189 Chapter 135: The Dungeon that is a Puzzle in Itself Part 4
The group collected the remains of the five scorpions before moving on to the platform and waiting for it to start moving. It didn't budge an inch until the five minute mark, but the short break allowed Joshua to think over the dungeon a bit. One of the interesting things he noticed was whenever he looked down he could actually see the rest of the dungeon below. The platform were moving in random patterns from what he could tell even though Henry seemed to have figured out the right pattern to follow, but the one thing that was certain was the fact that going down was the correct way in the end. They still had a long way to go as he could see a lot of platforms below them moving from place to place, but he was interested in what a boss in a dungeon of this type would be like.
When the platform started to move Joshua was able to see where the thing was leading them to and he understood why Henry had said this was the fastest way to go. Unlike all of the other platforms that seemed to either be moving to each other all over the dungeon or towards small rooms that were left floating around, this platform was headed towards a giant looking dome structure that stood out from the rest. It was at least three times the size of the room they had just left which meant whatever they were going to end up fighting inside was probably on the larger side. Joshua knew it was going to be a sub-boss and a far higher level one at that, but he couldn't help but feel a little excited for the upcoming battle and all.
"Well as you've probably guessed that room up ahead is where the sub-boss resides." Henry said getting everyone's attention. "It's a challenging foe, but the fight won't start until we fully enter the building. Just make sure you get off the platform we're on now before the five minute timer passes otherwise you'll be sent back to the other room above. That'd just be a waste of time."
"Anything we should know about this fight before we go in?" Joshua asked. He'd like to know what to expect before charging in blindly.
"As you might imagine from the size of the building the boss itself is on the larger side of things. I'd say it's about twice the size of Tank at full size and it is a scorpion that is heavily armored like all the other ones we've faced up to this point." Henry started to explain getting nods from Joshua, Lilly, and Amy as they listened in. "This sub-boss is a defensive style monster with two major offensive capabilities that get in the way."
"Yeah, its armor is much tougher than the other ones we've faced up to this point so it'll take a few hits to crack it beforehand but we don't have a time limit in this fight so no need to feel rushed." Adrian said with a grin. "It took us nearly two hours of constantly fighting last time to put the thing down for good."
"Really two hours? That seems like a nightmare." Amy said with a look of surprise.
"It was, the thing is tough to handle, but with you guys here to help and our experience from the last time facing it we should be able to cut the time it takes to kill it down dramatically." Aito said before turning back to Henry so he could finish his explanation on the boss.
"Well the two main forms of attack the boss has outside of what all of the other scorpions were able to do are area of effect abilities. The first being a poisonous cloud that it constantly releases from under its armor. The stuff will weaken you and take away your strength if you breathe too much of it in. I have a way to keep that from causing to many problems for us so just make sure you don't stay close to it for too long at a time." Henry explained pausing to make sure everyone understood. "The other ability is a bit more problematic if you get caught by it. This creature has control over crystals to an extent and the ground and room are littered with them. So you have to keep on your toes so it doesn't impale you with a random crystal spike from the floor. It isn't very smart or creative so all of its attacks are straight forward, but it is still troublesome."
When Henry finished explaining everything their platform arrived at the large building and they all got off prepared for a fight. Joshua made sure to take the lead, but he didn't rush in right away so that he could observe the creature right away and get a good idea of what they'd be up against. The light in the room was created from being reflected off all of the crystals which made the room a bit dimly lit, but bright every now and then when light poured in from the ceiling after a platform moved out of the way. The room was large, but the creature that Joshua saw casually lying in wait for them with its enormous stinger swaying back and forth took up nearly half of the space.
From what Joshua could tell the boss wasn't going to be very mobile and was more than likely going to stay in place while turning to attack when needed. Plus if Henry was correct about its two primary abilities then it wouldn't really need to move around all that much in the first place. The poison it would give off would surround most of the room giving them barely any space to avoid its effect when it starts to become too much while the creature could attack them from anywhere with all of the crystals that were in the area. Joshua was going to have to make sure to keep its main attention on him. He didn't want to rely on Lilly's pets in the current situation since they wouldn't have much room to avoid the large creature and would be torn into if they were the primary target of the sub-boss.
When Joshua observed the creature it was simply called Crystal Scorpion and it had five stars by its name while being a level fifty-nine creature. This meant that it wasn't far behind on level from Adrian and the others and was a good fifteen levels up on Joshua at the moment. He was going to need all the boost he could get to hold his own in this fight while using his defensive measures properly if he wanted to hold out for a long time. As all of the rest of the group made their way into the room Joshua could tell that the large scorpion was glaring at them and waiting for them to make their approach before it did anything.
"Well then are you guys ready?" Joshua turned and asked as everyone made their final preparations. Henry had put several buffs on everyone with most focusing on Joshua so that he could hold his own in the upcoming fight. He gave everyone buffs to their weapons strength along with another buff that improved the power behind skills by ten percent. It was small, but would add up in a long and drawn out fight. He also gave Joshua the counter buff, the regeneration buff, and the stun buff before saying that he was prepared for the fight.
Lilly on the other hand had Tank create several bubble traps before switching out to Cinder who started to web the walls a bit so that she could move around the space faster and attack from above. The bubbles would slowly drift towards the sub- boss and deal damage from time to time. After that she had light go into Joshua's aura to boost his strength and protect him in a tight spot while Jade went into Amy's shadow. Flutter then started to boost the strength of the entire party before creating an illusion of them that was prepared to charge ahead towards the creature right away. The rest of the group just took out their weapons and were ready to go in after Joshua.
Well then let's get this done as smoothly as possible. Don't get reckless." Joshua said before he looked toward Lilly who gave Flutter the command to start. The butterfly sent in the illusions that looked extremely realistic and they all watched as they rushed towards the boss. Joshua made sure to get into a position where he could take advantage of any opening the boss made after attacking the illusions while Cinder kept webbing up the walls around the area to free up her movements even more. It was going to be interesting to see how their first salvo of attacks were going to go if they wanted to get a good judge of all they'd have to do to take this sub-boss down and soon they were able to see the effects the illusion had on the boss.
The giant scorpion let out a deep rumble that filled the entire room as it stood up on its bulky legs and looked down on the illusions that were racing towards it. The illusions weren't real or substantial, but Flutter was able to make their approach realistic as Joshua's illusion took the lead with an aura flaring around it as it lifted a fake scale blade into the air and leapt forward preparing to tear into the scorpion directly between the eyes, but that was the moment the real Joshua knew it was time for him to make his move. He charged forward and coated his scale blade in aura while getting within range where he could blink directly towards the large scorpion.
The scorpion swiped its enormous claw directly towards the illusions and the moment it made contact the illusions fell apart causing the large scorpion to look around in shock at the current situation. It was expecting to tear into flesh, but was instead left out of place as its claw kept traveling and smashed deep into the ground causing the whole place to shake from the power of its attack. Joshua was expecting just that and blinked towards the base of its claw which was covered in less crystal than the rest of it, but more than enough to keep Joshua from slashing the claw straight off like he would have wanted. Instead he slammed an aura blast charged scale blade directly into it to break several parts of the crystal and fissured a lot of what was left over, all up and down the claw. An Echo strike followed up breaking it up even more, but Joshua had to move back as the scorpions stinger came crashing down and nearly took Joshua's head off.
A projectile shield from Light helped him avoid that fate and he parried the stinger and redirected most of the force of the blow away from his body and towards the ground as the stinger crashed right next to him. The only reason Joshua wasn't thrown off balance was the fact that his rock steady skill was helping him out since he was guarding at the moment. He then twisted and slammed his scale blade once again into the scorpion's claw with the extra force from the boost of Henry's buffs. The blow knocked off more of the crystal which enraged the beast, but before it could go after Joshua a blast tore into one of its eyes causing the large creature to screech in pain. That was followed by a barrage of fireballs to its back which were nothing more than an annoyance for the scorpion, but it kept the thing from going after Joshua once again.
Now that the crystal was nearly all knocked off Joshua leaned to the side as another shot from Aito bounced off the ground and slammed directly in to the opening Joshua had been creating on the claw. The attack knocked off what little crystal was left in the space and made a weak spot for Adrian to tear into. Of course the scorpion tried to retaliate beforehand causing spike of crystals to break out of the ground beneath Joshua, but he dodged out of the way. Since the creature was so focused on him Amy was able to get in a powerful blow to its side. The crystal wasn't able to effect the force of the impact much and the creature jolted to the side a bit from the force of the blow with a look of shock. Joshua could tell it was surprised that its armor didn't have any effect on Amy's attack.
Before the creature could focus on his little sister Joshua used heroic shout and gained its attention once again. It was in that moment that the pair of swords Adrian had in his hands glowed fiercely as he cut straight through the exoskeleton of the large scorpion where the crystal was broken off. The blow nearly cut the massive claw clean off and another explosive round from Aito finished the deal blasting the claw off and sending the scorpion scurrying back a bit in pain. Before they could continue their assault the scorpion let out a large green cloud from underneath its armor and everyone was forced to back away.
It had only been a minute since the fight started and the sub-boss was already down a claw. Joshua highly doubted this fight would take two hours.