The moment they stepped inside the dungeon Joshua went quiet and just followed along. It wasn't his show anymore and he made sure they all knew that as he didn't say another word from that moment on. Amy had already done something similar with Jayce's group in their last expedition so she was a bit used to the current situation while Lilly seemed to just go with the flow. In fact the two of them were a bit too relaxed if you asked Joshua since they both seemed to be smiling and laughing at something they had been sending each other in party chat. Since their party chat was separate from Jayce's group they weren't disturbing them or anything, but it was still odd to see them covering their mouths and chuckling at whatever they were talking about. Joshua decided to stay out of it, the less he knew the better.
Even though he wasn't planning on interfering he was still using his aura to sense out the area a bit and map it in his head. Joshua made sure not to use aura pulse since it might attract the attention of enemies in a large number if he wasn't careful and he didn't want to interfere with their first run through the dungeon. He was certain that he, Lilly with her pets, and Amy could all handle a large group of enemies in this type of dungeon, but he couldn't say the same for Jayce's group at the moment.
As they made their way further into the dungeon Joshua took notice of a few things. The first was the pathways were a lot smaller than the ones at the prairie dog dungeon so he was certain whatever creatures made their way around the place were probably far smaller than the prairie dogs as well. There was still more than enough space to fight and it was probably similar to the amount of space in the tunnels at the ant hill, but the place was far better put together than the ant hill had been. The walls were covered in strange writings that Joshua had no idea how to deceiver while the stone along the walls wasn't like a dirt path in the prairie dungeon, but instead looked similar to the marsh dungeon with a well-structured walk way. The boss at the end of this dungeon might not be as strong as the one in the prairie dungeon, but it was definitely going to be different.
Luckily for the group Joshua could tell right away from his aura sensing that this dungeon wasn't going to be some large crazy maze that they'd have to spend days exploring, but instead it seemed like it was a more simplistic one with a few divergent paths up ahead that they'd occasionally have to choose from. After a while Joshua was finally able to sense a creature a ways in front of them, but he made sure not to tense up and alert the others. He wanted to see how they'd handle the situation so he just watched as Marcus checked for any traps along the path while Jayce stood nearby in case a creature came. This way Jayce was able to take the front if anything happened and Marcus could move back in position with everyone else with his shunpo skill if they were taken by surprise. Joshua was glad that they seemed to be prepared for the creature coming, but he made sure not to say anything as it came rushing around the corner.
The moment Joshua saw the beast come within sight he immediately knew that it was a dog like creature, but from the way it looked he was certain that Lilly probably wasn't going to want to tame these things. It looked almost deranged with a crazed expression especially when it came to its blood shot eyes. It had mangy fur that was sporadic around its body, but that also allowed you to get a good view of its muscular frame underneath. It was slightly bigger than most of the dogs that they had found in the forest before outside of the Great Danes which were meant to be bigger than all the others. Another characteristic that the feral dog had going for it was that its teeth were bared out threateningly with saliva dripping from its mouth in an outrageous amount. It even seemed to froth up a bit which indicated it might have some sort of rabies like infection if it was able to bite its opponents.
The creature was on its own which was probably just the dungeon putting out a small test to see if the ones that entered it were strong enough to proceed forward. Dogs tended to hunt in packs so he doubted they'd be encountering many more solo dogs going forward. Joshua, Lilly, and Amy all stepped back making sure to give the group room in their upcoming confrontation. It didn't take long for the dog to start charging towards them after letting out an aggressive bark. It was far bigger than Jayce so instead of trying to stop it with his shield alone Jayce bent down to one knee while creating a shield wall in front of him. The impact from the dog smashing into it didn't push him back to much and it stopped the creature in its tracks.
Allen didn't waste the chance of an opening and went in the moment the creature's push forward stopped. His new spear pierced into the wild dog's eye and tore outward before it could jump back. The injury was more than enough to effect the creature as it howled in pain. Jayce took the chance to smash his shield wall into the creature to knock it back some more into position for Julia's spell. The incoming fireball hit the large creature right in the chest and the flame started spreading immediately. The wild dog was in a lot of pain, but wasn't going down just yet as the group made sure to weave in a few more attacks. Allen smashed his spear into any of its open wounds while Marcus attacked from afar with arrows from his cross bow. The poison tipped arrows made the creature even more sluggish as it was slowly starting to give in. Julia controlled her flames the entire time to put the dog down for good and the fight was finally over.
Joshua noticed it took them about three minutes to put down the one dog and could see that they lacked the powerful punch that he had to end fights quickly, but in comparison to most other groups it was fairly good. They fought well together without letting the dog injure any of their members and effectively took control of the fight. Of course this wasn't going to continue once they started taking on larger groups of the things, but that's what Monika was there for after all. Jayce collected the burnt body of the dog before they proceeded further down the hallway. After a few minutes they final ran into the first split in the dungeon and Joshua could sense that one path had traps in it, but lead to a guarded treasure while the other path was the correct one if they wanted to rush through the dungeon.
It wasn't surprising to Joshua when they decided to check out the trapped path first since that usually lead to treasure. With Marcus in the group they had someone that was great with handling traps and it showed when he easily pointed out all of the traps and either disabled them if he could or showed everyone how to make their way around them. When they reached the end of the path they ran into three more of the creatures. This time around Joshua observed them since he forgot to with the last one they came across. Each dog had three stars by their names while being level forty-three. It wasn't too big of a gap from Jayce's group's level so they should be able to handle them just fine. The name the system had given the creatures was simply diseased dogs. From that alone there was no way Lilly would tame one and have them anywhere near the other dogs that she had back in the stables.
Jayce took the lead and charge in head on knocking the three creatures back with a combination of his shield wall and shield smash abilities. The wild dog in the middle that got hit directly was damaged the most and sent skidding back while the other two were barely moved at all. This time around Jayce held off two of the dogs while Allen started attacking the left over one that was sent away from the others. The rest of the group helped Allen out with either arrows or spells from afar. In this situation Allen was a fairly decent off tank since he was able to keep the creature back with his spear and had his soul beast ability to react in time to dodge any deadly attacks. It took longer for them to put the dog down since Allen had to play it more defensively without having Jayce to hold the dog in place but eventually they got the job done.
Monika had been keeping Jayce in tip top shape as he took a beating from the other two dogs. His old shield might have given in by this point, but the new one was holding up perfectly fine. He even got the chance to slash one of the dogs across the eyes when given an opening. After the group had finished the first one off Allen came over and grabbed another from Jayce and they repeated the process until all three wild dogs were dead. It took them around fifteen minutes with the slowed down pace, but Joshua thought it was a good job based off of the way they handled themselves. Jayce collected all the corpses while Marcus went over and checked the treasure chest for any traps. After figuring them out he safely opened the chest and smiled at what he found inside. It was a new set of throwing daggers for him to use going forward.
After their last expedition Jayce's group had upgraded their gear when it came to all the essentials including their main armor and weapons, but Marcus hadn't spent any of his system points on throwing knives since they were fairly expensive for a good set. Since he didn't use them as his main form of attack like his daggers and cross bows he decided to stick with his old set which could barely break the hide of the dogs they had just killed. Now he had another way to help out in the fights.
With the room cleared they made their way back to the intersection and continued exploring the place with Jayce staying up front. Joshua watched them fight many more times and was impressed with how well they were doing. After a couple of hours everyone in Jayce's group started leveling up and reached level forty. They all seemed pleased but immediately went back to focusing on the task at hand. Joshua just watched as they explored the entire first level of the dungeon without to many problems. There was a time he had to help out where two groups of dogs had merged together and attacked them all together in the hallway. If they had more space Julia might have been able to take care of them with a more powerful spell, but as things were they would have just eventually gotten over run having a dozen of the crazed wild dogs continuously shoving Jayce backwards. Joshua made quick work of half of the dogs alongside Amy and then they left the rest to Jayce's group who had thanked them.
One thing Joshua had noticed while making his way down the long hallways of the dungeon was the unusual lighting method that the place went by. For the most part dungeons tended to either have torches that lit the way or some type of stones that gave off a bright light. This dungeon on the other hand seemed to give off a dim light from the walls themselves. The light would hum in and out while occasionally dimming for a time before brightening up again. It was weird and he was wondering what it might have to do with something they'd find further on in the dungeon, but he'd leave it up to Jayce's group to figure it out. For now he was just along for the ride.