82 Chapter 28: Preparing for Expedition Number 2
When Joshua first got back from his first time exploring he was bombarded by all sorts of questions from his family. His sister was actually home at the time after taking a break from her own exploration and immediately challenged him to a rematch in which she lost even faster than before sense Joshua was more used to his abilities after testing them in the field. She was pouting for the next couple of hours in which Joshua was forced to promise to take her out for ice cream to get her to talk to him again. His parents looked on this with amusement as they asked him questions about how he handled things.
He spent the night with his family and fulfilled his promise to take Amy out for ice cream the next day sense she was going to get back to working with the guild soon enough. The day after he was back to training to fill out his stats and then some. He wanted to get back out there to take on that dungeon before anyone else was able to find it and get a first clear of it. Although first clears didn't mean you had control over the area like taking down a town did, it did give you some important rewards. The experience gained during the first clear of a dungeon was greater then any other time, and the skill gained at the end of a first clear was usually better as well. The only time this wasn't true was when it came to beginner dungeons that gave rewards based on how well you cleared the dungeon only.
First time clears took into account both the fact that everything is new to you and the rate at which you cleared the dungeon before deciding on what your reward would be. The only problem Joshua had now was deciding on whether he should bring in other people to help him clear the hidden dungeon or not. He couldn't ask any of the people he knew to come along with him sense the dungeon would be to low level for them to get anything out of it. Plus taking people at a far higher level than him along with him into a dungeon would greatly reduce the reward, the experience gained, and the amount of potential he could reach from taking on opponents. If Adrian, Aito, and Henry easily took out monsters then he wouldn't gain anything from it, but the left over carcass and a greatly reduced amount of experience points.
This was the reason why Natalie was so annoyed with the world government guild. Sense they had people like her baby sitting and carrying their 'prodigy' members through battle, the amount of experience she would gain was greatly reduced. In the end she was forced to fight far weaker opponents just so the leech of the party would actually gain an appropriate amount of experience to level up. This made things tough for her in the end. On the other hand Joshua was able to level up so quickly because he took on enemies at a far higher level than him on his own. The system didn't punish his experience gains, but instead actually gave him more experience sense he was fighting well above his level. Key word being 'fighting' and not just standing to the side and watching.
This all meant that Joshua would either have to explore the dangerous hidden dungeon on his own so that it would actually be worthwhile, or he would have to go inside with people that were around the same level as him so the system didn't penalize the entire group. He knew he wouldn't pick anyone who was already a part of a guild sense they would most likely try to bring other guild members along with them. He only wanted two people max to come along. One person for healing if he got injured to the point where his aura regeneration effect wouldn't be enough and another person that could attack from a distance like a mage or archer of some sort. Having ten people along would just reduce the rewards he would gain in the end, and he was fairly sure the skill he would get would also not be as worthwhile in the end if too many people joined his attempt.
In the end he would have to see if he could find anyone on their own that could join him, but during his break he just focused completely on training at first. It only took a little over a week to max out his stats once again but he continued to train for up to a month. Seeing his stats fill out so fast he was sure that it had to do with the prodigy skill that his soul beast granted him. He was able to spend some time with the little guy whenever he went into deep meditative state and he could already tell that Buster was getting bigger and maturing as he gained strength. It wouldn't take too long before the little Fenrir would be bigger than him. When he was threw training his stats looked a little something like this.
Joshua James Jr.
Job – Aura User
Soul Beast – Fenrir
Stats (parenthesis number is the bonus stats from levels and Job) [Bracket numbers are skill modifiers]
Strength: 360 (30) = 390 x [1.3] = 507
Vitality: 360 (30) = 390 x [1.3] = 507
Dexterity: 360 (30) = 390 x [1.3] = 507
Intelligence: 360(30) = 390 x [1.3] = 507
Wisdom: 360 (30) = 390 x [1.3] = 507
Will: 500 (44) = 544 x [1.3] = 707.2
Luck 100 (0) = 100
The amount of strength he gained from his first expedition was staggering. He was already multiple times stronger than he was when he first went out to explore and now he had a far better sense of the abilities he could use going forward. One other thing he tested out while training was the new skill he had gained from his clearing of the beginner dungeon. Echo Strike was an ability that worked extremely well with his fighting style. All of Joshua's attacks were usually large bone crushing blows that aimed to either kill the opponent in one shot or at the least greatly hamper them in some way. Whether it was his aim to crush the enemy's bones with a heavy hit or to cut off its appendages with an aura infused slash, all of Joshua's attacks were going to do heavy damage.
Echo Strike emphasized this even more sense it created an aura shadow like projection after his attacks whenever he channeled the skill. This follow up attack would have the power of twenty percent of his previous blow which could be lethal to a downed opponent. It cost him some of his aura to use the skill, but sense he didn't depend on multiple strikes to deal damage like several other jobs that were more dexterity focused, he wasn't going to end up draining all of his aura using the skill. Even better was the fact that the skill had level one next to it which showed it could grow even stronger in the future. It would be an essential part of his fighting style going forward.
After Joshua finished about a months' worth of training he was just about ready to head back out and get started on that hidden dungeon. The day before he planned to head out once again he had a meet up with the Alexander twins at their shop before they closed up the place so the three of them could head out and discuss certain things over dinner. They picked a nice restaurant with a private room so no one could listen in on their conversation. Sense it was a system generated restaurant it was impossible for something like that to happen.
"Well it seems you two are a lot happier than usual." Joshua said after he finished ordering his food through the system. "I'm guessing it has something to do with the store?"
"Well kind of…" Naomi started to say, but Nathan jumped in and interrupted her response.
"We are finally going to be able to start our own support guild Josh!" Nathan shouted in excitement. Before his sister smacked him on the back of the head to settle him down a bit. Joshua chuckled at their antics as Nathan glared at his twin.
"Yep, our store has had enough success and has built enough reputation that we can use it as a base to start a support guild. Nathan being the highest leveled support class is probably a good reason for it as well." Naomi said while ignoring her brother's glare.
"So how exactly does a support guild work? Is it similar to how combat guilds are run where you have a guild master and all and have different levels of membership?" Joshua asked. Honestly he had no clue of how support classes worked at the moment, but he would have to learn about them a bit before he reached level fifty. At that point he would have to select a support class to go alongside his combat Job.
"It is similar, but support guilds can either be specific or all encompassing in a way." Nathan started to explain. "You can either have a guild that is specific to cooking classes or something along that line, or you can have a guild that tries to spread out the amount of businesses involved. Seeing as were going to be the first support guild were going to strike while the iron is hot and try for the latter."
"We've already got our mom agreeing to have her new restaurant be a part of our guild. Also Amy has already dragged your dad into it as well." Naomi said with a smile.
"Dad? You mean his gym business?" Joshua asked with surprise.
"Yep, being in a support guild actually helps out business by improving the experience gained from your work or sells and also it allows you to post about your business on the guild channels. It's a great way to get more out of small businesses and can even end up pushing them into the limelight ahead of the system. The system only sells equipment and resources up to level fifty at this point after all. We've already got people buying specifically from our store because of it. At this point Naomi and I are some of the few people who are able to handle ingredients that can make weapons and armor strong enough to take on level fifty plus monsters."
"Well if you're going to get dad to help out then you should probably ask if Mr. Fujimoto wants to put his dojo under your guild as well. In the future you can probably ask my mom to take on the medical business sense she is getting pretty close to getting her doctoral license through the system." Joshua replied.
"No problem, we'll talk to them about it soon, but for now we're just going to get the guild up and running first." Naomi replied and got a nod of agreement from her brother as well. "Now that we've told you about that lets move onto how well your equipment worked. Any issues?"
"It went well, the sword is amazing. I'm going to have to get use to using the weight ability more effectively, but it had no issues tearing through scales and tough hide, especially when I used aura. If I didn't then it usually just broke the opponent's bones without cutting through the skin." Joshua explained.
"Great! How about the armor and scarf?" Nathan asked.
"I didn't really get to test the armor out much sense I didn't run into any enemies that used magical attacks on me, but the scarf worked like a charm. I used it to float down a cliff without any problems."
"Perfect, well the gear should last until you near level fifty, but that sword should last even longer. Anything else you need before you head back out?" Naomi said as she seemed to be jotting down some notes.
"Hmm, well I do have some gear I found from the dungeon that I wouldn't mind selling to you guys for cheap. It might help you get some ideas for designs to use in the future. Oh and if you could I wouldn't mind getting a few enchantments placed on a few weapons I found that could be useful for me in certain situations." Joshua explained.
"No problem, leave them to us and we'll have them ready tomorrow morning when you head out. Enchantments for this level gear are fairly easy to do. You can sell any gear you don't care to us so we can try to figure out better ways to make them in the future, but you should sell any monster cores you find to the system sense they aren't really useful for us at the moment. By the time they become useful these cores will be too weak to rely on anyways." Nathan explained. Joshua simply nodded and the group went back to casual chatter as they ate their food. They were all excited for what each of them planned to do in the next few days.