218 Chapter 164: A New Territory...with more Insects...Grea
The entire group looked towards her as if she was some kind of alien for asking a question that had a clear answer. This time around the boss fight went so smoothly that they were pretty much able to sit back and just watch Cinder and Tank take care of everything on their own. The only help that they got was a boost in strength from Lilly's frenzy skill once they had their opponents pinned down and it was time for them to go in for the kill. Outside of that they basically flew through the boss battle that they had all previous struggled with on their own in a matter of minutes without much trouble. Of course it helped that the enemies they faced this time around didn't match up as well together as the pair that they had fought their first time through the dungeon, but they were still boss level creatures.
After the much shorter trip through the dungeon this time around everyone had a good idea of how strong both Cinder and Tank had become after Cinder's evolution and Tanks growth upon reaching level fifty. After finishing the Dungeon Joshua and Lilly both reached level fifty-one while Amy leveled up as well getting to level fifty-three. The rest of the group didn't gain a level this time around, but they had gotten a good amount of experience. The dungeon was a good place to grind experience to an extent, but they didn't gain any materials or new skills after the first time completing it. The group wanted to level, but they also knew it was best to do so while accomplishing other things at the same time. If they stuck to grinding at this dungeon then there was no way that was going to happen.
It wasn't too tough of a decision for the group to decide to move on now that they had other areas to explore with more challenges and different rewards. Plus there was the randomness of the dungeon that made it a hard place to grind at. One moment you're facing a creature that's way too easy for your group to handle and the next you're taking on a beast that makes you feel like the dungeons difficulty spiked out of nowhere. The spirit dungeon would be a good place to train up potential with the constant changes, but the lack of other things made it unnecessary for them to stick around with a time limit at the back of their heads. They all knew they needed every advantage they could get for the upcoming large town raid in what was now basically five months away and they didn't want to waste any time.
They took the portal out of the dungeon and found themselves once again in the creepy forest filled with fog. It was still only early afternoon so they had plenty of time to push to the next territory on the way to the entrance to the canyon and they also had lots of supplies remaining so they decided that they weren't going to head back just yet and would continue pushing onward. Joshua and Lilly could both wait to get their sub-jobs afterwards since they were in no rush for them at the moment. They would be there when they got back and they'd handle getting that settled before the next expedition.
Lilly allowed both Cinder and Tank to go back into her soul realm for the moment since they both needed a good rest after all the fighting they had been doing in the previous dungeon. In the end both Tank and Cinder had fought in every single battle in the dungeon while even taking on the boss on their own. They were a bit tired after all that so the group decided it would be best to let them get some rest just in case they came across something challenging later on and actually needed their help. At this point Lilly needed to make sure her other pets got some levels as well as they explored the next area. That was especially the case when it came to Mr. Hoppy since he was the other fighter type pet that she had. Light and Jade were more support based while her two rabbits and Flutter would get destroyed in direct combat.
"Well at least my theory wasn't correct this time around." Aito said as they all looked over to him after Lilly had put the two giant creatures away.
"What do you mean?" Amy asked with a tilt of her head.
"Well I suggested that we might end up having to face human ghost while inside of the dungeon, but that never actually happened. I guess the dungeon was just completely focused on spirit beast in the end." Aito said with a shrug as everyone seemed to think his words over.
"I wouldn't say that for certain." Henry said getting everyone's attention. "It might be just because of the fact that no person has died in this forest yet. We don't know if the area will work in the same way for humans as it does for beast after all. For all we know it could put us in the same category in the future."
"Well hopefully we won't have to worry about that anytime soon. It is a possibility, but it's not something we'll be able to confirm any time soon." Joshua said with a shrug.
"Well if you guys are done chatting about that can we please get the hell out of here! I'd like to get as far away from this creepy area as possible." Amy said as she glared at them while Lilly seemed just as unnerved. It made no sense to Joshua considering the fact they both seemed perfectly fine while fighting in the dungeon, but the moment they got back into the foggy forest they act like things are suddenly worse.
"Alright fine let's make our way out of this forest and hurry on to the next area." Joshua said with a shrug as he looked at the map before continuing to lead the group in the direction of where the canyon entrance would be. They still had to go through one more territory to get there and none of them knew what the area would entail in the end. It could be a completely different terrain altogether or filled with actual beast instead of spirit beast, but they'd find out soon. The group could use their mounts in the area now if they wanted to, but it would be fairly hard to get through the foggy area with the mounts considering the horses wouldn't be able to see their footing in the fog and could possibly end up injuring themselves. So instead of taking that chance they decided to go it on foot this time around.
It took them nearly an hour to make it all the way out of the territory from when they initially left the dungeon. They had to face a couple of groups of spirit beast along the way, but they were not much more than hindrances after facing the pair of boss level spirit beast in the dungeon. The small ones in the forest were like child's play as Joshua, Amy, and Adrian just fought their way through without much a challenge. The rest of the group didn't really have to do very much at all. After they reached the end of the forest the fog started to disappear and the amount of spirit beast that tried to stand in their way started to dwindle as well. It was clear that they were transitioning into a completely new area with the dead trees disappearing as well and being replaced with large lively trees that stretched out high into the air.
Now that the fog was gone it was as if the entire atmosphere around them had changed. Even with the new large trees that were filled with foliage that blocked out the sky they were still able to see the sunlight breaking through along with glimpses of blue when they looked up. There was no longer this dark dreary sky above them that had set the group completely on edge for the past couple of days. Instead the place they were going into felt rather lively with sounds coming from everywhere. From what Joshua could tell it sounded like a cacophony of different insects chirping at each other which was a good sign that the area was alive in comparison to the last territory.
At the same time all the noise that now surrounded them and brought a bright in cheery mood to the group was also a sign that the area was filled with creatures that were probably going to try to tear them apart. At the moment all signs pointed to those creatures being some type of insect based off of what they could hear. The lack of birds also made that fact pretty clear since it was a good area to be a bug if there weren't any giant birds around swooping down to try to get a bite out of you. This territory was much deeper into the area surrounded by the mountain range which was a good sign that the area would be pretty far away from the birds on the mountains and would give these insects a good chance to thrive and survive away from all of the attention.
Joshua was fairly sure things would be similar going forward once they reached the canyon, but to an even crazier extent. The canyon itself was a natural barrier to other creatures that didn't like to dive deep into the dark area to look for food, The place could be crawling with all sorts of beast that fight for dominance of the large territory. That was something to leave for later when they had to actually deal with it. For now Joshua was busy inspecting the new area that they had just entered. Outside of the large trees with high branches that blocked out a lot of light in the area, there were also tons of brush that was large enough to hide some decent sized beast. It wasn't big enough to hide a lot of the enormous beast that they had come across, but it was more than big enough to hide a rather large dog or most of a horse.
The brush was everywhere and they had to cut their way through a lot of to push themselves forward and get deeper into the forest. They were still on the fringe of it for the moment so Joshua decided to sense out the area with his aura sense for now. He decided not to use his aura pulse to search a wider area, since they didn't know what beast they'd be going up against and how sensitive it would be to aura in the end. So sending out a large signal that could attract a swarm of beast to the area would be a fairly bad idea for now. Even if the aura bounced around the trees and made it hard to pin point the source, they had yet to go deep enough into the forest so that the direction the pulse would come from would be hidden by the trees rebounding all across the forest.
At first the place was fairly clean as they made their way through it and Joshua had yet to come across any type of enemies with his aura sense, but that soon changed after they got a fair bit into the new forest. It was clear that whatever creatures that lived in this forest new to stay away from the spirit beast area. The spirit beast may be of a lower level then whatever creatures lived in this area, but the spirit beast were already dead and had no problems dying again as long as they felt in the end their group would win the fight. The spirit beast would just use quantity to take out any creature that wondered into the area and then there would be another spirit beast born from that creature's death. Based off the high levels of the creatures in this area if any of them died and became a spirit beast they'd at least be a mid-tier one.
Joshua sighed a bit at those thoughts before focusing on what he could see at the end of his aura sense and the figure definitely felt like that of insect. From the hard exterior and precise body movements it definitely met some of the basic expectations of what most insect beast felt like. "I can feel a creature up ahead lets go check it out." Joshua said getting the rest of the group to agree as they made their way over to the beast as quietly as possible.