After collecting the two keys Joshua started to make his way back towards where the split happened originally. It was time to go check and see what was in the treasure chest. The tunnels in the dungeon were more than big enough for him to swing his scale blade around so he wouldn't have to rely on his short sword nearly as much in this dungeon. The sword worked decently against the ghoul like shadow creatures from the last dungeon since they had so little vitality and relied on stealth, but against these giant abominations he didn't see it working quite as well.
The main problem was the creature's thick hide and fur that protected its body. The old short sword that Joshua had enhanced by Nathan wasn't strong enough to break through the skin all that much. It might cause a little extra bleeding, but against creatures so large a paper cut that could bleed longer didn't mean all that much. On the other hand the new sword he had just gotten recently hadn't been enhanced yet and he would have to rely primarily on his skills to do any real damage with it and that was not a good thing. For now he'd have to rely on his gun and scale blade to get through the dungeon.
"Alright there is a treasure up ahead down the other path with two of those prairie dogs protecting it. We have to be careful against those things in here. We don't have nearly as much room to move around against them so be careful. We don't want to get caught up in its vomit attack now do we?" Joshua said with a smirk while Lilly shuttered a little bit at the thought before frowning at him for putting the thought in her head.
"That wasn't nice." She said as she punched Joshua in the arm.
"Alright, alright I was just joking." Joshua said as they reached the split and he started heading down the path that lead to where the treasure was located. "I'm going to try to take them out quickly."
"Here then." Lilly said catching Joshua by surprised as he watched Jade jump out of her shadow and in to his own. He could feel a nice surge of strength feel him that was about the same as when Flutter boosted his strength. "Go on ahead and let Jade help you out in the fight. We wanted to see how well she did when supporting anyways right. I'm going to summon Mr. Hoppy though since he's so close to leveling."
Joshua watched as the large frog appeared and Flutter disappeared. The frog was already level thirty-nine so Joshua wasn't surprised that Lilly wanted to level it up. She did say initially that it had a chance to evolve and she seemed to have the impression that it would happen very soon. "Alright I'm going on ahead, follow behind me at a distance." Joshua said before charging forward down the path leaving her behind. He wasn't worried about her getting ambushed since the only creatures he could sense within the range of his aura pulse were the two up ahead. His range had been growing larger as he leveled up and his aura grew stronger. So he was certain there were no other creatures nearby that could cause any problems.
When he made it down toward the end of the path he could see the treasure chest along with two large mounds in the floor that instantly started to rush towards him. He let his aura shroud surround him before charging over with an eager feeling to fight. When he got close enough one of the prairie dogs leaped out of the ground trying to bite his head off. He halted immediately avoiding the bite then he slashed his scale blade right across its face tearing through its eyes. The ugly thing squealed in pain before falling over and trying to dig its way back into the ground. Unfortunately for it three long tails with what looked like drills on it came out of Joshua's shadow and pierced into its now wounded face.
The attack surprised both prairie dogs as the one that was still unharmed stopped its charge. The drills pierced deep into the creature's brain and killed it before leaving it and going back into Joshua's shadow. He then turned his attention back toward the one that was still in front of him staring directly at him. This was the first time he had seen any type of fear from these creatures, but it only seemed to last for a moment. The abomination started to use its vomit attack trying to keep a distance and hamper Joshua. It was easy to see coming so Joshua just stepped to the side as the cement like vomit flew by.
Before the overgrown rodent could do another attack Joshua shot it with a charged shot that he had been preparing since running over at the start of the fight. The power behind the attack surprised him as he watched the bullet pierced straight through one of its eyes and caused it to explode. It wasn't enough to kill the creature, but it was bleeding out and squealing in pain. Joshua rushed over and put the thing out of its misery with a couple of hacks at its neck with his scale blade. He felt the small surge of experience and was happy it was more than enough to make going through the dungeon worthwhile. The level difference and the bonus experience he was getting for being the first group to explore the place were making it more than worthwhile in the end.
After putting away the two bodies of the prairie dogs into his inventory he started to move towards the treasure chest at the back of the room. He was surprised the thing seemed to have a little bit of a different design from all of the previous treasure chest he had come across to this point. Instead having a clear point where you could lift the top open and look inside to see what it contained there was a key hole. He used his aura pulse to inspect it and found several traps all over the chest and he was certain that whatever the traps were they'd be too dangerous to ignore without having it blow up in his face in the end. He could probably survive such situation, but why risk it in the first place. When he approached the treasure chest a system message appeared.
[This chest is a special chest that requires a key to open. If forcefully opened the chest will explode destroying everything it contains and injuring anyone nearby. You can attempt to lock pick it, but if you do not have the skill to do so that would not be recommended. The key can be found within the dungeon.]
Joshua smiled at the warning before pulling out the smaller key that he had gotten from the other path and walked over to the chest. He inserted the key and with a twist he could hear the chest unlock. He still made sure to keep his aura shroud up just in case it was the wrong key and the whole thing would just blow up in his face, but he didn't seem to need to worry about that. On the inside of the chest there were a lot of materials that could either be sold or used to make equipment, but what surprised him was there was what looked like a booklet inside as well. When he picked it up a system message appeared in front of him again.
[Would you like to learn the minimize enhancement skill? This skill is for the support class enhancer.]
After reading the message Joshua immediately clicked no, but he was happy that he got a skill for Nathan. It seemed like this dungeon was going to be a gold mine in another sense this time around. Usually world dungeons didn't give many treasures, but this one not only gave a treasure in the first chest it also gave a skill. The last dungeon had given them a spell, but skills were far rarer to come by than spells. Any mage could learn a spell, but a skill was more specific and usually had a far wider range of use than a spell that could probably be bought from the system. Joshua didn't know what the skill did, but he was sure it would be useful for Nathan anyways. He just hoped that he wouldn't' be stuck listening to some long explanation of what the skill was used for when he gave it to him.
"Well anything interesting?" Lilly asked as she came down the hall with Mr. Hoppy following right behind.
"A good skill for Nathan and some good materials for weapons and armor. I don't expect to find much treasure in this place, but this was more than worthwhile. I guess I should expect these kind of things when going into a level fifty dungeon." Joshua said with a smile. "Now we just got to figure out what this other key is for."
"I'm sure we'll need it for something down the line. The only annoying thing is now we know we're probably going to have to check every path if keys are involved." Lilly said with a frown before her smile returned once again. "Well let's get back to it. Mr. Hoppy is almost about to level and I can tell he will evolve when he does. It'll be interesting to see what he turns into."
Joshua nodded before leading the way back to the first intersection they came across. They now knew where two of the paths lead to. One lead to the exit they had come into the dungeon from while another one lead to the treasure chest and keys they had just picked up. Now there were two more paths to go down and from Joshua's aura pulse he could tell they went in completely different directions. When he said that he didn't just mean left and right either, the left one seemed to angle upwards while the right one went downwards. Since the dungeon was created at the base of a large hill he knew there was some room upwards, but probably not that much for anything massive to be up there in the first place. He had a feeling that the right path was the one to take if he was in a rush to move through the dungeon, but who knew if there were keys or any other useful things down the other path.
In the end Joshua took the left path and they started moving upwards through the tunnel. It seemed like they were going up a large spiraling path that lead to the top of the hill and when they reached the end of it they came across a pair of doors with a large keyhole in it. Joshua immediately took out the left over key he had and was able to open the doors easily. On the inside of the room he could see three large treasure chest that were sitting out just waiting for them. In between the treasure chest there were six prairie dogs that were guarding three keys with two at each key. Luckily this time around the room was big enough for Cinder and Tank to grow to a large size and fight alongside him.
They all nodded towards each other and instantly charged over. Tank went for the pair to the left, Cinder went towards the pair to the right, while Joshua took on the ones in the center. Lily stayed back with Mr. Hoppy to help from a distance. As Joshua approached his pair he quickly took out his gun and shot the closest one in the eye causing it to scream in anger. It backed up a bit while it's ally tried to charge over, but Jade jumped out of Joshua's shadow and into the creature's shadow. She immediately started restraining it and Joshua ran right passed it and bisected the other prairie dog before it could get up from being blinded in one eye.
When Joshua turned around he could see Jades restraints starting to fall apart, but during the time she had the creature trapped she had slashed giant wounds on the creature's face with her scythe like tails. Joshua blinked in front of the creature before it could break free and used a variety of moves to cleave off its head as quickly as possible. When both of his opponents were dead he turned to see Cinder wrapping her pair of Prairie dogs in cocoons after killing them while Tank seemed to have ripped the heads off of his pair. Before he could grab the key off the wall he heard a thrumming sound and sensed a source of aura building up behind him. When he turned around he could see Mr. Hoppy glowing brightly as his form changed. He was evolving.