It took nearly twenty minutes for the flames to die down even after Cinder had jumped down to where the rest of the group was and stood to the side waiting to see the results of their efforts. When the flames disappeared it took a few more minutes for the smoke to fade away as well. What was left was a large pit that was burnt completely black with a giant spider in it. The fur that once stood out on the boss's body was now gone with nothing but cracked exoskeleton remaining. A few of its legs had been completely burnt off and even areas where there should be blood from the large wounds on its body looked dried out instead.
As Joshua was observing the beast another loud cracking sound filled the room as one of the boss's legs collapsed in on itself and fell apart. The boss somehow remained alive even though its body was nothing more than a charred corpse at this point. Joshua was the first one to walk over with his scale blade held aloft and prepared to strike at any moment just in case the boss still had some fight left in him, but it seemed like that was all for not when Joshua reached the massive creatures head. It was the side of the creature's face where Joshua had slashed out most of its eyes that Joshua was staring at. Most of its head was covered in burns while its fangs had already broken off at some point in all of the explosions.
"Well it seems that you lot were able to defeat me. It was a well fought match." A voice pervaded all of their minds and they all recognized it right away. The voice was strained and sounded like it hardly had any energy left. "With such strength you have a shot at clearing this dungeon after all, but be careful since things will only get more challenging from here."
"Any other advice you could give us." Joshua asked as he continued to stare at the giant spider.
"Hmm, do not expect the snake to be as straight forward in a fight as I was. She will use every trick in her book to come out on top. As for the final boss…all I can say is make sure to use the experience you've gained from fighting the rest of the bosses wisely. It will decide whether you can take it down in the end." The boss said as its breathing started to grow short. "I wish we were able to face each other while I was at my full strength instead of being restricted by this dungeon. It would have been a glorious fight that I could always look back on."
The boss took one last breath before the entire group could feel a surge of experience. Joshua gained another level and some other members in the group did so as well. At this point he was getting closer to level seventy. He had already reached level sixty eight and he could feel that he was fairly close to sixty-nine just from the amount of experience he had gained from this boss. If he could reach level seventy before taking on the final boss in the dungeon then he'd only have a single tier gap between him and the boss and he had a feeling that was exactly what he would need based off of the fact the bosses were getting more and more difficult as things went on.
"I'm a bit worried about the next couple of bosses if what the spider said is true." Henry said getting everyone's attention. "This big guy was powerful when he was fighting us straight forward with no tricks whatsoever. He could have used the trap door to hide and heal while controlling the sand and slowly killing us off if he wanted to, but instead he just fought Joshua straight on."
"I see your point, and by the way the spider described the snake in the last path the next fight will be the complete opposite." Laura said with a frown. "At least we got a good amount of experience out of this."
Joshua nodded his head at their words before turning his head back to look at the giant carcass of the spider. He knew that the boss would be brought back by the dungeon once more not being allowed to die for the next hundred challengers. Guessing by its attitude it had decided to take them on straightforwardly to gain the trust of the world authority once more. Before the body could crumble anymore Joshua put it away into his inventory so he could sell what was left to the system. It wouldn't be worth much since it was burnt to a crisp, but it would be better than just leaving it to disintegrate in the dungeon until the next group comes through.
After putting the body away into his inventory the sand in the room started to move once more as it all drained towards the trapdoor in the center of the room. At first it wasn't much of an issue but as the sand picked up speed it started becoming hard for everyone to not get dragged in. Lilly immediately summoned Tank out who was big and heavy enough to keep his footing in the current situation and everyone jumped up on top of his shell. Soon the room was back to the way they had seen it when they first came in with a few sparse amounts of sand left on the floor. Next to the large trap door where all the sand had fallen into there was a new teleportation glyph for all of them to use to get back to the center of the dungeon. Right next to it there was a treasure chest like with all of the other bosses.
Joshua was the first one to walk over and open the treasure chest since he knew that everyone was going to ask him to do it anyway. He looked at the new royal blue print and put it in his inventory with the rest of them. "Well let's head back to the center area and take a rest. If what the spider said is true about the next boss then we're going to need as much rest as possible before trying to fight it." Adrian said as he shrugged his shoulders.
The rest of the group agreed and headed over to the teleportation room. Soon they all found themselves back at the center of the dungeon and could see things had pretty much stayed the same with no surprises on their arrival. Three of the paths had been finished and it showed with how all of the doors were opened for them to peek into if they wanted to. The only doors that were either still closed or locked in the final boss's room's case were the snake path and the final boss. Joshua stared at the snake path for a moment to see if there were any changes, but he couldn't see any difference. The only thing he felt was a since of dread looking at it. Unlike with the spider he could feel killing intent flooding from that path and that pretty much sealed the deal on the fact the snake was out to kill them in anyway it could.
Joshua turned to look at the final room and could see that more of the pathways on the door had been unlocked. At this point about sixty-five percent of the paths on the door had been unlocked proving the snake was indeed the strongest of the bosses that they would have to face. Even so Joshua wondered what exactly the gimmick for the snake path would be. One path had complete darkness, another path used the environment against you, while the last path had enemies that used surprised attacks to get an advantage. Joshua knew that this path would have something to it that would make it stand out from the others as well.
"Alright let's get some rest and take on the final path tomorrow." Joshua said getting nods from the other. In the end they had only spent about half a day to finish off the boss in the spider path, but even so all of the mages were extremely exhausted while everyone else was filled with bruises and minor injuries from being pelted with sand or getting slammed away by the spiders legs. A shield wall could only do so much after all. Once again the group quickly got into the routine of setting up camp for them to get some rest, but since they had so much time on their hands they focused on things outside of just food and rest.
The healers were helping the tanks with their injuries since they had taken a beating in the last fight. The mages were either meditating or discussing better ways to use their spells in the upcoming fight. The meditation apparently helped with refilling their mana faster just in case they were forced into an unexpected situation while resting. Henry and Isabella were discussing the fight they had just gone through in detail to see if there was anything they could have done differently and if any of the strategies would give them an advantage on the snake.
Joshua meanwhile was cleaning his gear as he let his natural regeneration from his aura finish healing all of his injuries. His body still felt a bit stiff from constantly having to block the boss's strikes. Even if he deflected most of the force it would still impact his body. His rock steady skill helped him withstand the brunt of the blows, but that didn't mean they didn't do damage to him. His muscles were sore and his bones were creaking in pain from the power behind the spider's attacks. Luckily his body healed up at a ridiculous rate once he was given a chance to heal.
"I think the greatest advantage we had in the last boss fight that we didn't have before was the fact that our close range fighters were actually able to do damage to the boss." Henry said as Joshua started listening in on the conversation between him and Isabella. "Adam was able to damage a leg so badly that Madalyn and Cinder's poison flame combo at the end was able to straight up blow it off completely. Adrian on the other hand was able to create several gashed that continuously bled the boss out and allowed the poisons from both Cinder and Madalyn to take effect faster."
"True, but I don't think that will be the case in the upcoming fights." Isabella said with a frown. "The spider actually had weak spots to attack even if they were harder to hit because of its fast movements and sand control. The snake however will definitely have scales that'll make that tactic difficult to use. The snakes in the canyon had scales that were hard enough to withstand our spells. I doubt the boss will be any different."
"Well at least this snake won't be using poisons." Madalyn said getting their attention.
"How can you be certain of that guild master?" Isabella asked.
"Because if it takes after the ones in the canyon like all of the other bosses we've come across then the snake will most likely be the constrictor type. Hell if it's as large as I'm expecting it to be it'll probably just try to swallow Cinder whole let alone us."
"That means we'll have to focus on not getting surrounded on all sides by its body. Otherwise we might as well call it quits." Henry said with a sigh. For a while the group discussed their plans for what they were going to do to take on the upcoming boss, but eventually they all started to have an early dinner before getting some rest. The next morning Joshua was the first up. He was feeling much better as the aches from the previous day's fight had faded away. He stretched a bit before putting his stuff up and going over to set up the equipment to make a quick breakfast. It didn't take long for Abigail and Aito to find their way over to help him out.
After everyone was well fed and ready to take on the boss they made their way over to the door with the giant snake on it. They weren't sure what would be up ahead so Lilly didn't have any of her companions out at the moment waiting to see which ones would be best for the occasion. Joshua walked up to the door and touched it preparing to push both sides of it open. Just like with the other doors a message appeared in front of everyone, but this time the message was a little bit weird. It only said one word.