185 Chapter 131: Night of Preparation before Going Inside the Shifting Dungeon
After collecting their spoils from the fight the group seemed pleased with how well things went for their first fight together. Of course they weren't anywhere near being perfectly in sync with one another at this point, but it was clear that they could fight alongside each other rather well if they worked at it. A large reason for things going so well for them so early on was simply do to the fact that Joshua was able to sense what other members in the group were going to do with his aura. He knew which angle Aito was going to shoot from and he knew when Adrian or Amy planned to go in for attacks at all times simply do to the fact that he was able to sense them.
This was a great start for their first time around, but Joshua knew there were going to be a ton of improvements going forward the more they fought together. He didn't even know half of the spells Henry could cast at this point and didn't even know what the green glow from before was for in the first place. He also had to get used to the timing of both Amy and Adrian when they went in for attacks. All of these things they were going to have to work on and that didn't even consider the fact that they would have to get used to each other's soul beast abilities. It would become more obvious when they started taking on even more challenging opponents in the future.
From the fight Joshua was starting to figure out the best ways for them to fight together and he was looking forward to testing such strategies during the upcoming dungeon. He knew they wouldn't be able to figure there best way of fighting until they came across stronger opponents than wild scorpions. Although the scorpions were high level they were still basic beast with a basic style of attack. There was no way they were going to be pressed to fight their best against such opponents unless it became a matter of quantity instead of quality. Joshua made sure to swing his scale blade harshly to get any bits of blood off of it before putting it on his back once again.
"Well that fight went fairly well. Usually it would take much longer for us to take down three scorpions since we would have to go through them one at a time, but with you guys here things went much smoother." Henry said as he seemed to be analyzing the fight just as much as Joshua was.
"It's great isn't it?" Adrian said with a voice full of excitement. "Now that I can focus on attacking instead of defending all the time I can finally let loose."
True and Joshua's ability to hold the attention of multiple targets at a time is a great thing as well. I didn't have to worry about holding back my attacks since I couldn't draw an opponent away from him." Aito said while Amy nodded along happily.
"It's always been that way. Although Joshua considers himself a tank it's mainly because he does so much damage that enemies just tend to focus on him." Lilly said getting a small annoyed frown from Joshua which caused her to laugh at his reaction.
"Well things did seem to go fairly well for our first fight together we just need to get use to each other's timing and style." Joshua said before turning to Henry. "By the way what exactly was that green buff you put on me?"
"Oh that was just a simple regeneration buff to speed up your natural healing if you took any damage. I may not be a healer, but I have my ways to help out in that area as well." Henry replied with a smirk. "Although I think I'll be saving that buff for when we take on more challenging opponents since you seem to handle yourself well enough without it against regular enemies."
"True most tanks we've seen during joint explorations with other groups were always taking a beating during a fight. You on the other hand seem to avoid that predicament for the most part." Aito said as he looked over Joshua.
"It's my aura shroud and all of its effects that makes that possible. It takes the brunt of the force of attacks which makes it extremely easy for my high vitality to hold out against what's left of the force of the blow. Unless I'm up against something that it is far stronger than me then I can take on most blows head on without taking too much damage. Plus my aura does boost my natural regeneration so small damage won't affect me too much." Joshua explained.
"Makes sense, but some of the creatures that we will be facing in the upcoming dungeon can probably hit you hard enough to break some ribs if you're not careful, and those are just the regular enemies. The boss level enemy is probably in a different league." Henry said before he looked towards his map once again. "Well it won't take us too long to get to the dungeon as long as we make a good pace. It's getting late so we should probably camp outside of it for the night then go in during the morning."
Everyone nodded at his suggestion before they started moving again towards the direction of the dungeon. Joshua took the lead just in case they came across any surprise attacks, but for the most part they made a good pace towards the dungeon as the sun started to set and the uncomfortable heat started to lessen a bit. Along the way they did have to face a few more scorpions that tried to get in their way, but they were easily taken care of and taken out. They became more efficient in handling them as they went and Joshua was starting to see the best way for his group to work together, but he'd wait to discuss that with them more when they got to camp.
One interesting thing that Joshua saw on his way to the dungeon was an enormous lizard that was laid out in the middle of the area lazing in the sun. The thing was enormous and was even bigger than Tank at his full size as it stretched out and ignored them as they walked within view. When Joshua observed the creature he noticed that it was a four star creature with a level of fifty-eight, but it didn't seem hostile in the slightest. In fact it seemed not to care at all when the group walked over towards it. The thing glanced at them as they approached and let out a warning growl, but other than that it didn't seem to be too aggressive. Seeing this Lilly let out a calming aura as she leapt off of Cinder and approached it alone. The creature looked at her weirdly, but didn't attack her. Soon she went through the taming process with the giant Lizard and smiled as it disappeared into her soul realm.
Sadly the creature didn't seem to have too much potential to evolve in the future which was why Lilly was a bit disappointed, but the giant high level creature would be a great guard dog for James Town. Its size alone made it a threat to intruders and if they could find a few more then they could guard the gates to the town. From that point on they found three more of the giant lizards just chilling in the sun and went through the same taming process over and over again. After the last one they found themselves just outside of what looked like an entrance to a dungeon if they had ever seen one.
The place wasn't like the usual dungeon that either looked like an open dark cave or a stairwell down into the abyss. Instead this dungeon actually had a large platform that could fit several people on it at once. It was large enough for something of Tank's size to stand on it with a little space to spare. "Well this is the entrance to the dungeon. The platform is like a lift that will take you down into the dungeon itself. We'll wait till the morning to go so let's set up camp." Adrian said as he stretched a bit after the long walk.
Joshua looked around the area for a moment and noticed that there were other spots that looked as if they had been recently been used with the remains of dead campfires still around. "It seems like there are already people inside based off all of the campfires around." He said getting the attention of the others.
"Probably, this is a fairly popular dungeon among the higher level explorers. It has high level raw materials that will be needed for better gear for years to come. Any guild that can control the territory after clearing the dungeon will have a good step up on everybody else." Henry explained before setting up a tent. Everyone else followed suit and then soon everyone was sitting around a campfire as dinner cooked. Lilly made sure to feed all of her pets as they waited for the food to cook patiently.
"So what do you think of our fighting style so far Joshua?" Henry asked.
Joshua thought it over for a moment before replying. "I'd say it is pretty versatile with the different styles of attack we have in this group, but there are a few things I think we could change if we want to improve how well we work together." Joshua said getting everyone else's attention.
"I had a few things in mind as well, but go ahead and say what you think. You've always been a fighter so it would be good to hear your opinion." Henry said with a small smile.
"Well the first thing I thought of while fighting was the fact that I don't really need so many boost to my strength for normal fights. I think Flutter and Light are more than enough at the moment. Jade should boost either Amy or Adrian since they both fight up close and that could go a long way to doing more damage against opponents that could give us trouble. Amy is good against opponents that rely too much on their armor so I'd boost her under those circumstances while under any other I'd probably boost Henry since he's more of a full on damage dealer with his abilities." Joshua explained getting a nod from the others to encourage him to continue.
"I'd also encourage Aito to attack at the start of fights since I can attract the attention of any opponents and hold it. You don't have to worry about them rushing past me to get to you." Joshua said while turning to look at Aito who nodded back at the statement. "Lastly I'd like to know more of how your enhancements work so I'd be prepared to get the most out of them during combat going forward."
"Sure Joshua, I'll explain them for you so you have a good idea over dinner. For the most part the things you observed were similar to my own, but there was one other thing that I noticed while we fought." Henry said before turning to Lilly. "In this group there is only one person with any really powerful magic capabilities and that's Lilly so we'll have to have her focus on that style for now. Maybe in the future if we gain another powerful mage then she can have her pets focus more on physical attacks, but we don't really need too many people on the front lines at the same time unless we come across an enemy that out numbers us by too much."
"That makes sense. In the past my pets had to do more front line work since Joshua was the only one, but now Cinder and Tank can attack from afar unless we come across a large enough group or boss where we need them to fight up close." Lilly responded getting a nod from everyone.
"Well that's all we need to worry about until we come across a greater challenge, but for now let's eat and get some rest for tomorrow. It's going to be a long day." Joshua said as everyone agreed and started to eat as they made small talk throughout the meal. They were excited for the upcoming dungeon and spoke of strategies until it got late and it was time to get some rest.