The guttural growl immediately grabbed Joshua's and Lilly's attention as Lilly got Cinder to leap off the street to the top of a building while Joshua followed up. They both moved out of the way just in time as three large streaks cut through the pavement just where they had been standing. The slashes cut deep into the pavement and slashed straight through a few cars that were torn to shreds from the attack. Joshua turned to look at the direction from where the attack came from and sucked in his breath as he could see a figure a ways down the street hidden by the haze glaring at them. Its two large purple eyes stood out, but the rest of its body was still hidden by the haze and it soon backed up hiding its figure once again from them.
'This is bad, I can't sense it with my aura and it can hide its huge stature from such a close distance just with the haze.' Joshua said as he took out his scale blade knowing full well he would need something at least that powerful to do any real damage to the creature. A few nicks from his short sword could easily be regenerated given enough time.
'Do you think it attacked from a distance or is it just so terrifyingly fast that we could just barely react in time?' Lilly asked as Cinder eyed the direction that the eyes had disappeared in. Lilly made sure to summon out both Flutter and Tank while putting one of her rabbits up. Tank made sure to shrink down to a small size as he laid atop Lilly's head the turtle was prepared to help where he could, but from the looks of things this was going to be a battle of speed and stealth which he was horrible at. Flutter latched on to the back of Lilly' robes before using her boost to strengthen everyone.
'I think it was an attack from a distance. It would explain why the building from before was so torn up. It was probably testing out its attack on it to see what kind of damage it could do and I highly doubt it would need to tear into a building to test that up close. Watch out Lilly these sub-boss and boss level haze monsters are much smarter than the smaller ones.' Joshua explained getting a simple nod in return.
Soon Joshua took notice of a pair of eyes starting to appear to the side of them and he warned Lilly then leaped towards another building as the one they were formally on was gouged into by flying slashes that traveled through the air blindingly fast. The building didn't completely collapse, but the area they had been standing on had been torn apart and was now nothing more than a pile of rubble on the street below. Before Joshua could try to retaliate the pair of eyes once again vanished into the haze and he was unable to sense where it was heading.
'This thing seems to have some sort of ability to blend into the haze in its surroundings.' Joshua said to Lilly through the party chat. She looked at him weirdly before he started to explain. 'All sub-boss and higher classes of haze monsters have some sort of ability, they can have multiple depending on their level. This one seems to have an ability that allows it to blend in with the haze and another that allows it to send claw like strikes from a distance. Combined they make it a high tier assassination type creature, but that most likely means it's on the more frail side in comparison to other boss class creatures.' Joshua explained getting a nod from his partner in return.
'If that's the case it would be a nightmare to fight this thing alongside the boss. We'd never be able to keep our guard up against it if we were always having to worry about the boss in front of us.' Lilly said with a frown as Cinder shot out some smoldering smoke to hide them from their attacker. She made sure to lower the heat so it wouldn't affect any of them to greatly making it nothing more than a simple smoke screen in comparison to the usual version. 'If that's the case do you think that the boss is up now that we've made so much noise? It would be a problem trying to take them on together.'
'I doubt it, I can still feel it's presence towards the center of town and it hasn't budged at all.' Joshua explained making sure to keep an eye out for any changes in their surroundings. 'Though that's not our only concern. All of this noise is definitely going to attract several of the haze creatures over along with some zombies that we don't want to get swarmed by while taking on this guy.'
'Then what should we do? I'm not sure how we can take this thing down as long as it's keeping its distance.' Lilly said as Cinder started creating webbing on some of the buildings in the surroundings. It would hold off any other creatures that came in the immediate area long enough for them to take notice.
'We're going to have to keep on the move while facing off against this guy. As long as we do that then we don't have to worry about getting swarmed by a large amount of the smaller creatures. The noises we'll make while fighting will attract them, but since we'll constantly be moving from place to place they'll never come directly towards us. We'll have to wait for this guy to show an opening to retaliate in the meantime. As long as we keep avoiding his moves he'll eventually have to change things up.' Joshua explained before they both took notice of a pair of eyes from in front of them trying to attack them once again.
They both reacted quickly with Cinder sending a large fire ball in the direction of the eyes before leaping away and Joshua following close behind. The claw strikes met the fireball in air and caused a large explosion that caught two nearby buildings on fire from its remnants. The creature once again faded away, but this time Joshua wasn't going to just wait around for it to appear again. He started leaping from building to building with Cinder and Lilly following right behind him. The entire way Cinder was leaving behind large webbing behind them in an attempt to catch their prey. If it ever ran into the webbing Cinder would know right away and they'd have a target to aim their next barrage of attacks at.
Tank was doing something similar as he left trails of small bubble traps all over the place, do to his size they weren't very big but they could still explode and alert them to their enemies location. Neither Joshua nor Tank could sense the creature with their aura as long as it was mixed into the haze so Joshua avoided using his aura pulse and alerting the main boss of all of his abilities. At the moment he wasn't even using his aura shroud since it would be fairly pointless against a creature that kept its distance and only attacked when it thought it had an opening. Joshua had more than enough time to avoid its attacks, but now he was trying to think of a way to retaliate and he had just gotten a skill that could be perfect for the situation.
Joshua took out his gun as he was leaping from building to building and waited for the right moment when the creature's eyes became visible once more. Before it could even send out another wave of slashes Joshua shot a bullet powered by his rail bullet skill and watched as it streaked across the air faster than even the creatures attack. Its eyes widen in surprise as the bullet smashed into it, but it moved a bit avoiding getting shot in between the eyes. The wound clearly hurt as it let out a loud wail before disappearing once again. Joshua and the rest of his group still had to dodge out of the way as the slashes tore in to the building they had jumped from.
'Great now we know we can wound the creature no problem. Apparently it doesn't have very high defenses if a basic rail bullet skill can cause it that much pain.' Lilly said with a smile.
'That is correct, the thing seems to be all in on its stealth and offense from what I can tell.' Tank responded through their auras. This time he didn't project his voice out loud, but directly towards them to keep from attracting the creatures swarming the streets beneath them from rushing straight on up to them. With their clawed hands they could easily scale the buildings if they were given a reason too, and they wanted to avoid that situation at all cost.
'That maybe the case, but these things tend to have a high regeneration capability, and considering that It was a simple ranged attack I highly doubt it won't be able to heal in a matter of moments.' Joshua said, but it seemed like he had an idea coming to mind as the others glanced towards him.
'If that's the case then how do we put it down for good?' Tank asked before leaving a trail of bubbles in the air as they jumped over to another building leaving the annoying swarm of creatures from below a present as they tried to enter it.
'It might not be able to kill it, but it sure as hell seems to hurt it. Eventually it will get tired of this back and forth when it realizes we're hurting it and it's not doing anything to us. That's when it will charge over and most likely try to take me out since I'm the only one that can ruin its strategy in its eyes. That's when we let it have it.' Joshua explained getting a smile from the others. 'I'll use my aura shield to block whatever attack it plans to use and that's when you give it everything.'
They nodded before starting to enact the plan. They kept on the move as Joshua shot the creature whenever it appeared. Over time it became obvious that the creature was getting annoyed by the current situation. The wounds that Joshua was giving it were quickly healed by the haze but as a consequence the haze was thinning out a bit in any area the creature was in. This wouldn't be a problem for the short term, but if it continued then eventually the haze would become too thin for it to hide properly. Not to mention the fact that it would affect the boss monster further in town. So Joshua could tell the creature was starting to get on edge. When it appeared it would immediately send its attack while trying to block Joshua's retaliation with what looked like an enormous clawed hand from their perspective.
At first its new tactic worked a little, but then Joshua just started charging his shots longer and caused even more damage to its enormous arm than he had been doing to its body. The haze continued to heal the creature, but by its anguished screams Joshua could tell that it was about to crack. It was in the next instant that Joshua could feel a presence rushing towards him and he smiled broadly as the creature appeared directly in front of the building that they were standing on. The creature looked disturbing with its grotesquely large hand that was about the same size as the rest of its entire body. It had long hair that covered up its shriveled skin and its other arm hanged loosely by its side. Its leg were bulging after it used so much force to lunge towards Joshua' but he simply grinned when the creatures large hand tried to grab onto him.
In that moment Joshua flared his aura shield into being causing the creatures claws to do nothing, but scratch the protective shield, but now it was left out in the open. Of course Cinder, Lilly, and Tank took advantage of this and lit it up with all sorts of attacks that started to burn its skin rapidly and blow off parts of its body. Cinder even tore its grotesque arm off and tossed it to the street below. The poor creature shrieked one final time as it fell to the ground. Joshua observed its level to get an idea of how strong the boss would be and noticed it was four stars with a level of thirty-eight. So he had a good idea of what the big bad guy at the center of town would be like.
Before it could do anything else Joshua took out his scale blade and sent an aura blast directly towards it's covered up head and killed it on the spot.