"An insignificant breakthrough opportunity?" Lin Yun was so angry that he let out a somewhat manic laugh as he said this.
Even Lin Yun couldn't comprehend the characters of the Book of Death or the power they contained.
After cracking the unlimited character, Lin Yun understood that he had been walking on a thorny path filled with danger. At the end of that path was a world that no mage had ever seen before, whether in the past or the future...
Lin Yun didn't know what that world would look like, nor did he know if he would be able to step into that world...
But he knew that the key to reaching it was merging the mysterious characters with his Magic Arrays.
Lin Yun had just seen a shadow of that critical key, but he had been interrupted by the hot-headed Rieser...
And that opportunity was dismissed as "insignificant" by Fran...
Lin Yun really wanted to ask, 'If that opportunity was so insignificant, then can you give me a few of them?'
"Variant Beastman?" As Lin Yun didn't know whether to laugh or cry, Fran's sight fell on the Draconic Beastman, and his original anger turned to greed. "Turns out you killed Rieser for that Variant Beastman, you are quite vicious, Merlin..."
"..." Lin Yun was speechless.
"You are quite daring, Mafa Merlin, killing is one thing, but lying to cover it up..."
The fleet of carriages had already stopped. Many of the leaders had heard the argument between the two and were coming out from their carriages to nervously watch this scene.
"Everyone, everyone from Thousand Sails City, look at this! This is Mafa Merlin from the Gilded Rose, the one who claimed to be able to crack all the arrays from the Vaughn Treasury, but he did such a nauseating thing on the way! For a Variant Beastman, he killed my disciple Rieser, and still dared to blame him for disturbing his breakthrough!" Seeing the opportunity, Fran raised his voice.
"Leader Monchi, you come say something. Does this kind of person have the qualifications to join this exploration?"
Fran managed to find Monchi among these leaders.
Fran knew of the bad relationship between Monchi and the Gilded Rose. The Twin Moons Splendor and the Gilded Rose were enemies that couldn't co-exist. By calling Monchi out there, Fran wanted to pull him to his side.
Fran felt that as long as Monchi wasn't a fool, he should know which side to choose.
Doing this was equivalent to extending an olive branch. As long as he was willing to grab it, he would have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the Mercury Tower. With that, defeating the Gilded Rose and gaining a monopoly on the alchemy market of Thousand Sails City wouldn't be impossible.
Unfortunately, Monchi didn't share the same opinion.
He was already cursing Fran and Fran's ancestors in his mind. 'Bastard, did I kill your father or your son? Why would you try to draw me into this? Thousand Sails City's nine forces are here, you could have chosen anyone, so why did you choose me? Do you hate me?
'...It's no good, I have to save myself, I can't fall in that bastard's trap.'
"Erm, Master Fran, those of us from Thousand Sails City all know how Mafa Merlin conducts himself, it is strange for something like that to happen. Did you carefully investigate?" Monchi put in a good word for Merlin while feeling as if his heart was bleeding.
In reality, Monchi very much wanted to agree with Fran and try to kick Mafa Merlin out of this expedition and make him a public enemy in Thousand Sails City.
But he didn't dare.
The Monchi Family couldn't afford to offend him.
The average person might think that the Gilded Rose was just an alchemy store and that no matter how wealthy and powerful it was, it wouldn't be able to influence Thousand Sails City.
And as one of the oldest families of Thousand Sails City that had been through a dozen generations, how could it be that the Monchi Family couldn't afford to offend a mere alchemy store?
But Monchi clearly knew that this was beyond the Monchi Family.
The rise of the Gilded Rose was too abnormal.
It could be seen from the attitude of the Sage Tower.
At the start, the Sage Tower would never haggle over prices with the Gilded Rose, and whatever price the Gilded Rose offered would be the price they paid.
But now, the two sides would often argue to the point of being flushed with anger over just dozens of golds. Table flipping and glass breaking would be a frequent matter. Monchi even heard rumors that there were even some instances of them almost coming to blows.
Some said with certainty that this was a sign that the relations between the two groups had worsened and that it was time for the Monchi Family to counterattack!
Unfortunately, Monchi knew that this wasn't their relationship worsening, this was only the Sage Tower changing their attitude.
In the past, the Sage Tower had acted like a big brother helping its little brother. 100,000 golds, 80,000 golds, it didn't matter to the Sage Tower. But it wasn't the same now, because the Sage Tower was already considering the Gilded Rose as a major force like themselves. Since they had the same status, they had to do things in a strict businesslike manner even for dozens of golds... No, even for a small handful of golds!
Since that was the attitude of the Sage Tower, how could the other forces dare to provoke the Gilded Rose?
The current Gilded Rose had already joined the ranks of the top forces of Thousand Sails City.
It was especially clear to Monchi after he saw Star Sage Jouyi's simulation of that battle between Merlin and High Mage Hoen. He no longer dared to have any designs on Merlin after that...
"Leader Monchi, you are colluding with Merlin!" Fran became hostile faster than the turn of a page. Seeing that Monchi wouldn't stand with him, he berated him out of self-righteousness.
"..." Monchi's mood plummeted as he thought, 'Fran, so that's how it'll be... Since you can't pull me in, you are smearing my name! Good, you aren't the only one that can use this move!'
"Master Fran, I just heard people say that it was your disciple Rieser that made the first move. Are you saying that if a disciple of a Master Alchemist of the Mercury Tower is in the wrong, Mafa Merlin cannot defend himself?"
"Whether it's nonsense or not, wouldn't you understand if you asked others?"
Seeing that he couldn't get anything out of him, Fran coldly snorted and aimed at Lin Yun once again. "Mafa Merlin, regardless of the reason, it's a fact that you killed Rieser. As Rieser's teacher, I have to avenge him. I'll give you two choices. Kill yourself as an apology to Rieser, or fight me in a fair fight."
When they heard Fran's words, everyone from Thousand Sails City felt like spitting...
'Choice? What kind of choice is that! A High Mage challenging a Great Mage, and you dare to use the words "fair fight"...'
Fran seemed to know that the words "fair fight" were inappropriate and thus immediately started moving his mana before he could be ridiculed.
"Time Hand, that's Time Hand!" the Viper Nest's Bell couldn't help exclaiming the moment he saw those mana fluctuations.
Indeed, Fran's mana fluctuations formed some sort of visible aura and a faint hourglass could be seen condensing above his head. This was the sign of the Mercury Tower's strongest Magic Conducting Rune, the Time Hand.
Let alone Bell, even Solomon couldn't help frowning...
"Mercury Tower's most powerful Magic Conducting Rune" wasn't an empty title. When he was still in the Cloud Tower, Solomon had already seen its might. Even if it wasn't really related to the Time Law, its frightening casting speed was enough to give any mage a headache.
It was even said that a mage with Time Hand could cast spells twice as fast as a mage without it.
Fran might be a 5th Rank High Mage, but with this special Magic Conducting Rune, his true power might be comparable to that of an 8th Rank or 9th Rank High Mage.
"Merlin..." Solomon glanced anxiously at Lin Yun.
Solomon was planning to step in and help out. With his strength as a 9th Rank High Mage, there wouldn't be any problem. At that time, he could force Fran to stop causing problems for Merlin and this conflict would end here for now.
"Rest assured..." But before Solomon could say any more, Lin Yun shook his head. "But that's the Time Hand," he continued. How could Solomon be at ease?
"I know, Time Hand." After saying this, Lin Yun slowly walked forward. "Master Fran, you should have come out to stand up for your disciple faster, and honestly, you talk too much..."
"Good, good, good..." Lin Yun's tone thoroughly angered Fran. The 5th Rank High Mage fumed as his mana fluctuations rose up, and the hourglass above his head quickly rotated as a spell was immediately cast.
It was fast, very fast.
Everyone felt the power of Time Hand. Fran was able to cast spells far too quickly, at a speed even beyond their expectations. Lava Bursts were cast one after the other, turning an area of a few dozen meters into a field of magma and flames. He immediately followed this by making Frost Lances fall like rain as if they didn't need casting, sealing Lin Yun's way out.
Only sharp sounds could be heard in the air as over a dozen Frost Lances were shot at almost the same time...
None of the mages present were weak, with the lowest ranked mage being a 5th Rank Great Mage. But seeing Fran's heaven-defying casting speed made all these people pale in surprise. This was the might of one of the peak Magic Conducting Runes, and it was overwhelming...