Joshua found himself stuck on the ground with a torn up arm trapped inside a vice grip like mouth of a giant dead lizard. He groaned a bit at the pain he was in, but he flared his aura once again and concentrated another aura blast on the same fist he used to kill the beast that still tried to hamper him even in death. He punched the teeth that were still clenched around his arm with as much force as possible and broke enough of them off that he was able to painfully pull his arm out. It was still fairly torn up with a bit of green tinge too it that proved the poison was somewhat effective against him, but the moment he got his arm free he could already see that his aura regeneration was beginning to work and the wounds on his arm were slowly healing as his aura seemed to bubble up a bit around the damaged tissue.
Joshua guzzled down an antidote from his inventory just in case the poison was more threatening than he could tell before sitting up and looking over the corpse of the large lizard that gave him so much trouble. Before he could inspect it anymore he could hear the loud sound of Mr. Hoppy landing not too far away from him and hopping on over towards him. "Are you okay Joshua? I'm sorry I wasn't able to help out very much." Lilly said as she jumped down from off of Mr. Hoppy and rushed over to check on him.
"Don't worry about it. Your distraction was enough to allow me to take down one of the bastards, I just wasn't expecting the surviving one to get stronger afterwards. I'll have to keep things like that in mind during future fights, hell boss monsters might even have phases to them." Joshua said as Lilly walked over and started inspecting his arm.
"Even so I wish I was able to do a bit more for you when we're fighting." Lilly replied as her hair turned a pink color as she synchronized with one of the rabbits in her arms. She then started casting healing spells alongside both of her rabbits that greatly increased the rate of the healing of his arm and any other damage he had taken from being tossed around by the annoying lizard.
"Well, hopefully whatever that thing is that we did all of this to save will help you out in that regard. I was worried when the lizard started going after you. Right now none of your pets are able to go up head to head with any of the bigger creatures we've faced." Joshua said before flexing his arm a bit to make sure everything felt alright. "If this guy that's been sealed away can help us out then this will have all been worth it.
Lilly smiled at him before patting him on the shoulder. "Well I think that will be the case from the aura I could sense from him when he was calling out to me. Even though he was sealed away his aura was still stronger than that lizard you just killed." She explained with a smile.
"I wonder why I couldn't sense its aura then."
"Probably because it was sealed away. The only reason I could sense him was because he reached out directly to me." Lilly explained getting a nod in return from Joshua. "Now let's go back and check on him then we can take a rest for the day. It's getting late and it would be good for your body to get some actual rest after a fight like that."
"You're right." Joshua said as he stretched his arm to remove any stiffness. He walked over to the body of the large lizard and carved out the core that he found using his aura pulse. Now that he had what he needed he through the rest of the body into his inventory. Then he followed Lilly's lead and jumped up onto the back of Mr. Hoppy who jumped up into the air and back on to the floor above. They made their way back through the door they had come in through and into the large room with the cage that was now glowing a faint white color. He walked back over towards the pedestal and read what it said this time around.
[Congratulations on clearing the hidden quest to this dungeon. This will be recorded on your evaluation on the completion of the dungeon in full and will strengthen the rewards you will receive in the end. You can place the core gained from the lizard keepers of this prison to unlock the cage and speak with the creature sealed within. The outcome of your talks depend completely on you.]
Joshua was happy with the outcome and noticed Lilly's impatient look so he immediately put the core in the slot on the pedestal and watched all the white lines along the pillars turned a blue shade before the pillars were pulled up into the ceiling in the room. When it was all done all there was in front of them was a rather large pond that glowed for a moment before all of the light in the room faded away. At first it was a bit unnerving sense Joshua couldn't see anything, but soon he could here splashing coming from then pond in front of him. He sent out an aura pulse so he could understand what was happening around him when another pulse of aura responded in kind which surprised him. The only being that was able to something similar that he had come across up to this point was the guardian wolf that was way out of his league.
"He's coming out of the pond and he's not screaming anymore…" Lilly started to say for a moment before she froze up as if she was listening to something. "He says thank you for releasing him from this prison." She spoke once again as the crashing sound from the pond finally came to an end. When Joshua turned around he could see a large glowing figure that towered over the both of them. It was nearly as big as the pond itself which meant it must have been incredibly cramped in the pond for all of this time. It was at least four stories tall with its back nearly touching the ceiling of the room after it climbed out of the water.
After it fully emerged from the water Joshua was able to get a decent look at the creature simply from the glow it gave off around its body. He took out a torch so he could get a better view and was surprised to see what looked like an overgrown turtle in front of him. Its shell was enormous at the size of a rather big building all in all and it had a large head that poked out in front of them. Based off of how big its jaw was Joshua was able to tell that it seemed to be something similar to a snapping turtle if Joshua had to guess, but its eyes glowed with intelligence instead of aggression like most other beast he had come across up to this point. All of its skin was covered in small scales that probably made it hard to hurt even without its shell and it moved at a surprisingly fast pace at its size.
The turtle bowed to Joshua for a moment before turning to Lilly and bowing its head down to where she could touch it. For a moment Joshua watched as their auras intertwined which gave away the fact that Lilly was able to tame this massive creature. When they were done she turned to Joshua before speaking. "Josh come over and touch your hand to his head. Then try to output your aura in a way similar to how I just did." Joshua was skeptical at first, but did as she asked and could feel all of the feelings of gratitude coming from the turtle before he could hear a new voice speaking to him.
"Thank you for all you have done for me young one. My new master has told me of all the things you've went through to help release me from this prison." The deep voice said and Joshua looked toward the large beast in shock at the fact that it could talk. "Don't be too surprised that I can talk, most beast my age can if they have a high enough intelligence and a good control over their aura. I'm not the first beast you will meet that will be able to speak to you through aura."
"That's a surprise. I have met a rather powerful beast before that I was able to somewhat communicate with through aura, but not to this extent." Joshua said surprising the turtle a bit. "The beast was considered a guardian of the planet so I don't understand why I wasn't able to talk with her at the time."
The turtle seemed to laugh a bit as its neck vibrated and its mouth opened causing a deep rumbling noise to come from it. "Was it a giant wolf?" Joshua simply nodded to its question. "Well if she had tried to talk to you then you most likely would have died from the pressure of her aura. You won't be able to communicate with most strong beings through aura until you at least reach level one hundred. Before that the pressure can be too much on your own aura and greatly damage you."
"If that's the case then how come you are able to speak to us then?" Lilly asked as she looked up to the giant turtle with a bright smile. Mr. Hoppy had disappeared ever since she connected with the giant turtle, but the rest of her pets were still hanging around. "I mean you said beast can only speak this way when they are strong enough, I don't think I would have been able to tame you if you were that strong already."
"You would be correct in that regard. I use to be incredibly powerful, and was one of the strongest creatures in the wild, but I foolishly believed in the boss of the dungeon and was trapped inside. He promised that the waters in this dungeon could increase my potential sense I had reached a bottle neck, but instead most of my power was drained away and now I am hardly as strong as I was in the past." The large turtle said with a sigh.
Joshua decided to observe its level at the moment and was surprised to see the turtle was already level twenty-five and had a full five stars by its name. It was a powerful beast and would be a great companion for Lilly going forward. He would have to ask her about his stats later to see what role it could play best in the future, but he was pretty sure being a turtle would most likely lean towards a tank of some kind. Joshua turned when he noticed Lilly was about to say something again.
"Well you are right about it taking your power away, but it definitely also increased your potential even if it was a trap." She said with a smile gaining a look of surprise from the both of them.
"What do you mean master?" The turtle asked.
"Simply put although your level has gone down to the max level of this dungeon your potential to evolve has been unlocked." Lilly replied with a smile. "Considering you came here because you reached a bottle neck I'm willing to bet you weren't able to evolve beforehand, right?"
"I see, that is truly fortunate news. Although I have lost most of my strength I can become something even greater in the future. I'm looking forward to see how far we can go." The turtle said with what looked like a smile.
"So sense you can talk in all, did you ever actually have a name?" Lilly asked.
"No, us beast do not go by names, we often can tell who each other are just based off of our aura alone. So there usually isn't any need for names." The large turtle explained.
"Well that can't do, you have to have a name after all." Lilly said with a smile before she took on a bit of thinking pose for a moment before she snapped her fingers in excitement. Joshua was not looking forward to whatever name she would come up with, but he held his tongue sense it was her partner after all. "I think I'll name you Tank. You're so big and cool looking that I think it's the perfect name."
Joshua cringed a bit at her naming sense once again. He was thinking she could have at least given him a cool name or named him after a cool turtle from a movie or cartoon or something along those lines. In the end she chose tank as if the giant building size creature before them was some sort of little pet turtle. With a sigh Joshua watched as the large turtle simply nodded its head in happiness before it let out a loud yawn. "I'm sorry master, but I've been in a state of constant torture for a long time. I would like to get some rest for now and we can discuss more things in the morning. Besides if you two have made it all the way here than you must be incredibly tired by this point. "
"Don't worry and get some rest. I'm going to be making sure Joshua here gets some proper rest as well before we go any further into this dungeon anyways." Lilly said with a smile before Tank nodded and disappeared into her soul space where all of her pets went when they were resting. "Now let's set up camp and eat some dinner. You aren't going to be swinging that big sword of yours around anymore today."
Joshua just looked at the little girl weirdly that was already heading over to start setting up camp. 'Sense when did she start acting like my mother?' Joshua thought before he went along with the flow.