Joshua and Lilly found themselves standing outside of the large bronze gates ready to finally see what was on the other side. So far they had already spent two days in the dungeon and that was the longest they had spent inside a dungeon since the one back in the marsh area. The only reason that dungeon had taken so long was because of the hidden quest that stood in their way. Luckily they got Tank out of that so it was more than worth their effort.
Without saying a word Joshua and Lilly both started putting the puzzle pieces into the proper spots on the large gate. He had to climb up some of the hand holdings on the gate to get to the place near where the last group of puzzle pieces was supposed to go. After placing everything in its proper place Joshua jumped down and waited as the gears connected to the gate that were hidden by the walls started to shift. They could hear the grinding sound as the gate started to unlock itself and the circular puzzle pieces that they had set in the holes started to spin in place. After a few moments the gate itself started to open as each side of the gate was slowly dragged into the walls nearby until they were completely out of sight.
For a moment the pathway ahead was dark and dreary without any light to lead the way until the occasional torches that lined the walls seemed to light up on their own as they slowly made their way down the path and out of sight. Joshua hoped this path would lead them to something other than another split where they would have to go searching for all the proper pieces to get through the next portion of the dungeon, but he didn't want to get his hopes up to much. At this point he'd just be happy if something different occurred and luckily this time he would be getting his wish.
As they followed the path for a while the amount of torches ahead of them started to grow making the pathway brighter the further they went in. Joshua also noticed that the path itself was getting even bigger which was probably the reason for all of the extra lights in the first place. This fact alone got Joshua hopes up since he knew that when the path way grew in size that usually meant they were about to come across either a far larger area which usually has something of importance in it or a boss fight which was exactly what Joshua wanted. A boss fight meant progress and he needed to get his mind off all the little tedious things this dungeon had been putting them through.
The one good thing that Joshua realized he would get from having a bigger group was the fact that they could easily split up and go down multiple paths on their own. They'd probably still stick in pairs and all just for safety reasons, but even then they'd be able to cut the amount of time it would have taken to explore the ten paths from before down dramatically. He knew he could trust his friends to be able to handle normal creatures on their own for the most part, it was just the boss class monsters that they would need to fight against together.
Soon Joshua put those thoughts to the back of his mind as he noticed they were approaching a large room up ahead. Before they had gotten passed the gate Joshua wasn't able to sense anything up ahead and neither was Tank. Now that they had gotten inside Joshua could sense a fairly large presence in the room ahead of them, but it didn't seem to be boss level and felt more like a sub-boss. He had the feeling that a boss from a level fifty dungeon would be more powerful than anything he had come across up to this point so he highly doubted the thing up ahead was the boss since it felt comparable to the Ant Queen in the pressure it gave off. Of course that could always just be his body building up more resistance to the pressure these creatures emitted as he grew in strength himself.
As they entered the room the first thing Joshua noticed about the colosseum like dome structure of the place was that it was extremely well-lit which immediately differentiated their next opponent from the rest of the creatures they had come across up to this point. With such a well-lit room it was clear that the creature they were about to face didn't rely on burrowing through the ground as its primary form of combat. It wanted to be able to see its opponent which meant it was probably far more confident in itself on an even playing field. The second thing he noticed was how large the room was which meant the boss was on the bigger side of things. The place was more than big enough for Tank to grow to his full size and them some with room to spare.
After inspecting the place a bit he turned to look towards a large shadowed cave like area at the side of the room and saw a figure being hidden inside. He knew the moment they stepped fully into the room that the confrontation would begin and the creature would step out in full view of them, but beforehand he spent a moment to inspect the entire room before turning his attention to the rest of his group. "Alright it looks like this is going to be a large scale fight based off of the size of the room." Joshua said getting a nod from Lilly and the others. "Tank and Cinder it would be best if you both go in at full size. Of course Tank will be going against the creature head on while the rest of us try to do some real damage to it. These prairie dog monsters seem to be stupid, so use that to your advantage whenever you can."
"I think I'll have Jade hop into your shadow this time around Joshua. It'll give you a boost and help you do more damage up close. Plus I don't see her binding ability having much of an effect against something so large in comparison to her." Lilly said getting a nod from Joshua and Tank showing they understood. At the same time Cinder just seemed excited to start the fight.
"Good for now try to keep Mr. Hoppy out as well so we can try to poison the creature. Then you can switch to Flutter so she can boost all of us for the rest of the fight." Joshua said as he pulled out his scale blade and let his aura shroud flare around him. "Alright let's go. Tank you're up first."
Tank nodded before growing to his full size as he entered the room. The rest of the group followed just behind him and they were able to get a good look at the large cave at the back of the room that the creature was lying in front of. For a moment it seemed like nothing was going to happen as the room remained quiet and then they could hear the shifting of weight across the ground as the creature started to get up. The figure was still shadowy so they couldn't exactly see what it looked like, but from the size it was around the same size as Tank if not a little bit bigger.
Soon the large beast made its way out of the cave and they were all able to get a good look at it and it was almost the same exact creature as the ones they had been fighting up to this point in the dungeon. If it weren't for its size they wouldn't have been able to tell the difference in the slightest. It was far larger and its eyes seemed clearer than the other prairie dogs which showed that it could see fairly well in the light in comparison to its smaller brethren, but it didn't seem all that unique in their eyes at first. That's when things started to change.
The massive creature glared directly at them for a moment before letting out a loud roar that sounded nothing like any of the other prairie dogs and actually came across as a bit intimidating this time around. As the creature roared it showed off its large metallic looking teeth that should have no problem ripping right into Tank's skin if given the chance and could probably even damage his shell as well based off of how strong they looked. Joshua was sure none of the other prairie dogs had teeth of that type, but he wasn't too worried since Tank knew when to take hits and when to avoid them.
Before the fight even started the creature smashed it's bulked up claws into the ground and the room seemed to change for a moment. The ground shook before parts of it started to shoot up and surround the large creature. At first it looked as though the rocks might be trying to crush the overgrown fur ball, but soon Joshua was able to see exactly what was going on. The rocks were creating an armor around its skin for added protection. The large creature roared once more before charging towards Tank and the battle began.
Tank charged over as well and the two creatures smashed into each other rather effectively. When Joshua observed the creature he quickly found out that it was level forty-nine prairie dog that had four stars by its name. From that alone Joshua knew that the creature would give Tank a hard time. It was slightly stronger than Tank and that showed from the impact as Tank was pushed back a bit. It tried to take advantage of this fact and went for a bite at Tanks neck, but the strategy was fairly simple and Tank was already expecting it at this point. He shot a torrent of water directly into the creature's belly that was covered in rocks. Even though it was protected the blast pushed the large rat up even more onto its back feet and put it off balance.
That was the exact chance that the rest of the group needed to go in for the kill. Cinder was the first to dash forward as she heated her legs at the tips making them glow a reddish color. Then she smashed into the rock as though she was mining through it. Her heated claws were able to break through and dig into the creatures now exposed belly a little bit. Mr. Hoppy on the other hand shot a poison dart at the now formed opening and it embedded itself deep into the creatures exposed wound. This combination of attacks caused the large prairie dog to shriek before it slammed its body down trying to hit Cinder. She leapt out of the way and it glared at her in anger. It gathered more rocks to cover its wound, but at this point the damage was done.
It was poisoned by Mr. Hoppy and soon it would start to feel the effects. Probably not on the same level as the other creatures did do to its larger size and higher level, but it would still be more than enough to have an effect at a time where it was struggling to hold them off at the moment. The sub-boss roared again before trying to charge towards Cinder showing that it was just as stupid as the rest of its kind. Cinder was a trap expert and she made sure to leave several in the way of the large creature as it ran towards her. Smoldering smoke blinded its view, webs slowed down its pace making it harder and harder to move, flame traps exploded underneath it tearing into the rocks covering its skin and heating up its body as the armor started to fall apart. By the time it even got close to Cinder it was met with another torrent to the side that blasted off the last bit of its armor.
Knocked over and exposed the creature was ripe for the picking for Joshua's group and they didn't let the chance pass by. Cinder was busy biting it and injecting it with even more poisons while she tore at its belly with her legs over and over again. Tank bit its neck and slowly started to strangle it, and lastly Joshua blinked in front of its face and started carving his way into its head with an echo strike aura blast combo followed by a reset that allowed him to do another aura blast quickly and destroy its skull. The entire time Flutter was now boosting the group with Lilly empowering that skill. The thirty percent boost in strength made it easy for them to tear the poor creature apart and soon Joshua could feel the surge of experience fill his body once again.