After setting up their tents and other equipment for the night most of the group got to work repairing their gear. Some of the tanks had massive dents in their armor that they would need to fix for the next day. A lot of the close ranged fighters needed to check up on their weapons for any breaks or cracks that could end up being a problem going into the next fight. Everyone in the group had been explorers for some time now so they were used to fixing up their own gear on the fly. The system even had items and potions that would help in that regard that they would all stock pile before going on an exploration. Of course those items weren't as good as having Naomi and Nathan take a look at their equipment, but it would have to do while out in the field.
The mages were busy meditating for the most part until it was time to eat and discuss things. The more they did such activities the better their control over their spells would be going forward. So the best time for them to meditate was after a tough day where they had to expend tons of mana. Their depleted states of mana would be quickly refilled while meditating,they'd also get a better control over their own magic.
Aito made sure to clean out all of his guns and check them for any issues in a quick fashion. It was something he had grown used to doing in the military and a habit he had kept up as an explorer. After he had finished that task he and Abigail both went over towards the campfire to get started on creating a meal that everyone could enjoy for the night. They also started preparing breakfast for the next day so they could get it done quickly in the morning after taking what they prepared for dinner out of their inventory.
Lilly was busy spending time with her beast companions as she went through and fed each of them while having a talk with both Tank and Cinder. It seemed to be about how the dungeon had been going so far by how animated Cinder was acting. Usually the large spider would be the first one to rush over to her food since she loved her cocoon meals after all, but at the moment she seemed to be reenacting the fight with the giant spider boss that Tank wasn't able to participate in. The giant turtle just smiled at her antics while Lilly seemed happy that Cinder was so excited.
All in all everyone was off doing their own thing to prepare for the upcoming fight that they all knew was going to be rather challenging. Joshua planned to discuss their plans for the final boss over dinner to get a good idea of what everyone was thinking at the moment. Although he was the leader he knew that getting the opinions of everyone else was just a good thing to do in such a situation. The only time Joshua ever truly took full control of things was in the heat of the moment where quick decisions had to be made. He was getting used to commanding such a large group at this point and was glad he was getting the experience now instead of during the large town raid.
Thinking of what was to come after the dungeon was finished put a small smile on Joshua's face. After this they'd take a short break to prepare for the large town conquest and Joshua knew that was going to be even more of a challenge than this dungeon. When it came to the haze monsters he knew that they were always the crafty types of opponents. They liked to toy with their prey in a similar fashion as the snake boss, but they were far more vindictive and didn't hold back at all. They didn't care how strong or weak their opponents were and treated them all the same. Plus the group had no idea whatsoever what type of creature the haze boss would be in the end. Although haze bosses tended to take after a beast of some sort they were never exactly the same as said beast.
Looking back on his time in the first phase Joshua started to think of all of the haze bosses he had faced back then. After a moment going over the different types of beast the haze creatures had modeled themselves after Joshua realized what term he would use for such creatures. In the end he would consider all of the haze bosses and sub bosses that he had faced in the past abominations. It was the same term that the spider boss had used to describe the final boss in the dungeon. Thinking about that fact Joshua started to wonder what exactly was the final boss like for one of the other four bosses to consider it an abomination?
Joshua didn't believe that a beast would simply consider another beast an abomination. Animals and beast fought each other all the time even before the changes to the world so Joshua highly doubted the final boss had to be based off of a normal creature for the other bosses to consider it an abomination. Joshua thought back to the haze bosses and tried to figure out the main reasons he considered those haze creatures abominations in the first place. It wasn't because of their size otherwise he would have considered some the bosses he had faced so far in the dungeons abominations. It wasn't completely because of their attitude either because if that were the case then the snake boss could be thought of in the same way.
In the end Joshua came down to one reason that made the haze creatures stand out so much from the other normal beast in his mind. It was simply the fact that the haze bosses looked like a mix of several different beast at the same time. These haze creatures could have bear like bodies with a scorpion tail and bird wings for all they cared. The haze creatures would form into whatever made them stronger despite whether the anatomy of the creature itself actually made any sense in regards to the creatures they based themselves off of. That difference is the main reason Joshua consider the haze bosses abominations.
Thinking along those lines Joshua started to believe that the final boss to the dungeon was most likely a mixture of different creatures all wrapped into one in some way or another. It would explain why the spider boss would consider it an abomination in the first place and would also go a long way into explaining why it was the final boss over both the spider and the snake. If the final boss was mixture of different creatures then it was most likely a mixture of the four bosses they had faced up to this point. If that were the case then Joshua could expect the boss to have the strengths of all the bosses they had taken down, but most likely it wouldn't have all of their weaknesses.
Joshua sighed at this thought and decided that he'd tell the rest of the group of his thoughts over dinner since Aito and Abigail were almost done. He spent the rest of the time waiting for dinner on cleaning his scale blade and armor like the rest of the group. He also cleaned his spare weapons as well just in case they became useful in the upcoming fight, but he doubted that would be the case considering the size of the creatures they had been facing lately. A regular sword with his level of swordsmanship wouldn't get him nearly as far against these giant creatures as his scale blade in the end. He was better off just relying on his fist if his scale blade wasn't an option at the moment. At least then he'd feel more natural with his attacks even if he didn't have the penetrative capabilities of Amy in hand to hand combat.
By the time dinner came around everyone had already had all of their gear settled and ready for the next day. The mages seemed to be finished with their meditation for the night as well. Everyone gathered near the fighter as Abigail and Aito passed out the food before taking a seat as well. At first everyone quietly ate their meals with a little chatter here and there, but after a while Joshua decided it was about time to talk to them about what he had been thinking about earlier. When he finished his short explanation the entire group looked at him in surprise before they started to deeply think about his idea.
"It actually makes a lot of sense." Henry said with a frown as he glanced over to the still closed door to the final boss room. "It goes in line with what the spider said even if he didn't give to many hints because of restrictions. We already know that most evolved beast tend to believe that haze creatures are abominations so it wouldn't be all that far-fetched to think that the final boss is similar to the haze creatures in a few ways."
"Plus all of the other paths had a distinct beast to depict what you would face." Laura said while pointing to all of the opened doors. "The final boss room just has a skull on it. At first I thought that was just a sign that it was the big bad boss of the dungeon or something along those lines, but all of the bosses have been pretty powerful so far yet they didn't get skulls."
"Well if it is something along the lines of what Joshua is thinking then we can expect the boss to be massive with all of the powerful traits of the creatures we have faced up to this point." Isabella said getting everyone to think back on their previous fights. "That means it will be able to fly or at least have high mobility like the bat, extraordinary defense and regeneration like the beetle, control over rocks and stone like the goat, control over sand with high attack power like the spider, and lastly hard to break through scales and some sort of constricting ability like the snake. Not sure how mixing that altogether will turn out in the end, but I guess we'll be finding out tomorrow."
"That's not the only issue though. A lot of the weakness that the creatures that we've faced so far have had can be covered up by the strengths of another one of the beast. If this so called abomination has all of the strengths of the creatures we've taken down so far then it'll be hard finding any weaknesses to go after." Joshua explained getting nods of agreement from the group.
"Well that being the case then we're probably going to have to go in with a defensive mind set early on in the fight then to see what exactly the boss can do. We don't want to be out of position when it does something that could end up wiping the group. I'm sorry were putting so much pressure on you Joshua, but you're going to have to hold the boss off long enough for us to get a good idea of what the boss fights like." Henry said getting a simple nod from Joshua in return.
"Well then after we eat up we should get some decent rest. We've got no clue how long the fight tomorrow could drag on so be prepared for anything. I'm sure the boss will throw everything at us including things we're not expecting." Madalyn said as she finished her food and got up for a stretch. "I'll be bringing my toughest poisons to see how much damage my experiments can do to an abomination."
The rest of the group nodded at her words before finishing up their food as well and making any last minute adjustments to their gear and inventory before the fight. Tank and Cinder were on night watch for the group since everyone needed to be well rested. Tank could wake up the moment he felt something enter his aura sense so he was the perfect guard for the group. Joshua hadn't quite reached that level of control with his aura just yet, but he knew that in the future he'd be able to do far greater things than that. In the end Joshua was just hoping that what he could do at the moment would be enough to take on the boss. Otherwise the entire group would be in a lot of trouble.