Joshua was the first one to step through the portal. He felt the usual feeling of being out of place for a moment as the portal took him to a completely different location. Soon Joshua could feel his feet step on to solid ground and got a good look around the area as everyone else started to appear behind him. The dungeon seemed fairly simplistic from what Joshua could see at the entrance. Three story high walls that had the overly clean feeling that could only be given off by a system dungeon. A slightly dimmed lighting with no sign of diversity anywhere Joshua looked.
The place reminded him of the first dungeon he had even entered. It felt like he had gone into some kind of game unlike with the natural dungeons created by the world. Since that was the case he was certain any creatures they faced inside the dungeon would stick to certain areas and fight in a certain way instead of the unknown that came with natural dungeons. The one thing that made the dungeon different from other system dungeons that he could tell so far was the fact that he could see vines running along the walls. The vines were purple in color and looked similar to the ones he had seen the gorilla using earlier, although they weren't nearly as large.
"Well this place seems rather straight forward." Henry said as he came through the portal and looked around. "I guess I should have expected this coming from a system dungeon. Maybe I've just gotten to use to all of the crazy dungeons we've been coming across lately."
"I get you. I was half expecting some sort of weird ghost haze creature dungeon or something filled with all sorts of puzzles. It would go along with all of the other dungeons we've been dealing with in are recent expeditions." Adrian said with a shrug.
"Why don't you use an aura pulse to check out as much of the dungeon as you can Joshua?" Isabella said after observing as much as she could. "It might give us a clearer idea of what we will be up against."
Joshua nodded understanding what Isabella was getting at. Although Becca's echolocation was great for searching out areas it didn't have anywhere near the range of Joshua's aura pulse. They already knew that the dungeon wasn't going to hinder their vision this time around since they could see that there was lighting all around. The lighting was dim, but was more than enough to light the path forward. So Joshua put that thought to the back of his mind before focusing on checking out his surroundings.
He closed his eyes and let a pulse of aura shoot out from his body. The pulse quickly raced down the hall and showed off a large part of the design of the dungeon ahead of him. Joshua was surprised by the number of twist and turns the path that they were on was going to take. All along the way there were also several vines that seemed to flow everywhere his aura passed. Eventually his pulse of aura came to a point where the path broke off and started to break into different directions. The fact that the first breaking point had five different paths to choose from told Joshua right away that this dungeon was going to have a lot of maze like qualities to it. After reaching that point Joshua's aura pulse ran out and he knew that they were going to have to go deeper into the dungeon if he wanted to get a clearer picture.
"From what I can tell the dungeon seems fairly straight forward for a while until we reach the first branching point. We'll have to make our way there if we want to get a good idea of what this dungeon is going to try to put us through." Joshua explained.
"Well then let's head in and see what we can find. I suggest we go back to using the mental link for communication for the moment. Don't want to attract unnecessary attention in case we come across any creatures." Henry explained with a serious look as everyone nodded in agreement.
'Then we'll speak like this from now on. We'll go in with our usual formation, except make sure the camera crew is protected along with the healers.' Joshua explained getting nods from everyone as he took the front. When everyone was set and in formation he started to walk down the long empty hall. It was unusually quiet for a dungeon, he was used to hearing the sounds of creatures in the distance causing a commotion even at the start of the dungeon. This time around the only thing he could hear was his group's footsteps along with the occasional rustling from the vines along the walls of the dungeon.
It didn't take long for the group to settle into their usual precautious ways of exploring a dungeon. Joshua was making sure to sense out his surroundings with each step he took while on the other hand Becca was using her echolocation to check for traps the entire time. Marcus was mapping out the path they had already taken even though it was a straight shot up to this point. They all knew that wouldn't be the case the moment they reached a branching path. It didn't take long for that to be the case as the walls opened up into a rather large dome like room.
Joshua was the first one to walk into the room just in case there was a surprise attack waiting for them. The room was as simple as the rest of the dungeon had been, the only difference was the fact that the vines in the area were thicker. The reason for this seemed to be the fact that the vines seemed to block off some of the paths forward. In the room there were in total five paths to choose from, but two of them were currently blocked off by vines in a way that seemed to tell them all that they weren't accessible at the moment. They could try to cut their way through or even burn their way through, but Joshua doubted things would be so easy. Based off of the way the vines were able to grow back so quickly when they were facing the gorilla he was certain these vines would be the same.
'Well looks like we've got a choice to make. Go ahead and figure things out for us big guy.' Madalyn said through the mental link getting Joshua to shrug his shoulders. Joshua closed his eyes and once again sent out a powerful aura pulse to get a good look at their surroundings. He made sure to search each path one by one just to make sure he wasn't missing anything.
The first path that Joshua inspected seemed to be rather unremarkable as it followed the same design as the one they had just come from. At the end of the path there was some kind of statue that appeared to be needed for something important. Outside of that there were a bunch of larger vines in the room that were more alive and active than any of the other vines they had come across in the room so far. Joshua had a feeling they would have to go down that path if they wanted to clear out some of the vines that were blocking their way, but he needed to check the other available paths before he made a decision.
The second path that Joshua looked down wasn't nearly as long as the first path, but it ended up in a decent sized room that had a pair of scorpion tailed monkeys that were hanging from the walls. They seemed to be guarding a treasure chest that was in the center of the room so Joshua knew that they wouldn't be passing up that path. The last path that they could actually go down at the moment had nothing in it, but traps and would have just been a waste of time for them to try to get through. He was certain that his group would be able to make their way through it all, but there was nothing at the end of the path for them to get in the end.
'Well of the three paths we can go down at the moment the first one leads to a statue that we'll probably have to use in some way to clear out the way forward, the second path leads to a treasure chest guarded by a pair of monkeys, and the final one is filled with nothing but traps. So we either go for the treasure or the statue first.' Joshua explained to everyone.
'Can't hurt to see what kind of treasure we'll get.' Aito said with a shrug. 'We'll have to go for the statue later anyways, but we might as well get the treasure first just in case our path of going back is restricted.' The others agreed with Aito's words and they decided to follow Joshua as he started going down the second path first. The path wasn't all that long so it didn't take them too much time to make it to the area where the two monkeys were guarding the treasure.
Right away they were all able to tell the similarity between the pair of monkeys and the first sub-bosses that they had fought earlier in town. The monkeys were much smaller only being around ten feet tall in comparison to the two story tall monkeys that were nearly twice their size, but other than that they almost looked identical. They all noticed right away that the monkeys seemed to be focused on guarding the treasure. Even though they were within view of the creatures the monkeys didn't approach them, but stayed around the treasure chest instead.
'Well we already know how these things like to fight, so let's make this quick and clean.' Joshua said as he pulled out his scale blade while everyone else prepared to fight. The room was too small to use large spells without the threat of hurting each other so the focus was going to be on close combat this time around. The mages would stay back for the time being.
Joshua rushed into the room first with the others following close behind. The monkeys didn't react to his presence until he started getting close to the treasure. That's when they took action and started yelling towards Joshua trying to scare him off. When they realized Joshua wasn't going to stop they rushed towards him together with their stingers up preparing to tear into him. Unluckily for them they were nowhere near as strong as the pair of monkeys that Joshua had faced before. Both of the monkeys were only level seventy eight which meant they had no level suppression on Joshua or most of the group. Joshua was able to shove aside their killing intent like it was thin air.
When the first monkey had reached Joshua its stinger went shooting for his head, but he just slightly avoided the attack at the last moment. Unfortunately for the monkey Joshua wasn't alone as Abigail was right behind him. The two of them had decided on a new tactic that would work well against weaker enemies to make things go faster. Abigail struck out with a stunning strike that slashed through the monkey's tail. Her strike actually dug a deep wound into the creature, but the side effect of her attack was more important. For the next second the monkey was frozen in place and that was more than enough for Joshua to take care of it.
Joshua cut clean through the monkey's body with one powerful slash killing it instantly. It couldn't move and avoid his attack so with and aura coated blade with a bit of will added on he was able to cut clean through it. Since this was a system orchestrated dungeon the other monkey continued to rush in mindlessly even though its partner had been killed right in front of it. Joshua lifted his scale blade to block its tails piercing motion. Blocking the attack had thrown the monkey off balance and left it wide open for Madalyn who glided right over Joshua's shoulder and sliced across the creature's throat. A greenish fume was left where her daggers hat cut through the creature and it stumbled for a moment trying to breath before falling over and dying seconds later.
'Well that was quick work.' Madalyn said with a grin as she was happy by the effectiveness of her skills against the creatures. 'Well why don't we see what this treasure chest is hiding so we can get a move on.'