When the advance to rank 1 finished both Ezequiel and Sophia started to evaluate the changes in their bodies as well their new abilities and innate spells.
Ezequiel's height was now 1.9 meters and his weight was so high that when he moves the ground under him was craking, his body suffered repetitive compression which enhanced his power greatly as well his penetration force and the resistance it had to physical damage. His strength had improved considerably, as well his physique but due to the transformation in his body, his speed was affected, but the innate spells he unlocked solve those problems. One of the spells was Lightning Transformation which allows him to transform partially his body into lightning allowing him to achieve greats agility and exceptional destructive power.
In Sophia's case, the dark-platinum scales were no longer visible, but they were still active it was just that they were under her skin like always active body armor, her high was now 1.85 meter, and her eyes had turned to a deep red color. Now she was able to use the power of the corrupted waters of the Styx wich inflected a corrosive and decaying effect as well as affecting the mind of the target. One of her innate spells was Oblivion Eyes, which could harm the intelligence of anyone she sees directly at their eyes and destroy their memories if the time of exposure is prolonged.
The two were marveled at their changes, but the moment they saw Zatiel´s condition, all that excitement became a disappointment, they know that if he had not helped them during the assimilation their will would have been broken and they would have failed. So they just sit down in silence and waited for him to recover.
Zatiel situation was not serious, but he was severely exhausted, using the third eye with his golden flames to purify the bloodlines and then releasing his bloodline pressure to overcome the ones of the dragon and titan, have depleted greatly his stamina and he could barely move right now.
It took an entire day for him to be in top condition again and that was only because his sun had recharged and was able to use the vitality of the flames to accelerate his recovery. Zatiel opens his eyes and sees the bodies of Sophia and Ezequiel, after assessing their condition he nodded.
´They have not become as strong as I, but they are no too far being. Although they had just reached rank 1 they should be powerful enough to kill rank 1 Advanced Magus and fight against those at the Master level,´ Zatiel was satisfied with the increase in power of the two.
Magi possess various ways of advancing through ranks, so focusing on a single aspect of the advance to describe how powerful they are is not effective, because of that the fighting ability is used as a measure of power. Novice are those how just entered rank 1 and are only able to use the most basic rank 1 spell, Advanced are those how are already able to use high power rank 1 spell and their battle experience and consciousness had reached a powerful enough level to completely dominate a recently advanced Magus, as for Master-level they are the ones how are starting to lear their new Rank Spell, preparing to advance to rank 2, and their energies are beginning to change obtaining special properties. Erick would have fallen into the rank of Advanced level Rank 1 Magus, but that it was only because he had followed the path of Fire Mastery giving him great damage power or else he would have been between Novice and Advanced level at most. Usually, one Advanced level Magus should be able to defeat 2 novice level ones and fight to a draw 3 of them.
"Have you two familiarise with the changes in your bodies?"
Ezequiel and Sophia nodded and their expression was serious, they will not let themself became a burden.
"Ok, then let's break the last defense in this place," Zatiel take the two with him and headed to the last part of the laboratory he needed to search.
Breaking the energy paths and altering the runes in this house took a lot more time than before, but by the end of the day, he had managed to break the defense.
Zatiel sends his Primal Chaos Consciousness to explore the place, but the moment it entered he knows that he made a mistake.
The place started to shake and an immense amount of energy started to accumulate inside.
Zatiel was able to realize immediately what happens, the moment his consciousness enter this house it activated a secret protocol that must be regulated so that any type of intrusion outside the original owner, will trigger the self destruct protocol.
´Dammint!, I got too careless,´ Zatiel was surprised but immediately his eyes focus.
"Wait here!" The moment he says that, he active Sunlight Speed and the golden flames cover him entirely as he enters the house.
Ezequiel and Sophia were able to felt that the place became dangerous and that Zatiel could be in trouble but even though they wanted to help, they know that they will be a hindrance if they follow him and do not know what to do.
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Zatiel enters and uses his third eye to see the place were the energy was concentring. It was just in the center of the house and flashed to it before he took a beautiful gem with everchanging colors from his ring. This gem was the Rainbow Flash he got from the kobolds but now its surface was cover whit all sort of rune.
Zatiel puts the gem against the core of the explosion and activates the runes in it. The moment he does the gems exploited releasing a wave of energy that inundated all the place.
When the wave touches the energy channels, some deactivated and others broke generating a chain reaction that negates the explosion and the self destruct protocol.
´Just in time,´ Zatiel makes sure that the explosion was detained and calms. Although he could just have run, this place surely had something valuable so he took a risk and use the Rainbow Dash he enhanced with runes to affect the magical equipment that was responsible for the self-destruction. Although it was risky it paid off.
Now that the problem was fixed he can examing this place correctly.
This place had an experimentation table, and by what he could tell it was used on humans or some other living creature to dissect and search their bodies. There was also giant tubes with blue liquid and floating inside were all sort of monstrosities, one trace that they all shared was dog parts and an immense stomach disproportionated to their bodies. In the back of this house was a smaller tube and inside there was a small dog floating but unlike the rest, this one didn't have the horrible mutations but just looked like a simple dog.
´What are these things?´, Although Zatiel could be considered a walking library with all sorts of obscure and arcane information he could not figure out the origin of these creatures.
After exploring the entire house and making sure he didn't miss anything he goes back to the one creature that seems like a small dog.
´It seems to be some sort of chimera, whoever owned this place trie to create a new being from the part of others, but they were all failures, except this one. Unfortunately, they are all dead.´ Zatiel focuses his consciousness in the little dog to trie to understand him more but he became shocked when he felt a little spark of life inside him.
Immediately he actives his Eye of life and creation and focuses on the animal, and after a little, he realized that the dog still had life, although it was very weak it was present.
´It must have been in a sort of hibernation state that allows him to hold on this long, but still, to be able to live all this time his heritage must be very powerful,´ Zatiel assesses him for a while before breaking the crystal and taking the dog in his hand.
Without wasting time he makes his flames cover the animal and use his third eye to start inundating his body with vitality and trying to wake him up.
After a long time the dog finally start to react, his fur was grey and it had two small pointed ears. As he starts to open his eyes, he sees his surroundings and when he saw Zatiel, he became fearful and exalted as he tries to move from his hands, but his strength was so little that he could not escape his grip.
Zatiel continues looking at him, not caring for the dog state but could not figure out what makes him special.
Finally, the fear of the dog reached his peak an opens his mouth as if it was going to bite him. Zatiel was not worried, but immediately a sensation of danger assault him and without hesitation, he throws the dog gains a wall and a golden glow fill his body as he escapes the house.
Just when Zatiel reaching the door, from the dog mouth a small black orb forms and an immense suction force is generated swallowing everything at his reach. The first to enter the orb was the tubes with the failed experiments, and then everything else in the house was suctioned.
Zatiel manages to leave the house just in time and almost crashed with Sophia and Ezequiel who were waiting outside the door.
´What is that dog?´ Zatiel keeps his eyes on the house and after a couple of seconds, the swallowing force vanishes.
"Master are you fine?"
"Don't worry, I am not hurt," Zatiel keeps focused in the house and send his consciousness inside to see what happened.
Inside the house, everything had vanished and even pieces of the wall were missing, the only thing that remained inside was the little dog that looks like it fainted from the exhaustion and now it had strange symbols on his stomach.
After making sure that the dog was indeed unconscious, he enters again. Zatiel pick up the dog from the ground and looks at him for a long time using his consciousness and third eye to assess him. The only thing that could detect was an agglomeration of energy inside is stomach but nothing else.
After seeing him for a long time, he brings his head close to the dog head until they touch themself. Slowly he was sending his Primal Chaos Consciousness into the small mind of the dog and creating a connection between the two. With this the next time he sees him, the dog will feel familiarity and fondness, but this was not absolute, if he makes something that harms the animal that connection will be broken.
After a couple of hours, the dog opens his eyes again and when he sees Zatiel, there was nothing of the initial fear and even starts to move his little tail in showing his happiness.
"You are a little glutton, so how about if I call you Tao," Zatiel smile at the dog, as he starts to rub his head and he gives the first name that comes to his mind.
The dog only barks as if showing his approval and moves is small tail even more.
By what Zatiel could tell the intelligence of this creature was no superior to the one of a 3-year-old human, and his strength was also very small, but his defense was on par with the one of a rank 1 being, after all, when he throws him against the wall it didn't harm him at all.
Zatiel puts Tao on his shoulder and leaves the house.
The moment the two saw the dog their reaction was very different, Ezequiel was a little surprised but nothing more, as for Sophia her eyes sparkled and she closed to the little dog immediately and tries to pat him. Although she knows that her actions are not fitting of a rank 1 being, she was with people who she trusted so what reason was for pretending.
Unfortunately for her, the moment she brings her hand to Tao, he bites her. She was frozen, the little dog looks so friendly but the moment she approaches, he attacks.
"Ah, you little rascal. Zatiel, why you got this insolent thing?," The bite was so weak that Sophia practically did not feels it, but she was ashamed, especially seen the face of the other two how were about to laugh and the dog that had a prideful expression.
"Enough, he is Tao and will be your new comrade, so treat him well" Zatiel knows that this dog is special so he will take him with them.
Ezequiel nodded and although Sophia was a little angry she knows that the decision is already taken so she just nodded.
"Ok, with this we can call the trip to the laboratory finished. Our next destination will be a visit to the Wasteland and then we will head to the tower. But before that, I am going to inscribe a special rune in us." After he finishes speaking Zatiel took the mirage crystals from his ring and his runemaster tools.
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