340 Chapter 15: The Best of the Crop Show off their Skills
After Joshua's group had finished their turn through the dungeon Henry lead another group through while Adrian was the lead of the last group. When they both came back they seemed pleased with how well their groups performed in the dungeons. It was clear that they weren't up to the standard of the members of most of the large guilds around, not to mention anywhere near the level of the Phoenix or Serpent Guild members, but it was a nice start that they could work with.
Once every group had gotten a chance to go through the dungeon Joshua told them to rest up and meet them back in James Town the next day for some much needed training. The only people that were left behind were the original eleven members of the guild plus Grace, Victor, Ivan, Robin, and the couple of Jacob and Evelyn. "Alright now that we've tested out everyone else it's time to see what you guys can do." Joshua stated getting everyone to quiet down from their casual conversations and turn to focus on him.
"I know you want to see us in action when it comes to dungeon clears and things like that, but don't you think you're underestimating us a bit too much." Ivan said while looking unimpressed.
"He's right about that. You are clearly looking down on us if you think that a level fifty dungeon will be enough to test our strength. I alone could clear a level fifty dungeon without any trouble. I've done it several times in the past." Robin said while glaring at Joshua. She clearly didn't like the idea of being treated with kid gloves, but Joshua just continued to smile back at the both of them. Victor remained quiet about the situation since he seemed to think there was no way that things could be as simple as Joshua was letting on while the bard couple just seemed to shrug off the entire situation.
"Whoever said anything about taking on a level fifty dungeon?" Joshua asked getting confused looks from the pair of previously angered explorers. "I'm guessing none of you have been in the position before to understand how a town dungeon actually works?"
"I've been in a guild or two before, but never in a management position. It seemed like too much of a hassle." Robin replied while the rest nodded in agreement. Joshua wasn't surprised by that response or else they would have understood what he was up to.
"Well one thing about town dungeons that most people already know is that they grow and level up alongside the town. What most people don't take into consideration is the fact that the level can be changed even after the town has leveled up. It makes it so that you can make the dungeon weaker even if the town is at a higher level. That is why for the other recruits we were able to test them out inside of a level fifty dungeon. However for you guys I had something a little bit more challenging in mind." Joshua said as he started sifting through his inventory.
Joshua spent a little bit of time searching through all the random materials and items he still had filling up his inventory that he'd have to get checked out later before finally finding what he was looking for. He pulled a large core that was about the size of a basketball and held it in his hands. It was the core of one of the sub-bosses they had faced in the canyon dungeon after clearing the place over and over and Joshua had been saving for just the right moment. He then offered it to the system shop for some guild points causing it to disappear and for the Fenrir guild to suddenly level up to a mid-size guild.
"Did you really have to go and level up the guild just to prove a point?" Henry asked while letting out a tired sigh. A higher level guild meant a lot more work for them when it came to recruiting and defending their bases. "We might have been able to get another territory war against a small size guild in a few weeks if we were lucky."
"Meh the town defenses can hold up fine against mid-sized guilds no problem, besides we've got a bunch of new members to help out in territory wars anyways. It would be a waste to hold off gaining guild points for almost another month. With the training we were going to put the new recruits through over these coming days the guild would have leveled up anyways." Adrian responded while looking a bit excited at taking the next step as a guild.
"It could be useful for training the new recruits. Having higher level dungeons in a safe area like our town will make it easier to show them the ropes. It would have been a hassle going all the way through the prairie to find a decent dungeon to train them in." Aito explained getting accepting nods from the others.
"Anyways the point is that now that we've leveled up the guild we can do this." Joshua said with a smile as he placed more guild points earned from becoming a mid-sized guild into the town itself leveling it all the way up to seventy. It wasn't the highest level a mid-sized guilds territory could get, but it was the highest they could go with their current amount of guild points. Mid-sized guilds could go all the way up to level eighty, but after that you have to be a large sized guild to go any further. Of course in the future this would change depending on the average level of explorers around the world, but for now that was how things worked.
"So I'm guessing that means that the dungeon is at a higher level now?" Victor asked with a small smile forming on his face. He seemed excited to take on the challenge.
"Yep. You guys will be taking on a level sixty-five dungeon together while we watch. We won't intervene unless Monika has to heal someone from a dangerous injury, so give it your all." Joshua responded getting nods from the new recruits. They all started heading into the dungeon with Grace even coming along since she would be heavily guarded like a healer on the inside. It was a system dungeon as well so all of the creatures inside would react in a fixed way which made it far less dangerous for her. She wanted to see how dungeons worked since it was something she'd have to get used to in the future.
As they made their way through the portal Joshua noticed how the group of five quickly formed simple formation that would put them in the best position to take on any creatures they came across. Since there were only five of them it was impossible for them to cover every role they needed perfectly so they were going to have step up their game if they wanted to get through the higher level version of the dungeon.
For their formation they had Ivan out front as the only tank in the group. As a heavy swordsman he was highly versatile as a tank being able to block against multiple targets as needed and with his large blade he would have no problem injuring any creatures he went after enough to keep their attention away from the rest of the group. Victor on the other hand took up position in the middle of the group. He stayed not too far behind the tank just in case some type of beast was able to sneak by Ivan and go after the back line. This position gave him the opportunity to react to anything whether it came from ahead or from behind the group.
When it came to the back line Robin was the only one there to do any real damage so she took up position in front of the bard couple. She had a staff out preparing to channel her spells at any moment. Jacob and Evelyn stood a little bit behind her with their instruments ready for whenever the fighting began. They could easily change the feeling and emotion of their music so that the group would get different buffs depending on the situation. Joshua was looking forward to seeing how this group would work out so he and Henry could figure out the best way to integrate them into their group.
As they made their way through the dungeon they came across several different shadow beast which the five new comers seemed to be able to handle really well. There formation worked extremely well and Joshua was able to see how they each handled combat. Ivan was a nightmare for the creatures up front as he tore through them with his giant sword, but on occasion his sword would glow and send out short gales that did extra damage to any creatures within range. It was a skill that Joshua hadn't seen before but it seemed extremely useful against multiple creatures in close combat.
Victor would wait until Ivan got a handle on the situation before going in for some kill shots on the shadow creatures that were too busy focusing on Ivan instead of the rest of the group. Each one of his strikes were precise and incredibly powerful. At one point he moved in so fast that he cut off the head of one of the shadow beast before it even realized he was approaching. For the most part he moved in and out of battle depending on the situation, but his strikes were always lethal.
Joshua didn't really get a feel for what the back line could do until the sub-boss and the final boss of the dungeon. Robin had on occasion helped out with a strong lightning spell that charred some of the shadow creatures to the death, but for the most part she didn't have to do much until they got to the sub-boss of the dungeon. The sub-boss was the massive clawed shadow creature with a bunch of its little minions on hand to back it up. Robin was the main reason why the fight went by so fast.
Before the sub-boss could even dive into the shadows to start attacking silently Robin cast a powerful light spell after warning everyone to close their eyes. The spell cleared out all of the shadows in the room forcing them out and in the open. Ivan was able to take the sub-boss head on because of this making the fight much easier, but the next thing Robin did put away any hope of the sub-boss being challenging. She used a lightning spell that seemed to bounce from enemy to enemy and electrocute them all. It wasn't too powerful of a spell, but the after effect of all of the shadow creatures being stunned gave Victor plenty of time to go around and clean them up before focusing on the boss once more.
Joshua was surprised by how long the stunning effect of Robin's spell lasted, even when it came to the boss. He later found out that it was because of her soul beast which was an electric eel. Her soul beast empowered any and all electric attacks and made the paralysis effect linger for much longer. The fact that she basically had a large area lightning spell made Robin extremely efficient at clearing out large groups.
When the group got to the final boss of the dungeon Joshua was able to see what made the bard couple so valuable. Since it was a boss fight they had more than enough time to shine and they got started right away. Evelyn started doing a fast pace and fluid solo with her violin that gave everyone in the group a boost of speed. The one that gained the most from this was Ivan thanks to his soul beast and he was able to keep up with the cat like shadow beast that was the boss.
Jacob on the other hand played a more depressing and slow tune from his guitar. Joshua could instantly see the effects it was having on the boss as its movements slowed down and its body seemed to be weighed down. With the support of the two bards the rest of the group was able take down the boss after ten minutes of fighting. By the end of the dungeon everyone seemed a bit winded, but other than that they had passed through with flying colors.