Noah reviewed the event that followed the defeat of the ethereal dragon in his mind.
Something like that had never happened to him, but the sudden enlargement of his sea of consciousness had immediately claimed his complete focus.
'I would normally obtain this improvement in more than a week of training. What is happening?'
Noah questioned himself, but it soon became clear to him that the event was linked to the changes applied by his body to his centers of power.
The brown sea under his half-transparent figure didn't reveal anything, and its water radiated the same features that any mental energy would have.
Yet, nothing else could be the cause of what had happened.
'Did my mental energy devour the will of the rank 5 Cursed dragon?'
That question was the only conclusion that Noah could reach at that point.
After all, the black mark on his chest had disappeared, meaning that the Body-inscription spell had failed.
'My dantian processes the breakthrough on its own, and stress doesn't seem to affect it. The credits to that can go to the innate adaptability of the magical beasts and their superior resistance. These features weren't applied to my mind, but my mental energy should have still gained something from the magical beasts' world.'
Noah summarized, but he knew that there was only one way to test that.
A dark layer materialized and adhered to his skin as Noah activated the Dark cover spell before shooting out of the cave.
The loss of his Blood companions didn't affect his battle prowess that much, but he still wanted to return to the southwestern coast of the new continent to test his discovery.
The journey back to the Coral archipelago was uneventful since Noah avoided the crowded areas and ignored the magical beasts that filled the mountain chain.
Noah didn't waste time in social events once reached the islands, and he directly took the teleportation matrix back to the forest of White Woods.
Then, he went looking for any beast in the fourth rank as soon as he flew past the white crowns of the forest.
Noah quickly found a rank 4 Saber-toothed tiger in the middle tier along the eastern border of the azure plain.
He dived on it without hesitation, killing the beast and creating a deep cavity in the process.
The corpse of the tiger was in a terrible state after Noah dragged it underground, but he had made sure to keep its heart intact.
The preparations for the Body-inscription spell were completed in less than ten minutes, and Noah didn't even bother to imbue a specific meaning to its core.
The array of runes appeared again in front of him, and Noah carefully made it take the shape of the tiger before using it to wound his body.
Noah completed the following requirements smoothly, and he focused on the insides of his mental sphere after.
The ethereal figure of the tiger appeared above his sea, but one swing from the saber-shaped rune was enough to subdue it.
Then, Noah focused on his brown mental energy and on the fragments of the tiger's figure that were under the surface of his sea.
To his surprise, his mental energy engulfed the fragments and made them disappear without leaving any trace.
The walls of his mental sphere began to shake, but the tremors stopped in less than a second.
Still, Noah could see that his sea of consciousness had improved once again when he regained his focus.
His real eyes revealed a cold light when he turned his gaze toward the maimed corpse of the tiger, and he could barely contain the excitement caused by that discovery.
'My mental energy can devour beasts' wills!'
Noah exclaimed in his mind as he analyzed the possibilities that his new ability opened.
The test with the tiger proved that his mental energy could devour the wills of magical beasts of different elements, and even their species didn't seem to affect that feature.
'The Body-nourishing technique condenses a beasts' will through its core to allow me to fight and submit it. Yet, my mental energy has gained the devouring properties of the magical beasts' world. My body can improve through their flesh, and my mind can enlarge through their wills.'
Noah thought while being aware that he could be sure of those conclusions only after more tests.
However, that was what he intended to do.
The ability to improve the mental sphere by eating others' wills was too powerful to be taken lightly, and he was sure that there had to be drawbacks of some sort.
Yet, he could learn more about it only by experimenting.
Noah spent the following weeks hunting magical beasts of various elements, species, and ranks.
He would perform the procedure for the creation of a Blood companion on each prey to see if there were differences in the outcome, but his mental energy didn't fail to absorb their figures every time.
It soon became apparent that his initial conclusions were on point, his mental energy had obtained the devouring capabilities of the magical beasts' world!
Nevertheless, he became aware of the drawbacks of that ability too.
The breakthrough of his body had made his dantian incredibly sturdy, but his sea of consciousness didn't gain that feature.
The sudden enlargements affected the stability of his mind, even if it was exceptionally firm for his level.
'I can't abuse it. My mental sphere would just become too frail if I don't let it rest. Yet, this is far better than relying on the passive pressure created by a Blood companion. I wonder if I can condense this ability into a training method for the mind. I even wonder if I can use it to feed on human wills.'
Countless ideas appeared in Noah's mind once he became sure of the limits of that ability.
He knew that obtaining the sixth Kesier rune would be a problem.
Chasing Demon was bound to have it, but there were seven rank 5 mages in the Hive that needed that too.
As for the matter concerning the human wills, Noah was quite confident in its feasibility.
The Body-inscription spell could theoretically be used on every living being as long as they had blood and an edible core.
However, the spell was only able to replicate the body of such beings, which made humans unsuitable for the procedure.
Nevertheless, Noah didn't intend to turn them into puppets but only wanted to feed on their wills.
Noah also had to find a solution for his lack of Blood companions.
He didn't control that feature of his mental energy, and he wouldn't be able to succeed in the procedure if he didn't contain it.
'All these changes come from my rank 5 body, and I can only thoroughly understand them when my mind reaches the same rank.'
Noah thought that at that point and decided to put those issues in the back of his mind until he became a rank 5 mage.