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 "Ah?"

"Ah what? Causing trouble in the library is definitely an affront to the dignity of the Mage Guild. Not breaking his legs is already letting him off easy. Oh right, if that Monchi comes to look for me tomorrow, you can tell him that I went to Olana and that I will take ten days... No, I should come back in a month."

"Ah?"

Solon didn't even know how to react to this. 'Wh-what's happening, didn't teacher change his attitude way too quickly?'

'Wasn't he chatting very happily just now? Why did he suddenly become so hostile and tell me to get Mason out of here? And then afterwards, he no longer even welcomes Monchi himself? Isn't this a bit irrational?'

"You seem rather confused about this. Speaking of that, it's not without reason that you took so long to advance to Great Mage. You are not using your brain properly, why do you think I chatted that pair of father and son so much? Isn't it because I don't want to hear about their proposition? If not for the sake of those old guys of the black tower, I would have already kicked them out too."

"But why? Teacher, didn't you say before that the cooperation with Monchi was truly advantageous? That it would bring benefits to our Sage Tower without bringing any troubles?" Solomon hadn't explained his sudden change of heart, and thus, Solon couldn't understand.

"That was before!" Solomon looked at his disciple unhappily, a sneer appearing on his old face. "That father-son pair really thinks that I'm clueless because I'm old. Locke Merlin's shipwreck last month definitely had the shadow of the Twin Moons chamber of commerce behind it."

"..." This time, Solon didn't say anything. He only glanced at the old man while having some doubts in his heart. 'Locke Merlin's death was a month ago and you are only just now thinking of fighting for justice? Since when did you become so righteous?'

"Why are you looking at me like that?" Solomon suddenly flew into a rage, viciously lashing out at his disciple, "Are you implying that I, your teacher, am not a man of justice? That's why you spent so long to become a Great Mage, it really makes sense, you really can't understand the path your teacher is teaching you!"

"No no no, Teacher, you misunderstand..." Faced with such vicious scolding, the young Great Mage was quickly driven to the verge of tears.

"Forget it, this isn't important..." Solomon waved his hand and let his only disciple off the hook for now. "What's important is that the owner of the pass is Locke Merlin's son. Since that's the case, I need to be righteous here."

"Why is that?"

"Because that pass was granted for an alchemy potion."

"You mean, the alchemy potion that we received a few days ago?" As Solomon's only disciple, Solon naturally knew that a few days ago, someone had brought a potion to the Sage Tower and exchanged it for the pass that granted the highest privileges, but Solon still wasn't clear about the details of the potion. Even hearing Solomon talk about it now, he still felt a bit unconvinced. "That potion is that important?"

"If you dare to ask that in front of Thorpe, he will be happy to air dry you until you shrivel up and then turn you into an experiment."

"..." The young Great Mage immediately shrank back. Great Alchemist Thorpe, one of the three people in charge of the Sage Tower... If he really wanted to turn him into an experiment, then even his teacher's reputation might not stop him. That was the only dangerous person in the entire Sage Tower that would dare to curse in front of his teacher's desk.

However, after the initial twinge of fear, Solon couldn't help feeling curious. What kind of potion would make the three big shots so interested...

Originally, Solon had guessed that this potion might have used some precious materials or might have been something that one of them had needed for a long time.

But Solon definitely didn't expect that it would be so serious. Serious was the wrong word... Would Thorpe really have made him into an experiment for questioning the importance of that potion?

"I'm not just trying to frighten you, you just haven't seen old Thorpe's reaction. Excited wasn't enough to describe him when he held that potion bottle, he was stuttering and stammering as he shouted something masterpiece, something Great Master, something bound to be written in history books, and so on. In any case, he was in a bizarre state..."

The young mage became even more intrigued. Thorpe was a publicly known figure with the greatest achievements in potioneering in the entire Thousand Sails City, and he had always set his gaze very high. Even that Great Alchemist of the Twin Moons chamber of commerce didn't enter his sight, as he had always been disdainful of both predecessors and newcomers.

For many years, Solon had rarely heard him give anyone the slightest bit of praise. Just hearing the words "acceptable" from him was already an honor.

But he actually lost control of himself? Even talking about it being written in future history books...

'Was that potion really that miraculous?' he wondered.

"You know me, I'm not an expert in potioneering alchemy." Solomon glanced at his disciple, giving him a rather irresponsible answer to his unspoken question. "In any case, I heard Thorpe say that each bottle of this alchemy potion might bring another Great Mage to the Sage Tower!"

Just as he finished this sentence, Solon couldn't help sucking in cold air. 'What was all this about Great Master, Masterpiece, and history books, the matter of Great Mages was far easier to understand...'

The Sage Tower had a total of 13 Great Mages, of which only 7 resided there permanently. The big three had usually remained in seclusion for most of the past decade, and the Sage Tower's external expansion, fights over resources, and other conflicts were simply in the hands of these seven Great Mages. In other words, the current Sage Tower's status was half-established by these Great Mages.

That was the case with seven Great Mages...

If it really was like Thorpe had said, and each bottle of potion was able to bring a Great Mage to the Sage Tower, then Solon really didn't dare to imagine what kind of scene it would be.

It was no exaggeration to say that any power that could obtain the favor of that Great Alchemist might easily be able to rival the Sage Tower in Thousand Sails City. This was a factor that the three big shots had taken into account. If that person had a way to restrain the three of them, then destroying the Sage Tower might be as easy as waving his hand...

Thinking of this, cold sweat dripped down Solon's forehead.

The bright side was that the Great Alchemist apparently seemed to prefer remaining inconspicuous. He hadn't made his plans public yet, whatever they were. Otherwise, he wouldn't have had a young mage deliver the potion and then gifted the pass to another young mage.

The key to figuring these things out should be these two young mages...

Especially that Mafa Merlin. He should have a rather close relationship with the creator, or else the alchemist wouldn't have given him the pass.

'No wonder teacher would have such an attitude...' Solon concluded. 'If it really was like Teacher said and the Twin Moons chamber of commerce was linked to Locke Merlin's shipwreck in a bad way, and their plot was brought out to light, then that chamber of commerce might face the fury of an incredible Great Alchemist...'

As Solon considered the idea, Solomon concluded their discussion. "Knowing the current situation, only a fool would cooperate with the Twin Moons chamber of commerce."

"..." The young mage suddenly sympathized with that father-son pair. In order to cooperate with the Sage Tower, they had prepared for half a year and accepted all kinds of conditions, but in the end, it wasn't as good as a single potion.

"Okay, I told you everything that you needed to know about this, so you decide how to handle it. Don't always rely on me. You'll take over my seat sooner or later, after all. It'll be good for you to learn how to deal with these kinds of matters."

"Yes, I'll take care of it..."

...

A month passed. Ever since that conversation in the reception room, Solon had felt that paying close attention to that young mage was an absolute must.

From his observations, Solon found out that this young mage was truly interesting. His range of reading material was really vast, from light reading material about Noscent's history to the profound and abstract knowledge of the Jide Formula, he would casually hold a book and read it all day long. Sometimes, Solon even doubted whether there was any sort of criteria for the books he picked out, or if he was just reading for the sake of reading.

Quite a few times, Solon wanted to remind him that the chance to enter the Sage Tower's library really was a rare opportunity. Many mages would even sell their entire family fortune for the chance, while he didn't seem to be cherishing it, picking random books every day, completely without rhyme or reason, sometimes reading them with great interest as though he was just reading for fun. Solon wanted to tell him that he might one day regret treating this opportunity so lightly...

And today was such a day.

Solon went to the library after breakfast. As always, he glanced at a particular corner because he knew that every day at this time, that young mage would sit at the same desk and would spend the whole day reading after casually picking up a book.

Sure enough, when Solon glanced there, that young mage was already sitting at his seat, holding a book with a red striped cover and reading it with great interest.

'Here we go again...' Solon sighed. It didn't seem to be light reading today, but in Solon's eyes, this wasn't too different from light reading.

The red stripes on the cover meant that the knowledge of the magic book was at least Great Mage level. For a recently advanced 1st Rank Mage, how could it not be leisure reading?

Moreover, it wasn't the first time Mafa had done something like that. Solon even saw him reading a silver striped magic book with great interest once. That was preposterous, as that meant that the contents included knowledge on the level appropriate for High Mages.

Solon really couldn't stand watching anymore. How could a mage who wasn't respectful of knowledge itself have any accomplishments in magic?

Even a book that only Great Mages were qualified to read was just leisure reading material to him. He definitely wasn't pondering over the information, as he wasn't even taking notes or pausing. He was simply flipping through page after page with a pleased expression on his face, to the point that Solon even wondered if he was trying to study at all, or just relaxing.

Solon would have been astounded if he'd discovered that he had actually guessed correctly this time...

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