Even a small shard of Noah's attack was enough to pierce its structure and create a hole where the "Breath" from the outside world could pass. It was needless to say that the will inside it wasn't happy to see that it had missed one of the targets of its rage.
"What have you done!?" The snake shouted, and Noah puked blood under the shockwave created by its voice.
The simple gesture of a rank 6 entity was enough to wipe out his existence, but Noah had always known that. That was the reason why he had decided to create a worthy opponent before trying to escape.
The snake was about to unleash its anger on Noah when a thick lightning bolt passed through the crack on the ceiling and landed on its huge, reptilian head. The clash pushed the rank 6 entity backward and released other shockwaves that further injured Noah. However, among all that pain, he had obtained a short moment of safety.
Noah mustered all his remaining strength and punched the floor, cracking the hard marble and creating a hole that made him fall on a smaller room right under the hall. His priority was to escape the battlefield that saw a chained rank 6 existence resisting a Heaven Tribulation that he couldn't even evaluate in terms of power.
The snake was forced to divert its focus on the raging lightning storm that was making its way inside the castle. The barriers of mental energy around the hall vanished as it gathered its consciousness to face the mighty calamity, allowing June and Faith to become aware of the events unfolding on the other side of the large door.
June shot toward the staircase when she noticed that Noah was on the lower floor and in a dire state. Faith followed her without hesitation since she didn't want to stick around a battle involving that powerful existence.
Noah was lying naked on the floor when June found him. The black sword shot in the air when it sensed her arrival, but Noah weakly patted its hilt to reassure it.
The sword was incredibly protective toward Noah since it viewed him as his sole parent. Still, it lowered its sharp edge when its connection with Noah allowed it to feel the emotions caused by her arrival.
"What happened?" June asked as she hurriedly put his arm over her shoulders to carry him outside of that room.
Noah was utterly exhausted. The transformation and the forging had emptied his reserves of energy, and even his sea of consciousness was in a critical state. He was also injured. The only reason why he had managed to keep his life in the hall could be found in the peculiar chains that restricted the snake and didn't allow it to express its full power.
"Ground floor," Noah whispered, "As far as possible from the hall."
June trusted Noah's judgment too much not to follow his orders. She carried him back to the ground floor and placed him in a corner near the entrance of the castle. Faith had limited herself to follow them in silence.
The sword had flown in front of the group as they returned near the entrance. It inspected the rooms and staircases in front of Noah to make sure that the path was clear. Then, when they reached the ground floor, and it felt Noah's relaxing, it floated around June to inspect her.
June was too worried about Noah's state to mind the sword at that moment. She crouched in front of him and inspected with a confused gaze the changes in the body that she knew far too well.
The first details that caught her eyes were the scales spread randomly through his skin. They were mostly isolated and could be easily mistaken as scars, but a few of them were unusually explicit.
Her hand caressed his cheek, and she noticed how even his hair was different. It was still somewhat soft, but it resembled metal strings now.
His nails had obtained similar metallic properties too, other than becoming black. Yet, the feature that surprised June the most was the fact that his dantian radiated the feeble aura of a rank 5 cultivator.
Rather than being happy for him though, June felt sour. She knew Noah better than anyone else, and she was aware of the level of his centers of power.
Noah's dantian was supposed to be a decade away from that rank, but it had experienced the breakthrough in a matter of minutes. Such an incredible increase in power couldn't come without a cost. Her heart clenched when she tried to imagine what her lover had to endure during his meeting with the rank 6 existence.
Her attention then went on his injuries. Blood flowed from his mouth, eyes, and ears, but there didn't seem to be anything too damaged, especially for him. He was just exhausted and in need of a long period of rest.
Noah had been half-conscious while June inspected him, but some awareness returned as she kept on looking for injuries. A helpless but warm smile appeared on his face as he took her hand and pulled her closer.
June didn't resist and sat carefully on his lap. Her knees though were pointed firmly on the floor to put the least amount of weight on him.
Of course, Noah would be barely affected by her weight, even in that weakened state. Yet, he understood from June's stern expression that he couldn't make her change idea on the matter.
"What happened?" June asked again as her forehead touched his.
"The snake is turning everyone into beasts," Noah said, "I had to become a different existence to change the path of the transformation. As you can see, it wasn't completely human."
June shook her head after his explanation and tilted her head to make their lips touch. Faith was mostly diverting her gaze since Noah was still naked, but the sword found the couple's interaction quite interesting.
It neared the sitting couple and hovered right in front of their faces as if it was entirely captivated by their kiss.
"What is that?" June asked when she couldn't ignore the sharp edge near her cheek anymore.
"Something similar to the materialization of my individuality," Noah answered, "But it's alive and a newborn."
June didn't even try to understand what he was saying. She nodded and turned her head to inspect the threatening flying sword that was most-likely stronger than her.
The blade released an annoyed growl, and June didn't hide her surprise, but Noah hastily took the corpse of a peak rank 4 beast without mutagen and laid it next to him.
The sword happily roared and stabbed the corpse that started to dry up right in front of the trio.