235 Chapter 181: Preparing for the Canyon Expedition
It had been nearly a week since their last expedition and Joshua's group had stayed in the hub city to catch up on filling out their potential for their current levels. It also allowed them time to relax since they knew the next expedition they went out on would be far more challenging since thy planned on taking on the canyon that had a big warning before entering it. Joshua knew that it would take a while to clear the place just based off of the warning so he made sure they had at least a month's worth of time before trying to take on the territory.
Joshua had just finished his training for the day and he sat down to catch his breath and to get a hold of himself as his body calmed down. He decided to use the time to check out his stats since he had filled his potential for all of his levels at this point.
Job – Aura User
Soul Beast – Fenrir
Stats (parenthesis number is the bonus stats from levels and Job) [Bracket numbers are skill modifiers]
Strength: 1800 (174) = 1974 x [1.3] = 2566.2
Vitality: 1800 (174) = 1974 x [1.3] = 2566.2 (5527.2 with aura hardening)
Dexterity: 1800 (174) = 1974 x [1.3] = 2566.2
Intelligence: 1800 (174) = 1974 x [1.3] = 2566.2
Wisdom: 1800 (174) = 1974 x [1.3] = 2566.2
Will: 2900 (284) = 3184 x [1.3] = 4139.2
Luck 104 (0) = 107
His stats were great on their own, but when you added in the boost he gained from his aura shroud his stats were about ten levels ahead of his actual level and even more so when it came to the case of his will. He felt more than ready enough to take on the canyon and he was sure that the rest of his group was prepared as well. The only problem was the fact that a party of only six people wouldn't be able to clear such a place. The large zone filled to the brim with several different types of creatures that would pile on them at every encounter and would be too much for his little group alone. Even if they were strong an elephant could get overrun by a tidal wave of ants if given the chance. Hell in most cases the creatures were the elephants in the scenario in the first place so it would be more like a tidal wave of elephants rushing down a few humans.
So the plan for this expedition was to join forces with others to start getting used to working with each other before taking on the large town. The canyon would most likely be on a similar level to the large town so it would be extremely good practice for all of them. They would have to get used to working with a larger group for the large town subjugation so this was the perfect chance for that. There would be a lot of people that Joshua actually knew coming along for the expedition to fill out the ranks since most of them would be taking part in the large town subjugation anyways.
Among the people that Joshua knew outside of his own little group that were coming along were Laura, Madalyn, and Natalie who were all a big part of the strength of the alliance. Joshua had worked with them all in the past so he had some ideas to what their skills might be like, but that was before they had a good control over their soul beast capabilities or had a combat job for that matter. This time around they would all be a lot stronger with more going for them when it came to combat and this was a good chance to figure out how much they had grown since the last time they had fought together.
Isabella would also be coming along and this would be the first time that Joshua had actually seen her outside of her usual secretary like role around the guilds. Joshua knew that she had to be a high ranked combatant in the guild just by how high her level was, but he wasn't sure to what extent. He knew that she was a mage that focused on ice magic over other types, but that was all that he was certain of. He would have to ask her about the rest of her abilities if he and Henry wanted to know what the best situation was for her in a fight. He also knew that Adam would be coming along as well and he was basically one of the few other people he knew from the guild that he hadn't met before the second phase. He knew that Adam trained most of the guild's new recruits and was fairly high level the last time they had met so he was sure that he could handle himself well.
The last group of people that he knew that was coming along from the alliance side of things were the Carsen brothers. He had worked with them a lot during the first phase back when zombies and haze were the biggest thing to worry about. It would be nice to see how much they had improved and he knew that he'd have at least three more tanks along for the ride which would be a great thing to have considering the area they were going into was designed to overrun groups with numbers more than anything. Having more tanks around to hold off tides of enemies at a time would be a blessing.
The only other group that Joshua knew personally that was coming along was Jayce's group and they would be the weakest among the people coming for the expedition. Even so they had put a lot of effort so that they could catch up in level and be of use for this upcoming expedition. They had all reached level sixty-one which put them past the point where the aura coming from a level eighty monster would cause them to freeze on sight. It could disorient them a bit, but they could hold on just fine. They had spent the last few months clearing out the territories that Joshua's group had skipped over and that was more than enough for them to train and start catching up in level. They all had unique abilities that would come in handy when placed in a large group and could be a huge help.
Putting all of those people together totaled to nineteen people joining in on the expedition that Joshua had met before. From what Joshua knew the rest of the people that would be coming along with them would be high level and primarily be from Madalyn's guild. That being the case they'd all be women since it was a women only guild in the first place and knowing Madalyn they'd most likely be picked so that they would balance out the group they already had together. From the nineteen people that Joshua had thought of he knew the group wasn't all that balanced. Considering there were actually five tanks among them and only one true healer in Monika who was under leveled in comparison to the rest of the group they knew Joshua knew they would need to be balanced out a bit more for the expedition to be a success.
Lilly could synchronize with her rabbits and be a part time healer in a pinch, but even under those circumstances it would force her to focus on being a full time healer instead of helping her pets fight which would weaken the all-around strength of the group. Henry could use some buffs that could help with the regeneration capabilities of the group, but that wasn't going to do much for people that could get heavily injured and need healing on the spot, plus the tanks would get overwhelmed easily if the only healing they had was a slight regeneration buff. If the group wanted to be more balanced then they were definitely going to need more healers. Joshua was certain that Madalyn knew that and would most likely end up focusing on bringing more healers along.
If Joshua had to guess in the end he would assume that Madalyn would probably end up bringing the best three healers from her guild along with a really good tank and two damage dealers besides herself. That would end up balancing out the team and leave them with a group of twenty-five people that could handle large tides of enemies at a time. In all likelihood this group would end up being the main force in the subjugation of the large town as well since to many people would just end up causing both confusion and a stronger retaliation from the haze. If anything they'd have groups set aside to protect the town area so that other guilds didn't try to butt in and cause trouble. That was something to think about for later when they had finished this expedition.
Joshua decided to make his way over to Nathan's store to pick up his gear before heading out to James Town where he planned to meet up with the rest of the group by the end of the day. Laura, Madalyn, and the rest of the members from their guilds that were coming along on the expedition wouldn't have any trouble coming to James Town since Joshua and Henry had already set it up to where members from the alliance could enter the town without the town defenses acting up. Anyone else would be filled with bullet holes well before they could reach one of the entrances though. He still had some time before they would all meet up so he decided to go get his gear and any other personal supplies he would be needing for the expedition.
When Joshua reached the store the place was packed as usual so he made his way to the back and just simply waived at the people he actually knew that were working in the store. He ended up finding both Naomi and Nathan hard at work on some new gear and gave them a simple waive to let them know that he was there before sitting down and watching them put the finishing touches on their projects. Nathan was the first one to finish so he walked over and gave Joshua a big grin before speaking.
"You ready for your big expedition I take it?" Nathan asked. His constant working out over the past three years had put a little muscle on his frame, but it was more of the type of body build you'd find on someone that did manual labor for a living instead of someone that practiced martial arts or something. It still was a big change from the scrawny little kid he remembered having to talk some sense into back in the first phase.
"Yeah it'll be a good challenge and decent way to find out if we're ready to take on the large town. From what I've seen so far towns are more difficult than most beast owned territories, but who knows with this new place were going to." Joshua responded as Naomi seemed to finish as well as she wiped off the sweat and wet hair that was covering her forehead from all the heat that she had to sit in front of while working on a new sword.
"Well just about everyone's already come to get all of their gear for the expedition at this point and all of it is high level stuff so you definitely got the materials to survive out there. Just don't do anything to reckless." Nathan said with a smile before helping Naomi bring Joshua his gear. For the most part everything was the same with Nathan simply strengthening the enchantments on Joshua's scale blade and replacing his old leather armor with better similar armor that had the same enchantments on it. The armor felt nice and light so it was just the way Joshua liked it. They had also made a better off hand sword and dagger for Joshua to use if needed even though he tended to stick to the scale blade most of the time along with a stronger gun for him to use just in case.
When Joshua was preparing to leave it was surprisingly Naomi who stopped him to warn him about something. "Joshua I know you're a good leader from what my brother has told me about you and what I've heard from the others, but I thought I should warn you that the people that Madalyn will be bringing with her probably won't like the idea of you being a major part of the group since they don't know you. A lot of them are pretty much man haters for their own reason's but they're good people if given the chance. They got used to working with Adrian, Aito, and Henry in the past so I'm sure that you can bring them around. Just a heads up."
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind." Joshua said with a smile before leaving and heading for the portal down to earth and towards James Town. It was time for his first big scale expedition.