"What?" Suyass quickly cast a Mage Eye to take a look.
The laboratory was indeed next to the botanical garden, two hundred meters away, through a small path paved with Ivory Stones.
There was a floating Sky Tower.
Through the Mage Eye, Suyass could clearly see that the tower was around two hundred meters above the ground. There wasn't any support, and it was truly floating in the sky.
"Merlin, you..." Suyass worriedly looked at Lin Yun. Of the four present, there were two High Mages and one Archmage, so they would be able to use Levitation and Flight to reach the tower. But the last one was a 9th Rank Great Mage. At that rank, he couldn't use either of those spells. Even if he drew from the power of Elemental Incarnation to use Elemental Flash, he wouldn't be able to cross a distance of over two hundred meters...
"There is no issue with climbing the tower..." Lin Yun shook his head. Although he was only a 9th Rank Great Mage, he still had ways to reach it if he wanted to. He was actually troubled by something else. "Don't you hear a buzzing sound?"
Suyass froze for a bit before frowning.
Because he clearly noticed the eight puppets circling around the tower. Whenever they turned, that buzzing sound would echo.
"And they aren't weak..." Lin Yun scratched his cheek as he looked at those eight flying puppets and couldn't help smiling bitterly...
The eight puppets were blocking all the routes to the tower as they circled around. Lin Yun knew with one glance that there was no shortcut, so they would have to steel themselves.
"Two for each..." At this time, Lin Yun didn't dare to deal with everything by himself, even though these puppets weren't as powerful as the earlier ones. Before he could reach the High Mage realm, aerial battles were his weak point.
"Alright!" Suyass didn't say much and took Fran with him as they cast Flight and Levitation. The two flew into the sky, and just as they reached the fifty-meter boundary, five flying puppets began to bombard them.
Suyass' true might could be seen there. An Archmage was truly an Archmage. Under the effects of Flight, he was like a fish in water, displaying his Mobile Casting ability to the pinnacle. His spells were simply unaffected by the high-speed flying, striking accurately and efficiently. He was actually holding his own against five puppets and didn't seem to be at a disadvantage.
"Let's go too." Seeing Suyass start the fight so conspicuously, Lin Yun poured mana into the Lava Dominator. This time, Lin Yun activated the flying ability of the Lava Dominator.
Just as Lin Yun flew into the air, the remaining three puppets instantly pounced towards him.
"Such a fast reaction..." Lin Yun quickly changed his path and brushed past the three flying puppets. At the same time, he raised the Spiritual Magic Staff in his hand and an Ice Fire Shield appeared.
Sure enough, just as Lin Yun released the Ice Fire Shield, a large flurry of Wind Blades was already tearing through the air.
Amidst the numerous sharp sounds, the two radiances of the Ice Fire Shield quickly flickered as an large number of Wind Blades fell on it. It sounded like a bell being struck continuously. Lin Yun didn't stay idle as he controlled the Ice Fire Shield. He tightened the grip on his Spiritual Magic Staff and fired off a Flame Burst.
It was followed by a loud explosion.
The Flame Burst smashed heavily into a puppet and caused a burst of sparks akin to glittering fireworks. The flying puppet was sent flying by the Flame Burst's shockwave.
Lin Yun didn't loosen his guard when the Flame Burst hit its target.
He clearly saw the puppet get blasted away, but neither its flying nor its combat effectiveness seemed to have suffered at all. That kind of defensive ability was quite scary, and Lin Yun felt that even the Bone Plane's puppet's toughness couldn't compare...
'Sure enough...' After this discovery, Lin Yun didn't dare to be careless and put most of his energy into the Ice Fire Shield.
No shortcuts could be taken in that fight. What skills? What tactics? They were all restricted by this battle environment. Since they were out in the open, it was just a battle of offensive spells against defensive spells.
At that time, the rank superiority was clearly displayed. After all, a gap of ten ranks wasn't a joke. Suyass and Fran were in a fight against five puppets, suffering from the pressure of nearly two-thirds of the puppets. But thanks to Suyass' strength as a newly advanced Archmage, they managed to finish their fight before Lin Yun and Solomon...
In the end, Suyass even helped them deal with the last puppet.
As the final puppet fell to the ground, it exploded with a loud bang. This battle made Lin Yun extremely uncomfortable.
"Wait..." Suyass and the others were just about to fly into the tower when Lin Yun suddenly stopped them. Before consulting with the others, he turned towards the still intact puppet...
And like before, he didn't let go of any useful parts.
Lin Yun took a minute to completely dismantle it and put the parts into his spatial ring before flying back and joining up with the other three.
"Merlin, you are a bit too stingy..." This time, even Solomon couldn't help commenting.
The esteemed boss of the Gilded Rose, someone who would gain thousands and millions of golds every deal... wouldn't spare the defeated puppets. If that spread, some people would certainly think that it was strange.
"Hmph, we were busy dealing with more than half of the enemies, yet you are the one sneakily rushing to pocket the most valuable parts..." Fran, who had received two blows in the botanical garden before seeing Lin Yun loot the three puppets, had already been holding back his complaints, but in this battle, he and Suyass restrained six puppets, making this ostrich-like Master Alchemist finally show his head.
"Shut up..." How could Suyass care about a few components? He was actually surprised by Lin Yun's actions. "Merlin, did you find anything?"
"Somewhat..." Lin Yun nodded, before taking out a mechanical system from his ring. It had just been taken from the flying puppet. "Sir Suyass, take a look at this."
"What's up?" Suyass felt somewhat strange, but after looking at it for a while, he couldn't still find anything wrong with it.
"It was well maintained."
"That's surprising..." Hearing this, Suyass couldn't help feeling that it was rather curious. 'Indeed, that mechanical system is in a very good state. It doesn't look like it has gone unused for two millennia.
After all, mechanical systems were different from other components. Some other kinds of components wouldn't have any issues after a few years, but mechanical systems would need to be cleaned at regular intervals, or else many impurities would accumulate and malfunctions could result. It might even lead to the mechanical system breaking down.
"It's not just these flying puppets. Even the puppets we saw in the botanical garden had the same peculiarity. If I'm not wrong, they had been maintained recently, around a week ago..."
"How could this be!"
Lin Yun's words didn't only surprise Suyass. They even made Solomon startled!
'How could they have been maintained a week ago! Vaughn has been dead for almost two thousand years... Who would come to maintain these puppets? Ghosts?'
"In any case, this laboratory is very strange..." Even Lin Yun didn't know the specifics. They would only be able to reach a conclusion after going in.
In the end, the four could only fly up to the tower with these kinds of questions in their minds.
They could clearly see the tower covered in moss, dust, and a large number of cobwebs. It truly looked as if no one had come here for a very long time.
The entrance to the tower was wide open, as the two wooden doors had already rotten away. Wind blew past from time to time, causing a crackling sound. A pair of puppets were there, one on either side of the door, but because it had been so long, their mana sources had already been depleted. They were now laying there, their bodies covered in dust and rust. They were completely different from the puppets they had seen before.
"Mage Breaker models..." Lin Yun took a quick look and then happily identified them. These two broken puppets were Mage Breaker puppets. If the mana sources hadn't been exhausted, they would have been in for a very challenging fight.
With that in mind, the four of them pushed through the remains of the rotten doors and cautiously entered. After going through a long corridor, they quickly arrived in a spacious hall, hundreds of meters large. Above them hung six gorgeous lamps, and the floor was filled with square Ivory Stones. Each block had been cut like a huge gem, with delicate and complex designs, full of the aura of extravagance from the 3rd Dynasty.
The only other exit was across the hall, leading to a hallway that they couldn't see the end of. It was just shrouded in darkness, just like the maw of a ferocious beast.
"Okay, time to play 'find the differences'..."