As Mr. Hoppy's body glowed brightly Joshua could see that it was changing shape rather quickly. Its big frame started to shrink down to about half the size it was earlier. Now it would be just big enough for Lilly to ride on the back of, but not large enough to be considered a tank like creature anymore. In Joshua's mind that was a good thing since the frog was kind of stuck in the middle of two things at the moment. It didn't have enough fire power to be considered a good offensive creature. It's only real damaging ability was its long range acid bomb, and that skill could only do so much. On the other hand it wasn't really much of a defensive creature since its skin wasn't all that thick and it only had a slightly high regeneration ability to fall back on. If it was attacked by something with a really powerful offensive capability it would be torn apart in seconds.
Up to this point Lilly was basically using the frog as a long range attacker and mount. That was simply because she couldn't ride on the back of Cinder whenever she was fighting boss class creatures up close. Cinder's speed and random shifts in direction would be too much for her. So Mr. Hoppy had become a mount of sorts and at the moment it wasn't worth much to have out in a fight in most situations. Whatever the evolution process was doing it was definitely changing this. Based off the change in size alone Joshua could already tell it was going to be a more speed oriented creature and hopefully there would be some other changes along with it.
After a few moments Mr. Hoppy finally stopped glowing and they all could see the changes that had finished taking place. The old green skin that the frog used to have was now completely gone and was replaced by a tougher looking black skin with large orange spots all over it. Its frame was much thinner and it had bulkier legs for it size which probably meant it could move faster and leap further. Another thing Joshua took notice of was the color in its eyes had an orange tinge to it as well, but just from its appearance alone Joshua couldn't exactly tell how much more powerful it had become. From the aura it was giving off it had clearly become much stronger than it was before hand, but to what extent he did not know.
"So what changed about Mr. Hoppy skills and stats wise?" Joshua asked as he walked back over towards the large frog. He had already gotten the key off the wall, but he didn't plan on opening the chest just yet.
"Wow, a whole lot of stuffs changed. Here take a look at all of this." Lilly said with a smile before she sent some information over to Joshua. He started looking through Mr. Hoppy's stats first and realized that it had the largest change in dexterity. Its strength hadn't changed all that much but its vitality had gone up making it a better tank at its smaller size than it was when it was a large two story tall frog. Its intelligence had also increased quite a bit showing that its abilities to use aura had grown, but it wasn't anywhere near the level of Tank or Cinder so he wasn't expecting the frog to be able to talk in the future. He could get a vague sense of its emotions when he tried to, but it wasn't nearly as in depth as with Cinder and she was still a child. In fact Jade's emotions were far clearer and he had a feeling she would probably be able to talk in the future as well.
After looking through all of its stats Joshua turned to see what new skills it had learned and right away he had seen two big skills that made a large difference in the frog's capabilities going forward.
Poison Darts (Active) – Mr. Hoppy after evolving into a Poisonous Frog breed he is able to use the poison dart ability. This ability allows it to launch darts from its mouth with enough force to lodge deep into enemies hit. The force from the launch and the thickness from the dart are enough to pierce through thick hide or even some exoskeletons. Once the dart is injected it can do one of two things depending on which type of dart is launched. The first type can poison an enemy directly and cause ongoing damage while also giving the opponent disease like symptoms. The second dart on the other hand can put an opponent in a paralyzed state for a period of time. The period depends on how resistant the creature is and if it is able to get the dart out of its body. It takes a while for the darts to form so the cool down of this ability depends on how many darts Mr. Hoppy has stored.
Frog Steps (Active) – A movement skill that increases the speed of Mr. Hoppy for a short time. This skill also leaves after images behind that can confuse the opponent. If used while camouflaging this skill can seem like an illusion for the opponent and cause even more problems.]
In the end Mr. Hoppy has only learned two new skills, but they had changed how the frog would fight from now on. Lilly no longer had to keep him far away from fights and just attack when given the chance, but now could weave in out in a similar manner to how Cinder fought creatures stronger than herself. He was now beefy enough to take a few casual blows from stronger than him and fast enough to dodge them all together, but the most interesting ability was definitely the poison dart one. Apparently the changes in his looks was because he evolved into a poison dart frog of some kind. Joshua was certain there were probably other evolutions for frogs out there that made them more bulky such as a toad of some sort, but this evolution definitely seemed to fit the way that Lilly used Mr. Hoppy.
The poison dart ability could be another large hindrance to their enemies during fights and will definitely go a long ways against opponents that could regenerate over time. Plus the disease like symptoms would definitely catch enemies off guard. You ever try to do hard core exercise while having a high fever, because you might as well be killing yourself. Then imagine doing that while fighting someone that's trying to kill you. It was a very powerful ability that even had another type of dart that paralyzed weaker enemies and kept them out of the way. It was going to be extremely useful going forward. Sadly Mr. Hoppy didn't gain the resize ability, but he might get it in the future the better he got at controlling his aura.
"It's definitely interesting and more useful for the way you like to fight with him. I guess at this point you're probably going to be switching out pets to fight alongside you during long drawn out fights. It will all depend on what we need at the time." Joshua said with a smile and got an excited nod from Lilly. "Now let's check out what is in all of these treasure chest. This is the first time I've seen so many in one room."
"Yeah, especially in a world dungeon, they're usually far stingier on the treasure chest." Lilly said. They both turned in surprise as they herd Tank chuckling nearby. "What's so funny?"
"Well I highly doubt you will find anything of material value to you inside of these chest. A world dungeon wouldn't do something like this unless you had to make a choice between them or they were a part of clearing the way forward in the dungeon." Tank said getting a look of understanding in return from the both of them. Even Cinder nodded along as if she was learning. "I highly doubt it's the first one since the room has three keys in it instead of one, so in all likelihood they're most likely mandatory for continuing the dungeon."
"Makes sense, but if we've already got keys for stuff like chest and doors then I don't think I'm going to like having to do even more puzzle stuff going forward." Joshua said with a sigh as he went to collect the other keys before heading over to one of the treasure chest. The first thing he noticed about the chest this time was the change in color from the usual red chest. Instead these chest were a more brown color as if the signal the difference between the two. Now that he had seen one different type of chest he was fairly sure he'd probably see more types in the future.
He took out one of the keys and placed it into the lock before turning and hearing a loud click. He waited a moment to make sure nothing special would happen when he opened the lid. Even though he didn't sense any sort of trap in the room it was better to be safe about things in a world where anything goes. When he lifted the lid he wasn't surprised to see what looked like a fairly empty chest outside of one thing that was sitting at the bottom with nothing around it. It was a simple bronze piece with an odd shape to it. He could already tell this was going to be something he'd have to use later in the dungeon so he quickly put it away into his inventory.
He walked over to the other two chest and did the exact same thing. They each had another one of those pieces inside them and judging by how they looked Joshua could already tell that they were supposed to link together in some way. Though from the way they were designed he was certain there were more pieces needed to finish the make shift puzzle. The ones he had at the moment all seemed to fit together with another piece that he didn't have at the moment. In fact they all looked like one third of a circle somewhat even though the edges where they were supposed to connect to another piece were a bit strange.
"Looks like we'll probably have to find at least six more pieces." Tank said as he looked over the bronze pieces before Joshua put them all away. "I'm willing to bet we'll probably find them all while searching down the right path, most likely in rooms similar to this one if I had to guess."
"Probably, which means a ton more fights coming up, but I'm sure we can handle it just fine." Lilly said with a small smile. "In fact I'd say this dungeon isn't so bad although I do hate these prairie dogs. Those things are disgusting and hopefully we will start running into other types of enemies"
"If we start running into anything besides new types of prairie dogs I'd be surprised. This seems to be the dungeon for these things after all. I mean I've never seen a horse that digs its way underground and lives in these types of conditions." Joshua said getting a frown from Lilly. "Considering horses were the only other thing in the area I'm fairly sure this place is ruled by these overgrown rats."
"Hey you can let a girl dream you know. Just go along with it next time, give me some hope." Lilly said before pinching his side. Joshua just smiled and awkwardly scratched the back of his head before turning towards the way they had come. Now that they had found everything they could down the left path it was time to head back. Joshua led the way right back down the long spiraling path and eventually they made it all the way back to the intersection. "Well looks like nothing's changed here. Only one more path for us to go down this time. I think I'll keep Mr. Hoppy out this time around to see how well he does in fights."
"Good, it'd be better to know now than later when we're up against a boss like creature." Joshua replied before sighing. "Well let's see where this path leads." He said before stepping down the right path and leading the others into a brand new tunnel.