After deciding on taking his group out for a new challenge Joshua informed everyone else to meet up at the entrance of James Town the next day for a new task. He went home and got some rest excited for finally being able to go on another new adventure. For the past couple of months he had basically been going through the same two dungeons over and over to both level up and gain some important materials for the alliance. Now he was finally going to be able to go explore a new area with his personal guild members. He knew that Laura and Madalyn would be rather busy with the interactions the large guilds were currently having with the world government guild in the battle arena.
Overnight Joshua looked over the map of the areas of earth that his hub city was concentrated on. From what he could tell there were definitely more than just one hub city in the United States area alone just based off of the past population of the area. Each hub city only had a capacity of a hundred million people according to Thoren, so considering the fact that the United States had well over three hundred million before the first phase he was certain there must at least be one other hub city in the region. There were a lot of deaths during the first phase so he knew that the overall world population had been cut back by quite a bit. Even if he had worked hard to end the first phase before things could get beyond devastating, a lot of people still died.
Judging from the portion of the map that was available for him to look through he could tell that his hub city was based on the western side of the united states He could go to any area within said range from where California use to exist all the way up to the far side of Texas and everything above it. Beyond the map was completely blacked out showing that he didn't have access to any of this area. For them it seemed like most of their exploration had taken place in the mid-west with all of the mountain ranges and large plains. The terrain of the planet had greatly changed since its evolution considering how often environments shifted even when near each other.
For now Joshua didn't plan on diving into a completely unexplored area since he didn't know if a little over a week would be enough time to do such a thing, but he did plan on going into an area that people hadn't found the dungeon in. He needed to see how the new members handled the situation, things such as exploring a territory and living off the surroundings were all necessary to know as explorers. Plus the territory had to be a level eighty area. It didn't have to be as large as the canyon area, but it needed to be big enough to last for a week or so.
In the end Joshua figured the best way to find such a location was to search through the systems version of the internet. It wasn't quite as broad and varied as the old internet since there were a lot of things missing at the moment with the entertainment industry just getting started up again, but there was a very large and well thought out amount of stuff for explorers to browse through for information. There were sites set up for explorers to share information on new locations and dungeons they've been through and since it was all localized to this particular hub city it was all things that Joshua could go looking for immediately if he wanted to.
Joshua spent the next hour or so munching away at his dinner alone this time around. His mother was staying overnight at the hospital, his father was setting up his gym for some sort of instruction seminar for the next day, and his sister was off sleeping over with Naomi since they were going to be gone from the hub city for a while. While scrolling through the site there were a few things that Joshua took notice off.
The first thing that Joshua noticed was the fact that most of the information that was posted was on dungeons that had already been cleared. Some large guilds were offering dungeons in their territories for smaller groups of explorers to explore at a price. They would even put up guides on what to expect in the dungeon since if their customers went in and died they'd lose out on the tax on the materials gained from the dungeon. It was in the large guilds interest for the smaller groups to succeed and pay them more than just the small down payment to enter. Besides if they were doing this set up with a dungeon then they wanted the materials inside of it, but just didn't want to do all of the work themselves.
The second thing Joshua noticed was that there were a lot of different territories in just the area closest to his base. The variety of environments that people were discussing were well beyond Joshua's expectation. He hadn't been an explorer for as long as a lot of these people so he hadn't been to as many locations as he would have liked to at this point, but from what he could tell was that there were a lot different places for him to check out going forward with a lot of different beast for him to find.
The last thing he noticed was how the people on the system website seemed to view unknown areas. There were legit explorers that made a career of sneaking through unknown areas so that they could sell information on the area to guilds that planned to fully explore the area on their own. Joshua could see how useful this could be in the future if he needed to know about an area before deciding to go into it with his group. It would have been extremely helpful to know about the other side of the prairie before they had made fools of themselves and rushed on over the first time around.
These explorers had a good business going for them and he could see that it was being used by everyone at this point including the world government guild. They would put up a bit of information on the unknown areas that they were exploring that would give other explorers a basic idea of what the area was like, but they wouldn't give detailed explanations of the beast inside or the locations of major finds in the area such as dungeons unless you paid them. Joshua started looking through such post from these explorers to see if any of the areas aligned with what he thought would be an interesting test for his group. Luckily the explorers did at least post the levels of the unknown territories so that people wouldn't rush to their deaths even if they didn't pay for the extra information.
While glancing through some of the post Joshua started to break down in his head which ones would be best for his group to explore. The first interesting post that Joshua came across was one about a desert like area that was a bit different from the simple arid region with the scorpions that he had been to in the past. This desert was they type with large sand dunes and heat waves that could make a grown man wish he could cry. It was a level eighty area from what the explorer had posted in the basic information, but Joshua knew that he would need to know a bit more about the place before deciding whether or not he would take his group there.
He used the system to pay for the extra information and a new page opened up for him to look through. The first thing that Joshua learned about the area was the fact that just like all desserts it had an extreme range when it came to temperature. The difference with this dessert and other ones that Joshua had known about in the past was the fact that the shift in temperature was so drastic and so quick. During the day the temperature could easily reach well past the point where you could see heat waves rolling off the sand dunes. There wasn't a single source of water that was obvious in the area and any water brought along had to be either kept in your inventory or drunken extremely quickly since it would dry up fast.
At night the cold was chilling to a frightening degree causing all of the beast in the area to burrow their way into the ground. There were even signs of frost on the sand at night with the heavy winds in the area making the chill deadly if not careful. The beast in the area came in a large variety of dessert wildlife, but the one that stood out to Joshua was the large sand worms that could burrow through the sand and attack from below at any time.
Joshua eventually turned away from that location because of the fact that it wouldn't be a good region for their strengths when it came to the mages in their group. Julia would be alright with her fire magic during the day, but at night she might have a bit more trouble. The ones that would really struggle would be Robin and Brook. Robin's electricity would have a hard time effecting the creatures in the area since most of them seemed to have an affinity to earth based aura or magic. They could ground out most of her spells. Brook would have a hard time gathering moisture in the area which was also an issue. He wanted to test them, but not put them in a situation that wouldn't allow them to use most of their abilities right off the back.
The next area that Joshua looked at was a large pristine lake area that looked beautiful from the images that the explorer had posted of the place, but Joshua immediately shot the idea of going to the area down the moment he saw a mention of a monster past level eighty. He knew if there were monsters past level eighty then that meant the range of level in the area went up to at least level ninety and a lot of members in their group weren't ready for that just yet.
After a while of searching through all sorts of different areas Joshua had marked down a lot of places that he planned to come back to explore in the future, but none of them seemed quite right for what he was looking for at the moment. That's when he finally came across an area that peeked his interest. This time it was a heavily forested area that had a rather tropical climate to it which was a surprise to see in the United States at all. The area had a lot of rain and heat that wasn't quite as harsh as the dessert but was far more humid. When Joshua checked the level he could see that it was a level eighty area which was exactly what he was looking for. He paid through the system to get more information and was a bit surprised at what he found.
Although the forest was still technically considered an unexplored area it already had a name thanks to the solo explorers that dived inside trying to map out the area. It was called The Forest without Beast and from the name alone Joshua could tell that there was something weird going on with the place. All of the beast in the nearby area would avoid the place like a plague and a few of the solo explorers that had gone into map the area out didn't comeback. Reading through the information of the place a spark of interest twinkled in Joshua's eyes. Mysteries were always something Joshua loved to figure out and he figured it would be a good first test for the new members.