After glaring Amy down for a moment everyone turned their full attention back towards the three ghostly hounds that were glaring at them as they padded their way through the fog. The three amalgamations of spirit beast each started to roam around the group trying to surround them and put them on edge. From what Joshua could tell they were perfectly mimicking how Joshua would expect the group of wild dogs would act in this situation and it was a bit unnerving that the spirit beast could pull it off so well, but in the end Joshua had seen how these creatures fight and he knew that they would never go at him head on without some sort of provocation. Instead they would jump around on the fake rocks condensed by the fog and use that as a way to go after the weak links of the group if given the opportunity. Unfortunately for these creatures this group didn't have any major weak links with everyone having a way of their own to react to the situation.
Joshua knew that if he let this fight drag on for too long though that things could become dangerous if someone was taken off guard. There was also the fact that this was only the first fight of many and they didn't want to waste all of their energy on the simplest fight that they were most likely going to come across. So Joshua decided to take care of this situation in the easiest of ways while also dealing with the terrain change without too much effort. "Everyone jump up on to the back of Tank. We're going to let him handle this situation and save our strength."
Adrian, Aito, and Henry looked at Joshua a bit weirdly, but Lilly knew what he was up to and Amy had an idea from the stories she had heard from both Lilly and Joshua about some of the dungeons they had gone through in detail. They all followed Joshua's command and got up on to the back of Tank who had grown to his full size and towered over everything around him. The dogs formed by the spirit beast were a little wary of the giant turtle, but clearly thought they could handle the situation as long as they worked together by the way they were closing in. While that was happening Cinder got to work on her part of the plan since she had worked with Tank in a similar fashion many times before. She started to set up flame pyre traps all along the ground. The dogs did try to go after her a couple of times during the process, but with a few fireballs she was able to get them to back off.
When Cinder's job was done she shrunk down a bit before jumping up to get on the top of Tank's shell as well and they all were ready to watch the show. Tank smiled when he noticed everything was ready and started to fill the area with a large amount of water all over the platform. When the spirit beast noticed this they tried to back off, but Joshua used Heroic Shout to get them to focus on him instead of trying to run away. Of course this meant that they tried to attack Joshua before the trap was finished setting up, but with a few well aimed shots from Aito that exploded before reaching the creatures and made it so that they couldn't continue their approach, they were able to keep the spirit beast at bay.
The entire time Tank was finishing up his part of the trap as he was controlling the water so that it wouldn't fall off the edge of the platform and instead it started to coalesce into where it looked as if it was filling up a water tank instead of a platform. When the water got high enough that it was hindering the dogs movements they finally took notice of how bad of a situation they were stuck in. Before they could try to get up on the ethereal rocks in attempt to get away from the threat that the water surrounding them currently posed, Tank let out a loud roar as he pushed a giant wave of water out with him being the center of it. The wave knocked into all three of the groups of spirit beast and sent them sprawling over into the water and preventing them from leaving the trap in time.
With everything set up the water began to churn and spin forming into a giant whirlpool that kept dragging the poor creatures around. Apparently the ghostly rocks were made of similar material as the spirit beast because whenever one of the spirit beast looked like it was going to pass by a rock they wouldn't just go through them like they were made of the fog that everyone had seen form the new terrain. Instead the spirit beast slammed into the ethereal rocks causing large damage to themselves and the surroundings. To make matters worse for the poor creatures the water started to boil as Cinder's fire pyres were being set off and the powerful combination of elemental magic was tearing the spirit beast apart. The entire group could see the creatures being torn apart as the spirit beast fell out of them in large amounts as they died off. The entire group could feel the experience gains from the short fight even if all they had to do for the most part was watch.
"That plan worked far better than anything I had thought up. Good thinking Joshua, this saves us a lot of energy for the upcoming fights." Henry said with a look of surprise at the situation he found himself in now do to Joshua's strategy.
"I wasn't expecting it to work this well. The rocks made out of fog did a lot of the damage and I definitely didn't expect that at all." Joshua said with a grin as the last spirit beast was defeated as its body broke apart and all of the spirits faded away.
"Well it worked to our benefit in the end so no harm done there." Adrian said with a smile as they all watched the water drain away. The terrain on the platform also started to fade away and the creatures that were supposed to be supported by it had already been killed. Everyone jumped off of the back of Tank after the water had all disappeared and they were all prepared for the next fight. Getting through one bout without wasting too much of their own energy was a great start and they planned to keep the momentum going.
"Heads up the next wave of creatures are starting to break off from the large swarm. Be ready for anything!" Joshua shouted since he was the first one to take notice of some of the creatures breaking away and heading their direction. The new group was much larger than the last, but it still seemed to be formed mainly of low level spirit beast from what they could tell. All of the approaching spirit beast started to break apart and form into much smaller groups instead of the large mass of creatures that they had previously been. The groups may have been much smaller this time around than the ones that had formed the three deranged dogs, but there were far more of them to deal with.
The spirit beast floated down into the fog and became hard to see as they formed into creatures. The group was waiting to see what they'd be up against this time around, but they quickly found out that they were out of look this time since the creatures that were formed by the spirit beast were apparently short enough that the fog covered them from view and made them a hassle to see coming. Joshua was able to feel them with his aura so he knew that there were several of the creatures there to surround them and he was wondering if they should do something similar to their previous tactic, but he knew that Tank would need time to gather that amount of water again before he could do something similar. So this time around they were going to have to figure out a different way to go about dealing with these creatures that didn't involve a giant boiling whirlpool.
Joshua sent out a small aura pulse around the platform so that he could figure out exactly what they were up against. Although he wouldn't get an exact picture he would be able to tell what the creature looked like in general from the aura surrounding their bodies. From what he could tell they seemed to be familiar and he quickly figured out why when he realized they were similar to the centipede creatures from the forest where he and Lilly had found Cinder. That meant these creatures were going to rely on stealth and surprise assaults to try to catch them off guard and poison them in all likelihood. The fog was the perfect cover for this and would become an issue for most groups, but Joshua could already see the best way to handle these new creatures.
The method was simple after all. If you have a pest to deal with then why not let its natural predator deal with it. The centipedes that the spirit beast had decided to mimic were the exact same types of centipedes that tried to flee from Cinder's territory and Joshua highly doubted that would change under the current circumstances where Cinder had grown far stronger and had a partner to empower all of her attacks.
"Well Cinder, you're up this time around. These things are taking on the form of the centipedes you loved to mess around with back in the forest." Joshua said with a small smirk. Lilly instantly understood what Joshua was getting at while the rest of the group was still a little confused, but soon they would understand. Cinder seemed to get extremely excited at Joshua's suggestion and hopped off of the back of Tank while growing to her full size. She wasn't as big as the turtle, but she was still enormous in comparison to the creatures that were trying to make their way over.
"I'll help her out so that we don't have to waste too much energy on these things." Lilly said with a small smile as she synchronized with Cinder and leapt on to her back. Lilly immediately started using her empower ability on Cinder so that her next attack would be strengthened greatly. In a situation where they couldn't see or even hear the creatures making their approach do to the fog on the ground and the echoing effect of the multiple centipedes' legs hitting the floor constantly, Cinder decided to just clear up the entire area at once.
The large spider opened her mouth wide and let a large amount of smoldering smoke out that flowed throughout the fog in the area while making the entire arena heat up quickly. Tank had created a small wall of water from the fog to protect the rest of the group while Cinder started spewing flames along with the smoldering smoke which seemed to be more than the centipedes could handle. It didn't take long for the group to start to hear wailing sounds as the spirit beast started to break apart from being burned alive. A few centipedes tried to leap out of the fog and attack before they could be burnt alive without a fight, but they were all caught in Cinders webs that she had been constantly putting up as a shield while spewing her flames.
From the grin that Joshua could see spreading across Cinder's face he could tell that the large spider had done something similar several times in the past when facing these creatures. It now made sense to Joshua why the centipedes from back at the forest were so dead set on getting away from Cinder to the point where they'd run right past Tank as if he wasn't as threatening. Sure Tank was stronger than Cinder for the moment, but Tank didn't like to play with his food like Cinder seemed to. In the end the large group of centipedes were all killed off and broken down into dying spirit beast once more while Cinder seemed to be upset at the fact that she couldn't actually eat the creatures after putting all the effort into trying to cocoon a couple of them. Joshua still had no idea why Lilly considered the overgrown spider cute.