It was the day before Joshua was supposed to meet up with all of the others at the Phoenix Guild to prepare for the big expedition. Joshua had been spending the past couple of days focusing on his training alongside all of the information he had found inside of the book that Thoren had given him. The book was a god send in many regards for him personally. There were little tips in it for all sorts of ways to use his abilities that he hadn't thought of and most of it had to do with timing. Using aura blast from his feet right before he clashed with an opponent to add extra force, using his aura to add pressure to enemies when they got closer, the list went on with all sorts of neat little tricks that could end up going a long ways towards making him a better fighter.
There were also plenty of descriptions of how to use his scale blade in the book as well since the original writer had used a scale blade as his main form of combat. Joshua spent most of his free time at night reading over all of the information he could from the book before testing it out the next day while training. He still wished he could see what the next step was for him to take down the path of an aura user, but he could tell he wouldn't get any more information from the book for the time being. He was still a ways away from level one hundred and his second tier job.
Today Joshua decided to put his training aside and rest before the big expedition. He knew that there wasn't anything else he could do to prepare in regards to his own techniques so it was time for him to go pay Nathan and Naomi a visit. He had given them plenty of time to test out everything they needed to in regards to the new equipment. It was a good thing that the twins had already finished the basic gear like the grappler hook so that everyone got a chance to test it out. Now it was time to see how the rest of the new equipment turned out.
Joshua didn't have to go and find Amy since he knew that she would most likely already be there at the shop during her free time, so instead he gave Lilly a call to meet up at the shop. While He and Amy might be able to test out a lot of the gear they still needed Lilly along to test out the gear that close range fighters would be using. After a quick call Joshua made his way through a portal towards the center of the hub city which was as busy as ever. He knew that there were multiple hub cities for each country, but even so it always seemed rather crowded.
He quickly made his way over to Nathan's store and waved at the employees that he knew before getting to the back of the shop. He wasn't surprised when he found Amy already there standing next to Naomi. His little sister was already decked out in a lot of new gear that she planned to take with her on the expedition. The main armor she was wearing was the snake scale mail since it was far more light weight, which was good for her combat style. Even so it was strong enough to protect her more than well enough. Joshua could see that Nathan had placed some enchantments on it as well that seemed to be fairly interesting based off of the excited look on Amy's face.
The other new gear that Amy currently had on was a pair of arm bracers' that covered most of her forearm. What surprised Joshua was the arm bracers seemed to have an added piece to them in comparison to the original design. This was actually the grappler hook that was just behind the portion of the arm bracer that would open up and shoot out the long spike like daggers that could be used to pierce an enemy up close. This made it so the bracers and the grappler hooks would take up the same space on the arm and not weigh down a quick fighter like Amy too much.
"Joshua you made it." Nathan said since he was the first one to notice Joshua's approach. "We we're just finishing with Amy's gear. We were going to test it all out in the practice field with all of the new enchantments I put on them."
"Now that you're here we might as well get you geared up as well since we can test the both of you out in the practice field with the new gear. Jayce's group already came by and tested their stuff out. It gave us a decent look at the mage, healer, and tank equipment." Naomi said with an excited look at all the new gear that she had finished making. For her it was like testing out her new pride and joys.
Before Nathan could take him away to get his gear they all saw Lilly enter the room not too soon after Joshua which got Naomi to go over and take her back to the dressing room as well. Nathan pointed out all the gear that had changed for Joshua to try out and he immediately put on the gear that he knew that he was going to be using for the upcoming expedition. He had his set of snake scale mail that he put on underneath a short sleeved leather armored jacket. He then had heavily plated pants that were made with similar design to the snake scale mail and most likely with similar properties since Joshua was certain that Nathan and Naomi would have figured out the blue print to the last detail by this point.
The last two new pieces of equipment that Joshua had to put on were the two spider arm guards that were mixed in with grappler hooks. His were heavier than the ones that Amy had since they had extra plating to them and were clearly designed to be used more on the defensive side of things than Amy's were. He also had some new boots that were made from the snake skin and felt flexible yet extremely difficult to tear. He also picked up a scarf that was made from the same fabric as the bat wings which made it extremely magic resistant. When Joshua came out of the room he was completely set with his new gear and ready to go test everything out.
"Alright let's make our way over to the training field portion of the basement." Nathan said with a big grin. He seemed extremely excited for the upcoming test. It didn't take long for the two of them to find the room since it was only a couple stairs below the floor where most of the work for the shop was done. The room was on the large side with more than enough of space for several people to test out equipment at a time. It even had a range for archers or gun users to attack from afar. Joshua was certain that all of the walls were covered in enchantments that would help protect them from damage or simply help them repair themselves from any major structure failure. It was similar to his own training field where everything seemed to repair itself in the space within minutes.
After a few minutes of waiting Joshua saw all three of the girls make their way down into the training area. Joshua had already seen Amy's new gear, but this was the first time Joshua had seen Lilly's. She had the bat robes as the main portion of her new gear, but instead of being set in a design that you would see most mages or healers wearing where it would cover most of their body, Lilly's was designed more like a coat where she could open and close the front whenever she wanted. She also had a shirt made out of the scale mail similar to Joshua and Amy, but it only covered her upper body. From the waist down her outfit was similar to Amy's and Joshua's with leather pants that had been made from the snake's scales to make it more protective even if it wasn't at the same scale as the main body piece.
"Well let's have Amy test out her new gear first. I'm sure you will have fun." Naomi said with big smile. "In your case Nathan enchanted your protective gear to be more magic resistant while also adding to the effect of the scale mail itself. Whenever you flow any semblance of aura through any portions of your body during an attack it will buff the scale mails ability to increase your reflexes. In your case I figured that would be the best improvement possible going forward."
Amy smiled brightly before sending aura coursing through her body to strengthen it. As a martial artist she was able to use aura in small amounts all over her body to increase the power of her blows, but it wasn't nearly on the same scale as Joshua. Even so having aura flow through the scale mail in any capacity instantly triggered the ability alongside the extra enchantment that Nathan had placed on it. When Amy started to rush towards the practice dummy her speed and reflexes were on par with her usual movements when she had Jade buffing her body during combat. Joshua also noticed that the enchantments placed on her gloves had also been improved since when she punched the dummy it was knocked soaring back crashing into the wall on the other side of the room.
"This is amazing. I can't wait to test it out when I have Jade boosting me as well." Amy said with a big grin.
"Alright let's try out Lilly's new gear next." Naomi said with an excited smile. "In your case since you have your pets doing most of the fighting for you while you act as a support from behind, we decided a defensive measure was more appropriate for you. Outside of the usual heightened magic resist we decided to give your robes an extra enchantment that will take place whenever you are outputting mana. A shield made from the amount of aura or mana you are generating will form around you and protect you from an attack."
Joshua nodded understanding the thinking behind these enchantments. When Lilly synchronized with one of her beast companions her mana and aura would sky rocket to match up with theirs. In that instant her output would surge and the shield would grow stronger. It would be incredibly useful in instances where she was stuck using the empower ability on one of her partners' abilities. She can't move or lose concentration in that moment so the shield would protect her just in case an attack gets through the rest of the group. Lilly stepped forward and tested the shield out. She brought out Light to synchronize with just to test the shields power.
When Amy punched towards the shield with a heavy fist it shook for a moment, but didn't break. It took five more punches to break through the shield and that gave them a good judge of how useful the shield was. Although Amy wasn't going all out it was clear the shield could hold up against at least one powerful hit and that was while being synchronized with light. If it were Tank or Cinder that Lilly was synchronized with then the shield would have been much stronger.
"Alright let's test out the last person then." Nathan said while turning to look towards Joshua. "In your case we did something similar as we did with Amy. You have the usual magic resistant enchantments on all of your armor, but the extra enchantment on your scale mail is that when your aura is run through it will not only improve your reflexes like with Amy, but will also improve your strength and vitality. It's in a smaller amount since its two improvements instead of one, but I figured they'd be a better fit for you since you're a tank after all. Also if you start running low on aura the aura that's stored in the scale mail will flow back into you. Think of it as a last bit of aura to use in dire circumstances."
Joshua nodded before stepping forward and covering himself in his aura cloak. He could already feel the scale mail gaining a little bit of strength from that alone boosting his strength, vitality, and dexterity by around five percent. When he surrounded his entire body with concentrated aura that boost shot up to around ten percent. He took one large swing towards the training dummy and the instant his scale blade was going to make contact he used his will to empower his aura around his body even more. In that moment he felt his power surge forward as his blade cut clean through the dummy that was made of the same material as the heavily armored beetle boss.
A smile formed on Joshua's face even as he felt a slight draining of aura from using his will to empower his strike. He soon felt a small soothing feeling as some of the aura he had pushed through the scale mail poured back into his reserves and he knew that Nathan and Naomi had out done themselves this time around