon when he came back later. After deciding what to do Joshua used the system to open up a map and locate where the dungeon for this area was at. The dungeon was closer to the middle of the forest sense it was most likely the hardest thing to go up against in this forest unless you were dumb enough to attack a wandering guardian.
It didn't take long for Joshua to find the area where the dungeon was located. When he arrived there were several other people at the place waiting for their turn to enter the dungeon. The place was in a rather large clearing in the forest and the only sign that there was actually a dungeon was a large door that popped up out of the ground in the center of the clearing. Most of the people around were in small groups that for the most part seemed to complement each other. From the way these people carried themselves they were still a bit new to fighting and exploring, but they were a step above the first group of people he had met. They had probably been on the verge of finishing their exploration of the beginner's area if Joshua had to guess. So the dungeon was probably the last obstacle in their way to prove that they were ready to go explore more dangerous locations.
He could see the level and names above some of the people in the area in a similar way to how he observed the beast from earlier. The system allowed people to show off their levels and even their jobs if they wanted too. This was a way for people to broadcast themselves and form groups before entering the dungeon. People that had already made groups kept their information hidden and just stuck together until it was their turn to go inside the dungeon. Joshua was the odd person out sense he was the only one there that was alone and had hidden his information from the others. Though most people could tell he could take care of himself just from the presence he gave off. Although he made sure to keep his aura under wraps his normal intensity still leaked through a bit in his excitement.
The pace at which people were able to enter the dungeon was quite fast with a new group going in every ten minutes or so. The exit had to have been somewhere else in Joshua's mind based off the fact he had yet to see a group come out of the dungeon during the time he was waiting. He highly doubted all these people went in and just disappeared or died inside. After about an hour long wait it was finally Joshua's turn to enter the dungeon. When he walked up alone a lot of the people looked at him curiously, but no one offered to group up with him. When he touched the door he felt his body getting transported in a similar way to whenever he went through a door the system generated. He found himself in a wide open white space for a moment before a screen appeared in front of him to read.
[Welcome to this beginner level dungeon, sense this is your first time entering a dungeon some things need to be explained for your benefit. First of all, dungeons will always be in the same level range as the area they are found in. For example this dungeon is for monsters ranging from level ten to fifteen. The monster inside dungeons are stronger than their counterparts outside of them. Just about all monsters inside dungeons will have at least one star by their names and often times more. Be careful when encountering groups of such monsters.]
Joshua nodded at this simple idea behind the dungeon. Thoren had already told him that dungeons were usually ruled over by strong beast so it came as no surprise to him that the monsters inside are stronger than the ones that could be found in the surrounding forest. Thinking about that made him wonder how strong the monsters in the hidden dungeon he found were going to be. If the guardian to the place was already a level four star giant then how strong would the ruler of the dungeon be.
[It is important to note that there are two types of dungeons. One being the system generated dungeons that are created based off of the area in its surroundings and are used as training grounds to a certain extent by the system. The current dungeon you are entering falls under this category. These types of dungeons have their own individual instances for each group that enters therefore you will not run into other people outside of those who you entered the dungeon with. The monsters in these dungeons are more regulated and even though they are challenging they are designed to help people of the proper level to grow stronger. The other type of dungeon is one that is created by the planet itself. These dungeons are more challenging with usually stronger beast inside that are not regulated in anyway. They can appear in any number and at just about any location inside the dungeon. These dungeons are far more difficult even for those that are on a higher end of the level range. It is possible to run into other people inside these dungeons sense they are not system generated and you should be careful to not drag enemies towards each other while inside.]
Joshua understood the main difference between these two types of dungeons. The system generated dungeons were most likely safer and he wouldn't be surprised if the system actually kept proper watch of those that entered these dungeons. The fact that only your group would be inside the instance also helped avoid confusion or trouble between different groups that entered the dungeon. The natural dungeons on the other hand were far more dangerous and had a more every man or group for themselves kind of vibe going on. Joshua would have to keep this in mind whenever he ran into such situations in the future.
[Lastly rewards from clearing dungeons differ depending on the dungeon, but all first attempts will be rewarded with a skill of some kind. Any attempts afterwards will be rewarded with different forms of items depending on the dungeon. Skills gained from dungeons are different from ones gained from jobs or soul beast. These skills can be used for a variety of different jobs or weapons and can be leveled up depending on how proficient you become at using them. That is all that you need to know before proceeding into this dungeon. Good luck on your exploration!]
When Joshua finished reading the message it faded away and another door appeared in front of him. Taking a deep breath Joshua made sure he had his sword positioned to where he could have it off his back and ready to fight at any moment. He let his aura flow throughout his body and he was prepared to explore his first dungeon. He walked forward and opened the door which lead into a dimly lit hallway that seemed similar to something you might find in an old adventure game. The walls were covered in moss and every so often a torch would be set up to give the area some lighting. For the most part the place was quiet with only the crackling of the flames making any sound until Joshua started to slowly walk down the hall way.
Joshua decided to be a bit careful and immediately sent out an aura pulse to see if he could find any traps going down the hallway, but everything seemed clear all the way up until the door on the far end of the hall. Joshua kept alert as he made his way towards the door. When he got close enough he could see the number of one and the letter 'F' on the door. Before he tried to open it he swiped in front of him to pull up his system screen to check and see if anything had changed before he went inside. When he looked at the map he noticed the surrounding forest had disappeared and what looked similar to a top down view of the hallway he had just walked down was there instead. Apparently he would have to map out the dungeon himself and based off of what was put on the door this was most likely just the first floor.
Joshua settled his emotions a bit before pushing open the door and checking out his new surroundings. The walls were very similar to the hallway except the place looked a bit more spacious. There were a couple of paths, but before Joshua picked one he sent out another aura pulse that traveled down each direction he could go. One of the path ways came to an end before the pulse finished while the other kept on going showing that it was most likely the right direction, but Joshua noticed a group of monsters at the end of the shorter path way. He decided to go check out exactly how strong these monsters were before going in the right direction. As he made his way down the hall way he could start to hear noises coming from up ahead of the creatures growling at each other.
When he got close enough the map on his system started to show a warning for danger ahead, but that was probably only because he could actually see the creatures from this distance. The little fur balls up ahead were similar to the horned rabbits he had faced the first time he came to the beginner area, but they seemed to be a bit larger and stronger. When Joshua observed their levels he noticed that they were either level thirteen or fourteen and all of the rabbit creatures had a one star by their names. As he got closer the rabbits seemed to notice him and started to prepare to attack him if he got any closer, but when Joshua stopped not too far away they didn't make any other movements.
"I guess I know what they mean by regulated now." Joshua said after getting a good idea of what was going on. The rabbits weren't attacking him unless he got close enough to them, but at the same time they weren't scared off by his aura like the ones from the forest had been. Joshua pulled out his sword and allowed his aura shroud to cover his body before charging towards them. The second he got within a certain range the rabbits started to charge towards him as well, but even though these rabbits were stronger than their counter parts they were still nowhere near strong enough to be a problem. With one swing of his sword he crushed the body of one of them while smashing the head of another. He then used his free hand to grab the horn of the closest one and then swung it at the last rabbit that continued to charge in recklessly. The impact sent both rabbits crashing into the wall. Before they could get back up he cut their heads off with one swift stroke and put all the bodies into his inventory.
He could feel that he gained a bit of experience, but it wasn't nearly enough to get close to leveling up. When he walked down to the end of the hall he found what looked like a treasure chest straight out of a role playing game. He decided to be careful and used an aura pulse to check for any traps, but he didn't find any. On the inside of the treasure chest a map appeared that was quickly integrated into the system and allowed him the structure of the entire first floor. Joshua simply smiled before heading back to explore more of the dungeon.