The next morning before the light had even completely started to return to the base of the canyon everyone was up and ready to start their dungeon dive. Because the part of the canyon they were currently in was far more wide open the morning sun was able to reach down into the area a bit and make it seem dimly lit even though most of the torches the group had set up the prior night had stopped burning. They decided to leave them there to light up again in the future if they needed to or if any other group that came through the area would need to use them as well. Of course that would be a long time into the future considering the only way into the area was getting by James Town in the first place and that was impossible for anyone outside of the alliance at the moment.
After packing up their stuff and checking all of their gear to make sure that they were prepared to go down into the hole. They walked over to the other side where the stairs started and they could see a sign set out in front of the entrance to the dungeon. It was clearly another warning for the group to be weary of before entering the dungeon and Joshua was glad he took the first warning sign before entering the canyon so seriously. If he had dived into the canyon with just his initial group then they would have struggled to take down a swarm of bats and would have taken weeks to get to this point if they hadn't died already. Plus not having the trap experts around to look out for the large spiders would have been a big issue as well.
Joshua let out a sigh before being the first person to walk over to the sign to read it and see what it said.
[This is a warning for any explorers that plan to enter this dungeon. The challenges you have faced going through the canyon were just the tip of the surface of what you shall face while clearing this dungeon. If you have made it here within a week without too much trouble then you are most likely prepared to dive into this dungeon, but if you have struggled or lost members just traveling through the canyon then you should turn back unless you have a death wish. This dungeon will take up a lot of time and test your meddle so be prepared with a lot of supplies to survive in this dangerous place. Upon completion of this dungeon you shall gain control over this territory along with another prize that will be more than worth it for your future endeavors. Only those who clear the dungeon the first time shall receive the special reward. I wish you luck on walking the new path for humanity.]
The message was surprisingly long in Joshua opinion, but it definitely got the point across. This dungeon was going to be more difficult than the canyon itself had been and that didn't consider the fact that he highly doubted the group was going to be able to avoid large groups of creatures inside the dungeon just by the time of day. That would be a problem that would greatly slow down their progress.
"Well I think this dungeon should be rather interesting." Madalyn said with a smile before turning to look at the group. "I wonder what sort of prize will be at the end of the dungeon for us. Considering the sign pointed it out I'd say it has to be something worth the effort."
"Probably, the spirit dungeon gave a special skill to everyone, but that was something that anybody could go and get. So I wonder what could be so special about this reward that the dungeon would only allow the first group to earn it." Henry said what was on a lot of peoples mind as they looked over the message.
"Well we will just have to find out after we've cleared the dungeon now won't we." Joshua said with a smile before he turned a bit more serious as he looked at the group. "We'll keep a similar formation at the start of the dungeon and change it up depending on the situation. The only difference is that both Becca and Marcus need to stay closer to the front to look out for traps so that none of the tanks accidentally activate one. That would put the entire group in danger."
Everyone agreed with Joshua as he gave a calming smile for those who were a bit agitated or to excited. He glanced over to his little sister who seemed to be pumped up and ready to charge right on in and simply chuckled a bit before turning around and being the first person to start heading down the stairs. It was a long winding stair case that he knew would take a long time to travel down since it seemed to go all the way around the sides of the massive hole as it slowly descended deeper into the darkness below. It was already hard enough to see down into the hole in the middle of the day when the sun was at its strongest hovering in the middle of the sky. During the morning the light didn't travel nearly as far into the hole as they had seen the previous day.
As Joshua made his way down he made sure to keep a steady eye on his footing since although the stairs were quite sturdy even if they looked like nothing more than cracked old stone, there was no railing or divider to keep anyone in the group from falling down into the hole below. Joshua could try to float all the way down to the bottom with his scarf or have Henry and some of the other mages try to float the entire group down, but he didn't know how long the mages would have to maintain the spell to get all the way down. If they ran out of mana before they reached the bottom and they ended up falling all the way and dying then that would be a horrible way to go.
Soon it had already reached the point where Joshua could no longer see in front of him so he had Light start to emit some light through his aura so the group could still see their footing. It was a dim light this time around so he wouldn't end up blinding his team mates. It wasn't enough light to see all the way around the area, but was more than enough for them to see their footing as they took the stairs down. For a while things grew incredibly silent as the only sounds any of them could hear was their footsteps and their own breathing. It was a bit of a disconcerting feeling to dive down into nothing, but pitch blackness, but it was a feeling that they were getting used to after spending so many days in the canyon. At least this time around there weren't any weird sounds coming from below that would put the group even more on edge.
After nearly half an hour of descending down the stairs it had finally gotten to the point where they could no longer see any light coming from up above. After another half an hour it started to get much cooler and the walls that they stood next to seemed to have not been graced by light in years as it was cool to the touch. After two hours in to their decent the group finally ran into something that was different from the quiet that they had to endure. There was finally another form of light that was coming from beneath them and it seemed to be coming from the walls.
There were several weird symbols that seemed to dimly glow as they lit up the area. It wasn't enough to where they could see everything, but it was more than enough to see the stairs that they were next too. The further they went down the more symbols would keep appearing to light the way and eventually they reached a point where the stairs were no longer next to the wall anymore. Instead each step they took forward was on to some oddly floating steps that continued in a swirl pattern down to the base of the large hole that they had entered.
They could now see what was up ahead since the enormous room they were descending into was well lit with far larger symbols along the walls that glowed a green hue that brightened the entire room. It was weird to step onto the floating stones that surprisingly didn't budge when they added their weight to them and it was a bit disorienting looking down while walking down them. It felt like he was walking down a spiraling stair case without railing on the side of a sky scraper. The room itself was quite large and was so big that you could fit several full sized Tanks in it. That alone was a good sign that it was going to be a pretty big dungeon.
Eventually they were able to reach the floor and let out a held breath that they were finally on some solid footing for a change. The moment that everyone had gotten off the stairs completely the floating steps started to float back up into the air and align themselves with the giant hole up above well out of their reach. Now that they had come down into the dungeon it seemed like they'd have to get passed at least a certain point before they'd be able to find a way out. It was another reason why Joshua was glad the system was giving warnings in front of dungeons such as this.
Now that they had no way to get back up for the moment Joshua decided to take the time to look around the enormous room. It was still filled up with several of the weird symbols all over the place, but they didn't seem to have a meaning that Joshua would understand. What stood out in the room was the fact that there were five enormous doors that all had a difference to them. In fact four of the doors matched up in a similar way to the four large pillars they had seen at the top of the hole.
One had the pierced and cracked look coating the door with a giant rams head at the top of the door. One had a weird pattern that strung across it as if a creature had tried to wrap around it. At the top of the door was the image of a snake with its body coiled and its mouth wide open preparing to strike out. The next door had the spider web like cracks all over it and came as no surprise to Joshua that there was an image of a spider carved into the top of the door that looked like it was crawling on it. Then there was the door with the wind and weird bite mark patterns that were clashing with each other. At the top of that door there was a large bat clashing with a large beetle.
All four of these doors towered over the group and were spread around the room waiting for them to approach. The doors were so big that Tank could walk through them at full-size even with a full-sized Cinder on top of his back. The last door however was twice the size of all of the other ones and had no patterns to it at all. Instead it simply had a large skull at the top of it telling the group that it was definitely the entrance to the boss room for the dungeon. Sadly it was clear that it was impossible for them to go through the door at the moment since it seemed to have a giant lock over it with four path ways that lead to the corners of the door.
After checking everything out Joshua had a good idea what they'd have to do to proceed in the dungeon, but before he could get started a message came from the system.
[Good luck on completing this dungeon. An escape back to the surface will be provided after you have gone down your first path. Be careful, dangers lurks around every corner. Complete all four paths if you want to challenge the boss of the dungeon, but be warned that beast behind that door is incredibly powerful.]