The group spent the next few hours thawing out all of the water with flame spells from Laura, Julia, and Cinder until the room was back to normal. With all of the spiders dead the wall that blocked off their retreat had sunk back into the ground allowing the water to drain out of the room. Joshua made sure to collect the body of the last spider that had been frozen underneath them before the group decided to set up camp for one last night before taking on the boss of the path. They didn't know how strong it would be so they wanted to make sure that they were in top condition before trying to take the boss down.
After they had set up camp for the night they went through their regular routine before having dinner and getting some rest. It was a bit harder than usual to do since they could feel the overwhelming aura of the boss in the next room over, but they knew that it wouldn't leave the room since the dungeon wouldn't allow such freedom. Even so just having that feeling of such overbearing power nearby while you were trying to sleep put the entire group on edge. The next morning they got up and checked their gear to make sure everything was alright before having a quick breakfast and preparing to go in to see the boss. This was the third day that they had been on this specific path and they had all grown tired of fighting spiders over the past few days. Well everyone except Cinder who seemed to love testing herself against other spiders.
Joshua was the first one at the door as he pushed it open and led the group into the boss room. It took a moment for the group's eyes to adjust to the lighting of the new environment since it was a bit darker with more shadows around the corners of the large room to play with their vision. The room was about twice the size of the one they had just come from which meant there was plenty of space to move around and fight. Of course everyone didn't exactly pay attention to the room itself when the first thing thy noticed was an enormous trap door at the center of the space. The door was cracked open making it easy to see and it was more than large enough for a giant spider to drag its prey into, in fact by the size of it they wouldn't be surprised if the spider was big enough to actually drag Tank down into the trapdoor.
It didn't take long for them to be able to confirm this fact as large legs started to push the trap door open as they slowly came out of the ground. The legs were extremely long in a similar fashion to all of the other spiders they had seen while exploring the path and the canyon area before it, but the main difference was the thickness of the legs. They were still clearly designed to move quickly like the other hobo spiders that they had seen, but were far too bulky to simply cut through easily. It would be like trying to cut through a thick oak tree with one swing and Joshua was certain by the sheen on the legs that he could see in some spots that the exoskeleton of this spider was sturdier than its minions.
It took a moment for the spider to drag its entire body out of the trapdoor, but when it had finished the sight of the creature was definitely something to see. Its size was enormous as it towered over even Tank standing about twice the massive turtle's height when it had got its entire body out of the trapdoor. It had grayish fur spread around its body in some spots. Unlike the rest of the spiders you could clearly see that most of its body was covered in protective armor like exoskeleton except at some of the joints of its legs. Those were the areas that were covered in fur, but Joshua got a sense that even the fur was dangerous in some way. There were also places where there was golden fur that seemed to make intricate patterns across the spider's body.
The spider itself was letting out a lot of power just standing there, but Joshua was surprised to find that all of the power that it was radiating wasn't filled with killing intent like the last couple of bosses they had faced or any of the spiders they had come across on the way to the boss room. It still looked ferocious with its large fangs and dripping saliva that seemed to fizzle whenever it reached the floor, but Joshua still couldn't sense any killing intent. It was then when the whole group was surprised with what the boss did next.
"I see that I have visitors. This is the first time anyone has made it into the dungeon so I must admit that I am surprised that the first group coming to this dungeon has gotten so far." A deep voice that was almost comparable to Tank's filled the room. It was clear to everyone that the voice had come from the spider in front of them but it was shocking to see a boss that could talk. This was something that most of them weren't expecting to come across just yet. "Did my ability to speak surprise you all?" The spider said before chuckling a bit as its legs shook.
"I'm sorry but I don't think any of us were expecting a boss that could talk so soon. The only beast that we've run into that could talk so far were either way beyond our levels or under special circumstances." Joshua explained as the tension started to slowly leave his body as his gut feeling was telling him that the fighting wouldn't be starting for a while.
"That's not to surprising, but you should start to expect to see more beast that can talk in the future. I can assure you that the snake in the other path has already mastered the art of speech, although she cares little for company. The little goat is also on the verge of gaining the ability to speak through aura, but for now can only rely on showing its emotions to communicate." The large spider boss said as it crouched down into what the group assumed was a sitting position for spiders. When Joshua thought back on the fight against the goat he did realize that the creature seemed to smirk and smile a lot throughout the fight as if it was showing strong signs of understanding emotions.
"So how come you're talking to us. I thought as a boss of the dungeon your goal would be to kill intruders." Henry asked with a bit of a confused look. He wasn't the only one that was perplexed by the situation in the group as Joshua noticed that just about everyone had similar looks. The only ones with different expressions were Tank who seemed to know what was going on to some extent and Cinder who just seemed excited to find another talking member of her species.
"It is true that we will do battle soon, as you must kill me to move further on into the dungeon, but at the same time I'd rather learn more about my opponents before charging in like a mindless animal." The spider said with what sounded like a smile. "Besides since I have been trapped in this dungeon for the past hundred years I have learned a lot. I have been able to train myself and strengthen my body off the energy of the dungeon. When I am able to leave this place in the future I will be much stronger than I was when I entered."
"Why were you placed in here in the first place?" Tank asked with a smirk. "Did you get in trouble from praying on the weak? It's the only way I can see a creature such as yourself being stuck in this type of dungeon."
"You are correct about that. I was placed in this prison to atone for praying on beast that were far below my own strength on a regular bases. When I was young I had so much potential, but I squandered it by not challenging myself. Instead I would feast on the weak creatures in this canyon even after I far surpassed the level allowed to remain in the canyon." The spider explained.
"So you were already far past the level limit of eighty at the time then?" Madalyn asked as she couldn't seem to take her eyes off of the dripping venom that was slowly creating a hole in the floor beneath the giant spider's mouth.
"Yes in fact I had just broken through level one hundred when the world seemed to have had enough of my methods and sealed me away into this dungeon. In here my strength has been restricted, but at the same time I've had plenty of time to learn to control my power better. That is the main reason I am able to speak to you now." The boss responded before looking towards Cinder who was now bouncing up and down with excitement. "I see that you are another one of my kind that has mastered your control of aura to a certain extent."
"Yes I recently learned how to speak while training with my partner Lilly and the rest of her group." Cinder responded excitedly.
"I see well then I hope you can gain strength following that path young one. Maybe in the future one of our kind can reach the point of becoming a guardian of the world." The boss said with longing.
"That time has already passed. Her mother has recently become a guardian of the planet. Although she is considered the weakest of the four she is also by far the youngest." Tank explained as the boss seemed to brighten up even more at the news.
"That is amazing. I can't wait to go out and see how the world has changed, but I have to defend this place at least a hundred times before that can happen according to the world's authority. I cannot die here since death has no meaning for the protectors of this place, but I can only grow and evolve after I've left this place. I can't wait to see how far I can go as long as I'm willing to try."
"Well that might take a while since we're pretty far ahead of the rest of the explorers at this point, but soon our guilds will be using this area for training so I'm certain that the time will come eventually." Henry said as the spider rose back up from the floor and seemed to be preparing for the upcoming confrontation. "I was wondering if the snake and the final boss are similar to you. Are they both here trying to repent for the things they've done in the past?"
"That is the case for the snake on the other path, but she doesn't really believe she did anything wrong. She's the type that believes the strong should rule over the weak and therefore her conflict with the world's authority will go on for much longer than my own. I'm certain that she will try to kill you right away once you meet her, plus she will stick to her ways even if she does find a way out of this dungeon. The final boss however is an abomination that this dungeon has created on its own. That is all I can tell you about that without having the dungeon restrict me even more." The large spider said as it stretched its legs and started to back away from the group to create some space.
"Well then I guess it is time for us to fight then." Joshua said as he pulled out his scale blade the moment he could start to feel the spider's aura start to rise up.
"Yes it is, I will not be holding back so give me a good fight so that we can both grow stronger." The boss said as its aura started to cascade over the group. Joshua used that moment to observe the boss and noticed that it was level capped at level eighty being inside the dungeon. It had five stars by its name of Dessert Trap Spider. That's when the room started to shake and things started to kick off.