Joshua found himself in a bad spot. He couldn't sense beyond the black sphere surrounding him anymore and his mental link had been cut off from the rest of the group. Whatever technique the boss had used to separate him from the rest of the party not only worked in a physical sense. Another major issue Joshua found himself having to deal with was the fact that the sphere took away all sense of both sight and sound. He could no longer see the boss or hear its movements which could end up getting Joshua killed if he took a fatal blow that he wasn't expecting. The boss already had the advantage in strength and speed, but now it had once again piled another massive problem on Joshua's shoulders.
The only way for Joshua to see and react to the boss's movements in the new space was with his aura sense. So he closed his eyes and allowed his aura sense to take complete control of his visions of the surroundings. What he found was that his aura sense could easily pick up the movements of the boss, but everything else around him was hard to figure out do to the black sphere. That would be a problem going forward since he needed to have a good feel for his footing depending on the flooring in the space. He didn't want to trip over a rock in a crucial moment. Plus he needed to know where the sand was that the boss seemed to control at will.
Luckily Joshua was able to sense the sand whenever the boss started to control it. It felt as though he could sense the link between the boss and the sand which made it visible to his aura sense. At first this seemed to be helpful as Joshua avoided a torrent of sand that the boss sent his way, but the moment the sand had been shot out it lost its link with the boss. This meant Joshua basically had to predict where the sand was going if he wanted to avoid it. At first it wasn't too bad since the boss's attacks were rather obvious, but that changed as the fight dragged on. The boss started avoiding Joshua's counters whenever he went for an opening based off of remembering their earlier clashes. It also started shooting out the sand in different patterns that caught Joshua off guard.
Five minutes into his solo fight with the boss Joshua knew that he was in trouble. He had several bruises from taking hits from the blast of sand that were quickly regenerating thanks to his aura, but still left a sharp pain whenever he moved the areas. He also was depleting through his aura rather fast and could probably hold on for an hour at most with the way that he was fighting. Even so it would end up getting him nowhere based off the little injuries along the massive boss. All of his cuts had been healed rather quickly whenever it disengaged from Joshua and it didn't look tired in the slightest. In fact the more they fought the more the creature seemed to learn.
The abomination wasn't as intelligent as the spider or the snake, but it had this weird battle instinct that allowed it to learn as the battle went on. Joshua knew that this was the reason it was starting to block his counters while forcing him into bad positions where it could blast Joshua with its sand. 'Damn it if I could just see its movements and control over sand better then this wouldn't be so damn difficult.' Joshua thought as he avoided another giant spider leg that tried to crush him into the floor. Although he could see the boss it still looked like a giant mass of aura through his aura sense which made it difficult to read its movements.
It was in that moment that Joshua started to feel his aura sense change as if it was responding to his thoughts. His vision of the boss start to clear up and became more than a cloudy figure made out of aura. He started to see the details of the boss's body as he could see one of its spider legs preparing to stab him from the side. Joshua twisted his body to block the blow and spun off of it before slashing at one of the weak joints along the leg. He couldn't see them before, but now they were far clearer as his aura seemed to respond to his wishes. His cut dug deep into the fur coated area, but he moved away quickly as spores shot out in his former location.
The more Joshua got used to his new aura sight the more details he was able to make out of his surroundings. It got to the point where he was able to see the sand clearly whenever the boss tried to shoot it at him. He could even see the left over aura that lingered on the sand whenever it was motionless on the floor. As long as something had any amount of aura in its form he was able to see every detail of it clearly. This new level of clarity made it far easier for him to react to the boss's frantic assaults. Joshua was able to switch up his forms of retaliation as he slashed through one of the weak points along one of the spider legs so deeply that with a follow up of energy slash he was able to cut it clean off.
The boss roared in pain as it backed away from Joshua. He could already see that the leg was quickly growing back, but at least he had the hope of dealing damage to the boss. Now he just needed to take out its core somehow. Considering the creature was an abomination in a similar fashion to the haze bosses he was certain that it would have a core to break somewhere inside its body. Otherwise it wouldn't have so much power to keep healing from such massive injuries. Even the beetle with high regeneration abilities wasn't able to heal from some of the damage he had seen the boss take from the rest of the group. Joshua could feel that his aura was draining even faster with this new form of aura sight, but he needed it to see the boss clearly and actually kill it.
'It's either save up aura and hope this thing eventually leaves a big opening before I run out or go all out and try to tear it apart before I run out. The only issue is I need to be able to wound it enough to give myself time to get to the core.' Joshua thought as he looked toward the creature's chest. He was certain that the core was inside of that area since it was so heavily armored. He already knew that with enough force he could break through the armor and scales of the boss, but to do that he'd have to burn through his aura at full strength without worrying about his reserves. 'Well I guess my decision is made then.'
Joshua let his aura hardening state go since it was defensive in nature. It made his vitality sky rocket, but it also took precedence away from his aura boosting the rest of his stats. He needed as much strength as possible going forward and couldn't stay on the defensive if he wanted to take the boss down quickly. He then concentrated his aura around his body in a similar way to when he had practiced it with Garlin. It increased all of his stats slightly from the feeling he got, but more importantly it increased his explosiveness. His speed and strength greatly increased as he dashed near the boss and avoided all of its attempts to slow him down.
The sand was easy to dodge around now that he could see it especially with the new found speed. On the other hand the spider legs were still a bit faster than his own movements so he had to predict where they were going to strike based off of the boss's movements. He wouldn't block the strikes but instead let them glance of his blade as he twisted off the force and slashed around the bosses joints. The strikes were far stronger and were able to cut off some the more damaged joints easily. When it came to the thicker ones he would follow up with an echo strike to get the job done.
Eventually Joshua was gaining the upper hand as he cut off all of the spider legs of the boss, but he was running out of time. He had about ten minutes left before his aura would burn out and then he'd be a sitting duck in front of a completely regenerated boss. Joshua had no problem dealing with the legs, but when it came to the rest of the boss's body he had troubled cutting through the scales and armor. Even with his aura sharpening his scale blade and the massive weight behind his swings he still only cracked the armor while leaving small gashes wherever the scales were located.
Joshua could see that all of the damage he was doing was starting to heal back to quickly and with the pace he was going at he wouldn't be able to finish the boss in time. He needed something more. He needed to be able to do more damage to this beast. He felt his aura once again respond to his will as it grew denser around his scale blade. It looked similar to when Henry used a buff to sharpen his strikes as the aura looked like it could cut through steel. When Joshua slashed at the scales along the boss's side the scale blade cut clean through as blood splashed out leaving a large wound. The boss roared and reared back as one of its grown back spider leg tried to slam into Joshua.
Being surprised by the amount of damage he was dealing out to the boss with one regular swing Joshua barely dodged the spider leg in time. As it passed over head he swung above him and cut the entire leg clean off. The new sharpness of his aura covered scale blade was amazing, but it was also draining his body even faster. He could feel himself growing tired quickly and the regeneration effect on the bruises around his body seemed to have slowed down as if his aura was more focused on dealing damage than healing himself.
Joshua avoided another blast of sand before dashing around the creature so he could injure it enough to where it couldn't respond anymore. The first thing he did was concentrate and aura blast into the aura around his scale blade. It empowered it even more as he blinked towards the head of the beast. Before it could try to screech towards him he slashed across its neck. The extra power from the aura blast let out a surprising reaction that Joshua wasn't expecting to happen from a simple aura blast. The aura busted out so powerfully that it blew off the head of the boss cleanly leaving nothing but a massive bleeding neck behind. Even so the creature continued to try to pin Joshua down with its regrown spider legs.
Joshua responded with a couple of energy slashes that cut clean through the large legs as they flew overhead. He noticed that wherever this new aura cut along the boss a bit of it would be left behind clinging to the wound. In those areas the boss's regeneration slowed down dramatically. Joshua took advantage of this fact and started to slash through any scales or armor around the chest of the boss. Each cut left deep gashes that wouldn't recover quickly. After a couple of minutes the boss had nothing left to resist with. All of its spider legs had been cut clean off. Its head was still struggling trying to grow back while its core was now exposed to a tired Joshua.
The powerful aura that Joshua had been using was on the verge of running out so he rose his blade one last time above the core and infused it with another aura blast before swinging down and watching the core crack from the impact. The cracks spread along the core as the bosses body froze up for a moment. Joshua quickly used an echo strike to follow up the blow and then a reset for another echo strike to get as much power out of his last strike as possible. The first echo caused a decisive crack to form all the way along the core while the second one caused it to completely shatter. Joshua smiled as he felt the surge of experience fill him as his aura faded and all of the strain he placed on his body hit him like a truck.