"Well, Fran has already left us in the dust, so why aren't you in a hurry to chase after him?" Solomon, who was following Lin Yun's lead, was the one who seemed more anxious, and he kept telling him to hurry.
"What do you mean, chase? He can't escape..." Lin Yun wasn't the least bit worried as he slowly followed Fran's trail by sensing the residual mana fluctuations.
In fact, if not for Solomon urging him to, Lin Yun wouldn't even have bothered to track the mana fluctuations since he already knew where he was going.
There wasn't much information about the Four Seasons Canyon in that library in the future, so Lin Yun was as unfamiliar with everything here as Suyass and the others.
But it was different after entering the stone tower, especially after entering the stone tower's 3rd floor. It was then that Lin Yun had a feeling of deja vu, and after thinking about it remembered some information he had read, notes linked to the stone tower's construction. It was mentioned in those notes that Vaughn's set of Spiritual Magic Tools were put in the center of the huge workshop to keep the workshop operating. That set of Spiritual Magic Tools was known as the Crystal Scales.
The huge Magic Iron Forge was an anthill-like workshop, with assembly lines crisscrossing all around. Lin Yun believed that no alchemy workshop bigger than this existed. When he saw the 3rd floor and finally linked it to the notes for sure, he was rather stunned.
But Lin Yun clearly remembered that the information had come from the Mercury Tower.
And Fran pretended to be dizzy so he could excuse himself.
Since the situation unfolded like that, how could Lin Yun not know what Fran was planning?
After following the tracks, they discovered that Fran indeed hadn't gone to look for a place to rest and instead was sneaking toward the Magic Iron Forge in the center.
After all, the notes mentioned that the Crystal Scales were in the center of the forge.
After confirming this, Lin Yun no longer needed to keep following the tracks. He already had a pretty good guess of what Fran wanted to do, what he could do, and even how he could do it.
Ten minutes later, Fran was in the center of the Magic Iron Forge. After looking all around him and confirming that no one was following him, he finally fished out a wrinkled note from his pocket and started chanting the incantation written upon it.
Following Fran's incantation, a white smoke slowly rose up from under his feet. It was pretty faint at first, but it quickly became thicker and thicker before finally condensing into an aged face before Fran's eyes.
"Human, did you call me?"
"Are... Are you Sir Griffin?" Fran was startled and subconsciously took a few steps back as he asked the pale face, "The incarnation of the Crystal Scales?"
"I didn't expect someone to remember my name after so many years. Indeed, I am Griffin, the incarnation of the Crystal Scales. Human, why did you wake me from my slumber?"
"Great, Sir Griffin, I am called Fran, a Master Alchemist from the Mercury Tower. I learnt of your existence from an ancient document and piously and humbly came here hoping to obtain your power. Ah, I know that it takes a lot of mana to help you recover your freedom and I prepared a lot of mana crystals. As long as you are willing, I'll use these mana crystals to help you regain your freedom!"
"Ah?" The face condensed from smoke suddenly burst into laughter. "Human, you want me to serve you?"
"Ye-Yes!" Fran took one step back before summoning his courage and fishing out a bag from his pocket. The bag was filled with shiny, flickering mana crystals. The lowest one was at the 10th level while the highest one was even level 20. "As long as you agree, these mana crystals will be yours!"
"Haha, Human, what did you say your name was?"
"I am Fran."
"Good, Fran, you want me to serve you? Fine."
"Sir Griffin, you are agreeing?" Fran looked earnestly at the smoke.
"Let me see..." The smoke suddenly coiled close, doing a circle around him before merging back into an old face. "Not bad, 5th Rank High Mage and the Time Hand Magic Conducting Rune. This kind of strength is worthy of my service. But Fran, if you want me to serve you, you have to pay the price..."
"Of course, of course, Sir Griffin, I am willing to pay the price!" Hearing this, Fran's eyes shone. He didn't even ask what the price was and immediately agreed.
'These are the Crystal Scales... The Crystal Scales that even Teacher Nolan incessantly praised.' It was said that whoever controlled this set of three Spiritual Magic Tools would have the power of an Archmage and even their alchemy level would be forcibly pushed to the Artisan realm. At that time, his strength might even be able to close in towards that of his teacher, Nolan. 'What Karon? What Suyass? They would all have to look up to me! And as for that insignificant Mafa Merlin... I'll only need one finger to crush him!'
"Good, Human, sign this contract and I'll serve you." The smoky face chanted an incantation and the hazy smoke condensed into a contract written in Nesser.
"Contract?" Fran was suddenly brought back down to earth as he took the contract in his hands and carefully read it before calming down.
That contract wasn't that demanding...
Overall, the contract maintained the equal status of both sides, and although he could borrow the power of the Crystal Scales, he couldn't put too many restrictions on the other party. Naturally, it was also the same the other way around. Whenever he needed the power from the Crystal Scales, he would also have to give the Crystal Scales mana crystals in exchange.
It was a contract of equals.
An exchange of power for mana crystals.
"What? Not willing?"
"No, no..." Fran was already daydreaming about the power he was about to obtain. He became a bit confused when the Crystal Scales pressed him to answer. As he was rushed, he didn't focus on those details anymore... He only slightly hesitated before making his decision." I am willing. I'll sign immediately!"
After saying that, Fran bit his finger and used his blood to sign his name on the contract.
Just as he completed it, the face exploded back into smoke and disappeared into the contract.
"Sir Griffin?" Fran was startled. But before he could recover, he saw a magic staff and two rings appearing from the hazy smoke.
"Are these... are these the Crystal Scales?" The Spiritual Magic Staff and the ring emitted powerful mana fluctuations, leaving Fran stunned on the spot. After no less than a minute, Fran finally extended his hand and gently touched the floating magic staff.
Then, he felt a surge of power rushing into his body. Moreover, even though that power was surging ferociously, it wasn't uncomfortable. It felt as if that power was his own. That unprecedented feeling of power made him unable to stop himself and he immediately grabbed the magic staff and put the two rings on his fingers.
'Sure enough, it is the power of an Archmage...' Fran tightly grasped the magic staff and brimmed with newly found self-confidence. The extreme power made him feel as if he could sweep away any opponents that he might ever face.
Fran was feeling as if he had been reborn.
With the Crystal Scales in his possession, even if Karon was his opponent, no one would know who would end up being the victor. As for Suyass, who always berated him, only 70% of his power would be enough to easily defeat him.
This feeling was very euphoric.
Fran stood amidst the hazy smoke as he carefully checked the set of Crystal Scales and felt the power coursing through him. After a long time, he burst into elated laughter.
"Mafa Merlin, wait for me..."
Fran was completed immersed in the thrill of the powerup and hadn't noticed that Lin Yun and Solomon were already watching him.
"Merlin, you don't want to make a move before he sees us?" Solomon was burning with anxiousness when he saw Fran getting hold of that set of Spiritual Tools and his mana fluctuations reaching the level of an Archmage... Moreover, he seemed even stronger than Suyass now. At the thought of Fran getting revenge, Solomon couldn't help urging Lin Yun again.
"When did I say that I wanted to make a move?" Lin Yun looked at Solomon, feeling baffled. He cast a Haste spell as he added, "We don't have time to thank Fran, we have to move quickly because we have something important to do..."
"Ah?" Solomon's chin almost hit the floor. He watched Lin Yun for a long time before stammering, "Yo-you... You tracked Fran for so long in order to watch him get the Crystal Scales?"
"Of course, if he didn't take the Crystal Scales away, how could I dare look for that thing? Did you think that old fellow in the Crystal Scales was truly slumbering? I'll tell you, that old thing was fishing, luring Fran like an unwary fish. Just watch, Fran is going to be crying soon..."