While waiting in line to enter the beginner's dungeon Joshua noticed that a lot of the groups around him were giving him odd glances. Some seemed to shrug in indifference while others wanted to warn him that going in the dungeon with Lilly all on his own would be a complete waste of time. Joshua just shrugged off the looks and went back to talking to Lily without a care. He noticed how she seemed a bit uncomfortable with all the stares so he tried to get her attention focused on him instead of the people around them. "So I was wondering why exactly you so easily decided to join me. I mean…you seem to be wary of others so why are you fine with me?" He asked.
"Well you don't give off a bad feeling like the others." Lilly simply replied.
"What do you mean?"
She turned to look up towards him before responding. "Well it's as if you give off a calming presence while everyone else I've met while adventuring tends to put me on edge." She tilted her head a bit as if she was thinking of something before clapping her hands as if she had figured something out. "I know what it is! Simply put you seem honest. I haven't really been a part of group that was actually honest with me from the start. They've either only wanted me along as an extra to fill up a spot, or because my level was higher than theirs. When they found out I'm not exactly great at combat they seemed as if they would stab me in the back at any moment. I don't feel that from you."
Joshua thought about her comment for a moment and realized it all came down to the fact that she could feel he didn't have any bad intentions for her. It was similar to how his aura worked in a way. Although he was only able to gain vague impression of the emotions people gave off around him it was more than enough to get a judge of how they might act. Some people were better at hiding their emotions than others which made them harder to read, but even when someone was good at hiding their intent Joshua was able sense the hint of something. That's how things went with the alligator where he was able to sense its eager emotions to hunt down the frog, even though it was well hidden Joshua was able to feel its presence ahead of time.
It seemed likely Lilly had a similar ability and Joshua had the feeling it most likely had to with her connection with animals. Someone that was so connected to animals that they are able to tame and control them must also be fairly in tune with nature to some degree. Of course that would mean they had good connection to aura even if they didn't use it themselves. In the end Lilly was able to keep herself away from more dangerous groups because she could tell they didn't have her best interest at heart.
Before he could bring up the topic anymore it was their turn to enter the dungeon and Lilly excitedly dragged Joshua by the arm into the dungeon while ignoring the glares that were directed her way. Once they entered the dungeon Joshua pulled her to a stop so he could discuss a few things with her before they went through the dungeon. "Alright first off there was one thing I didn't want to bring up while outside. I'm guessing your little rabbit there has stats of his own right?"
"His name is Floppy." Lilly said staring Joshua down for a moment.
"Well…does Floppy have a stats page of some kind?" Joshua asked awkwardly. Lilly simply nodded while smiling before sending him the rabbit's stats page. He wasn't surprised when he found out that its stats were completely abysmal. It had a high intelligence and wisdom stat but everything else was even worse than Lilly's stats. The one saving grace was Floppy's three abilities. The first was a basic healing ability that healed a target based on how strong the user's intelligence stat was, the second was a regen spell that increased healing rate of the target to a small degree, and the last was an ability that helped hide the user's presence in a fight.
"So what do you think? Isn't little Floppy here amazing." Lilly said as she tried to show off the apparently bored rabbit to Joshua.
"Although he won't actually be a fighting force he will be a great little healer in my opinion. Especially sense he can hide his presence and not attract the attention of any monsters we fight. If you synchronize with him then it will be like I have two mini healers following me around that I won't have to worry about the monsters going after with that hide presence skill." Joshua said getting a happy nod of agreement from Lilly. "By the way, how does it look when you use the synchronize skill?"
Lilly closed her eyes for a moment before her aura started to change shape around her which Joshua immediately took notice of. Although her body didn't have a lot of aura it was still enough to be able to perceive. Her aura quickly shifted into a similar aura to the one Floppy had and her hair changed to a pink color that was reminiscent to the rabbit's fur. "See, we match now!" Lilly said while giggling a bit. She held up the rabbit next to her hair in emphasize the similarity.
"Well that's neat. For now just follow me and heal me if necessary, though I doubt we'll have much trouble in this dungeon. We should be able to get you a new companion as well hopefully." Joshua said expecting her to brighten up at that, but she seemed to frown a bit instead. In the end she nodded before following Joshua as they made their way down the first hallway. It didn't take long for them to finally run into their first batch of rabbits. Unlike the first time around Joshua wasn't going to waste time searching down every passage sense he had already explored the dungeon once before. The same could be said for Lilly even if she was mostly along for the ride the last few times she entered.
Joshua stopped right outside the range of the rabbits so they wouldn't attack them before turning towards Lilly. "So do you want to catch one of these things?"
She looked back at him for a second before turning to stare at the clueless white rabbits that were still minding their own business. "Why on earth would I want to capture them? They're pretty stupid you know." She said with a slightly confused expression. Her remark surprised Joshua a bit sense he assumed she would want to catch as many different types of beast as possible, but he did agree that the regular horned rabbits were fairly stupid creatures that only knew how to charge ahead. If she captured one and used in a fight against some of the things he planned to challenge soon then it might just die in one attack. It was the true definition of useless in the end.
"Hmm, I guess you're right. I just expected you would think it was cute or something sense you like Floppy so much." Joshua responded as he took out the short sword on his waist instead of his large scale blade. At this point the rabbits weren't worth the effort to use the scale blade on them.
"Those things aren't cute. They're just over grown rats." Lilly said with a scowl that Joshua didn't think a person with her upbeat personality would even know how to do. He looked at the larger white rabbits then glanced back towards the smaller pink rabbit in Lilly's arms before shrugging at her reasoning. He quickly lunged towards the now startled rabbits that tried to get into position to fight back, but at Joshua current strength he was able to make quick work of the weak creatures without even using his aura. In a few seconds he was throwing the corpses into his inventory to sell later. He made sure to keep a count of the creatures he killed so he could split the earnings with Lilly later when they went back to the hub world.
They moved on and Joshua made sure to follow the correct path towards the stairway down the second floor. Along the way he dealt with any rabbits that they came across while opening any treasure chest they came across and giving most of the items to Lilly to have. At this point he was fairly stacked on potions and any gear found in the dungeon wouldn't be as good as what he already had. He noticed that Lilly didn't seem to carry a weapon with her, but she had no problem tossing any she found into her inventory without a care. By the time they made it to the area with the large blue butterflies Joshua looked back over towards Lilly to see if she was interested in catching one of them.
"They look a little disturbing don't you think?" Was her simple reply which Joshua just sighed and shook his head at. He pulled out his gun and shot the butterfly down before it could start using its hypnotic dust. Then he charged ahead and took down the rest of the rabbits in the room quickly. They made their way into the next room where the pair of variant rabbits were backed up by a group of butterflies. Joshua looked over to see if she wanted the slightly larger rabbits, but she just responded by telling him that they were just bigger stupid rats. Joshua sighed before clearing the room of all monsters before they made their way down towards the second floor.
"Well there is one monster in this dungeon that I think you should definitely tame." Joshua said after clearing another group of beast as they made their way through the second floor.
"Hmm, the only beast I found worthy of taming in here was this little guy. Everything else just seems so, well so inferior." Lilly replied after a while of thinking it over. Joshua looked toward the upbeat girl and was starting to realize how smart she was. Even though she used phrases such as cute to describe the animal she decided to tame and stupid or ugly for the ones she didn't care about, Joshua was sure that she realized that creatures with worthwhile abilities were far more worth her time to tame than the average variety. She didn't have a limit on the amount of creatures she could keep, but she did have a limit on the amount she could actually use. Trying to train too many monsters up would make it hard to keep them all strong enough to fight alongside her in the long run. Luckily her soul beast gave her a decent advantage in that regard.
Joshua easily swept his way through the dungeon until he cleared the final room before the boss room. He was once again met with two doors and just like before he headed towards the one where the trap was waiting for them. "Alright the guy I think you should tame is in this room, but I'll have to clear out the rest of the rabbits first." Joshua explained.
"All the other groups avoided this room. They said it was a trap." Lilly said while looking towards Joshua for an explanation.
"It is a trap, but not one that is all that dangerous as long as you know how to take care of yourself. It won't take me but a moment to clear it out so you can try to tame the one were going in there for. Besides there was a treasure chest filled with good items in it last time I cleared the room out." Joshua responded getting a simple nod in return. They both stepped into the room at the same time sense Joshua didn't want the trap to trigger while they were separated. The moment the ceiling opened up and all of the rabbits fell into the room Joshua quickly took out his scale blade and channeled aura into it. With one large swing he sent and aura blast through the crowd of enemies tearing them apart. The only survivor was the variant butterfly that hovered high in the air near the ceiling, completely avoiding the attack.
Lilly was stunned by how strong Joshua was, but when she noticed the beautiful red and blue butterfly her eyes brightened up and she ignored everything else while walking over towards it. At first Joshua wanted to stop her from approaching the stronger version of the butterfly, but instead of it attacking her furiously it seemed to hover down and approach her slowly. It fluttered in front of her and Joshua was able to see an aura of sorts surround the both of them for a moment before the butterfly landed on her shoulder. It batted its wing happily in response to her petting its head.
"Isn't she beautiful? I think I'll name her Flutter." Lilly said with an excited smile. Joshua cringed a bit at the name, but smiled in reply. He was surprised it was so easy for her to tame it, but decided to ask more questions about it after they finished the dungeon. So they made their way over towards the boss room with one new companion and Joshua planned to make quick work of the fight. The moment they stepped inside the room Joshua let his aura flare to full and charged towards the nearest butterfly at a speed far greater than it was able to react too. He cut it down with his short sword then shot another couple down before crossing the room at a jarring speed to take out the rest. Before the king rabbit could try to charge him down all the butterflies in the room were done for.
Lilly stood on the side using Floppy's ability to hide her presence and just watched the show. Joshua took out his scale blade while waiting for the boss to charge him down. He got in a good defensive position and took the charge head on halting the overgrown boss's attack easily. He then lifted it up with his scale blade knocking it completely off balance and onto its hind legs. Then he used a combination of aura blast being charged into his blade along with his echo strike to finish off the boss before it could even recover. The first swing cut open its belly with deep gruesome wound that its partner wouldn't be able to heal it from, then the following echo strike was like an after image of the same move that slashed deep into the wound and tore out its insides. Before its body could even fall over it had already died.