After making a quick escape from the disaster zone of where the fight between the two behemoth bulls was taking place, Joshua's group made it all the way back to the canyon. Henry was quick to cast the spells on everyone that were needed to cross the canyon once again and they were finally all able to take a deep sigh of relief after being back on the safe side of the canyon.
"Remind me never to cross an obvious barrier like that again." Adrian said as he and just about everyone else in the group were all trying to shake off the feeling of the pressure those creatures had given off. Joshua had gotten used to taking on creatures that were several levels ahead of him and that was definitely not a normal occasion for most explorers. The only other people that Joshua new could probably do similar things as him were the people around him now do to their unique abilities and top tier guild leaders around the world who got to their positions by always challenging themselves. That however was with a five to ten level gap between them and the creatures. Joshua was already pushing it taking o creatures fifteen levels ahead of him in the last dungeon, but that giant bull they had come across was over thirty levels ahead of Joshua and Lilly.
If they attempted to fight something like that they weren't sure that all of them would survive. Depending on how smart the creature was they might have all died before they were able to get away. So not pushing their luck was the right choice to make in the end. Now they just needed to figure out where to go now, they weren't expecting such a jump in level for two areas that looked nearly identical. They could climb down into the base of the canyon and check out how strong the creatures were down there, but if they were out of their level range as well then the trip would be wasted and they'd have to climb all the way up to avoid facing any of the creatures waiting for them down below. It wouldn't be easy trying to climb back up with powerful creatures around trying to tear into their backs the entire time and who knew if there wouldn't be something down there that could prevent them from climbing back up in the first place.
Joshua let out a deep sigh as he thought of the situation they were in and decided to have another look over the map to get a better idea of what they should do next. That's when he noticed that the area on the other side of the canyon was now viewable as a new zone that very blatant showed that it was a level eighty-five area which was way above their current strength. In fact that was even above the strength of a lot of larger towns like the one they planned to try to take on as an alliance at the end of the year. Larger towns started out at level eighty and went all the way up to ninety-nine, anything beyond that point was considered city level and that was a long ways away from their current strength.
Now that Joshua got a good look at the map he was able to notice something that he hadn't realized before after seeing the level for the area they had just escaped from appear on the map. The canyon wasn't a divider like the cliff back between the marsh and the beginner's area, instead the canyon was an area in itself and there were several more places on the map that seemed similar further away from their location. From that fact Joshua could assume there were probably more different level regions that they would have to go through before entering the canyon if they didn't want to end up rushing to their deaths. He wasn't exactly sure what the levels of these areas would be in comparison to the canyon and the other side of the prairie, but he doubted they'd have such a steep jump like those two areas did.
In all likelihood you were most likely supposed to go through those locations before going into the canyon if the lay out of the map was supposed to make any sense. One side of the canyon exited on to this side of the prairie while the other side of the canyon exited on to the higher level side of the prairie. This meant is was designed for them to go through all of the areas on the end where the canyon connected to the side they were on before they could dive right in and get themselves into trouble. Luckily for them and most likely anyone else that would have made the same mistake that they had made earlier the beast on the higher level side of the prairie didn't seem to be as observant near the fringe of the prairie, but there was no way to be sure if that was the case for all beast inside the higher level zone.
One thought that all of this had brought up for Joshua was the fact that the mountain range must have been considered a territory in itself and in all likelihood it was probably several territories. The fact that no matter how strong and wild the beast they had come across while exploring the area had completely avoided the mountain range told Joshua that the place should be considered off limits until they took care of everything in the territories surrounded by the mountain range first. Even with the danger considered Joshua was still looking forward to when he would become strong enough to handle all of these creatures without a second thought.
"Well what should we do now? We can't just cross the canyon like before unless we want to get slaughtered by those monsters." Amy asked after she had given up on trying to figure out the situation on her own.
"Yeah and I don't think going into the canyon is such a great idea either." Aito said getting everyone's attention. "Enclosed spaces like that aren't going to go over well when we have no idea how strong the creatures are down there."
"No that wouldn't be the right way to go anyways even if I do have a good idea of how strong the creatures down there will be in the end. Look at this map." Joshua said pulling up the map for public view so they could all see the things he had been looking at. It didn't take long for Henry to figure out what Joshua was talking about and he simply nodded while the others looked at him a little confused as to what his point was. "The canyon is a territory in its own and it isn't the next area we are supposed to go through if we want to get to the other side of the prairie. That's why there is such a giant jump in strength from this side of the prairie to the other side."
"Yep, if we want to do this the right way without putting ourselves into too much danger then we have to make our way all the way to the edge of this side of the prairie where more areas will open up leading us towards the canyons entrance. Hell for all we know the canyon itself could have several different sections to it with different levels of strength." Henry explained getting nods from everyone.
"So if we had just climbed down from here we might have actually ended up in another high level zone based off of that idea?" Adrian asked getting a nod from both Joshua and Henry. "Well then I guess we'll just have to make our way down to the canyon entrance area instead. I think I've had enough of a scare already."
The others all nodded at the idea before summoning their mounts since they were still in a part of the territory owned by the guild. Based off of the map it would probably take another hour's ride to get to the part of the map where the other areas started to appear on the regular. With the tension gone from being close to such over powering creatures the group quickly made their way through prairie alongside the canyon and they were able to take in the amazing view. Of course on occasion they did come across some prairie dogs that tried to get in their way, but Aito just shot them down from a distance and they continued on their journey. None of them needed to truly worry about the creatures on this side of the prairie so it was somewhat peaceful.
By mid-day they had made it all the way to the end of the prairie and the start of a rather dense looking forest that was similar to the one where they had seen the wild dogs at before. They had to dismount there horses to make their way through the forest since they didn't own the territory yet, but Joshua had a feeling that the creatures inside the area wouldn't be to powerful considering the place was directly connected to this side of the prairie. He was soon proven correct when they came across a bobcat that screamed at them for intruding on the area. At first the group was on alert, but when Joshua observed the creature he noticed it was only level fifty-two which meant the area was considered a level fifty-five zone at best.
They all knew there was probably a dungeon for them to explore in the place if they wanted to, but the fact that they had been grinding a level sixty dungeon recently to the point where they were ready to take on even harder challenges, taking a step back just seemed like a giant waste of time. Lilly had Cinder scare off the bobcat with a pulse of her aura, even though the creature was currently higher leveled than Cinder it still knew that it was outclassed by the pressure the giant spider was giving off. The level difference wasn't nearly big enough to make up for that. At the moment Cinder was only four levels lower than the bobcat like creature, but it was like the difference in strength between a level fifty boss monsters in a dungeon in comparison to a level fifty-two regular beast that was probably on the weak side for its level judging by the one star by its name.
"Well this area won't cut it for our training so I suggest we just push through until we finally reach a place that fits what we need well enough." Henry said getting a nod from everyone.
"We can just have Jayce and the others take on this place when they get strong enough, I think we should keep moving until we come across a zone with a level high enough to challenge us." Joshua said as he gave Lilly a look that told her that he'd make sure to come back if Jayce's group found a pet for her to tame. She smiled a bit at that idea before agreeing with the rest of the group.
From that point on they pushed through the area and came into an even denser forest that made it hard to search the surroundings. Even so the area still wasn't high enough level to be a new challenge for the group. The bee like creatures in the territory were similar to the ones back at the ant hill area, but were far more dominant in the area. They came in far larger groups and seemed much more threatening, but they were still only around the same strength of the last dungeon they had just left so they decided to keep pushing forward. Joshua made sure to avoid any of the bees as they made their way through.
After they finally pushed all the way through the dense forest they were expecting either a change of scenery or the entrance to the canyon to come before them, but instead they ended up finding a change in atmosphere. The once vibrant forest now turned dreary and dark. For some reason the clouds up above looked more stormy even if there wasn't a single drop of rain in sight. Lastly the creepiest thing about the new area was the fact that the temperature seemed to drop several degrees as they made their way into the new area. At the edge of Joshua aura sense he could feel a presence looking at them, but when he turned to look back he couldn't see anything.
"This place gives me the creeps." Amy said as she rubbed her arms do to the sudden change in temperature. Her words seemed to be exactly what everyone was thinking as they strode forward into the unknown.