142 Chapter 88: Inspecting the Town and Preparing for the Dungeon
The moment the body of the boss fully disappeared the haze in the area started to clear up and the buildings in the surroundings became more visible. After a few moments all of the haze was finally gone as if a shroud had been lifted from the area. The town looked like it was in ruins with all the torn up buildings, but at least it could be fixed easily given some time. Before Joshua could start to inspect certain things he tensed up at the sound of wailing coming from the outskirts of town. He looked towards Lilly to get her to follow him and they all headed out towards the noise to see if they would have to deal with the rest of the haze creatures after all.
\tJoshua climbed up the nearest intact building and started to make his way out of the center of town and back towards where they had left the large group of zombies and creatures from before. Along the way he noticed several zombies crawling along the ground and screaming in agony as they tried to get out of the area, unfortunately for them their bodies were breaking down completely and within a few seconds the fresh air started to make their bodies crumble into what looked like purple ash. The wind blowing through town would then blow it away forcing it to disappear for good. Now that he had seen this Joshua had a good idea what all the wailing was about.
\tWhen they reached the area where they had left the swarm of creatures and zombie's earlier half of them were already dead while the rest were rolling on the ground in pain as they slowly broke apart into dust before Joshua's eyes. He was a bit surprised by this since in the first phase the zombies could survive just fine outside of the haze, but all of a sudden they were breaking apart just like the creatures. That's when Joshua realized that they must have become more depended on the haze the longer they lived inside of it. It had been over three years since they were forced to congregate within the haze thanks to the planet and in that time their body structure and dependencies had clearly changed. They had a far deeper purple hue to them proving that they had adjusted to the environment, but in the current situation that was why they were dying.
\tIf Joshua thought about it this was the result of the high speed evolution the zombies were forced to go through. It was as if they were creatures that once lived in the sea and were forced to adapt to living on land for a period of time. Of course for normal creatures it would take eons for a change to occur where they would adapt to being full on land creatures and evolve to having lungs or some other way to breath in air for oxygen. These zombies were an extremely sped up example of that. They were forced into the haze an adapted to the environment over the past few years, but now that they were being forced out into the clean air they were dying at an extreme rate. It would be like grabbing an animal that had centuries adapting to living on land and tossing them back into the water only to watch them drown.
\tSoon the whole area was free of any remains of the creatures and a system message appeared right in front of Joshua and Lilly.
[Congratulations on clearing out the haze monsters in this town. For your efforts you will be rewarded a weeks' time to take down the town's dungeon before the system alerts other explorers to the clearing of the area. While taking on the dungeon all experience will be doubled your first time through and if cleared with a high evaluation the skills given will be favorable. You will be filled in on more information when the dungeon is cleared and the town becomes your territory. The dungeon is in the center of town, good luck brave explorer.]
\tJoshua smiled a bit at the message before he heard Lilly ask him a question. "Why exactly does it give us an entire month to clear the dungeon? System dungeons don't usually take that long." She said with a puzzled look.
\t"Well in most situations any guild or group that takes down the haze monsters in an area like this would probably be exhausted and have to go back for more supplies before trying to take on even a basic dungeon. Of course they could try to send in their best members to finish the job if they wanted, but that would come with the risk of them dying without any back up." Joshua said after thinking it over a little.
\t"So, should we go in now?"
\t"No, we will take a break for the rest of the day. It's already afternoon and I'd rather not have to sleep in the dungeon and clear it out in one day instead." Joshua replied. "Besides it's not going anywhere and I'd like to map out this town a bit first since it will be our first territory going forward. Knowing all the ins and outs of the area should be our top priority when it comes to controlling a territory"
\t"Good because all the tension of exploring a zombie infected area like this was quite taxing. I'd prefer to take on beast any day, at least they're usually straight forward. The entire time we fought the sub-boss and boss haze creatures I felt like I was being toyed with to no end." Lilly said with an annoyed sigh before she hopped off a Cinder and stood next to Joshua now that there was no immediate threat in the area. She let Tank back out as well so that he could join in on the conversation if he wanted to. Of course both he and Cinder had shrunk down to sizes where they could easily move through the streets of the town.
\t"It would have been much worse if we had given it the chance to mess around with us even longer. It could have easily dragged the fight out if we didn't string together our assault at the right time. Plus it was so arrogant that it went after Tank first since he seemed the most threatening instead of the rest of us which could have changed the fight." Joshua said thinking things over. "Anyways it was its own fault for being reckless, I'll take a win any way I can get it."
\t"I would agree." Tanks voice rumbled as he stretched out his neck a bit. "It was a unique opponent, but outside of its tail and its killing intent abilities it was probably on the less intelligent side of haze creatures. Its sub-boss was more tactical than it was in the end."
\t"Well enough about the haze monster, I'm just glad you got a taste of what fighting them is like. Next time we'll have to get you and Cinder to the point where you don't freeze up when facing so much killing intent. I know haze monsters are better at using it, but other beast probably specialize in it as well." Joshua said as he patted Lilly on the shoulder. "For now it was a great attempt for you first time against such things.
\t"Well then how about we go around and look at our first base on earth. We weren't really inspecting the place all that much before since things were so hectic and the haze pretty much blocked most of our view." Lilly said with a smile before picking a street to walk down. Joshua simply smiled before following her with Cinder and Tank coming in from behind him.
Now that the haze was completely gone it was easy to see how much destruction those creatures had caused to everything in the vicinity. The buildings were a mess with just about every window they came across being torn apart along with even most of the doors being torn off their hinges. They had gone inside to check out the inside of the buildings and just about everything they came across was old and torn up. It had only been three years yet some of the stuff they found lying around on the inside of the building looked like it had been sitting around for decades. There was a constant smell of rot where ever they went and that was clearly from the molded over food that was left on the shelves of the store.
It was clear to Joshua that when they had finished claiming this territory they were going have to tear every building down and have them replaced. It would all have to be cleared out and luckily the system had the perfect thing for just that. There was a reason old towns were given new names by their guilds when taken over and it wasn't because the guild leaders thought it was a good idea or something stupid like that. It was because they literally tore down the entire town and had the system build them a new one in its place. Of course this cost money, but usually the amount made from taking over the territory and clearing the dungeon was more than enough to have the system rebuild the area.
Of course adding other things to the area beyond just new building and fixed streets would cost a bit extra, but Joshua was more than willing to pay for that. First off the system had several automated defenses that could protect your territory for a time if needed. Either against beast that try to come from the surrounding areas or people that try to steal your territory. Things such as automated turrets, robots that protect the surroundings, a barrier to hold of assaults. All sorts of things with each costing more than the last. Luckily Joshua had a lot of money saved up for building up a territory with all the things he had been selling for the past couple of months. The Ant Queen alone got him millions of system points with how valuable its armor was for Nathan's guild.
Joshua was going to have to sure up his territory since his small group would be the only people that could protect it at the moment until he officially made a guild and joined the alliance. Even so having extra defenses would always be a good thing especially when he was too busy dungeon diving or exploring a new territory to come back and defend this one. The defenses the system could give him would go a long way in holding other groups off. The barrier could hold up a couple of days on its own if you got a good enough one, which would give you plenty of time to finish a dungeon and respond.
After checking the building out Joshua and Lilly left to explore the town a little more. Just about every building was in just as bad shape outside of the ones the sub-boss and boss had decided to tear apart themselves that were in even worse shape. The streets were filled rusted broken down cars and all in all it was just a mess that Joshua was glad he could just have the system deal with instead of having to do it all on his own. By the time they had finished exploring every part of the town it was starting to get dark and they decided to head back to the center of town where the dungeon entrance would be located.
When they arrived at the place there was no longer any signs of the boss creature left and the only signs of their last confrontation with it were the several claw marks and slashes all over the area. Now in the exact middle of town there was a door that stood in the center of the street outside the town hall. There was nothing connected to it and it was in pristine condition unlike everything else in the area. It was clearly the entrance to the dungeon and Joshua decided to set up camp nearby to have a good rest before heading in first thing in the morning.
Taking down the haze boss had gotten him a level and a half worth of experience and he was sure that with the doubled up amount of experience this dungeon would go a long way to getting him to level forty. At the rate things were going they could probably even train past that point since they had a couple of weeks before the time where Joshua planned to meet up with Adrian, Aito, and Henry. He was looking forward to exploring everything about this area with them in the near future.