From the Sinux Magic Tower, three figures could be seen flying away, one was covered in golden light, the other was like a bolt of lightning and the last one had gorgeous dark crystal wings on her back. They were Zatiel, Ezequiel and Sophia that were heading to the meeting point in the outside of the Endless Forest were the members of the expedition will gather before heading to the cave.
Four years may seem long for a normal human, but for life forms that can live hundreds of years, it was sometimes the amount of time they use to perform an experiment, so before they notice, the preparation period was over and they needed to leave the tower.
The external appearance of Zatiel has not changed, but the amount of energy inside him has increased greatly, and his two hearts have developed considerably. He was using a white robe and under it was a series of interconnected runes that occupy most of his body.
In Ezequiel's case, his energy has also developed considerably, but the progress of his Elemental Chaos Heart and Bloodline Heart as only reached 40% due to him spending a great amount of time working in the small automaton on his shoulder. This was the machine that Zatile had defeated and he had managed to rebuild it to an operable state, making it small and light with a transmutation spell. By performing this task not only did he manage to obtain a useful weapon but also increase greatly his Magic Creator skills. In his body there were also some runes, with the two most notorious being the modified Magic Shield in his back, that was able to save two charges at once, and the other one that covers both of his arms.
Sophia´s development has been the most impressive of the three, with her hearts almost reaching 60% completion, and if it was not for the fact that Zatiel had another source of energy besides the core, her reserves will be the greatest. In her back, there was also an altered Magic Shield, and there was another rune in her forehead that connected to her eyes. Around her right wrist, there was a bracelet with eight dark pills.
"Listen, even though we will be working with these people in the expedition and against the members of Dynasty, they are not our allies, at most they can be considered a temporary companion. The only place where we can deposit our trust is between ourself," The number of times Zatiel has seen members of the same group attack each other is uncountable, and although these were related in part to the traitorous tendency of demons, in situation of great danger he would only trust in his race.
Sophia and Ezequiel nodded, and although neither of them was going to trust in those people, hearing Zatiel words made them put their guard up and be even more vigilant against these new ´expedition partners´.
"Master, have you been able to recollect information about the individuals that will form part of the expedition."
"Not really, I don't have the means for that, and Heinz didn't found much. The Rank 3 Magus, is someone under the current Emperor, and has no relation with anyone else, as for the individuals at Rank 2, I only have information about the one send by Heinz, he is named Nimir and is an Elementium Magus at the Advanced level with domain over the fire natural energy. You two will mostly interact with those at Rank 1, and they will surely be at the Master level, so don't be careless" Zatiel was treating the members of the empire equally to those of Dynasty, as potential enemies.
"What are our instructions if we are targeted by someone at Rank 2." Most people at Rank 1 will only think of escaping if they found in that type of situation, but Sophia wanted Zatiel to give clear instructions.
She and Ezequiel can fight and possibly kill Peak-Rank 1, and if they use their trump cards and work together they should be able to fight to a standstill a Novice-Rank 2, but all the ones send in this expedition are powerful and they would be at a minimum at the Advanced level. Despite the difference not seem great, an Advanced- Rank 2 Magus can defeat three people of an inferior level, so if they find themselves attacked by one of them, their only choice is to escape.
"The Eye Lords of Dynasty will be focusing mostly on the Rank 2 of the Empire, and in the scenario where they chase you, go to the camp that will be guarded for Rank 3 Magus and you will be safe. As for the members of our group, Heinz used my identity as a Runemaster and command Nimir to protect us. But in either case, depending on the goodwill of the others and hoping that they will save you is stupid, so if Nimir helps us good, and if he doesn't, then I will handle it myself."
When Sophia and Ezequiel hear the statement of Zatiel, they were shocked
What the two get from his words was that he had the power to fight against and Advanced-Rank 2 Magus. If it was an inferior path it will be understandable, but the Magi Path is an extremely powerful one, and since he was not even close to the peak of Rank 1, fighting in equal grounds to those of a higher Rank should not be possible.
"Exactly how powerful you are?" Asking for the specifics of someone's strength was rude according to the customs of the Magi World, but Sophia didn't find a problem in asking anything to Zatiel.
"You should get an idea for our night sessions," Zatiel doesn't have a problem in telling her his power but when he saw the expression on the woman, he decided to tease her.
When Sophia hear him, she blushed as she sneered and didn't speak back, as for Ezequiel, he acted as if he didn't hear anything.
"Hahaha, don't get angry. Ok, I don't know how much power I can display or for how long I can do it, and I will need a battle to have a more clear idea, but it should be enough to maintain our safety. During your encounters against other individuals, either be Rank 1 of the Empire or Eye Master of Dynasty, fight to kill. But with those stronger, do your must to not be target by them, and in case you can't escape and I am not able to reach you in time, use the Mirage Rune if your life is in danger." Zatiel was very serious when he said the last part, as the value of these two people was greater for him than any wealth they could get here.
Ezequiel and Sophia nodded, and concentrate in the small rune that was above their heart and the reason they were able to be calm in a situation that involved individuals so powerful.
After a couple of hours flying they reached the gathering point, and there was already a group of people there. As the three of them approached their attitude that was a friendly and relaxed, change to a cold and hostile.
In the place there were already eighteen people, fourteen were standing in the ground, three of them were 50 meters above them and one person was 100 meters in the sky. This was a perfect example of their difference in power and status.
The Rank 3 Magus was a man that looked around sixty years old, his hair was grey and even though his body seems fragile, everyone knows that he is the most powerful person here, and even if they all worked together they could not defeat him. He looked at the three new additions and after a glance, he closes his eyes again.
Zatiel, Ezequiel and Sophia landed, not very far from the rest and waited. The other members of the group didn't know them, but they were sure that they were also part of the expedition, as the Rank 3 Magus was tasked with checking the identities of the ones selected.
When they arrived, Zatiel notices that two individual of the group at Rank 2 was looking at his direction, one was a young man with orange hair and feminine face, that he identifies as Nimir, and the other was an old man with dark hair and savage expression.
Nimir looks at him for a second but he closes his eyes and got back to meditation, but the old man keeps staring at him as he displays a vicious smile.
Zatiel didn't have to wait long to understand the meaning behind the expression of the old man as a group of three men at Rank 1 came in his direction. There was nothing special in their looks but they shared the same savage expression that the old man had.
´They are not Magi, they arent even humans, it seems they are part of a different race. How annoying,´ It didn't take a genius to know that they were going to provoke problems for Zatiel, and this scenario was happening before they even reached the cave so they were not trying to hide their actions at all.
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The man at the led spoke, but his target was not Zatiel, but Sophia and his eyes were lascivious, just like his two companions.
"Woman, you are lucky, our Master his attracted to you, and wants for you to accompany him during a couple of nights. He will pay you well, so let's go," The expression of the man was one of disdain and lust, as he looked at Sophia as if she was a plaything to be used.
He was almost screaming so everyone was able to hear his words. Those at the sky didn't care for it and only the old man with the savage expression was looking in his direction, as for those at the ground although some of them had pity in their expression, there were also some that look with amusement.
When Sophia hears his words, her energy exploited and an immense rage filled her heart, as he was practically treating her like a whore that could be bought and used at their will. The fury was so much that she wanted nothing more than killing the three of them, but she was not stupid and understood that the one directing them was one of the Rank 2 in the sky.
Sophia's abilities in handling different circumstances have increased but this situation was too much for her, so she looks at Zatiel hooping for him to instruct her what to do, and saw him looking at the old man with the savage expression.
"Hmph, what are you waiting, do you think that this coward would offend a mighty Rank 2 Werewolf for you?." The man and his companion had a mocking expression as they look in Zatiel direction and spoke: "You, tell her to go and please our Master, and he will reward you for your obedience."
Zatiel eyes narrowed as he continues looking at the figures on the sky, as the Rank 2 Werewolf was smiling viciously, but who he was really focusing on was Nimir, that maintained an indifferent expression.
"Do it," Zatiel tone was cold and he continues looking at the Rank 2 beings as he gave Sophia the command.
As soon he did, the look of everybody in the place was one of disdain and mockery, especially the three men that laughed at him.
"Do you see, he is nothing but a terrified piece of trash, now go.." The man stops speaking suddenly as an immense pain assaulted his head and for a second he forgot where he was and what was happening.
This happens to his two companions as well and the only thing they ould see was Sophia smiling as her red eyes shined.
Unlike what they thought, Zatiel command was not for Sophia to obey them, after all, he already considers the woman her partner and no one can touch her but he. What he means was for her to do what she wished, and kill them.
The disorientation and loss of memory were thanks to Sophia´s Oblivion Eyes, and although it would only last a couple of seconds it was more than enough to launch her spell.
"Dark Ice Spear!"
Three black spears a meter long were fired to the three men, one for each, and due to the fact they were so close, they could not dodge, so they were only able to adopt a defensive position and receive the attack.
Their Rank Spells activated as mantles of different colors cover them, but still, the spears were able to pierce it and make a huge hole in the stomach of every single one of them.
They were badly injured and just when Sophia was going to begin her next spell an immense pressure descended on her.
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