In one of the rooms of his house meant for training where the concentration of the natural energy was the greatest, Zatiel was meditating and every certain time he would take from his spatial ring a cube of meat and devour it, the moment it reached his stomach it was immediately converted into pure energy that flooded his body.
Its have been five months since he signed the contract with Tritus to sell his runes through the Empire, and they were really successful because even though he was a new runemaster that no one has heard about, the reputation of the association was great and people know that they would not sell mediocre products, so after hearing the effects of the runes they were sold at an impressive rate.
A month ago his runes were completely sold out and he had to create another batch, and this time the number of runes that were able to perform beyond their limits was almost a third, greatly impressing the Rank 0 Runemaster that came to take them.
With the wealth he obtained, he dived the food and magic crystals into four, giving a quarter each to Sophia and Ezequiel for their experiment and enhancement in power, leaving 35% for him and saving the rest for the kobolds.
Although those cubes don't look appetizing and appear just like a lot of compressed meat, the reality was that the taste and energy inside were impressive since it was made from Rank 1 creatures entirely. They were made from carcasses that the empire bought or creatures that they raise as livestock and a Rank 1 Magus would take a day to digest it, but to a Neo-Demon barely an hour was needed before they could consume another.
As the energy fills his body, Zatiel divides it into four strands and sent them to his two hearts. Two of those strands were sent to the golden sun and chaotic core improving his energy pool, and the other two enter directly to the cells that formed those hearts enhancing the speed at which they were transforming.
Neo-Demons were a race that focuses on their bodies and energies, both equally important, so for the advance in the Ranks, they need to increase their abyss aura both also transform their organs. In Rank 1 this transformation begins with their hearts, having to grow the Bloodline Heart to a mature state and finish the transformation of the original heart into an Elemental Chaos Heart.
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Elemental Chaos was a energy of a even higher level that abyss aura, and by taking small parts that the Chaotic Core generates and fusing them into their original heart, is the first step a Neo-Demon must take for transforming themself into a life form so unique that they will be able to use this type of raw and dangerous energy directly with their bodies and soul, something even demons can't due. As for the Bloodline Heart, it was created when the Neo-Demon advance to Rank 1, but it is not completed and must be fully matured so in the future more bloodlines can be assimilated.
Due to this characteristics and the great changes they go through, the amount of energy a Neo-Demon needs to consume in order to advance to the next Rank is monstrous, to the point that the resources needed for ten Rank 1 Magus to progress to Rank 2 is the same a Rank 1 Neo-Demon needs, and you have to understand that the Magi Path is a pinnacle path of the universe.
As for Zatiel´s case, this was special, since his bloodline was of such a high degree, the amount energy needed to mature his Bloodline Heart was, almost twice the one Sophia and Ezequiel would use, despite the difference in their bloodline being of a single grade. And he also needs to improve his second source of energy that comes from the golden sun.
Zatiel path would transform him into a black hole for resources, always needing more, but despite the difficulty, as he advances his superiority over the rest will become more and more evident.
After depleting the energy that the last cube of food gave him, Zatiel opens his eyes and using his consciousness he starts to assess his condition.
"A.I. Chip show me the current status of my body and also display how much have I advanced with my two hearts."
"Bip... analyzing host.
Sun Force: 62.3
Bloodline Heart: 13% of completion
Elemental Chaos Heart:17% of completion"
"I have a long way to go and as I advance the amount of resources I will need would only grow up. My speed is acceptable for now, but if I continue to this rate, it would take me another thirty years to advance to Rank 2. I need to get my own Magic Tower, with that I will be able to obtain all the energy that I need, but they are really expensive and since signing a contract to become part of an organization as an individual, is not an option, I will have to find a different way."
For Zatiel may be slow, but to any other person in the Magi World, advancing to Rank 2 before half a century, was a display of talent only achievable for those genius that only show up every couple of millennia, and that was if they only focus on their raw power, not dividing their times with professions like runemaster and magic creator, and they were part of a great power that would provide them with best resources that exist. But being someone that was able to rise from an ant to an Overlord, his standards were almost impossible for anyone to achieve.
"Its enough for now," Zatiel stand up and when to his laboratory were some resources were in the final stage of processing and transformed into raw material for rune crafting.
For Zatiel, the improvement of his power was primordial as it was the cornerstone of every mighty existence in the universe, after all, no matter how good you are in rune crafting, if someone is powerful enough they could just take it from you. But being an old monster and the creator of Neo-Demons, he knows that the improvement of his energy and body must be a gradual and systematic process, and his body needs to rest from time to time to adjust to his changes, or else it runs the risk of generating a flaw in his transformation, that will difficult his future path, like putting too much pressure into his Elemental Chaos Heart or Bloodline Heart, injuring them.
There were diverse resources in front of Zatiel, all of them already processed into raw material and from each one the amount of natural energy you could perceive was greater than the one needed for any kind of Rank 1 rune.
"Excellent, the processing was done without a flaw. Now the really difficult part comes, that it is inscribing the rune, although creating it with a 100% certainty will need a set of skill that I don't currently have, the sooner I create this rune the better, as the amount of time it will save me is exponential," Zatiel was concentrate and his mind was single focus on this task, as the importance of this rune was incredible, and the cost of the material was so high, that even after using almost all the magic crystal he keep for him, he was only able to buy three sets.
Zatiel took a piece of skin from his ring and assess his quality before nodding.
"Using the skin of a rank 2 magic creature will allow me to retain almost all the efficacy of this rune, it will be preferable to inscribe it directly into my body, but if I were to do it, my chances of success are less than 3%."
Since enhancing his power only needs for him to direct the energy to his organs and centers of energy due they absorbing it for themselves, it doesn't create a great strain on his mind, so after resting a couple of minutes, he starts the inscription.
His eyes were focused and his hands were steady, like always, as he starts. The lines and figures that were part of this runes were thousands and they were interconnected in hundreds of ways, some of them were so minimal that they were undetectable for the naked eye and you needed to have a consciousness, more powerful than the one a Rank 1 being would have to see them, but Zatiel was able to use his A.I. Chip to guide him through this parts generating a sort of hologram on his mind that show him this invisible lines.
As the hours advance, the lines start to take form inside the creature's skin, and you could see how a palm-size rune was being conceived from hundreds of merged lines and figures, yet the unseen ones were thousands. The process was slow and the concentration of Zatiel had to be absolute, exhausting him greatly.
It was on the seventh hour of work when almost a fourth of the runes was missing, due to the exhaustion and the fact that he could not see most of the lines and had to guide himself by the illusion on his mind created by the chip, that Zatiel made a mistake.
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