The rest of that morning they spent their time doing training exercises to keep their bodies in shape at first then they switched over to more team work oriented exercises. They needed to get used to how they would end up fighting alongside each other in live combat. For the moment they didn't have exactly anything to go up against so they weren't going to be learning everything, but they could get used to a few things. Joshua had to get used to the buffs that Henry would place on him along with the angles and distance Aito would fight from. He also had to be used to both Adrian and Amy who preferred to fight up close so his goal for the upcoming expedition would be to get accustomed to that while also keeping the attention of his enemies going forward.
On the other hand the others had to get used to Joshua's fighting style along with the fact that Lilly had several different pets that could help out in different ways. In the end it was impossible for them to get used to all of these things during training and they would have to do so while out exploring. They decided that after they finished getting the lay out for James Town done for the most part in their next expedition they would head to a dungeon that Adrian, Aito, and Henry had found that they had already cleared up to the boss. They didn't finish off the final boss since it was hard to accomplish without a tank, but it would be easier this time around with Joshua coming along. Since they already knew the layout of the dungeon and what they would be up against they could use it as a place to train and learn to fight with each other.
Apparently it was a fairly short dungeon for its level and it would only take a couple of days for them to clear so it wouldn't be all that time consuming. Afterwards they could move on to clearing the dungeons in the valley inside the mountain range out and grinding levels in the newly exportable zones that they had all to themselves. Around two in the afternoon they finished up their basic training and all started going their own ways. They needed to start preparing for the trip even if they were on break and Joshua was going to need to take the blue prints to Nathan later on when his store closed for the day anyways.
After everyone had already left Joshua started to do a bit meditation to relax his body after all the training. After three years of having such a routine it wasn't often that Joshua skipped his meditation after training, plus it allowed him to spend some time with Buster in his soul realm. The Fenrir pup had grown some more since the last time he had seen him, but he still acted like a hyper active child that wanted to be spoiled by Joshua whenever he entered his soul realm. Joshua made sure to spend some time with the little guy before he noticed something happening outside of his soul realm where his ream body was still sitting cross legged on the ground.
He opened his eyes and was met with the view of another door opening nearby which was a sign that someone was coming into the space. Outside of his close friends he hadn't given the access code to the area to anyone else so it had to be someone that he knew. He doubted it was anyone that just left since they could have sent him a message instead of coming back if there was something they had forgotten to tell him. Joshua stood up and waited for whoever was coming through the door. It didn't take long for it to open and for Joshua to see a short yet staunch figure make his way into the clearing. Joshua was surprised to see Thoren be the one to come through the door, but he smiled after he recognized the old dwarf.
"Oh you're already here. I wasn't really expecting anyone to be here this time of day." Thoren said with his gruff voice as he combed his hand through his long bearded. "Well that just makes things better, I would have called you over eventually anyways."
"Thoren, it's good to see you. I'm surprised you'd show up so soon though. When you guys left it sounded like you had a lot of work to take care of." Joshua said with a smile as he walked over and gave the dwarf a pat on the shoulder.
"That's the problem! There's so much work and they expect me to do it all myself. I've gone nearly three months straight of late nights working on paper work. They were doing just fine without me there so how come the moment I get back there's so much crap to do?" Thoren nearly growled out.
"Sounds like they just saved most of the stuff for when you got back. Looks like you're not the only lazy dwarf around."
"Oh to hell with that. I'm taking a break and there's nothing they can do about it now." The old dwarf said with a grin. "You got any good alcohol? Haven't been able to get my fill of the stuff with all the work lately."
"Sure I'll just order some and we can have a good long talk over how things have been going since the last time I saw you guys. By the way you all left out quite a few things about the change on the planet." Joshua said with a frown as he tightened his grip on the dwarf's shoulder who cringed a little bit before knocking Joshua's hand away.
"Oh please, we're not going to tell you everything. There are things you can learn on your own while exploring. It's more fun that way." Thoren said with a chuckle as he walked towards the little house at the edge of the clearing. Joshua shook his head before following the old dwarf and buying a few cases of some decent beer from the system. With the strengthening of the human body there was a buildup in resistance to things such as alcohol so a lot of the old beers would taste like nothing more than hops water at this point, but the system had plenty of new drinks that hit the spot ready to order. Of course in the future people would have their own businesses in such industries, but for now the system was the main source of such things.
When they got into the house they set across from each other on the couch and chair before Joshua brought out some drinks and they started to chug away. It was clear to Joshua right away that alcohol was nothing more than water to Thoren, but at least it seemed to be considered tasty water based off the smile he had plastered on his face. Joshua went ahead and drank some as well as they settled into a small silence as they enjoyed calm moment.
"Well it seems you've come quite far since the last time we all saw you. Already level forty-four? I'd say you will catch up and surpass most of the people of your race sometime next year at the rate you're going." Thoren said as he set down an empty bottle and cracked open another one.
"Well we plan on going after a large town at the end of the year so I have to be at my best." Joshua said getting a small nod in reply from Thoren.
"Sounds about right. At this point in time I'd start to expect some of the leading groups on your planet to start planning to go after bigger territories. Be careful though, larger towns will have far stronger haze creatures all around. Plus the haze will be denser and make things more confusing when trying to fight inside of it." Thoren said before taking another swig of his drink. After that they talked about how different things had been going for a while until Joshua told him about getting the reset skill. "Well your luck is certainly working overtime already."
Joshua smiled at that before deciding to ask Thoren a few questions. "So what has everyone else been up to? Don't get me wrong I'm glad to see you and all, but you weren't exactly the person I expected to come visit first."
"True, but I just needed a place to get away to and this just happens to be the perfect place for that. I don't have to worry about anyone coming to find me here outside of my granddaughter maybe. Even so I doubt they'd go out of their way to come all the way here unless something important happened. If that were the case then I might actually have to go back after all."
"Anything I can help with?" Joshua asked. He knew that he wasn't really able to do much for the old guy, but he still decided to offer anyways just in case.
"Nah, you just keep doing what you're doing, trust me in the future I'll make sure to have you help me out for all the guidance I've given you." Thoren said with a big unnerving smile, but Joshua just shrugged it off. He knew the old dwarf was lazy so he wasn't surprised he'd want help for stuff in the future. As long as it wasn't anything ridiculous he had no problem giving him a hand.
"So what's going on with the others then? You're the first one I've heard from so I have no idea what they've been up to." Joshua asked changing the topic to something else he had been wondering about.
"Well that's not to surprising. You've got to realize that for all of us a few months is like a few hours from our point of view at this point. We've all lived for thousands of years. Elves especially have a hard time judging the change in time when it comes to these types of things since they've always been long lived. I'm sure Faelar might come for a visit soon since he and my granddaughter are in charge of the connection between your people and our own, but at this point nothing major has happened so they won't be in a rush to come visiting," Thoren said before stopping to take another long chug of his drink. "Marlow on the other hand is out there doing his own thing and probably won't come to visit until you are far stronger than you are right now. Otherwise there wouldn't really be a point for him to come around, though if I were you I'd be more worried about his grandmother Garlin coming for a visit at some point."
"Why would I have to be worried about her coming for a visit?" Joshua asked a little surprised. Of all of them he was expecting Garlin to be the least likely one to come check up on him. She wasn't directly involved in his training like the others or had any reason to come to earth again any time soon.
"Well of the people you've met outside of your planet she's probably the most like me. She's a warrior and all that, but she can be incredibly lazy when it comes to other things a matriarch of a group of people is expected to do. She's also fairly lazy when it comes to other types of work, but that's not all that important. Just know that if she gets bored she might stop by for a visit like I did." Thoren said with a grin and Joshua accepted the explanation. For the next couple of hours they just set around and drank while discussing random things of interest. Thoren answered some of Joshua questions and confirmed some of the things that Tank had explained when it came to the planet ageing at a far faster pace than they had while staying in the hub city.
Soon Thoren was preparing to head back since he knew he couldn't stay away for too long without causing actual problems. "Well at least now I've gotten a break. You can expect me to come back from time to time to check up on you kid." Thoren said as he started to open another door to leave.
"You mean I can expect you to come here to get away from your work."
"Got it in one kid. Keep training it's getting you far. I'll give you some more advice in the future when you start to get close to some big changes. Until then keep safe." Thoren said before walking through the portal and closing the door behind him.