180 Chapter 126: Jayce“s Group takes on a Sub-Boss While Lilly finds a new Pe
When it was starting to get late in the day the group had finally come across a room that looked a lot different from the rest of the dungeon. From the presence Joshua could sense on the other side of the large door he was certain that it was most likely the sub-boss room. It wasn't quite late enough in the day that Jayce's group wanted to stop exploring, but they decided to take a short break before taking on whatever was beyond the door. Throughout out their exploration they had fought so much that they had actually all gained another level and were sitting at level forty-one at this point, but Joshua was certain that their leveling would start to slow down going forward. The dungeon wasn't such a giant leap in level for them anymore so soon the rate of their leveling would start to slow.
They might have been able to get another level or so worth of experience from the upcoming sub-boss and boss class beast in the dungeon, but after that they'd probably have to go through again to continue leveling. They had also gotten mostly a bunch of raw materials in any of the treasure chest they came across while exploring the place. Of course since it wasn't a level fifty or higher dungeon they didn't come across any blue print chest, but that was to be expected. Outside of the pair of throwing knives they didn't really find any other sort of equipment in the dungeon, but they did find something that was of interest to Joshua. One of the materials was a metal that was called for in the blue prints for Joshua's scale blade project. It wasn't the main metal or anything, but it was part of the shifting feature of the blade and would be essential. Joshua made sure to pay them all for the materials and kept it away in his inventory for later.
After they had finished their break and had their fill of food Jayce and his group started preparing for what was to come next. They all knew they were about to take on a sub-boss level creature which meant the fight was going to take longer and be much tougher than usual. They knew they had Joshua and his group to help out if things went bad, but they were all certain the whole point in bringing them here was for them to get stronger and relying on Joshua wouldn't help in that regard. Then there was the fact that Jayce and the rest of his group were probably going to grind the place for levels after they finish it for the first time, but they highly doubted that Joshua would be sticking around for that. Joshua had to do his own training as well after all.
Knowing that it would be completely up to them to take on the upcoming boss they made up their mind on how they were going to handle it depending on what type of fight they were going up against. Depending on what they saw when they opened the door they could go in with a different formation, but all of the fighting plans they had come up with had Jayce going in first so that was how things started off. The moment they opened the large doors that were blocking their way forward the terrain of the dungeon completely changed. It wasn't something they weren't used to since something similar had happened in the dungeon they had gone in with Amy, but it also meant there was a good chance the plan of attack for the sub-boss would be different from all of the smaller mobs they had faced up to this point.
Unlike the rest of the dungeon which had been nothing but pathways with flat surfaces this area was filled with large rocks that jutted out of the ground everywhere you looked. The rocks were spread out all over the large room and towered over everyone like buildings. The largest one they could see nearly reached the ceiling unlike most of the others. There wasn't all that much space in between the rocks for them to spread out so they went for a more compact formation with Jayce staying out front and Allen just behind him to step in to attack. The rest stayed a little further back although Marcus was behind the two back liners this time and he was setting up traps behind them just in case whatever creature was in the territory tried to ambush them.
As they made their way deeper into the room they could hear crunching sounds as if something was snapping something hard. It didn't take them long to figure out what was making that noise in the end. In the center of the room there was a bit of a clearing, but not large enough for them to spread out all that much. In the center of the clearing there was a large dog like creature that looked similar to the ones they had faced up to this point, but still it had a few unique things about it. First off was the fact that it was far larger than any of the other dogs they had seen up to this point. It was in fact about twice the size of the creatures they had been fighting against and it had the muscles to prove that point as well. The other dogs although muscular also looked a bit malnourished, but this one outside of a bit of mangy hair clearly was in good health. Its body was in peak condition.
Another major difference about this dog was the fact that its teeth seemed almost too big for its mouth. Whenever its jaw shut you could see its teeth clearly still looking as threateningly as possible. The snapping sound was coming from its teeth snapping through bones that it had piled up next to it. From what they could tell they looked similar to the bones of a dog and it was a bit disturbing that it would eat the other creatures of the dungeon. Outside of that it looked like a normal overgrown dog, but when Joshua observed it he noticed that it had four stars next to its name and was level forty-four. It would be a tough challenge for Jayce's group and Joshua made sure to give them space to engage. He Lilly and Amy stood back and out of the way of everything. Of course if the dog was dumb enough to come for them then Joshua had no problem dealing with it.
The moment the sub-boss noticed them it immediately snapped the bone in its mouth threateningly before growling towards them. It stood up to its full height and then let out a howl that poured pressure on everyone in the surroundings. To Joshua it felt like little more than a small breeze, but to others they could feel the pressure the boss was giving off. Out of every one in the room Amy and Jayce were clearly doing the best against it. Amy simply shrugged it off after her body grew tense for a brief moment while Jayce shouted back to provoke the dog and overcome the pressure. His actions were smart since it dragged the focus of the sub-boss on to him instead of his teammates that were still slightly recovering from the pressure.
The dog leapt into the air and ran towards Jayce who took up a defending position, but it seemed to realize this and leaped to the side. It was in that moment that everyone figured out what all of the rocks in the room were for. The dog slammed his feet into the rocks causing them to crack and strain before leaping towards Jayce at a completely different angle. Luckily Jayce had realized the situation before he deployed his shield wall or else he'd have a hard time turning on the spot. He was able to recover in time and use his shield wall to block the dogs charge but the impact of the blow nearly knocked him over. Before Allen could even respond with his normal assault in the situation the creature had already jumped back on to another rock and dashed away.
From this alone the entire group new they were in a situation where the boss relied on his strength and speed along with the terrain they were fighting in to take complete advantage over them. It would be nearly impossible for Julia to hit it with a powerful enough spell as long as it kept leaping around and if she started hitting it with small spells she might grab its attention off of Jayce and that would be horrible. There would be no way for Jayce to react in time to protect everyone against a creature that could use the rocks to dash all around them.
Jayce took on another crushing blow that sent him skidding back as the creature slammed into him from the side. He was able to raise his shield wall up in time and block it from trying to bite his head off. Allen was able to stab at it this time, but it leaped away before he could even reach its head. This was a horrible situation for them to be in, but luckily they had one member in their group that could completely turn the tides of the battle. It came as no surprise to Joshua when they all started to move back and lead the beast towards all of the traps that they had set up. It took them a long time to get back since they had to move at such a slow pace. Jayce had to keep blocking the creature's random attacks while Marcus led them around the traps they had set up.
Whenever one of the blows Jayce took ended up being a bit too harsh Monika made sure to heal him back up to peak condition. She even casted a shield spell around him to help out more, but each time the beast crashed into him it would be shattered from the force of the impact. Still it was enough to hold up as they lead the beast into the perfect trap for the situation. Jayce stood in a spot just ahead of some traps while the others gave him some space to engage the beast. He prepared to block straight ahead which was a faint for what he actually wanted and the sub-boss fail for it. The creature was cunning, but not exactly smart. It knew how to take advantage of the area, but not how others could do the same to it. That's why when it saw Jayce blocking its charge once again it leapt to the side towards a rock that would give it the perfect chance to change angles and attack Jayce from behind.
The moment its feet smashed into the rock instead of getting the chance to push off, it was surprised when the rock completely collapsed and sent it tumbling through it into another trap set up by Marcus. The first trap was a small explosion that weakened the rock and made it so the creature had no footing while the second was a pitfall with a few spears placed inside. Because of its size and weight along with the force it was moving with it smashed right through the pitfall that Marcus had set up beforehand and was stabbed with the spears. Of course that wasn't all, the spears were covered in a paralysis poison that kept the large dog still for a moment and that was all they needed to get things going.
Julia had been smiling as she channeled her mana to cast a powerful spell. She didn't have to worry about missing and was already aiming for the spot before the dog had already got stuck. The spell she casted was the new inferno spell that Joshua had given her and it lived up to its name. The entire pitfall was engulfed in a large flame that shot out towards the ceiling for a few seconds. They could all here the sub-boss inside scream from the pain, but Julia wasn't done yet. She followed the spell up by controlling all of the left over flames to grip on to the large dog and burn into all of its new found wounds from the explosion.
The sub-boss was in dire straits from that attack alone and tried to pull itself out of the pit, but Jayce and Allen weren't going to let that happen. Jayce created a shield wall and used it in tandem with his shield bash to smash it into the creatures face and knocked it back into the pit. Allen on the other hand coated his spear in aura and started stabbing the creature repeatedly as it was stuck. Of course Marcus through in a few flame potions to keep the fire going while Julia kept the fire hot and slowly burnt the creature alive. It took them over twenty minutes to finally kill the over grown dog and they all sighed in relief when it was finally down. They didn't gain a level from the fight, but they were getting close to it.
It was in that moment that Joshua noticed a strange look from Lilly as the others celebrated a bit. "What's wrong?" He asked her as he looked to where she was staring.
"We have to hurry Joshua I can hear someone calling out for help." She said getting everyone's attention. "I can hear a creature in pain similar to how Tank was, and he's close by."