129 Chapter 75: Training with Jayce“s Group
After finishing up their grinding session Joshua and Lilly headed back home and rested with their families for a change. When Joshua got back home he noticed that most his family was busy out doing their own things. His father was doing some work at the gym, his mother was out at the sight of the new hospital that the Vivi's Guild was putting together and Amy was currently out exploring with members of the Serphant Guild so he had the house to himself for the moment. He was starting to wonder if he should get a house of his own, but since he spent so much time out in the first place he didn't really see any need to. He usually spent most of his time back in the hub city training at his little cabin in the place Marlow left him.
He made himself a quick meal and took a shower before hurrying off to bed to get some much needed rest. He did put some more alligator meat in the refrigerator, at the moment he was rationing it until he found something tastier to eat since he knew if he left it all at home his father would have guzzled it all down within a week. The stuff was just that good. That night Joshua got a better sleep than he had gotten in weeks and he woke up to the pleasant smell of alligator meat. He had to hold himself back from rushing down the stairs towards the kitchen and slowly made his way to the bathroom instead. After getting cleaned up he went down stairs and greeted his mother while waiting for his father to come along as well. They all had a nice breakfast together with Joshua and his father both eating mouthfuls of alligator meet at a time.
After a cup of coffee and a nice quiet talk with his parents Joshua prepared to go to his training ground to meet up with Lilly. He made sure to promise his mother that he would go to visit the hospital they were currently working on later on in the week and would spend some time with her there before going back out exploring. When he got to the training ground he was surprised to see that Lilly was already there with Tank and Cinder out and about messing around. He could also see all of her other pets out doing their own thing while Lilly seemed to be humming a tune while brushing her pair of pet rabbits. While in a hub space like this Lilly had no problem letting out all her pets since the hub city was connected to the system and a lot of limitation that took full effect while they were out in the real world didn't have a place in the hub city. As long as her pets didn't cause any harm she could have them all out anywhere at any time.
Joshua walked over and nodded towards Tank who was currently lying down peacefully in the lake with the waterfall nearby. Cinder was splayed out on a giant web she had created in the forest and watching all of the other pets move around excitedly at the new area to explore. "I'm surprised you got here so early." Joshua said as he walked over to Lilly.
"Well my parents both got up early to hit the books for their training in being certified veterinarians in the system's eyes. On the other hand Trevor is already at school so I decided to get here early and let my partners out to spread their legs." Lilly said with a small smile. "They seem to like the place."
"I can see that, especially Tank over there, he might as well be taking a bath." Joshua said with a chuckle.
"I can hear you, you know." Tank's rumbling voice filled the surroundings causing Joshua to laugh even more.
"Well what's the plan for today partner? I know we're going to push ourselves so that we can keep leveling at full potential, but I highly doubt that's all you have in mind." Lilly said after giggling at the by play between Tank and Joshua.
"Well first off we're going to check out the new abilities we gained to see how they work in different situations. Then later on we've got Jayce and his group coming over. I plan on training them a bit before they go out grinding with some of Laura's guild. I still have to set that up now that I think about it." Joshua said with a thoughtful look. "Anyways let's check out your empower ability and see how much of a difference it can make for our combat tactics."
Lilly nodded before they gathered up all of the beast to test out her ability in different scenarios. They first tested it with Flutter since it was a vague situation that they wanted to figure out. Flutter's boost ability now gave everyone a twenty percent boost in stats and when Lilly used empower on that ability it improved to thirty percent boost in stats. One thing Joshua noticed while Lilly was using the empower ability was the fact that she had to keep up the ability the entire time Flutter had her boost up. That meant she wouldn't be able to do anything else while using her empower ability, but she could empower the boost ability in a crucial moment if needed.
The ability didn't have any cool down, but it did put a drain on Lilly's mana or aura depending on which reserve was bigger. That could change based on which partner she was synchronized too, but in the end it would be best for her to use the ability in key moments with Flutter and not all the time. When they tested the ability with Tank's torrent attack it became far more powerful and cleared straight through any tree it came across. The force of the attack would have been enough to even push the Ant Queen back and off balance let alone smaller opponents. They decided to forgo testing the ability with Cinder for the moment since they didn't want to burn the entire forest down.
In the end Lilly's empower ability was a versatile skill that could be used in several different types of situations that they would have to explore. The more skills and abilities they get in the future the more uses the empower skill would have and if they maxed out its level then it would most likely double the strength of any other skill or ability. Now that they had tested out Lilly's new skill it was time to take a deeper look into Joshua's blink skill and he already had a few ideas of how he could use it. The distance and cool down of the skill were both decent and it didn't put much strain on his body if any at all when he tried it out. He also noticed it only drained a very small amount of aura, in fact in the amount of time it took for the cool down to end his aura would have already regenerated the amount that was used.
After getting a brief feel for the skill Joshua finally figured out a few ways to use this skill to the best benefit. The first way was to simply use it as a gap closer or escape. It would be similar to how he uses his aura blast ability when he needed to move at high speeds, but it would be far more subtle and leave him with the ability to use his aura blast offensively. This would be a basic tactic to use at the start of fights or when he desperately needed to escape a bad situation, but as a tank it would be more likely for him to take on the blow in those situations so that his teammates wouldn't be injured.
The second way he could think of using this ability would be for positioning around large monsters. He could act like he was going to a certain point on the enemy then blink to a completely different location that the opponent would leave open in its retaliation. As the distance he could travel grew he would be able to use this type of tactic on larger and larger enemies. This would be fairly effective on large enemies, but smaller more tactical enemies like other humans would have no problem dealing with it, especially if they had quick reactions.
The last way he thought of using the blink skill was made exactly for dealing with those type of situations. In this form he wouldn't actually use blink to move large distances, but would instead use it to move slightly and readjust his positions while attacking. An enemy could be preparing to block one of his large and obvious swings with his scale blade and he could blink in a slight shift that would change the angle of the swing or the position of the blade. That could be frightening in a fight and if the cool down on blink went down the more it leveled up then he could use it more frequently while fighting. All three of these ideas were great and he was looking forward to testing them out in a real battle in the future.
It was not too soon after he finished going over these ideas that Jayce and his group showed up at the training ground. "Boss I'm here!" Jayce shouted causing Joshua to frown a bit while Lilly simply laughed at his predicament.
"Would you stop calling him that already, it's disgusting the way you say it." Julia said as she shook her head at her friend's antics. The rest of Jayce's group were either laughing at the situation or nervously smiling in Monika's case.
"But the boss is the boss…why would I call him anything else?" Jayce said with a confused look.
"Never mind that, how have things been going for you lot." Joshua said as he tried to change the direction of the conversation.
"Not bad, we're getting pretty close to maxing out our stats for our current level. Laura and her guild members helped with that for the most part." Marcus said with a smile.
"That girl can definitely drive you into the ground when she wants." Allen said with a frown as he seemed to pale a bit at remembering whatever Laura put them through.
"Well that's good to know maybe then you guys can keep up with my training for you then." Joshua said with a smirk. It sent a chill down all their backs before Joshua calmed down his expression a bit. "Alright send me all your information so I can get a good idea of what you guys are working with. The others nodded and sent him their stats and skills and he smiled as he read through them. They were all fairly decent, not on the same level as a unique job holder like him, but still extremely well off.
Jayce was clearly balanced where strength and vitality were his high points while dexterity was on the lower side. His intelligence and wisdom were average, but his will was fairly high as well. Skills wise he had a skill for attracting attention, an ability that allowed him to form a wall like barrier with his shield and a self-heal ability that helped him hold up on the front lines. His soul beast was also interesting in the form of an armadillo like creature at the moment. Its special ability made heavy armor light to him so that his movement was quite a bit better than most knights or other tank classes and all shield and barrier abilities gained fifty percent boost in strength. It really fit his role well.
Julia was nearly the opposite of him with low vitality and strength, decent dexterity, and high wisdom and intelligence along with average will. Her stats were clearly balanced more towards magic. Skills wise she had the basic magic that all mages could learn which was basic energy manipulation such as energy bolt type attacks. On the other hand she seemed to focus on flame spells to fill out her skill set. Joshua was going to have to make sure she learns some other spells just in case they ever came up against enemies that thrived in fire. At the moment Laura would have a field day fighting her. Julia had a soul beast that looked like a small cat with two tails that had a purple flame at the tips. Her soul beast gave her a special flame that could continue burning its opponents even after the spell effect was over. It also made it easy to manipulate her own fire to an extremely accurate degree.
Allen stats wise pretty much balanced across the board physically with a slightly lower intelligence and wisdom stat. Skill wise he was fairly bare bones since his job focused more on his ability to use a spear to a high degree, it also gave him greater stats boost when using a spear at about a ten percent rate. The one skill he had gained from dungeons was the ability to coat the end of his spear in an aura like energy that he could extend and retract at any moment. His soul beast surprisingly was a coyote. It gave him the ability to increase his perception for small instances while fighting and that allowed him to get his timing down on certain attacks better than anyone else.
Marcus was an interesting case since he could do a variety of things for his team. His stats were lower than most of his group in some regards outside of his dexterity which was far and away the highest in the group and his intelligence and wisdom were fairly decent as well. Skill wise he had a couple of skills that allowed him to map out areas effectively and set traps that were more unnoticeable to his opponents. He also was accurate at using items in fights such as bombs or cross bows. He had a few skills that could be used fighting up close with his daggers such as an effect that prolonged the bleeding of any wound he created. All in all he was well rounded all Joshua thought he would need was a movement skill to help him take the next step. His soul beast was a raccoon like creature that gave him the ability to process situations faster than normal. It also increased his luck when using traps or dealing with them. He wasn't as absurdly lucky as Joshua, but he definitely had the second highest luck stat at this point that Joshua had seen.
Lastly was Monika whose stats were similar to Julia except in the way she used them. Instead of offensive spells she was more used to using healing or support spells. She had a variety of spells to either heal her allies or distract her opponents such as a spell that created a blinding flash of light. She also could deal with a wide range of status effects that could hinder the group. Her soul beast was a pure white rabbit like creature that upped the efficiency of her healing spells and increased the rate of regeneration of her mana.
Joshua wasn't sure what this groups abilities would lead to, but he sure as hell was going to get the most out of them. "Alright then, time for some hellish training." He said with a bright smile.