Joshua took the lead heading down the path with Becca right beside him looking for any traps. Although for everyone else their vision was compromised and they had to rely on a constant stream of images being laid out by Natalie, Becca on the other hand was able to see perfectly clearly with her echolocation. It didn't come through choppy for her and it was as if she was looking at the world with a different form of sight where everything was black and white with constant vibrations allowing her to see things shifting in her surroundings. Because of this Becca was easily able to see all that was going on around them and had no trouble picking out any traps as they marched down the short hallway.
Along the way they did come across one trap that was rather basic and was just a plate on the ground that blended in well with the stone floor. Becca was able to see the mechanism of the trap ahead of time and pointed it out so that everyone else could as well. It was designed to activate when pressure was put on it and that could easily happen if anyone accidentally stepped on it. With their vision hampered it was hard for them to tell the difference between the trap and the rest of the floor, but both Becca and Marcus had no problem calling it out. The trap was supposed to shoot out poison gas if the plate was stepped on that would have filled the entire hallway.
Outside of Joshua and Madalyn everyone else in the group would have probably been effected pretty heavily by the trap. Madalyn was basically immune to any poisons weaker than her own so she would have been fine. Joshua on the other hand had his aura shroud and high regeneration to help filter the poison out of his system quickly as long as he didn't breathe too much of it in. Even so they avoided the trap all together which didn't seem like a problem for most of the group, but Madalyn seemed a little disappointed in not being able to test out the types of poison such a dungeon would have. The rest of the group just shook their heads at her thought process before moving on.
One thing that Joshua realized while moving towards the room was that whatever creatures were in it had decided to stay there even though they had definitely felt his aura pulse from earlier. Usually when that occurred that meant the creatures were guarding something and that was a good sign that Joshua had made the right choice. Anything that was being protected in such a high level dungeon had to be more than worth the effort to make a detour. The only issue was the fact that the creatures were on alert now and could probably tell that they were on the way. The two types of creatures that were most likely down this path were bats and beetles and both of them had no problem seeing in the dark since they went out at night to fight their fierce battles. That meant they were at a very distinct disadvantage going into the fight.
When they finally reached the room the path opened up quite a bit leading into a rather spacious room. It was still way to dark to see anything so they were only able to make out their surroundings by the echolocation ability of Becca. It was an odd feeling seeing three large creatures glaring at you through the echo sight. The beetles were bigger than the ones that they had faced in the canyon and all three of them stood at around three stories tall. Their bodies were a bit more bulky and the armored exoskeleton looked denser if anything, but it was hard to tell with the sight they had available.
Joshua tried to observe the creatures to see how strong they were, but he wasn't able to since it seemed like the ability of the system only worked when you actually had sight of the creature. Since the echolocation ability was being placed in his mind by Natalie and he wasn't actually seeing the creature for himself he wasn't able to tell its strength. That was when someone that could see decided to speak up through the mental link to tell them what they were up against.
'These beetles are stronger than the ones we faced at the canyon. All three of them are level seventy-eight with three stars by their name so be careful.' Becca said getting nods from the rest of the group. The beetles hadn't moved an inch even though the group had come into the room and continued to glare at them. Their massive bodies were tensed up ready to charge at any moment showing that they were prepared to fight. Joshua got a glimpse of something behind the three beetles and noticed a blue treasure chest just sitting there ready for the taking. That's when Joshua understood that the beetles were there to protect the chest.
'Alright I'll be taking the lead. I'll flash them with some light from my aura and Light's ability just for a moment long enough to blind them a bit. Their eyes must have adjusted to this darkness after all by now. We can use that as a chance to go in for the strike. Jayce make sure to protect the back line if a beetle gets past. Dave and Dillon you each take one of the extra's off to the side and hold them there for the mages to bombard them.' Everyone nodded in response to Joshua's instructions before he rushed ahead as his aura flared around him. When he got close enough to the three beetles that they started to move towards him he let Light pour out a blinding flash from his aura.
In that moment all three beetles were blinded and Joshua quickly let the light recede as if he had created a quick flash bang. The rest of the group was prepared for this to happen so they didn't get caught up in it. They all kept their eyes closed until the light faded away. They had been using the echo sight to see anyways so a brief blast of light would only hinder them if they had their eyes open. They all took the moment of the beetles being put off guard as a chance to get some early damage in the fight.
Joshua was the first one to go in for a strike as he went in for an attack on the center beetle. He allowed aura to flow in to his scale blade and concentrated an aura blast as well. This time he was aiming for the horn since he knew that was the most dangerous part of these creatures. They could be used to gore their enemies easily while also creating that buzzing sound that would grate on the entire group's ears and disorient everyone. Getting rid of them quickly was the best way to go about the fight. Henry seemed to catch on to what Joshua was planning and used a wind buff on his scale blade to sharpen it even more. Joshua then struck quickly, the force of the blow was so strong that it cut clean through the large horn, but the excess energy didn't just stop there. It carried on and gashed into the beetles face cutting out one of its eyes and damaging the area pretty heavily.
The large beetle reared back in pain and the mages took this as a chance to go on the attack. Both Laura and Julia sent in a flame spear that tore into the beetle so fast that the darkness wasn't able to affect them. That was followed up by an icicle that pierced into the beetles shoulder and injured it even more that came from Isabella. Lilly on the other hand summoned in Cinder and Mr. Hoppy to fight as well. Tank was a bit too big to join in on the chaos in the room without taking up half of it so she didn't use him this time. Cinder immediately shifted to her ice form and started pelting the beetles with ice spears.
Both Dave and Dillon took this as a chance to go after the other beetles and aggro them before pulling them away so they couldn't all gather up on Joshua. With one extremely damaged beetle and two disoriented ones the battle was looking much easier. Adrian seemed to catch on to the reason behind Joshua going for the horn and launched himself towards the horn of another one of the beetles. The blow was precise and left a large crack. Of course he didn't end it there and brought out his other blade to cut from the opposite side and form another large crack. The beetle seemed to realize what he was up to and tried to bat him away with the horn and that was exactly what Adrian wanted.
Adrian leaped behind Dave who was now in the path of the horn and Dave let out a challenging shout that made his body light up as his strength seemed to grow from a brief moment. He then chopped down with his axe directly at the horn and the blow cleaved through the cracked parts of the horn knocking it off cleanly. The beetle was then bombarded with several spells witch knocked it back and broke up its exoskeleton in several places. The remaining beetle that was being blocked off by Dillon started to try to vibrate its horn after it noticed its partners had lost both of their horns and it was the only one left with the ability to confuse the group.
Dillon noticed the fact that the horn was starting to Vibrate and he used a similar technique as his brother which made his muscles seem to bulge as his strength sky rocketed. He then chopped at the vibrating horn nearly breaking it. The axe was stuck half way through the horn keeping it from being able to vibrate. The beetle was going to try to swipe its claws at Dillon while his axe was stuck, but Amy came with an empowered fist and punched the top of the horn snapping it off. That wasn't all she did as she passed by though since she was in perfect position. Jade's bladed tails shot out from behind Amy and speared into one of the beetle's eye before ripping it out.
The darkness had been a great boost when it came to Jade's abilities since it made it easier for her to shadow travel or strike at creatures since they couldn't see her at all. The large beetle tried to thrash around which would have put both Amy and Dillon in danger, but Jade just pulled them both into the darkness and appeared out of the way of the thrashing beetle. With all three beetles badly injured the group was able to quickly take them down with magic spells and well placed strikes. Eventually they were left with three massive beetle husk strode out around the room which they put in their inventories to examine later.
'Well those things were far stronger than their counter parts in the canyon.' Henry said after noticing how much of a beating the beetles could take. 'There exoskeletons would make some decent armor.'
'True, we'll have to set that up for our guilds especially for when we take on the large town.' Laura said. The exoskeletons were able to hold up against a barrage of her spells along with the rest of the mages. In the end they had to rely more on going for the weak spots of the creatures to take them down rather than using sheer brute force.
Joshua walked over to the treasure chest at the back of the room with Becca right beside him now that the fight was over. She started to examine the treasure chest for any traps, but when she found it was clean she was going to open it. That was when she was interrupted with someone else speaking up.
'Wait don't open the treasure chest. Let Joshua do it.' Isabella said causing everyone that knew what she was thinking of to nod and chuckle a bit while the members of Madalyn's guild were a bit confused. Joshua just sighed before walking up to the chest and reaching down to open it. On the inside there was a blue print which was something he hadn't seen many of lately. He wouldn't be able to figure out what it was for until after he went back to the hub city so he simply put it away before getting back to exploring the dungeon.