Siru was flying with his subordinates, following the lead of the Rank 3 Magus, as they headed to the area where the excavation will take place and where they will meet with the members of Dynasty.
He had made a detour to meet with another Rank 2 Magus that was also going to the expedition and with whom he shared a relation, before heading to the meeting point. But since he had another assignment, he made sure his men were the first to arrive so they could try to collect some information about the runemaster that Zitra was interested in.
When he arrived, a pleasant surprise greets him as he saw the man he needed to invite in the name of his Highness, but he was confused by the way everybody was acting around him, especially the fact that some of the Rank 2 were looking him with anger and some traces of fear.
This situation seems impossible and he even doubted his feeling, as someone at Rank 1 inspiring fear on those above his Rank should not happen. After speaking with his man he finds out about the fight and when they mention the Runic Set the tone of his men filled with envy.
As a Rank 2 Magus at the Master level, Siru was confident in defeating the Werewolf, but having the power to kill him and by the end of the fight not having a single injury on your body was impressive, even if you are in the same Rank and level.
"Ahh, I will need to adopt a totally different position now," Siru could not help but sigh, as he looked at the smallest group in the distance.
There were six groups following Grigori, and five of them were under the protection by those at Rank 2, but there was one that only had three members and leading them was a young man with an imposing aura, but although the amount of power in his body was impressive, he was still in Rank 1.
Despite this, nobody thought that this group would be in danger, especially since they know that if there was a situation that could pose a threat to those at Rank 2, they will be the first to be protected by Grigori.
When he saw Zatiel, Siru ideated a simple but efficient plan. He will get close to the runemaster, something that should be easy with their difference in power and status, he will offer some protection during the expedition and make him agree to become a subordinate to Zitra, saving the Princess the job and getting some merits. But now all that was gone, as there was no need for Zatiel to request his help and at most, they could work as equal partners.
The Endless Forest made honor to its name, as even though they were flying at an impressive speed for several days now, they were not even close to their destination. During their fly Zatiel and the rest saw different ecosystems, that extended for kilometers.
One time, they saw a poisonous swamp that was filled with all sort of creatures, from small bugs to 4 meter long snakes, in another place there was an active volcano from which lava constantly fell and you could see gigantic humanoids at its top that seem to be made from rock and fire, but the most impressive was the one that looked like a frozen hell with spikes of ice that rose from the ground and extended for kilometers into the sky, with temperatures so low that made some of those at Rank 1 shiver, forcing them to activate their energies.
This type of bioclimatic landscapes was sometimes produced naturally and systematically, but there were also times that they were generated due to powerfull Magic Creatures that inhabit them and the immense energy their bodies released. They changed those places to a more suitable one for them and their race.
Neo-Demons, Magus, Eye Holder, and Cultivator can also have this type of effect in the environment, but they restain their power as the changes they provoke would make life impossible for normal humans.
During their first weeks of travel, there was no altercation, since the immense power that Grigori released was enough to make all those Magic Creatures they saw them, crawl in fear and hide. But during a night in the frozen hell, as they rested all of them felt a powerful consciousness decedent and made them shivered, not just for fear, but by the fact the natural energy inside it was so high that made the temperature drop drastically.
Immediately another consciousness acted and removed the cold one, it was Grigori that rises to the sky and searched for the origin of the attack. It didn't take him long to find it and he made the energy on his body burst, generating a dark aura that covers him, making the ice crack despite not being in contact with his body.
"Guard this area," After giving the command, the Rank 3 Magus fly to the distance like a meteor breaking the sky.
In less than three seconds everybody was able to hear the thunderous explosion that generated blue light in the distance but that vanished rapidly into the darkness.
Despite the distance been hundred of meters, the shock waves made the ground under their feet tremble. All the ones at Rank 2 charged their energy and released their consciousness to keep an eye on their surroundings. As for Zatiel he activated his True Name and bring out his sword before filling it with flames, ready to activate Overload in case anything happens.
Those at Rank 1 get close to their leader and even though they also burst their energies, they know that they were so deep into the Endless Forest, that they would not be of much help in a battle. Even Sophia and Ezequiel get close to Zatiel, as although they could work together and use their trump card to fight a weak Rank 2 Magic Creature, this would certainly not be the only fight they would have on the journey and it was best to save their strength for when it really was needed.
After proximally an hour, Grigori came back, he was a little pale and there were frozen areas all over his body as well some bruises and cuts. Floating behind him was the body of a Frost War Ape, that was thirty metal tall and most of his skin was cover in frozen spikes, the creature was no longer breathing as he had a huge hole right in the center of his forehead.
The Magus ignored the look of admiration and envy that most of the ones present give him, and throw the body to the ground creating a small earthquake, before sitting on the head of the creature.
"Keep watching the surroundings and make sure no one approach us," After giving the command and without waiting for an answer, Grigori made a sphere with green light inside it appear and put it on the hole of the creature head, having finished that, he closes his eyes and released a dark glow that was absorbed by the gigantic body of the ape.
Everybody keeps a watch on their surroundings, but knowing the immense value that the body of a Rank 3 Magic Creature had, some of those at Rank 2 feel great greed but it was well hidden, as they knew that even tired, the Magus could kill them easily.
The moment Zatiel saw the sphere, he knew exactly was the Magus was going to do with the body, as it was the same type of magic he master, necromancy. By using a dead body and some special ingredient, Gregori was transforming the Frost War Ape into an Undead Creature, and by doing it right after his death, he was able to conserve more of the power he had in life.
After half an hour the creature once again opens his eyes, but they were hollow and only a green flame could bee seen inside them. It rises showing to all his immense body, and although it was a lot weaker than when he was alive, it was strong enough to fight some at the Peak of Rank 2, since despite the fact he lost most of his abilities and his energy was severely reduced, his physical power was still immense and he no longer had vital points except for the green orb inside his head.
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Under the looks of amazement and envy, Grigori moves his hand and the body of the creature was swallowed inside a bag in his waist. The Magus closes his eyes and starts to meditate to replenish his energy, as did the rest since from now on this type of fight will happen more often and they would need to be in their top condition.
When the first ray of light touched the frozen ground, the expedition party continue his journey. Although Rank 3 Magic Creatures were as smart as humans in their same Rank and were not slaves to their instincts, they still had savage tendency, and since all those that reached their power were certainly arrogant, they were confident that they could kill those humanoids and devour them, increasing their power, so fights happen more than once as they traveled.
Most of the time, there were only testing attacks and seeing that they could not overcome the Rank 3 Magus, the magic creatures stood away, but there were some that would not be resigned and would even send their race to join the fight.
This happen when a Rank 3 Inferno Bear attacked, and as he and Grigori fought, some of his descendants attacked the rest of the party. Zatiel and those at Rank 2 were the main force of battle, protecting their respective subordinates.
These magic creatures were not particularly powerfull so they were defeated easily and several of their members died, becoming spoil for those who kill them.
In the end, the Rank 3 Magic Creature runs away with severe injuries all over his body, and the Magus chose not to chase as it could end up in some sort of trap, besides the fact he was also injured.
As they rested and replenish their energy, Ezequiel and Sophia received looks of envy as they were eating the meat of a Rank 2 Inferno Bear, as unlike them who didn't receive nothing from their leader, Zatiel gives great part of the creature to them. The duo saw this, but didn't care and just continue eating.
Like this, the next month went by, occasionally fighting powerful opponents, and sometimes even forced to run, due to the numeric disadvantage. Despite the great number of close encounters, by the time they were reaching the excavation zone, there was only one casualty, it was one of the werewolves. This happened due to the fact that Feiner's consciousness being injured, led to a mistake from part of the old man, letting the creature pass his defense and reach his man, eating him entirely in one bite before escaping.
The rest didn't care about this since they had no personal relationship with the man, and besides, they know that this was the possible fate of all the Rank 1 werewolf as they offended someone with enough power to kill their leader, much less them. If there was someone that was truly upset about this beside their comrades, that will be Grigori, but not because he cares about the man, but because it will affect his mission report.
As they finally approached their destination, they all were surprised by the destruction in the place, even the Rank 3 Magus was no exception. There was a mountain that was almost three kilometers tall, yet it was cut in two and not far away there was a section of grey earth of several kilometers wide right in the center of the forest. Scenes like this were present in all the landscape, proof of the immense power of the one who fought here.
In the center of this place that looks like if it was the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, was a huge hole that leed to a subterranean path. Exactly five hundred meters from it to the right and left there were black platforms of a hundred meter wide that were filled with runes.
In one of these, there was already a group of people. There were exactly 26 persons, the same number the Empire team will have if not by the one death. All of them were members of Dynasty, displaying their characteristics four eyes.
The moment Gregori arrived with the members of the Empire, those of Dynasty look in their direction.
The two teams displayed hostility as soon they look each other, after all, despite this been considered an excavation mission, all of them knew that fighting and killing will happen.
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