After an hour long rest and a decent meal to help recharge all of their energy they were ready to head back into the dungeon one more time. They didn't plan on going through it anymore after that since the reward wouldn't be useful to them since they already had it and the creepy atmosphere wasn't exactly something they wanted to spend a long time being around. This would be their last pass through it, but they did plan on having other alliance members come to the area considering the fact that the dungeon had a fairly essential skill for anyone in their alliance to have. It would be a great trump card over other groups in the future and they planned to keep it to themselves for as long as possible. Sure there might be other similar abilities out there, but the likely hood that there was another spirit dungeon that gave the exact same ability out was unlikely. In the end they figured the only reason they had lucked out on such a place was because of Joshua's dumb luck acting up again.
After a little teasing by the rest of the group about the fact that Joshua's luck was there real trump card they once again headed in to the portal that lead back into the spirit dungeon although this time it was on a more upbeat note. Instead being tense and creeped out by the atmosphere they were more excited at seeing how much stronger Cinder would become and what types of combinations of creatures they would have to face in the upcoming fights. Now that they knew how the dungeon worked they no longer worried about the large swarm of spirit beast they saw floating around the edge of the platform and they instead were amped up for the upcoming fights.
Just like before things started out with them just facing against the low level spirits that formed themselves into decently strong mobs, but they were still regular mobs with the benefits of the powers of the spirit beast. This time around they had to fight against a combination of double tailed cats like the ones in the territory dungeon that Joshua and Lilly had cleared alongside what looked like large clawed rats that were far too big for their own good. They were apparently something that Adrian, Aito, and Henry had faced back in a level thirty-five dungeon over a year ago.
The fight in the end didn't turn out to be all that challenging since the rats were rather straight forward even if there were a lot of them and the cats were easy for Adrian and Amy to take down on their own let alone with all the added help. The fact that physical attacks didn't work on their own was still annoying, but with Henry's buffs Adrian was able to cleave the cat's tails off before going for the kill which made for some quick work while Amy's aura filled punches were too much for the giant rats to handle. During the fighting the two of them did test out the fade presence ability and it worked like a charm. Their enemies would look confused for a second before turning their attention to Joshua who easily kept them all focused on him with a heroic shout, afterwards everyone else was able to kill the beast off without a care.
Similar fights continued for almost an hour when Joshua and Lilly both gained a level and smiled at the strength they felt fill up their bodies. Although it was a small amount they could feel the pressure given off by all the spirit beast they had been facing lessen significantly since they were no longer within the level forty to forty-nine range. This meant that the spirit beast that were just over level sixty no longer had two tiers worth of pressure to put on them simply from the level gap between them. It didn't matter all that much right now since Joshua was able to simply shrug it off without a care because of his aura and Lilly was able to do the same whenever she synchronized with Tank or Cinder who both could easily withstand the pressure.
In the future though it would help greatly when they faced a level seventy creature. Having three tiers worth of level dividers between them or in other words being down more than twenty levels would be horrible. The pressure only grew with each set of ten levels between them in their opponents and right now trying to fight a level seventy while still being in the range of forties was like asking to get paralyzed by the opponent's pressure at the start of the fight. That was just asking to be killed. In the future such level gaps wouldn't matter as much and instead job tier gaps would probably be more important, but for now it was the difference between a fair fight and a massacre.
The group continued to fight the low leveled spirits for another couple of hours before the phase ended and they could all tell from Cinder's excitement that she was on the verge of leveling up by the way she was excited to fight some more. Sadly the portal appeared in front of them all thus letting them know that the first phase had come to an end and they'd have to wait thirty minutes for the second phase to start and for Cinder to get a chance to level up. While everyone was paying attention to Cinder Joshua and Lilly both also noticed that Tank was on the verge of reaching level fifty as well and every time he had broken through ten levels it seemed like more of his former strength had been unlocked. It wasn't the same as evolving since Tank was already a highly evolved being, but having Tank gain his strength back from before he was sealed might as well have been just as meaningful.
They decided to have a small sandwich to keep up their buffs during the next phase and they all just caught their breaths as much as possible before the fighting continued. Lilly had both Tank and Cinder eat some food as well to stay in top shape while she fed Light and Jade some food before they each went back into their respective host for the upcoming fights. When the portal started to fade away they all got back into formation for the upcoming fights before a message once again appeared in front of them.
[Congrats on finishing the first phase of the dungeon. Since you have finished in such a fast pace the second phase will be only one difficult battle instead of several in a row. Good Luck!]
They all realized this was similar to what happened last time, but instead of simply having a testing phase at the start of phase two against one mid-tier spirit beast they'd have to fight them all at once from the get go. This time around five of the mid-tier spirit beast came floating down and started to form themselves into what looked like a giant squirrel that could apparently breathe some kind of poisonous cloud of fog towards them. Apparently it was something that Amy had faced in the past judging by the way her eyes lit up. Alongside the giant squirrel were a couple of butterflies which Joshua instantly realized were the same as Flutter and they all knew to take care of them first if they didn't want a supped up ghostly squirrel tearing them apart.
The group got to work quickly with Aito shooting down one of the butterflies before it could even use its boost ability and Cinder burning the other one down out of the sky before it could so much as flutter over to its companion for protection. After that Henry simply cast a buff that prevented them from being able to get poisoned by the giant squirrel and things were rather easy from there. Unlike the scorpion the squirrel was much more nimble and moved around the now rocky area fairly quickly, but after Cinder tore into one of its legs while Tank covered his mouth in aura and latched onto the spine of the creatures tail the fight became rather easy. They just took pot shots at the creature and attacked any weak points until its injuries were too severe for the spirit beast to hold its form as it finally died away as Cinder burnt it down before it could escape and try to mimic something else.
Cinder let out a victorious screech after taking the thing down and they all could see her body start to glow as it slightly started to shift form. From what they could tell it wasn't something as dramatic as what happened to Mr. Hoppy who completely shifted shape and size and became a completely different type of frog. Instead Cinder's body seemed to be growing a bit as her legs seemed to bulk up and her frame grew bigger. They couldn't exactly see the other changes occurring to her, but they could feel that her body was now giving off a lot of heat into the surroundings as the platform around her seemed to be on the verge of melting from the heat she was giving off, but suddenly that seemed to change as the heat turned into a deep chill that froze the area around her.
Soon her body stopped glowing and they were all able to see exactly what she now looked like as she let out another loud screech that sounded much deeper and more powerful. Her body was giving off far more pressure than before and it seemed to be on par with Tank when he was at full size and using his aura. She was still smaller than Tank, but at her full size she was now too big to stand on top of Tank's massive shell without shrinking down. Her legs were far more bulked up, but Joshua could tell that she was still extremely nimble with how quickly she was able to move them. Unlike the scorpions and the Ant Queen, Cinder's legs were built more for quick movement than having a strong defensive stance.
On the top of Cinder's large abdomen where she could shoot out her webbing there were now several large spur like protrusions that stuck out. They were rather sharp and seemed to be tinged in the same color as her fangs which most likely meant they were poisonous to a degree in all likelihood. Even with all the changes the one thing that was apparent to everyone was the fact that Cinder was no longer just a spider that had power over flames. Instead her body seemed to be shifting between giving off large amounts of heat as a black smoke came from her mouth and surrounded her body, then a chilled fog would take its place when her mana and aura seemed to shift. It was clear that she was trying to get used to shifting back and forth between the two abilities and get them under control.
Whenever she was in her heated state the tips of her legs would glow red and heat up while the spurs on her back would do the same and created different patterns on her abdomen. When she was in her chilled state however her legs would be covered in pieces of ice while the spurs on the top of her abdomen would emit a chilly fog instead of a black smoke and were covered in ice as well. It soon seemed as if Cinder had gotten the hang of her new elemental abilities as she figured out a way to stop emitting so much power all the time. When the elements faded away she looked like a more bulked up spider with more devastating capabilities. This was what both Joshua and Lilly assumed she would look like without her mutation.
Joshua also took notice of the fact that Tank seemed to have gotten even bigger than before after reaching level fifty as his shell seemed to grow more sturdy and the aura he was giving off had grown even more. It wasn't as drastic of a shift as with Cinder, but it was still noticeable. It wasn't the evolution that Lilly said Tank had the chance of having in the future, but it was a decent step up in strength for him and he was getting closer and closer to reaching his own strength.
"This is amazing!" Everyone heard a new voice. It was a cheery voice that sounded somewhat like Amy if not a little deeper so everyone turned to look her way.
"What that wasn't me." Amy simply said confusing everyone until both Joshua and Lilly seemed to realize where it came from as they could sense the emotions in the person's voice. They both turned to look towards Cinder who was looking straight at them.
"It's nice to finally be able to speak with you master. It's me Cinder!"