After finding out that there was a beast asking for help Lilly was anxious the rest of the time that the group made their way through the dungeon. The entire time Joshua was being extra careful to make sure he didn't miss out on any secrets that could end up leading them to something special. With Tank they had to find a secret area just to be able to get to the turtle. Not only that if they had gotten some of the choices along their way through the dungeon wrong they would have never even gotten the opportunity to even find Tank. So Joshua was being extra careful to not miss out on anything as they cleared each path they went through.
The dungeon itself was rather simple since the only thing that was changing was the number of statues they were coming across. At one point they even had to find ten statues to open the way forward. When it got to that point they split up to explore the different paths in specific groups that could each handle themselves. It made it so that they were able to find the statues in time before the clock stopped ticking down. After that they finally came across something different. There was a path that looked like all of the other ones they had gone down to find their way to the next portion of the dungeon. On the other hand an area of vines along the floor moved away showing a staircase that went down in a completely different direction.
Joshua wasn't certain which way to take, but he knew they'd have to go out of the way to find this trapped beast that Lilly was talking about so he had a feeling they would have to take the path that was different from the others. 'Lilly which direction are you sensing the calls for help from?' Joshua asked as he turned to look at his first exploration partner.
Lilly closed her eyes for a moment as she could feel the beast beckoning to her for help and immediately turned to look towards the stairs that lead downward. 'It's coming from that direction. It's far deeper underground than our current location.' The others nodded as Joshua took the lead and started making his way down the stairs.
The first thing Joshua noticed about this new path was the fact that it was much darker than the rest of the dungeon had been. Luckily he had his aura pulse to map things out for him. The vines in the dungeon were filled with life unlike the ones they had come across in the town that were made from the haze. With Joshua's aura pulse it was as if all of the vines were brightening the path up for him as he made his way down the stairs. Even so members of the group brought out lamps and other light sources to make it easier to see their surroundings. This dungeon didn't have the issue of the darkness preventing them from using light sources like the last one.
The stairs seemed to go on forever which explained why Lilly said that the creature was far beneath them. The stairs had started going down in a spiral fashion which told Joshua that they were headed straight down. Soon even Joshua was able to feel the aura being emitted by the powerful creature that was beneath them. The only issue was the fact that the aura from the vines below was much stronger as well and they felt as if they were being contaminated in some way.
Soon Joshua didn't even have to use his aura pulse to see what was going on any more as they arrived in a large open room that had bright stones that seemed to light up the surroundings. The walls were still covered in several vines, but they didn't block any of the light that the stones were giving off. When they climbed all the way down to the base of the room they found themselves in a large room that had vines everywhere that the eye could see. These vines were much larger than the ones they had come across up to this point and they seemed a bit different as well.
The aura that these vines were giving off were far stronger than any of the other vines in the dungeon so far. The issue was the fact that at some point the vines were getting contaminated by what appeared to be haze from what Joshua could feel. All of the vines were angled in their direction as they came into the room prepared to strike out if they made any sudden movements. 'That's him!' Joshua suddenly heard Lilly shout out as she pointed towards the back of the room.
Joshua turned his attention to where Lilly was pointing and noticed a giant figure that was close to the size of Tank. There was enough light in the room that Joshua was able to get a good look at the creature and he knew what it was right away. The beast was an actual gorilla. It wasn't some abomination like the one they had come across before, but instead had the usual two arms of a gorilla and no tail at the moment. Its stature was large although it wasn't as big as the haze boss they had fought earlier. If it had stood up it would probably be a little over six stories tall.
If you were to just look at the difference between this creature and the boss you would think that the haze boss would have more potential, but Joshua knew that regular beast had their powers as well. From what Joshua could see it seemed that the gorilla was the source of all of the vines in the room and most likely all of the vines in the dungeon, but something was corrupting its own vines against itself. They were restraining the creature at the moment and seemed to be sapping its energy away.
'We have to help him. He's in this weakened state because of the dungeon.' Lilly explained getting nods from the others. 'I'll bring out Cinder so that she can help Isabella freeze these vines, but they seem tougher than the other ones.'
'True even if the vines will eventually get frozen I'm certain they will try to attack us before that can happen.' Joshua said with a frown. 'All tanks up front. Prepare to hold the vines off for as long as possible.'
The rest of the group followed Joshua's orders as Lilly brought out Cinder who immediately shifted to her ice form. The sudden appearance of the large spider seemed to put all of the vines on edge as they started to move around agitatedly. When Cinder started to let out her ice fog into the surroundings and Isabella started using her blizzard spell the vines took action before they could be frozen. They tried to shoot forward and tie up Cinder, but the Tanks had surrounded the rest of the group to protect them and Cinder until the vines were dealt with.
Jayce and Abigail both created shield walls to block off as many vines as possible. Of course the vines tried to make their way around the walls, but Adrian would cut any that got past. The Carsen brothers on the other hand were busy chopping away at the larger vines that were too thick for Adrian to cut clean through. Joshua had Light project shields into the path of the vines to keep them from getting to the group. He then started cutting through them quickly with his scale blade as he dashed around the front line.
They didn't have to hold off the rampant vines for too long as they started to freeze quickly with the combination of Cinder's and Isabella's abilities. After a few minutes the group was surrounded by frozen vines. They ended up having to cut their way through all of the vines, so that they could make their way over to the gorilla. Isabella and Cinder didn't let up as they continued to keep the room at the freezing temperatures to make sure that the vines weren't going to be able to break free.
Eventually they were able to make their way over to the gorilla and Joshua realized right away that it was awake as it stared at them for a moment. It seemed too exhausted to actually do anything in response, but suddenly they could all hear a voice emanating from the beast.
'Thank you from releasing me from that torture. I've been stuck in this situation for the last few years.' The gorilla said as it seemed to try to smile at them, but it came across as more of an evil grin because of its large teeth.
'I see you're able to talk like me!' Cinder said with some excitement as she made her way over to the gorilla and skittered around it a bit excitedly.
'Hmm that's interesting. I don't believe I've come across any group of humans and beast that work together.' The gorilla said as it looked towards Cinder. It couldn't move at the moment, but Joshua could tell by the way its body seemed to tense up a bit that it didn't like having such a powerful creature like Cinder so close by while it was weak.
'I'm a beast tamer so I'm able to partner up with other beast like Cinder here. Oh and this big guy as well.' Lilly said as she summoned Tank who took up a large portion of the room as he came out of her soul realm. Tank was still getting bigger as he continued to level and regained all of his strength. At this point he was well over six stories tall even with his wide body. The gorilla would have stood taller than Tank, but was nowhere near the same size in overall body.
'It seems you've found another young interesting beast.' Tank said while glancing over the gorilla. 'You seem to be a special case that is rather different from the rest of your kind.'
'So much good that has done me. Because of my so called specialness I got to arrogant and challenged the haze boss of this place. In the end it overwhelmed me and trapped me here. I just wanted to prove my strength.' The gorilla said with a sad sigh.
'Why did you feel such a need to prove yourself? Especially at the cost of going into a haze filled area. The four guardians may make it look like forcing back the haze is an easy task, but for most it's hard enough to just survive in such a place.' Tank spoke with the tone of an elder teaching a student.
Joshua noticed that the gorilla must have been quite young by the way it acted. It's tenseness around other strong creatures showed its youth and the way it spoke also seemed like that of someone younger even if it had a violent and deep voice. It might have been a bit older than Cinder who was quite childish, but that might only be a couple of years if any. Joshua felt like he was listening to a conversation between a grandfather scolding a teenager without being too demanding.
'I thought that I could prove myself to the rest of my family if I could take on the town on my own. We've live on the other side of the mountain and I've always been the runt of the litter. Even though I have special abilities I'm not even close to the same size as some of the other gorillas of my age.' The tired beast said. Tank just shook his head at the response before turning to look at Lilly.
'Well if strength is what you seek then you should join Lilly and become one of her beast companion. It will allow you to face several challenges in the future, but you won't be doing it alone.' Tank said with a grin. After all the admonishing Tank had been doing earlier he suddenly came off as a stranger luring a kid with candy with that simple statement.
For a while the gorilla looked as if he didn't know what he should do, but eventually he gained a determined look as he turned towards Lilly's direction. 'I may not be able to help out now, but if you will have me. I'll gladly join you.'
Lilly walked over to the gorilla and started merging her aura with it as she began the taming process. 'I'll be happy to bring you along on all of our adventures.' She said with a brilliant smile.