By the time Joshua got back on to the right path and had made it all the way down to another intersection he had already encountered another couple of groups of the horned rabbit monsters that stood in his way. These monsters weren't very smart and outside of looking cute could only charge in straight ahead to attack. They were a bit nimble, and could probably avoid the attacks of someone of lower strength, but even an average level eleven or so person could use tactics to whittle these things down if they weren't strong enough to take them out in one shot.
One thing Joshua did notice was the fact that these rabbits stayed in far bigger groups inside the dungeon then they did outside in the forest. So far the biggest group he had run into had six rabbits that all charged towards him once he got close enough to get within their hostile range. It wasn't much trouble for Joshua, but thinking back on the first group he had met in the beginner area they would easily be overrun by such a large group. Of course if they had trained enough to gain a few levels then they could probably handle themselves better, but it would still be quite troublesome for their type of group.
After exploring several different parts of the first floor of the dungeon Joshua had come across several treasure chest whenever he explored dead ends or set aside rooms that he had checked out with his aura pulse. Up to this point none of the chest had traps and the only other things found in the rooms were small groups of monsters, but Joshua had the feeling that would change going forward. It was as if the dungeon was trying to settle him in for now, but planned on making things more difficult as he got further in.
He didn't actually gain all that much from the treasure chest. For the most part he got gear that was far worse than the gear he was already using. Most of the gear would probably be useful up to level twenty or so, but after that enemies with higher stats would have no trouble ripping such equipment apart. He tried out one of the swords he gained on a lone rabbit and was a bit disappointed at how weak it was in comparison to the one he was use to using. If he had used that sword against the frogs or lizards from the marsh then all of his blows would have just glanced off their slippery skin or tough scales.
In the end Joshua just tossed the beginner level gear into his inventory so that he could sell it to the system or bring it to Nathan's shop later. He would get a few points from the system for it, but it might be better to give it to Nathan and Naomi so that they could get some ideas for their future creations. The one thing he gained from the treasure chest that was incredibly useful were a few potions, that after a quick observation Joshua was able to figure out that they were used for healing wounds. They would be useful in case he ever took injuries that took to long for his regeneration to heal. Without a healer being around these potions were a god send for when he decided to go into tougher dungeons. Joshua made sure to store these away and not waste them.
After exploring a large portion of the first floor he finally came up to a far more open space that was a bit different from the rest of the first floor. The room was of decent size for him to move around in unlike the smaller hallways that had made it hard for him to use his large scale blade to its full capability. At the far end of the room he could see a door that seemed to lead to where he needed to go to complete this floor based off how the map showed that this room and the next were the only areas left to explore. Standing in his way of the door was a larger mob of monsters than normal. There were ten of those annoying rabbits that were glaring towards him while pointing their sharp horns in his direction.
This time around though the rabbits weren't alone. There was what looked like a large butterfly that had vibrant blue wings that danced in the air above the rabbits. It was about the size of a large eagle which made it look a lot creepier than what you would normally expect from a butterfly. Its head twitched in his direction as its wings started to beat a bit faster as if it was preparing to attack him, but until Joshua stepped fully into the room none of the animals would start to charge his way. At this point Joshua already knew what the rabbits could do, but he had no clue what the butterfly's form of attack would be. Preparing for any surprises Joshua took a more defensive stance at first while letting his aura cover his body so that he could take an attack from the butterfly and see what it could do. He had a feeling he would be seeing a lot more of them as he proceeded further into the dungeon.
The moment Joshua stepped inside the rabbits all started to rush in his direction while the butterfly hovered higher into the air and sent out a weird cloud of what looked like glittered dust that it soon sent flying in Joshua's direction. The cloud hindered his vision, but once he breathed in some of it the amount of rabbits that seemed to be heading in his direction multiplied from ten to twenty. The dust had created an illusion that made it seem as though Joshua was seeing more enemies than were actually there. Now that he had an idea of what the butterfly was capable of Joshua closed his eyes and used a quick aura pulse to separate the real from the illusion.
Now that he could tell the difference Joshua quickly swung his blade and took out a few of the rabbits that had gotten to close before stepping aside and dodging the attacks of the rest. Before they could charge in again Joshua used an aura blast on both of his hands and clapped them together to send out a wave of pressure that cleared the dust in his surroundings. The attack also sent the butterfly careening into a wall which canceled the illusion completely. When Joshua opened his eyes he was met with seven rabbits charging his way, but this time he used his sword as a shield and bashed each of the incoming rabbit's horns sending them flailing onto the ground. The attacks had clearly been too much for the poor rabbits because when they tried to get up they stumbled around as if they were confused.
Joshua took the chance to kill them off before they could reorient themselves and become an annoying problem once again. When Joshua was finished he turned back towards the butterfly and waited for it to fly back up into the air so he could see what else the thing could do. The butterfly looked back towards him and started to hover in his direction. This time instead of sending another cloud of hypnotic dust his way the insect spit out a white rope of what looked like some sort of silk. Joshua watched it as it landed on one of his arms and could feel the area where the silk landed get a bit heavier feeling. 'It seems like this stuff is used to slow me down some, but with my will and aura so high I barely feel the effects at all.' Joshua thought with a smile.
The butterfly charged over in his direction, but it was even slower than the rabbits so Joshua simply slashed at it with his scale blade. The attack tore the poor creature in half sending it crashing into a bloody mess on the wall behind him. Joshua made sure to collect the bodies to sell later before thinking over the fight. It was clear that the butterfly was pretty much just a support creature to make it harder on their enemies to fight its allies. Even its silk like attack was just supposed to slow him down and not actually hurt him. Even so he would probably have to take them down first sense they could be troublesome in a drawn out fight. He suspected they were probably extremely troublesome for some of the other groups that came through this dungeon. It was unlikely that most people entering the dungeon would be able to have enough will to ignore most of the butterfly's abilities or a way to see through their illusion.
Deciding not to waste anytime Joshua made his way over to the door at the back of the room that easily opened when he pushed on it. On the other side was an even larger dimly lit room that had a stairwell at the back of it with a pair of treasure chest on each side of it. This time around instead of a bunch of bunnies and a butterfly standing in his way there was only two bunnies, but they were far bigger than the others had been. These bunnies had angry red fur and larger horns that were already pointed in Joshua's direction. Alongside the rabbits were four butterflies that were prepared to attack Joshua as well. When Joshua observed his opponents he noticed the wording variant by the rabbits names along with two stars that signaled that they would be much stronger than their counterparts.
This was the first time Joshua had come across a variant species. He had seen higher level versions of creatures such as the commander lizard that he had killed back in the marsh. Based off what he had studied back in the learning center variants were similar creatures to their basic counter parts except they usually had a special ability that their normal contemporaries didn't. Although these new enemies could be dangerous Joshua was more focused on taking out the butterflies before they could start causing trouble. One of the things could slow him down and force him to rely on his aura pulse to sense where his enemies were, but four could actually slow him down to a dangerous degree if he wasn't careful.
The moment Joshua was completely into the room the two red bunnies charged over at a far faster pace than the ones he had dealt with before. This didn't worry Joshua though sense they were still slower than the lizards he had been dealing with back in the marsh. He easily used his sword to bash the horns of the two rabbits and sent them tumbling out of his way to create a clear path to the butterflies. The four butterflies tried to hover high and out of his range with half of them starting to create the hypnotic dust while the other two started shooting silk towards him. Joshua easily side stepped the annoying webbing and charged through the dust without breathing any of it in. He quickly channeled his aura blast into his sword then swung it at the four butterflies when he got close enough causing a wave energy to slice right through them. The four of them crumbled to the floor before the rabbits could even charge towards Joshua again.
Before the two rabbits charged him this time their hair started to stand on edge a bit and their muscles seemed to tighten up before they lunged towards him at a far faster speed. Joshua was a little surprised but he simply dodged the first one while grabbing on to the second and using its momentum to swing it over his head and smash it into the ground. Joshua quickly stabbed it through the chest before rushing over to the rabbit that had passed by him and smashed into the wall. Before it could turn back around Joshua already stabbed it through the back killing it in one blow.
Taking a deep breath Joshua let a calm come over him to settle himself down from the short fight before putting away the corpses into his inventory. When he walked over to the stairwell at the end of the room he used his aura pulse to check the two treasure chest for traps, but found them clean. He got a couple more potions and some sort of gun that he decided to holster into his belt just in case he needed to shoot something from far away. He made his way down the stairs and found another door that had a large number two on it with another 'F' next to it. It was time to start exploring the second floor.