The next morning they got up to a nice breakfast and had to spend a little extra time feeding each and every one of Lilly's new dogs. He wasn't sure how she planned on naming them all, but she had told him that she planned to do it when they got back to the territory. Joshua was expecting a bunch of sappy dog names like snuggles or something else ridiculous for a Pitbull, but he wasn't going to get in the way of Lilly's naming sense this time around.
After a nice breakfast they all got up and headed for the edge of the zone they were currently in. along the way they did run into a couple more groups of dogs. Lilly of course gave Joshua the puppy eyes that forced him to help her tame them instead of just moving past. By the time they had finally made it out of the forest they had collected several more dogs that were now inside Lilly's soul realm. Joshua was glad they had stored up on lizards back in the marsh because the amount of rabbits he was able to find in the forest was definitely not going to be enough to hold all of the dogs over for another couple of weeks.
As they exited the forest the trees came to an abrupt stop and all of the annoying bushes that they had to make their way through also came to a halt. Joshua hopped over the last brush that was the barrier between the level forty-five zone and the level fifty zone and he was met with a startling scene. It still amazed Joshua how drastic the change between zones could be. The place he entered didn't have a single tree within sight, but was instead filled with large stretches of nothing but grass and hills. It was as if Joshua had made his way into a prairie. The small hills seemed to stretch on further than the eye could see and the grass was waist high for Joshua which meant it was closing in on Lilly's shoulders at this point.
"Wow the view is amazing!" Lilly said as she hopped on to the back of Cinder. Now with all of the space to move around Cinder grew to a bigger size of around two stories. She didn't want to be too big to stand out and attract all of the attention of all of the beast in the entire area right away, but she did still want to at least look threatening to anything they came across. At the moment they had no idea what types of creatures they might end up having to go against in the area so they wanted to be careful. All of the creatures in the zone would at least be five levels ahead of them with most being even more than that.
Joshua looked up to the bright blue sky and noticed there wasn't a single cloud within sight. Instead the sun was bearing down on the entire area with its full might which made the place a little on the hot side. Luckily just like with most prairies there was a great breeze that occasionally blew through giving all the creatures in the zone some relief from the heat. It was a pleasant feeling and Joshua stood there and enjoyed it for a moment. He did make sure to send out an aura pulse though since he didn't want to be caught by surprise if some sort of creature was hiding in the tall grass. Luckily for them there wasn't anything within range of his aura pulse at the moment. It was likely that creatures naturally stayed away from the edge of the zones they lived in unless they decided to migrate to a new area.
"So what type of beast do you think live in a place like this?" Lilly said as she turned to look towards Joshua who was thinking things over before responding.
"If I had to guess it would probably be animals on the larger side that move in large groups. This seems like the perfect place for creatures to graze with all of the tall grass so I'd guess something along the lines of horses or large cattle types." Joshua guessed before turning to look at his map. There were two things Joshua noticed right away when looking at the map for the new level fifty zone.
The first thing Joshua noticed was the fact that the zone was massive. He wasn't certain if that was the same case for all level fifty areas, but this one was at least three times the size of the forest they had just come from. The amount space in the area meant that the creatures that roamed the plain were probably on the far larger side of things. It also meant that it was going to be incredibly annoying trying to find the entrance to the dungeon for the area. There was so much space for them to search and in all likelihood the dungeon itself was going to be massive if the area it was a part of was a sign of things to come.
The second thing Joshua noticed was the fact that the prairie area was not just the level fifty portion of the map. After the level fifty section there was another large open zone that was similar towards the back of the area near the mountain range. According to the map that was a level seventy zone which meant the creatures there would be far more fearsome. There were three other zones near that one that were smaller, but still higher level than the current one they were in. The strongest one was still the level seventy prairie near the mountain range and Joshua got a sense that they might find something fairly awesome there. It was just a feeling, but he had done things in life based off his feelings several times and for the most part they turned out right.
"Well then I guess we'd better be prepared to fight massive creatures this time around." Lilly said bringing Joshua out of his thoughts. "It's too bad I can't let all the dogs out to run around here, they'd have so much fun." Joshua just shrugged his shoulders at her comment. It might have seemed like a fun thing to do, but he also knew that trying to keep all of those dogs from running every which way would be horrible. Not to mention the fact that he would have to try to keep an eye on them while they're running through the tall grass.
After looking around the prairie for a moment Joshua decided it was time to march in and explore the place. At the moment they had a little over a weeks' worth of time to explore the area before he planned to head back and Join up with the rest of his friends. He had already reached his initial goal so any leveling from this point on would just be icing on the cake. Even so the stronger he got the stronger their group would be when it came to working together. The same thing went for Lilly and her pets since they would be a big part of his group going forward.
Joshua looked at his map to see which way would be the best direction to start heading into the prairie, but since it pretty much all looked the same he decided to head towards the center of the level fifty area. In all likelihood the dungeon would be in that area somewhere which narrowed the range they would have to search. Even so that was still a fairly large area in its own right to search for what was likely to be a small entrance in the first place. On the way they would of course come across many enemies to go up against though if he had to guess based off the last zone whatever beast lived in this area probably ruled it for the most part. So he expected to only see one kind of beast and maybe another one that the beast either hunt or live alongside. It would be similar to the dogs and rabbits back in the forest.
After picking his direction Joshua instantly headed for the first hill in front of him to see if he could get a better view of what was up ahead. The grass wasn't all that hard to make his way through even though it was waist high so he didn't have any problem making it over to the hill before climbing to the top. Once he reached the top he was able to see well beyond his aura pulse range and that allowed him to see what type of beast lived in the area well off in the distance. He could see a large group of horses running along the area that seemed normal from a distance, but when Joshua started to really look at them he could start to tell the differences in the creatures.
First off these horses were the size of elephants from what he could tell, and some of them were even bigger. He'd imagine the bigger ones were probably stallions of the group. The reason he was able to tell how big the horses were was simply because of how far up the grass came relative to their bodies. The grass looked to be about the same height as a regular prairie in comparison to them instead of the overgrown weeds that it looked like in comparison to Lilly.
The second difference he noticed was the fact that the horses seemed to be far more aggressive. Two of the stallions were fighting each other over territory and the speed they were able to charge at each other was fairly frightening. These creatures were not normal horses. Each one of their blows looked like it could smash a boulder and when they kicked the ground below them shook harshly with Joshua being able to feel it from so far away himself.
"They're beautiful!" Lilly nearly shouted as she was able to see the horse like creatures once she got to the top of the hill. "Though I wonder how exactly we're supposed to fight so many at once."
"I doubt we'd have to fight them all at once. They're not like the dogs where they all work together to fend us off. They stay in herds to protect themselves, but I'd expect those two that are currently fighting each other at the moment to be the ones that are a threat to us." Joshua explained as he watched the two stallions fight. They continued to slam into each other with such force that it caused the rest of the horses to back away in fear.
"Something doesn't feel right though." Lilly said getting Joshua's attention. "If they're sticking together in herds then what else is in this prairie to make them feel like they have to herd up to survive. The dogs just grouped up in packs to hunt, but horses eat grass for the most part. Why would they need to group up to get food? I think they're must be something else in these plains that is enough of a threat to freak all of the horses out and make them group up."
"You're probably right. I can't see any other reason for them to herd up like this unless they are just sticking to what they did in the past when in the wild, but at that time they had other animals trying to constantly hunt them down. In these zone like areas there can only be so much variety from what I've seen, although that might change as we go to higher level areas." Joshua said before turning to Lilly. "Well it doesn't really matter for now does it. I'm sure we can use some horses back at the stables." Joshua said with a smile getting an extremely excited look from Lilly in return.
"Are you sure? We did just tame a bunch of dogs after all." Lilly asked but he could clearly tell she was excited at the idea of getting more beast on her side. She probably would never use any of the horses while personally exploring since they didn't seem to be anything special in Joshua's eyes but she was a veterinarian at heart and having all sorts of animals to take care of was a dream for her.
"Yeah, let's go tame us some horses." Joshua said with bravado before leading the way.