207 Chapter 153: Not the Type of Stroll down Memory Lane That I“d Like
After the amalgamation of spirit beast was defeated and the surviving spirit beast rushed to get away from the area the group was finally able to relax a bit since Joshua couldn't sense anymore of the creatures in the direct surroundings. They were certain they would come across several more of the creatures as they went further into the forest, but for now they still had a few questions they wanted to ask Tank before they proceeded any further. Lilly Had Jade and Light stay on the alert in the surrounding areas just in case anymore of the spirit beast came back while the rest of the group were having their little talk.
"So how rare are these spirit beast creatures exactly?" Henry asked as he looked toward the giant turtle. "I mean where exactly do they come from? I'm fairly certain this wasn't exactly a common creature or anything before everything changed. Everything else seemed like they evolved from some animal that existed before the world changed, but these things just seem out of place if you ask me."
"That is true, they weren't related to anything from before the evolution of the world." Tank said as he stretched his neck a bit after the quick fight. Any injuries the alligator had given him were so minimal that they healed on their own within minutes so his stretching was more of a relaxing thing than anything serious. "I've told Joshua and Lilly this before but the world didn't just stay still while you guys were up in the hub city learning about things. Hundreds of years passed as you all watched the world evolve. Of course in all of those years a lot of things have changed, some for the better and some for the worse."
"I get it. These aberrations must have come into being during the time the world evolved right?" Adrian asked getting a nod from Tank in return. "Then are they related to other beast that evolved during the time we weren't allowed on the planet after the first phase?"
"They are created from the spirits left over from beast that have died in the past. There are only certain locations around the world that can sustain their existence. I guess you could say they can exist only because of the aura and mana that fills the world after the evolution process has been completed. They're like the zombies are in the haze that are made from the people that died there along with the purple haze that propagates the entire area. They wouldn't exist if not for the death of other beast. It is part of the reason why they are able to mimic the forms of beast after all." Tank explained.
"So does that mean that they take the forms of creatures that died for them to exist in the first place?" Lilly asked a bit confused at the idea.
"No that's not possible." Joshua responded after thinking back on the battle they had just had. "If that were the case then they wouldn't have to gather in mass to create one creature if they were stuck to only taking the form of the creature their spirit had come from."
"Exactly." Tank said with a small smile before he looked a bit concerned. "They do not take the forms of the creature they originated from. Once a beast has become a spirit beast they lose all sense of their former self. No they use the art of mimicry instead and take the form of beast that their opponents have faced in the past."
"Well that seems a bit stupid if you ask me." Adrian said with a chuckle getting everyone's attention. "I mean if they are taking the form of things we've already faced in the past doesn't that mean they focus on taking the forms of things we've already proven more than capable of taking down before?"
"I guess you could look at it that way." Amy said with a smile as she cracked her knuckles. "That means we've got nothing to worry about right?"
"I wouldn't use that line of thinking if I were you. Even if they do copy the forms of creatures that you have fought in the past there is a couple of differences that you guys should have noticed while facing the alligator. I'm sure you noticed Joshua since you and Lilly have both faced the alligator before." Tank said causing everyone to frown as they realized what he was getting at.
"Well the alligator we faced back in the marsh was only around level twenty-five and was far weaker than what we faced just now. So I guess that means they may take the forms of what we faced in the past, but the strength will differ greatly based off of the level difference in the end right?" Joshua said getting a nod from Tank in return. "Then there's the fact that the creature was ghost like and none of our physical attacks on their own could actually harm the creature. That was definitely different although it did seem to react far worse to mana and aura based attacks than your usual beast."
"Yep those are the two major differences that you all need to pay attention to. The worst case scenario would be if the spirit beast were able to mimic a creature that has abilities that could be resistant to magic attacks in some way which would make them incredibly hard to deal with. The other thing you all need to realize is the fact that they can form multiple creatures if there are enough of them around when they decide to fight. In that situation we could be fighting creatures that act completely different from each other or ones that work well together in ways that we weren't expecting. That's why spirit beast are so dangerous to deal with." Tank finished his explanation as the group nodded in understanding.
Before anyone could ask any more questions they noticed that more of the spirit beast were starting to come within Joshua and Tank's sensing range. Light and Jade had come back to warn the group of more enemies coming as well so they no longer had time to be leisure about things. From what they could tell about the creatures there could be an infinite amount of them around with the billions of beast that must have died in the hundreds of years that have passed during the planets evolution process. So trying to outlast the creatures in the area was a stupid idea that they were going to have to avoid in the end.
The only question now was whether they were going to take on the dungeon in the area knowing full well it was probably filled with plenty of more powerful versions of the spiritual creatures. In the end they probably would have to since they wanted to claim all of the territories within the mountain range in the first place. Leaving this place to Jayce's group was a no go as well since it was probably out of their league to handle on their own any time soon. So they made their way towards the center of the forest at a steady pace. It was likely that the dungeon would be there like with most other territories all though Joshua was expecting something a bit different for this dungeon considering the difference in creatures in the area.
Most dungeons had a flare to them that made them stand out in some way or made them fit with the creatures that inhabit the area. The last dungeon they cleared was the former with the structure of the place making it stand out while the Ant Hill dungeon was the latter with it being what you'd expect a place built by ants to be like in most ways. This dungeon could fall into either category, but it would be interesting to figure out how it would relate to the spirit beast in the end.
They didn't get very far into the forest before another figure was formed by a group of spirit beast nearby. A weird hog looking creature came rushing towards them with a full on charge. Even though its body was phasing right through all of the trees in its path, Joshua knew that the moment it planned on slamming into Tank its body would be able to make contact. The creature was large but not nearly in the same class as Tank or the Alligator they had previously fought. At first Joshua wondered why they'd take the form of a weaker creature and attack them, but it became clear when four more of the hogs came charging out of the fog from a distance.
"Tank you hold off a couple of them, Cinder you get another one to yourself and I'll hold off the last two." Joshua shouted so everyone could hear him over the roaring of the creature that was charging towards them at full speed. They nodded before preparing to fight with Henry enchanting Adrian's swords so that he could do damage to the creatures while also adding other helpful buffs to the group. Aito started firing explosive rounds into the paths of the creatures so that the explosions would damage them before they slammed into Tank. Cinder did something similar with fireballs which gravely damaged a couple of the hog like creatures.
The first two slammed into Tank who stood his ground and used his aura to give himself the ability to fight back. Tank used a torrent of water to knock one of the creatures over before pinning it beneath him with his aura covered foot. The other one he slammed his head into knocking it aside and giving the others an opening to attack them. Cinder went after her own hog and was roasting it alive causing several of the spirit beast that formed it to die in the fire. She made sure to infuse her web with mana so that she could keep the creature in place as she tore it apart one spirit beast at a time.
The last two hogs were knocked off course by two well aimed smacks from Joshua's scale blade that sent the creatures tumbling over. Joshua made sure to cover himself and his weapon in aura before charging over and he followed his first attack with an aura blast that tore a hole through one of the creatures and sent it falling to the ground as its body dispersed into the few remaining spirit beast that were able to survive the attack. Joshua quickly cut them down with an energy slash and then turned to focus on the other creature.
In the end the fight went relatively fast since the creatures didn't really seem to have anything special about them that spirit beast could use to their advantage. As long as they had a way to do damage they were fine against the weaker creatures. So after picking apart the five hogs they got on the move once again. They realized as long as they didn't just sit back and let all of the spirit beast gather up then the spirit beast wouldn't be able to gather enough numbers to create anything to threatening to the group like with the alligator from before. After figuring that out they decided to push forward at a much faster rate and fight the creatures whenever they spotted them. This forced the spirit beast to either run away or form weaker creatures that didn't put up to much of a challenge to the group.
They had to fight giant lizards, beetles, ants, scorpions, and all sorts of creatures that at least someone in their group had faced before. Luckily they didn't have the numbers to form some of the more powerful creatures they had come across up to this point, but they all knew that wasn't going to be the case forever. In fact in all likelihood the moment they stepped into the dungeon for the area they were probably going to have to face more powerful recreations of the enemies they had faced in the past. Honestly it wasn't too bad for now, but if they faced another area of spirit beast far into the future after they've taken on all sorts of dangerous monsters then a place like this could be a nightmare.
Eventually they made it to the center of the forest after it was getting pretty late at night. They expected things to get worse once they reached the area, but things seemed to quiet down instead as if the spirits knew to stay away from the place. They were sure the dungeon was up ahead.