The group had settled down for a while to take a quick break now that they knew for sure that they were once again in a safe location. The entrance room for the dungeon had no sort of danger to it and only had access to the different paths they would have to take to finish the dungeon. One thing they did notice that was glaringly different when they got back to the entrance room, outside of one of the locks on the boss room being taken away, was the fact that there was a new glyph near the center of the room. The glyph was near the same location where the stairs they took to get down from above had lead them to in the first place, so there was a good chance that the glyph was there to bring the stairs back down if they found the dungeon too hard to complete.
Henry tested the theory with a quick tap of the glyph and the entire group could see the floating stairs come down paving the way for them to go back up and exit the dungeon if they wanted to. After a few minutes of no one climbing up the stairs they would float back up and the glyph would once again appear showing the group that they could call the stairs back down whenever they wanted to. After getting that settled they all decided to set up camp to take a proper rest before going down another path. Although they had stopped occasionally to take short breaks while exploring the first path they never stopped for more than four hours and even then everyone was on guard the entire time which would quickly build up stress for the group if they didn't get a proper rest.
Abigail and Aito got to making some food while everyone else set up camp and made a fire to sit around since it seemed to get fairly cold in the dungeon. Lilly got to work feeding all of the pets she had brought along with her for the moment including the tons of bats and goats. Soon those pets would be put in the staples so she wouldn't have to worry about feeding them on her own all the time. After a while they were all able to get some rest and started to eat dinner as they discussed how things went down the first path.
"Well the combination of the bat and beetle were pretty tough to handle. The bat was almost impossible to hit, while the beetle was like punching a steel wall with its defenses." Henry said after someone brought up the subject. "I was hoping that having them fight each other was the key to the battle, but without any outside help they would have just been fighting each other forever without end."
"Yeah and if I had to guess this was probably the easiest boss of the four of them when it comes to difficulty." Joshua said with a small frown. "Although the creatures were strong they had to rely on each other to make the match actually difficult for us. On its own the beetle was just a punching bag, while the bat had weak defenses that could be broken through when given the opportunity. I highly doubt all of the bosses will have such glaring weaknesses like that going forward, especially the final boss."
The rest of the group nodded at his advice before Laura decided to change the subject. "Well then which path do you think we should take next? Hopefully this time around whichever path we go down won't have some sort of complication like hindering our vision."
Devin let out a sigh gaining everyone's attention. "Now that you've said that I'm sure whatever path we choose next will have something even more annoying to deal with."
"Oh come on brother look at the bright side. We're on an amazing adventure with all sorts of rewards just waiting to be found." Dillon said with his bright smile getting the rest of the group to smile a bit at their antics while their other brother Dave just shook his head at how ridiculous his two brothers were acting.
"Well then we should decide on which path we'll be taking after we get some decent rest." Joshua said getting nods from everyone as they fell into their own conversations about all sorts of things. Joshua just stayed quiet and listened in as he ate his food unless someone asked him a question. For the most part they were all discussing how the fight went and about everyone's abilities. The people that hadn't fought alongside Joshua and Lilly before were both surprised by how much the two of them could do. Lilly's pets could turn the tide of any battle given the opportunity while Joshua was able to tank two bosses head on even with most of his senses being hampered. It proved how important they were to the group even though they weren't at the highest level.
Even members from Jayce's group were being praised since they were able to handle the situation so well. The group's team work was getting better after spending so much time fighting alongside each other while making their way through the canyon. It was good practice before joining this dungeon and it gave them a good idea of how to handle the stronger creatures they were facing at the moment even if the bosses were in a completely different league. They all knew that the bat and beetle were on the weaker side of the creatures in the canyon just by the fact that a single strong ram was able to take on three of the larger bats on its own back in the canyon let alone a slow moving beetle that it could dance around. They all knew that whatever path they took next would most likely be a step up in difficulty so they all made sure to eat their fill before getting some much needed rest.
The next morning the group woke up do to an alarm they had set to keep them in sync with the day cycle outside of the dungeon. It was a good way to keep track of time especially since they couldn't use the sun to judge the time of day like they could out in the canyon. It was just another way for them to keep their bodies in sync with the passing time the way they wanted to. The group got up and had a quick meal before putting all of their stuff up and getting ready for another day of exploration. This time around there were only three paths for them to choose from instead of four. Most of the group looked towards Joshua to see what he thought.
"Well if I had to go based off of how strong the creatures were when we fought them in the canyon then I'd probably go with the ram path next. I highly doubt that the boss will appear in a large group which already limits the strength of the ram since they stayed in packs in a similar vain to the bats and beetles. If the bat and beetle boss we just took down was able to come at us in a swarm then we'd probably be overrun by them. Since it seems like bosses can't come in swarms then we don't have to worry about a pack of rams trying to smash us into a wall." Joshua responded.
"Doesn't mean the ram won't be more powerful than usual this time around considering both the bat and the beetle bosses were far more powerful than their counterparts." Isabella said with a small frown. "Even so if I had to guess then I would agree with you. The snake and spiders back in the canyon could have easily killed off any of the rams given an opportunity so the snake and spider bosses are probably also a step up in strength from the ram. We just have to worry about what type of gimmick or special circumstance the ram will have to give it an advantage over us."
"Well they can't see in the dark so that's out the window." Madalyn said with a lazy waive of her hand. "It'll most likely have something to do with the battlefield we'll have to face the boss in considering the circumstances."
"Makes sense. We'll just have to make sure to keep an eye out for any distinct change when we approach the boss. We don't want to be taken off guard going in." Joshua said as he cracked his neck before turning to look at the door with the ram symbol on it. He didn't know what lied beyond it, but he knew that it had to be something different from the last path they had taken if his idea of how the dungeon worked turned out to be true. He took one last glance at the door that was locked and that blocked off the path to the final boss.
There was one thing that he noticed about the locks that he was able to confirm the previous night after one of the locks had been opened. The locks when broken open unlocked different amounts of the overall glowing paths that seemed to be blocked off from the door. When they had taken down the bat and beetle bosses the lock that had broken off since they had cleared the first path had only unblocked a few of the pathways. Looking at the amount of pathways overall there was no way that the small amount that had been opened was equivalent to a fourth of the total. Therefore the different strengths of the paths most likely correlated with the amount of pathways that would open after the path was cleared.
This thought had been sticking in the back of Joshua's mind all night and he had a good idea of how much stronger the snake and spider were than the ram so he picked going for the ram next. Any chance at getting the group stronger and more prepared before going into the stronger bosses of the dungeon was a god send in his opinion. Plus judging by the fact that the dungeon had warned the group how powerful the final boss to the dungeon was he was certain that they would need every little advantage they could get before taking such a thing on.
After everyone was set to go Joshua was the first one to reach the door to the entrance of the ram path. When he opened the door another system message appeared like before they had decided to go down the bat and beetle path. It was another warning of what they might experience up ahead.
[This path shall force you to follow the path of the ram. It is a treacherous and dangerous life style that such creatures tread so be careful and make sure not to slip. Good luck.]
The message was short and to the point so the group had a decent idea of what they might have to face now with a few clues that were given away. "From what I could tell we're probably going to have to go down a dangerous path in some sort of way. Most likely having something to do with the environment instead of just messing with our senses like the last path." Henry said with a frown as the others agreed with his reasoning.
"The 'don't slip' part leads me to believe that it'll be dangerous to fall so I'm willing to bet there will be some sort of trap involved as well." Isabella stated.
"Well I guess we'll have to find out. Be on your guard and ready to move quickly if there are any problems." Joshua said before opening the large doors. They were heavy to push just like with the other path, but this time when he pushed them all the way open he wasn't met with a dark path. Instead the hall way was bright and easy to see in as it made its way forward for a ways. The hall actually seemed to open up wider and wider the further it went which was a bit different from what any of them were expecting. Most dungeons had winding paths with all sorts of complications to them, but this one just seemed too straight forward to be real.
With a sigh Joshua took his first step forward into the new area with everyone else following closely behind him prepared for any shift in their surroundings. It was time to start exploring the second path.