After checking the room one last time to make sure that they weren't missing out on anything they decided to head upstairs to try and find the boss room. Going up the stairs they all noticed right away that there was a major change going on throughout the dungeon. All of the vines that had covered the walls and the paths throughout the dungeon had now withered away. This made the entire dungeon look completely different. The walls were now pristinely white which was off putting, the lighting was still dim, but without the vines it didn't seem nearly as rustic as before, and the feeling of danger had left the area.
'Well this is definitely strange.' Henry said with a frown as they all came out of the stairs and looked around the changed area. 'Without the vines I don't see what could possibly stop us from moving forward anymore.'
'If I had to guess it'll probably be a clear shot until we reach the boss room from this point.' Joshua said as he closed his eyes and sent out an aura pulse to check out the surroundings. As the pulse traveled down the hall in front of them Joshua noticed right away that there was no life force responding to his aura pulse anymore. Even so he still sent the pulse out as far as he could to get a good look at the path head, but he wasn't coming across any other forms of life to worry about. The path ahead didn't branch out one single time for the entire distance that the aura pulse traveled which was a good sign that they were at the final stretch of the dungeon. 'I'm not picking up on anything with my aura pulse.'
'Well then I suggest we go ahead and head down to see what's going on at the end of this hall. If we come across the boss room then we can take a break before going in just to make sure that we're all prepared. We still have plenty of time to clear this dungeon if we want to get the territory.' Laura explained getting nods from everyone in return.
Joshua took the lead as the group started heading down the long path that was ahead of them. The path was straight forward without any turns as it lead them deeper and deeper into the dungeon away from all of the maze like structures that they had been dealing with for most of their time inside. Without the vines there were no dangers to worry about, but Joshua kept up his most basic aura sense ability to make sure nothing went wrong on their way down the path. Becca and Marcus didn't find any traps as they made their way down the hall which all, but confirmed for Joshua that they were coming to the end of the dungeon.
After a thirty minute quick walk down the path they finally noticed the path start to widen up a bit. It wasn't branching out or anything along those lines, but the ceiling was rising up and the walls were getting further apart to make more space. Eventually the entire group could see the reason for this sudden change as they came across a large door at the end of the hall. The door had the classic skull on it that was a sign that it was the boss room for the dungeon, and the fact that there was nothing else around for them to check out was a good sign that this was all that was left to the dungeon.
Joshua walked over to the door and used his aura sense to look beyond it in an attempt to feel the presence on the other side. The door hindered his abilities somewhat and made it hard for him to perceive what was in the other room, but it was still enough to get a hint at what was beyond the doors. The first thing that Joshua noticed was the fact that there was more than one presence on the other side of the door and all of them felt familiar. He could tell right away that the largest presence on the other side of the dungeon was the gorilla they had defeated before. The fact that there were other presences along with it told him that it was likely that they would have to take on the other sub-bosses as well.
That thought annoyed Joshua a bit sense the monkeys and orangutan would make things much harder for the group in the upcoming fight. Now Joshua knew why they hadn't come across any sub-bosses while making their way through the dungeon. The sub-bosses were too busy backing up the boss at the end of it.
'Well? What could you tell?' Aito asked after noticing what Joshua was up to.
'The gorilla is definitely the big boss on the other side of the doors for this dungeon, but it isn't alone. If I had to guess the other presences on the other side of the door are most likely the sub-bosses we had to take down in town.' Joshua explained getting the rest of the group to understand what they were going to have to deal with. 'I can't really feel out the smaller creatures because of how overwhelming the gorilla's presence is.'
'Well then we're going to have to plan for the upcoming fight with the thought in mind that all of the creatures we faced in town will be working together.' Henry said with a frown. 'The hard part is going to be being able to figure out how to keep them from supporting each other.'
'Well we can talk it over while we take a rest. We need to go in to this fight in good shape and with a plan if we want things to go our way.' Joshua said before he started taking out a small camping set from his inventory. He didn't bother getting any tents since they wouldn't be sleeping and focused more on food for a quick meal while they rested up. The rest of his group followed his example and started setting up stuff so they could sit down and talk about things while Abigail and Aito fixed up a quick meal over the fire. It wasn't anything to special, but it would refresh their buffs after spending hours wondering through the dungeon.
'So since there is going to be more than one target this time around we need to figure out who's going to take care of what. Is there anything else you could feel from the boss room that could be a clue for what else we might have to deal with going into the fight?' Isabella asked Joshua.
'It felt like the gorilla's presence was overflowing throughout the room in a rather strange way. Based off of the last fight we had with the creature I'm willing to bet that it's most likely the vines that it controls spreading throughout the area. That would make a lot of sense based off of what we know from our first fight with it.' Joshua explained. They still stuck to using the mental link at this point simply because they were in enemy territory. It was a habit that they were trying to build up for when they were in situations where they needed to stick to using the mental link at all times. It could be incredibly advantageous in the future.
'If that's the case then we're probably going to have to revolve our initial plans around getting rid of the vines and fruit. Otherwise we won't stand a chance.' Henry said getting everyone's attention. 'That means will have to start off with Isabella and Cinder focusing on freezing the vines, but at the same time if there are multiple enemies then we'll have to figure out a way to hold them off while Isabella and Cinder freeze the vines.'
'Well you don't have to worry about protecting Cinder during that time.' Lilly responded. 'In her case she can generate a cold atmosphere in the room from just being in her ice form, so don't worry about her. We need to make sure Isabella is kept safe so that she can focus on her spells though.'
"This also means that Julia and I are going to have to focus on keeping our fire spells more concentrated so that we don't hinder Isabella.' Laura explained. 'I might just have to be more of a close range combatant this time around.'
'Well then since there are multiple enemies this time around and we need to focus on keeping them from being able to work well together. In other words we need to keep them separated.' Henry explained. 'In my opinion the best way for us to keep them separated is to go in separated as well. Joshua and Tank can focus on holding off the gorilla until we can work together to take it down. Madalyn, Amy, and Cinder can focus on the orangutan to keep it from being able to order the other bosses around to respond to our actions, and the rest of the close ranged fighters and tanks can go after the monkeys. This will also allow the ranged members of our group to provide support to anyone that needs it while giving Isabella some protection as she tries to freeze all of the vines.'
'If we go with that strategy it will do well early on, but we'd be fairly out of position if something surprising were to occur.' Isabella responded. 'Even so it is our best bet from keeping the boss and sub-bosses from being able to work together.'
'Then we should go in with that plan and adapt to any adversity we come across during the fight.' Joshua said with a small smile before the smell of food started take over his senses as Abigail and Aito had finished making the quick meal. 'Well then let's eat and finish regaining any mana or aura that we need.' Joshua said before everyone started to head over and get some food to eat. It didn't take long for them all to finish up their quick meal and be prepared to go in and take on the boss room.
Joshua was the first one to walk up to the large doors that loomed over the group as he could feel the powerful presence beyond it. He shook off any negative thoughts before he let his aura circulate throughout his body in preparation for the upcoming fight. Joshua stepped forward and pushed open the large doors that lead them all into a surprisingly bright room that seemed to have a large hole in the ceiling that allowed light to get into the room easily. With all of the clear rocks along the wall the light was brightened up even more making it easier to see their surroundings.
The first thing Joshua took notice of was the fact that outside of the bright rocks that helped lighten up the room, the walls were completely covered in vines. These vines were different from the ones they had been seeing throughout the entire dungeon though. These vines were purple in color and were clearly created by a different being than Titus. The vines continued to move around the room slowly with the occasional one sticking off of the wall and turning in their direction as they made their way into the large room.
Thinking about it Joshua felt that the word large was a massive understatement for the size of the room. The room made it feel as if they had walked into a large stadium dome from size alone and gave Joshua's group plenty of space to look around and see what was going on. After searching the large room for a moment there attention was dragged towards the back of the space where the presence of the powerful boss was coming from. The area was much darker than other parts of the room and hid the beast from view so no one could see it, but when it let out a loud roar they were all certain that they were going to have to take down the gorilla again. The following roars from its partners only made the tension in the room grow even more.