103 Chapter 49: A Talk over Dinner
The rest of the meeting went by rather well with talks over little things that needed to be considered for the alliance to run smoothly. For the most part Joshua just listened since he wasn't really a big part of the discussion, but he made sure to keep things in mind so he had a good understanding of what was going on with his friends and family while he was away exploring. When the meeting ended there was a bit of small talk between everyone with Lilly's parents getting to know Joshua's and Bryce glaring daggers over at Adrian who tried to flirt with Lilly when they came over to greet her.
Soon everyone went back to doing their own thing, with most of them going off to get everything in order for the support guild or preparing for the next big exploration attempt in Laura and Madalyn's cases. Lilly and her family went back home after Joshua told her that he would come over to pick her up for training in the morning. He was planning to whip her into shape to the point where she could at least defend herself properly before they went out to explore a new area. He would also spend the time training himself as well so that he would get the most out of leveling once again.
After everyone had left Joshua, Adrian, Aito and Henry decided to go grab something to eat together so they could discuss some things amongst themselves for a little while. Although they had talked about a lot of things during the meeting there were still several things that they wanted to discuss with each other. Now would be the perfect time sense Adrian and the others would be heading out to challenge another dungeon soon while Joshua would begin his training with Lilly. They picked a decent barbecue restaurant and got a private room so that they wouldn't have to worry about their conversation being overheard by anyone or anything outside of the system. It was a system generated restaurant so it wasn't anything special, but it would definitely uphold their privacy. The only other place they could expect to get a situation that was similar would be Vivian's restaurant at the moment and they didn't want to put her out after the long meeting they all just had.
After they all got to sitting down and had some drinks while waiting for their food Adrian was the first one to break the ice on their conversation. "So it seems you found yourself a nice partner Josh, I'm jealous." He said with a teasing smile getting an annoyed look from Joshua. "What she seems cute and fun to be around, though a little on the smaller side I support your choice."
"Yeah right, I'm not a playboy like you. By the way you might want to calm your ass down a bit when it comes to flirting in front of her father. It looked like he wanted to rip you a new one when they were leaving." Joshua replied smiling at how Adrian's skin grew paler for a moment.
"I'm just messing around a little bit, I'm not sure why I always seem to attract those types of glares." Adrian said with a frown.
"Oh please you should be used to it by now." Henry said getting a nod from both Aito and Joshua. "With all the young woman you've lured away from their families for a night of fun it should come as no surprise to anyone that every man with a daughter that's of age should hate you at this point."
"Besides weren't you just going out with a girl yesterday?" Aito said with a raised eyebrow.
"Of course, but that doesn't mean I can't look around a bit. I have too much love just for one person to handle." Adrian said with the smuggest look on his face.
"As long as you keep that love away from Amy then we won't be having any problems. " Joshua said while giving Adrian a look that promised suffering if he ever crossed that line.
"Oh please, Amy is like a little sister to all of us, I couldn't imagine doing something like that even if she is growing into a fine women." Adrian said getting a simple nod from Joshua. He knew that if he ever went after Amy then he wouldn't only have to contend with one giant overbearing father, but also an even bigger overprotective brother and that definitely wasn't something he planned to do. "Besides this is a time where love needs to flourish. A whole new world to explore, a beautiful woman on each arm, what could be better?"
"You had a beautiful woman on each arm before any of this crap happened so don't act like things have changed." Aito said with a straight face before drinking some of his beer.
"You all just need to get some love in your lives. Maybe then you wouldn't be such downers." Adrian said before finishing his beer and getting another one from the bucket full of ice in the middle of the table. Before anyone could respond to his taunts a robot opened the door and came into the room with a couple of platters field with all sorts of barbecue. Since they all grew up in Texas they were used to the type of food they saw laid out before them. There was everything from ribs to sausage, from brisket to chicken, anything and everything that could be cooked on a pit was laid out onto the table. There were also sides such as coleslaw, beans, yams, rice. There wasn't a lot of green in front of them, but they could all afford to let lose when it came to eating with all the exercise they did. In fact to support the amount of strain they put on their bodies they would definitely have to eat large amounts of food whenever they could.
They each started to make themselves some plates before digging in and enjoying the food. It was fairly good, but one thing Joshua noticed was that system driven restaurants were completely based on food from before the world changed. It wasn't exactly a bad thing, but he was looking forward to tasting how good the alligator he had killed was since even the simply cooked lizard and rabbit had a more richly flavored meat than some of the food he was used to eating in the past.
"Well Joshua, how have things been going for you sense you started out? I see you've gotten a partner and all which is a bit surprising." Henry said after they had all settled into their own pace of eating.
"It's been interesting so far. When I first started I was surprised by how…well how easy things were in the beginner area. I saw this group struggling to take down a rabbit that I was able to take out by just grabbing it by the horn and smashing it into the ground. So from there I kind of moved over to a harder area nearby to test myself." Joshua explained getting nods from the others.
"Makes sense, you were able to get the full potential out of your levels before you even stepped foot in the beginners area." Adrian said with a smile. "For us even though we hadn't reached the full potential of our levels at that point we were still able to easily take down anything in the beginner's area or its dungeon. So we just moved on after exploring the area for a few days. Didn't really run into any trouble until we started exploring outside of the beginners area."
"Yeah, the first time I found any challenge in a fight was against a level twenty something two star giant frog. It wasn't too difficult, but at least the fight was fun." Joshua said thinking of his first real battle.
"Wait you went out fighting things that were at least past level twenty from the start?" Aito asked mirroring a look of surprise from everyone else besides the person of interest. Joshua simply nodded before Aito shook his head in disbelief a bit. "Alone?"
"At first yeah, it was a bit challenging, but nothing I couldn't handle. Hell I fought even more challenging things later on, but that wasn't until after I got Lilly into the group." Joshua explained.
"I told you guys he was a freak and would be just fine." Henry simply said before going back to eating his food.
"Hey!" Joshua admonished while the others just laughed a little at him.
"Anyways what else did you end up going against? Oh and how did you and Lilly meet?" Aito asked getting Joshua back on track.
"Well Lilly and I met outside of the beginners dungeon the second time I decided to go through it. The first time around I explored it myself and finished it pretty quickly. I decided to go back to see if I could find anyone to take on a hidden dungeon with me. I didn't want to get any guilds involved so I decided to check out the beginner's area for partners. That's where I met Lilly. Everyone was shunning her because her job isn't exactly conventional, but after I understood how her job as a tamer worked I decided to bring her along since she had a lot of potential. I'm glad I made that choice." Joshua explained getting nods from the others.
"Well a beast tamer does seem rather interesting. I can see why people would have a problem with experience being taken away from the group to go to her pets, but if they actually bothered to help her out they would have gotten several allies for the price of two experience wise." Henry said as he thought over the information he had learned about beast tamers.
"Anyways I went through the beginners dungeon with her, got her a couple of pets and then we went back to the marsh and found her a couple more pets to take on the hidden dungeon. In the end we had to fight our way past a giant alligator that was level twenty five with four stars by its name which was fairly tough to get into the dungeon. The place was filled with all sort of weird traps and puzzles and we found a new ally in Tank who's a giant turtle that can talk by the way. We ended up having to take on some crazy two headed iguana with a lizard warlock on its back and in the end grinded the place until we came back for the meeting today." Joshua finished explaining.
"A giant turtle?" Adrian asked a bit confused.
"Yep Tank can grow up to four stories tall and his defensive capabilities are insane. I'll let you guys meet whenever we end up joining your group in the future." Joshua said getting bewildered nods from the others.
"Wait a minute, you said you grinded what's apparently a level twenty-five dungeon right? What level are you at the moment?" Henry asked.
"Oh, we grinded until we both reached level twenty-five then came back. Now I'm going to train her so that she could actually defend herself a bit without the help of her pets the next time we go out." Joshua said getting disbelieving shakes of the head from his friends.
"Damn Josh, it took us four or five months to reach that point and you're already done that in what…a month. Life isn't fair." Adrian said with a fake pout.
"Well that's what's been happening on my end for now, what about you guys?" Joshua asked while ignoring Adrian's ridiculous expression.
"Well so far things have been going pretty good lately, but were starting to reach our limit of fighting effectively. None of us can actually be considered a tank so that's becoming a bit of a problem for us at the moment. It's making fights long and dragged out sense Adrian's on the defensive most of the time while Aito has to wait for an opening to actually do any substantial damage against tougher opponents. So basically were waiting on you." Henry explained getting a sigh from Joshua.
"You guys plan to get to around level seventy by the end of the year right? To help out with taking on a larger town and all." Joshua asked.
"Yep, but at the moment that might be pushing things too much. We hope to do things on our own without having to rely too much on Laura and Madalyn, but if we aren't close to level sixty in a few months then we might have to." Adrian said with a frown.
Joshua though about it for a bit before smiling and looking at his friends with a new confidence. "Just give me a couple of months then. In that time I'll get Lilly and I to level forty then we can join you guys. At that level I should be able to hold my own with a group as good as yours, even if I wouldn't be able to handle it by myself."
"Are you sure, fifteen levels in two months is a lot even if you are a lower level than us. You might be pushing it." Henry replied with concern.
"I'm sure just wait and watch, then we can kick things into full gear when I join you guys." Joshua said with a smile. He had a new goal to reach and he was ready to go for it.