Zatiel and Rax were in front of nine big eggs that were the size of an adult man, the first one was using his consciousness to investigate the condition of the creatures inside and the chip abilities to a more detailed inspection.
Shiyu transformation went without a problem, so after making sure the new Neo-Demon had acclimated to her form, Zatiel didn't waste time and came to inspect the drones that Tao has created during his time here. As he assesses them, he directed his attention to the small dog that was sleeping next to the area where the infants reside, with his belly up and his tongue dropping out of his mouth.
Seeing the small dog in this position broke Zatiel concentration, making him laugh, but shaking his head he focuses as he spoke to Rax.
"Did you obey my command and make sure to recollect information about Tao's ability to create drones and his changes in this couple of years?."
One of the reasons why Zatiel let Tao here, was that he needed a safe place where the last one could practice his abilities freely and there was someone how could keep an eye on him at all times, and since the small dog enjoys spending all of his time playing with those newborn Neo-Demon, this was a scenario that benefits everyone.
"Yes Ancestor, I and a select group were always taking turns so Tao could be watched at all times. By what we were able to recollect, the small dog spends most of his time playing and eating normal food, his intelligence seems to be increasing at a slow but steady rate. As for his personality, let just say he his curious," When Rax reached the last part, in his face a look of frustration and resignation could be seen.
When Tao plays with the children, there is no problem, but whenever the dog sees something that calls his attention like someone using a spell that generates light or fire, or they are practicing martial techniques, he always runs to them and starts to meddle and interfere with their training. Since everybody knows how special he is to Zatiel, they can't do anything else, but go with the flow and entertain the small dog.
Rax has tried to communicate with the Tao, to see if he could change this behavior since this one was already able to understand words, but unfortunately for the kobold, whenever they talk the dog always keeps looking at him with a confused expression, leaving the 4 meters tall draconic warrior impotent against the thirty-centimeter dog.
Zatiel saw Rax expression, but chose not to comment, since he also didn't have a way of handling the dog, at least not without harming him.
"How his abilities to absorb matter and create drones have developed?."
"Tao can communicate when he wants to activate his swallowing ability, and it seems to have control over what he wishes to affect. By your instructions, we have only given him corpses from rank 1 creatures and he has been able to create a total of 9 drones. As you can see they remain in their eggs and although they are not moving, they are alive in some sort of hibernation state," Rax has been very diligent with this task takin into consideration the smallest detail.
Zatiel nodded, and since he has already checked every egg, he put his hand on one and activates the necromancy spell that will generate a pseudo consciousness in the drone.
"Give me the specifics about his swallowing and the time it takes to create a drone" Zatiel split his mind, so he could work on the drones and hear Rax at the same time.
"The amount it can swallow seems to be limited not by the mass of the object, but by the amount of energy inside them, the first time it was the body of an Early Rank 1 Magic Creatue and one peak Rank 0, but the last one was created using two Early Rank 1. During the process of drone creation, it seems like he is unable to activate is ability again and those strange inscriptions appear in his stomach. The time it takes to create a drone, dimish with everyone he creates, even though the energy used is higher, and his defensive abilities seem to be increasing as well but his strength remains the same"
Zatiel was satisfied with the report and had an idea of how the power of Tao worked and the path of development for him.
"The first egg contains a drone with the power of a Novice Rank 1 Magus and the last that was created, one of the Advanced level, but unfortunately, that is just the amount of energy in their bodies, and their actual fighting power in less as they are not able to act without command and the pseudo-consciousness I can develop for the moment are extremely basic. Since they have no soul, they can't improve their power by themself but since they are meant to be meat shields from the beginning, it will suffice with their capability," Zatiel disregard for these creatures may seem cold but he was old enough, to be able and see beyond their appearance and treat them by what they really are, weapons not different that the automaton he once fought.
Rax agree with Zatiel, as he was more than willing to sacrifice every single one of these drones if it means protecting the lives of Neo-Demons, but he was also doubtful about their strength.
"Ancestor, if I may ask, why the Werewolf was able to achieve the current level of power but these drones are so weak," Rax looked at the only drone that was outside their egg, and that seems like a statue at the entrance of the cave.
"There were some special conditions in his creation as the material he was made are all of a rare heritage, hence his outstanding capabilities despite using the energy of corpses long dead. Trying to replicate that scenario is not practical, so we will use quantity over quality and develop Tao abilities systematically. Continue giving him only corpses, as I don't currently have the facilities to assess the creation fo a drone that will form though individuals with souls."
The ability to create drones through great amounts of energy and corpses of different species is something a great number of creatures in the universe can do, and actually, Zatiel has plans for one of those life forms in the future. But if Tao is able to fuse different souls into a single entity, it was something it could create greed even on Law Beings.
Not everything was good, as there were several dangers, if the creature was able to develop a consciousness it could act hostile, so for the time being, he will only create soulless drones.
"I will follow your command Ancestor."
Zatiel finished creating the last pseudo-consciousness, and start to do a more thorough assessment of the Neo-Demons present.
"What is the current military might of the race" Since he had Rax, Zatiel would not waste his time sending his consciousness from one individual to the other.
"Including the newborns, the number of Neo-Demons is 145, from them nineteen are at rank 1, but only I and Kylo were able to assimilate Rank 4 bloodlines, the rest has a Rank 3 and their power is around 20% less than me and my son. Sixty-four have reached the peak of rank 0, and from them, 29 have already mastered their Rank Spell but are waiting to enhance more their blood through atavism or else they run the risk of assimilating a Rank 2 bloodline. The rest of the adults is not very far behind as we consume a great number of powerful creatures we hunt, and as you commanded, we only target those that are very far away from the cave," Rax spoke in a calm voice but pride was evident in his face. Before, just having someone at the peak of Rank 0 was something everybody in the tribe will celebrate, but now reaching Rank 1 was a given, and they were improving every day.
"How are things going with the reproduction and what information you have been able to recollect" Zatiel look in the direction were a group of draconic babies was playing and to wich, five adults at the peak of rank 0 were keeping an eye.
Despite the fact they were so young and barely 50 centimeters tall, every one of them has the physical prowess to smash into pulp a Warrior of the mortal world, as inside their small hearts was a chaotic core improving them.
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"As you requested, having children has been supported and 34 babies have born. The gestation is of 10 months and it seems like the infant stage of the kobold branch of our race ends at three years old and around five, they should be able to start rigorous training. The strength with which they are born varies depending on the power of the parents, for those who are at Rank 1, their sons are born at the Middle Rank 0 Neo-Demon, as for the rest, their children are at the Early Rank 0 Neo-Demon. Also, all those newborns have an enhanced bloodline from the beginning so even if they don't train in atavism, they should obtain a Rank 2 bloodline in their assimilation"
Rax was very happy with this task. Previously, since they were so weak, having children only was allowed if you were strong enough and the amount of infant at the same time could not be great as they were a burden in the resources of the tribe. But now having babies was something it was rewarded and promoted, and every time he saw those small smiling faces he laughed form happiness and was surer that they must follow the Ancestor no matter what, a feeling that was shared by all the kobolds.
"They have the heritage of metallic dragons from their parent running through their bodies and this can be used to create the bloodline heart, so unless they are able to get the blood of a Rank 5 or above life form, they should stick with their own or else they lose the capacity of using atavism techniques," Zatiel spoke as he sends his consciousness to the babies that were looking it his direction with sparkling eyes and happy faces, making him smile and show warmth in his eyes.
Rax nodded and make an annotation on his mind to speak to those children and their parents later, when he saw Zatiel trow a spatial ring to him.
"Inside the ring, there is an immense amount of high energy food that should last for a couple of years, since you and Kylo have a Rank 4 bloodline, then each of you is rewarded with twenty percent of it. For the rest, your job is to organize a competition that will be divided into two categories, one for those at Rank 1 and the other for Rank 0. It will be a one on one battle between the participant, were the top five of Rank 1 will get nine percent of the food each, and the top ten of Rank 0 will get 1.5 percent each. Since it is a battle, injuries cannot be avoided, but intentionally harming or continue attacking a defeated opponent, is considered going against my will." When Zatiel says the last part, he gave Rax a meaningful glare.
"I understand Ancestor, your will is the will of the race, and going against it means death!" To Rax, Zatiel was the deity that fulfills his dreams and protects the one he loves, so if anyone dares to go against him, even if it was the members of his race, he would not hesitate to tear them apart.
"The strength of our race will come from his ability to act as a single entity under my command, anyone that refuse that will be extinguished," Zatiel was extremely satisfied with the reaction of Rax, as he felt the loyalty of the kobold that runs as depth as his soul.
When everything was resolved, and after playing a couple of hours with Tao, Zatiel returned to the tower.
´I have handled all of my concerns, now I must use every minute I have to enhance my power and runemaster skills.´
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