The fight that was happening in front of the group escalated when the snake used its heavier frame to finally pull back and drag the creature hiding in the trapdoor out of its whole. The newly visible beast was definitely a spider although it looked extremely different from Cinder. Its body was a mishmash of different shadings of brown which made it easy for the creature to blend in with the rocks of the canyon. Its legs were far longer than Cinders and now that the spider was out of its trapdoor they could see it was a similar size to Tank when standing on its eight legs in a hunched position. Its body was built for quick movements considering how slender it was, but the power that allowed the spider to go head to head with the large snake proved that it wasn't only able to fight using its stealth.
When Joshua observed the creature he instantly realized that both it and the snake were level seventy-nine with four stars by their names. This meant the creatures were nearing the peak allowed to stay in the canyon area regularly. It was called an Evolved Hobo Spider which explained its style of hunting. He wasn't certain what gains the creature had gotten from evolving, but he knew that it most likely wasn't the type of spider that relied on poison based off of its fangs and the fact it seemed to be positioning its legs to strike at the snake. The large snake had the advantage in size when it came to a fight since it was so long that when it coiled up a bit it was taller than the spider and far heavier. On the other hand the spider had the speed advantage based off of how quick and twitchy its movements were. A battle between the two creatures would be a sight to see.
Joshua would have loved to be able to just sit back and watch the clash of the two titans in front of them, but he knew that wasn't a possibility because of one simple fact. Both creatures were eyeing his group as well as each other. It was clear to Joshua that they were aware of their presence and that the snake had blocked off their path purposely. In fact both creatures were currently repositioning themselves so that they could defend themselves from each other while also being able to fight Joshua's group. It was a good thing that they weren't ganging up on his group, but it still was annoying that they were being forced to take on two giant beast.
There was no way for them to be able to sneak by the creatures since they were already aware of their presence. Then there was also the fact that on the other side of the area the path narrowed a bit too much for Joshua's liking. If they ran and got into the path then the snake could easily swoop in from behind leaving their group hardly any room to avoid its attacks. The spider could probably also run along the wall and hunt them down as well judging by its body frame and the fact that the group had come across several of the trapdoors along the walls of the canyon at this point.
'Think we should just wait and see if they kill each other if we're lucky enough?' Adrian asked as he pulled out his swords preparing to take on the two creatures.
'I doubt it, they seemed prepared to strike at us just as much as they are ready to strike each other.' Aito said while frowning. With his heightened vision he was able to see all the little actions of the giant creatures even more clearly than the others so he knew they could lunge in for the attack at any moment.
'Well neither one of them seems poisonous at least so we don't have to worry about large area attacks that could disorient our entire group.' Madalyn said with a smirk as she pulled out a couple of canisters preparing to go all out from the start of the fight. 'Though I guess do to their size alone just about any of their forms of physical attacks can do some wide area damage.'
'Then we'll just have to be careful and take on this fight a little differently.' Joshua said with a sigh as his brain was rushing through thoughts of all sorts of ways to handle the situation. At first he was thinking along the lines of fighting with their usual formation, but he realized right away why that would be a problem. The snake could easily use its tail to attack the back of the group at any moment. This would make it so that the ranged members would always have to be on edge of being attacked from behind, or a couple of the tanks in the group would have to wholeheartedly focus on protecting the back line from the powerful tail that was impossible to keep the aggro of.
So in the end Joshua would need to come up with new strategy to take on these larger than life creatures in a way that wouldn't drag on and put everyone in unnecessary danger. That's when a brilliant idea came to mind, why not just let the group focus on defense for the most part while making the two beast fight each other more than them. If they went with their usual strategy then Joshua's abilities would eventually end up getting the attention of both of the monsters as a tank and that wouldn't be a good thing. They'd end up being surrounded with two powerful creatures constantly aiming to kill them instead of each other. His heroic shout alone would focus their attention on him and he wasn't sure if he could hold off both of the giants at the same time.
Instead of doing things that way he planned on going about the fight differently. He was going to have the tanks focus on protecting the group from any stray attacks that came their way. While that was happening the ranged fighters could blast both creatures with some low level attacks that wouldn't completely grab their attention fully away from each other. In fact he knew that Henry might be the perfect person to fight in the style he was thinking of so he decided to let the group in on his plan.
'Alright Jayce I need you at the back of the group using your shield wall to protect the back line from the tail. Abigail can switch in when your skills are on cool down and hold off the tail for a bit as well. The main goal for you two is to make sure that the snake isn't able to aim for our back line.' Joshua explained through the mental link.
'Alright boss I've got our back line covered." Jayce said with a grin as he moved to the back of the group. Abigail nodded as well before doing the same.
'Dave, Devin, and Dillon are up front with me. In this fight our goal isn't to draw the attention of the two creatures so no aggro attracting techniques. Just try to block stray attacks that come towards us. I'll block off any big blows but you guys need to pay attention for any little sneak attacks that try to go past me.' Joshua said towards the three brother who nodded in understanding. ' Amber try to help out with your earth magic and protect the group as well something might get by us since we don't know what these beast are capable of.'
'Alright, I'll make sure to block off any stray attacks that get past the tanks.' Amber said with a small smile as she took out her staff and seemed ready to start using magic at any moment.'
'For this battle our goal is to hold on until either one of the beast kills the other or until they kill each other. We'll take on whoever is left alive, but until then defense is our top priority.' Joshua said before turning to look at Lilly. 'Don't summon any powerful pets until it is clear that both of the beast are aiming to go for us. Otherwise they might get provoked early and gang up on us.' Lilly nodded at that before summoning Flutter, Light, and Jade and setting them to work. She also summoned Mr. Hoppy to act as a long range fighter with the rest of the group since his size wasn't all that threatening to the giant creatures.
'So I guess we'll be waiting out the struggle between the two creatures for a while then?' Isabella asked understanding how Joshua planned to go about the fight. 'It's a sound way to go about this, but eventually if we do enough damage to the two creatures then they will turn their attention towards us.'
'Exactly which is why Henry's role in the start of this fight is so important.' Joshua responded before turning to his friend. 'Henry I need you to do anything you can to get the two creatures more irritated towards one another. Whether it's something small or big it doesn't matter. I'm sure with your abilities you can figure something out. The longer those beast are fighting each other the easier the fight will be for us.'
'Alright I think I've got a few ideas on what to…' Henry started to respond, but before he could finish his statement the two giant beast were on the move. The snake was the first one to lunge out and strike towards the spider which reacted by pressing its body down into the ground before leaping up into the air and avoiding its enemies move. The giant spider landed on top of the snake and started trying to stab its legs through its thick skin, but the scales made it difficult for the spider which ended up making all of its attacks only leave behind little gashes. The snake responded in kind by slamming its body up and trying to knock the spider back. Then it tried to wrap its body around the angered spider that kept slashing its legs at it.
The battle between the two giant beast continued to rage on and Joshua wasn't going to sit around and do nothing since he could see that both of the creatures were continuously sending glances there way. "Everybody get in formation!" Joshua shouted just as one of the spider's leg shot in his direction trying to smash him into the ground. Joshua blocked the heavy blow with his scale blade as his aura shroud flared to life to help him hold up the heavy weight without being pushed back. Even though the spider was more slender the power behind its blows were far greater than anything he had come across at this point. The sturdy ground beneath him was caving in from what looked like a casual strike from the large creature.
Joshua was glad he thought ahead to play defensively since the spider wasn't the only creature sending attacks there way. The snakes large tail tried to swipe at the group from behind, but Jayce took up position and blocked the blow well enough that it didn't reach the back line. Jayce was still forced backwards but his shield wall held up as the tail continued to try to swipe at the group from behind. The healers were keeping him in top shape while Lilly had Jade enter Jayce' shadow to further boost his stats so he could hold up against the snake's assault.
The mages took this as a sign that it was time for them to get to work as Isabella started creating a blizzard that chilled the area where the two beast were fighting and slowly started to hinder their movement. Amber on the other hand created earthen walls that hindered the movements of the snake's tail and made it easier for Jayce to block its strikes. Henry however was the star of the show for the moment. While everyone else was playing defensively he was not only boosting the tanks so that they could hold up against the stray strikes from the two beast, he was also creating vines around the two beast that would occasionally block one of the creature's movements just slightly. As a result the other beast would be able to get in a good strike and injure it. This kept their attention on each other primarily since a little chill wasn't enough to draw their attention to Joshua's group fully.
For a while the strategy was working as the two beast continued to injure each other, but Joshua noticed they were glancing over in his direction more and more often. He knew things would be changing fairly soon.