How could a harsh condition compare to the ruin of the Monchi Family? Monchi came with the intention of giving all their magic materials to the Gilded Rose. As long as Mafa Merlin took them, he wouldn't bother the Monchi Family.
This was an unspoken rule between the major powers. It was the same for everyone, even if Mafa Merlin overtook Solomon as the strongest mage of Thousand Sails City.
Otherwise, which force would dare to have dealings with the Gilded Rose?
"High Mage Merlin, the Monchi Family is very sincere about this cooperation. We can take our time to discuss the payment if you are in a bind. It is just as High Mage Merlin said, we are forces from Thousand Sails City, we should help each other. I think that after this collaboration, the Monchi Family and the Gilded Rose will have many opportunities to cooperate..."
"This is actually..." Lin Yun nodded. "Since Leader Monchi said so, it would be disrespectful to decline. When are the magic materials going to be delivered?"
"Tomorrow morning." To be honest, the young High Mage's question was quite rude, as this wasn't how a cooperative partner would communicate. If it had been someone else, Monchi would have simply turned and left without saying a word at that point.
Unfortunately, this wasn't just anyone...
Monchi couldn't just leave, and on the contrary, he had to plaster a smile on his face while saying "I wish us happy cooperation" and such platitudes while instructing Ryan to hurriedly gather the magic materials.
"Now that our business is over, I need to consult Leader Monchi about a personal matter, do you have time to talk privately?"
"Of... Of course." Monchi nearly staggered when he heard Lin Yun.
Monchi knew that the upcoming discussion was the most crucial. If he did badly, he wouldn't be the only one ruined... The entire Monchi Family might be buried with him.
"Let's go to the reception room, it's quieter there..."
The two of them casually grabbed some chairs and sat in the reception room, not sitting in the manner of a host facing a guest, because they both knew that this wasn't a discussion which required such etiquette.
"Tell me how much you participated in causing the shipwreck."
When Lin Yun talked this time, he no longer acted polite. He looked sharply at Monchi, his mana remaining stable. Often, keeping one's mana perfectly stable like this was most oppressive.
"I..." Monchi, who had been accustomed to pressure, felt nervous for some reason. He opened his mouth, but his throat felt abnormally dry, and thus, he had to force himself to swallow before he could say, "I didn't participate..."
"Really, I truly didn't participate..." When Lin Yun's sneer fell into his ear, Monchi got flustered, yet he didn't consider changing his words as he eagerly explained, "I truly have nothing to do with your father's shipwreck..."
"Eh?" Lin Yun frowned. Monchi's eager expression didn't seem to lie. 'Did I guess wrong?'
"High Mage Merlin, I really didn't participate. Think about it, your father perished in the middle of the vast sea. Archmages might not necessarily come back from that place, it is a forbidden region. Besides your father's fleet, no fleet can sail to that place in the eastern part of the kingdom. Even if the Monchi Family wanted to harm your father, they didn't have the ability to do so then..."
"You mean, my father's shipwreck is truly unrelated to you?"
"In fact, it's not strange for High Mage Merlin to be suspicious. The Monchi Family was indeed the rival of the Flashing Gold chamber of commerce, and I did think of assassinating your father many times, but I was scared of making too much noise. Also, there was someone at your father's side that even Solan himself had no confidence in beating..."
"Ah?" Lin Yun frowned as he heard this. Lin Yun knew of Solan. He was Monchi's younger brother and the youngest 9th Rank High Mage of the Black Tower. He entered the Dark Azure Plane the previous year in order to push towards the Archmage realm. Lin Yun was pretty sure that he should be coming out soon.
It was said that Monchi's younger brother was the most outstanding genius in the past few hundred years. He accomplished the feat of defeating an Archmage as a 9th Rank High Mage and managed to enter the Black Tower Council at such a young age. It was also said that he was a strong contender for the seat of the next Chairman.
Lin Yun always felt that purely in terms of power, Solan had been unequalled in the former Thousand Sails City. Both Solomon and Lys weren't Solan's opponents.
But from what Monchi said...
Locke had someone at his side that could compete with Solan.
This news was a bit surprising.
'To be able to contend with Solan... Was it an Archmage?'
"Are you sure?" Lin Yun looked suspiciously at Monchi.
"Yes, I heard it from Solan himself."
Lin Yun nodded, but didn't say anything.
But his mind was filled with questions. When he took over Mafa Merlin's body, he had thought that Locke Merlin had been an ordinary merchant and that money was the only thing he had going for himself.
But then, one matter after the other made Lin Yun feel that Locke Merlin wasn't as simple as he seemed on the surface.
First was the Planar Path leading to the Bone Plane...
The array to open the Planar Path had clearly been set up by a Master Alchemist. Inviting a Master Alchemist wasn't that easy as a rich businessman...
There was also his identity as a member of the Merlin Family, as well as this newly mentioned powerhouse protecting Locke that was strong enough to contend with Solan.
As he mulled it over, Lin Yun was suddenly full of curiosity towards Locke Merlin.
But after carefully searching Mafa Merlin's memory, Lin Yun found out that Mafa Merlin didn't know much about his father.
In Mafa Merlin's childhood memories, there were very few things related to Locke Merlin. He might spend ten days to half a month without seeing him. When Mafa became older, Locke directly left him at Seth's place and only dropped by once a year, not staying long every time. It felt as if Locke Merlin thought that Mafa only needed the best learning conditions and the best living conditions... and nothing else.
Mafa Merlin didn't even know who was at his father's side...
He only faintly remembered that six or seven people would follow Locke Merlin whenever he wanted to go out, but he simply didn't know who they were.
'Is the powerhouse Monchi mentioned one of them?'
"Thus, High Mage Merlin, with such a person at Locke Merlin's side, I wouldn't be able to harm him even if I wanted to, wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes..." Lin Yun nodded, no longer focusing on that question. "Then what about the matter with Fario?"
"Fario..." Monchi hesitated a bit before answering, "Fario was indeed sent by me. I believe High Mage Merlin already knows that it was for the house left behind by Locke Merlin."
"How much do you know about the secret of that house?"
"I don't know anything. Solan only told me to not spare any efforts to get it so I sent Fario..."
"Yes, a year ago, Solan secretly returned to Thousand Sails City and told me that Locke Merlin would soon have an accident and that the house would become ownerless. I was tasked to get the house at all costs, and in exchange, the Black Tower would help me take over the business of the Flashing Gold chamber of commerce and would spend a lot of effort to nurture Ryan..."
"Hold on..." There was certainly something wrong about that. "You are saying that Solan already knew that my father would have an accident?"
"Yes, Solan indeed said so, but I'm not too sure as to how Solan learnt about it..."
"Good, Solan..." Lin Yun nodded. He didn't ask anything else and only kept Solan in mind. In any case, he would soon leave for Okland. He would have plenty of time to see Solan there.
While the two were discussing, Ryan already finished gathering the magic materials and silently entered the reception room before whispering a few sentences in Monchi's ear.
"Okay, I understand." Monchi nodded and slowly stood up. "High Mage Merlin, the magic materials are ready, you can get someone to receive them tomorrow morning. As for your father's shipwreck, I told you all I knew... I hope that High Mage Merlin can be magnanimous..."
"Maybe, but I have a condition."
"Go ahead, High Mage Merlin."
"The Patriarch position of the Monchi Family has to be inherited by Mason."
"..." Monchi's expression suddenly became quite unpleasant.
Monchi had two sons. Who didn't know of Mason's behavior? Monchi sometimes even wondered if Mason was really his own child. Why else would he be so different from his brother, Ryan?
Mason inheriting the Monchi Family...
Monchi didn't even think this was possible.
He was almost certain that if this happened, the Monchi Family would fall within ten years.
Monchi had already made arrangements for Mason's future. Once his health deteriorated, Monchi would have Mason leave Thousand Sails City for a small, remote town. By then, even if Mason hadn't changed at all, he would still be able to spend the rest of his life by relying on his identity as a Mage and the wealth left for him.
But this plan had been disrupted...
Monchi felt himself aging. He glanced at the smiling young High Mage before his eyes and felt that he was a lot more terrifying than his father.
Although Locke Merlin was very smart and capable, he would never come up with such a devious plan.
Making sure that the Monchi Family fell into Mason's hands...
'What do I do...'
"Mafa Merlin, the succession of the Monchi Family isn't something you can interfere with!" While Monchi was hesitating, the silent Ryan suddenly voiced his objection.
"Ryan..." Monchi was suddenly frightened, but he was too late to stop him. A loud sound echoed beside his ear before he could call his name.
Lin Yun hadn't even looked at him. He had only raised his hand, sending a Flame Burst over.
Only an explosion was heard, and Ryan didn't even have the time to scream before being sent flying out of the reception room by the blazing flames.
"Do you want to try extracting my Flame Burst this time?" Lin Yun didn't even look at Ryan as he was blasted out like a rag doll. His eyes were fixed onto the pale Monchi's. "How about it, Leader Monchi, do you like my offer?"
"I..." This was the first time Monchi had seen the young High Mage act aggressively ever since he came back from the Four Seasons Canyon. Even Monchi, with his limited experience with magic, could see how powerful that spell had been. Even Ryan, who he was extremely proud of, was no more than an ant when facing that young High Mage.
Monchi was even more scared of Lin Yun's words.
Monchi clearly remembered... When Mason ended up in a bad state after looking for trouble at the Gilded Rose, Ryan had people carry Mason back before he asked Lin Yun to extract his Blood Vine Spell.
This was something that had happened about a year ago.
But that young High Mage clearly still remembered it and got back at him with a Flame Burst.
This kind of vengeful attitude really drew out one's fear.
Monchi thought that if he didn't agree with the other side's conditions, even if he hadn't participated in Locke Merlin's shipwreck, just knowing about it and not telling would be enough for the young High Mage to keep the Monchi Family in his mind...
Only Monchi himself knew that he wasn't as innocent as he let Lin Yun believe when it came to Locke Merlin's shipwreck.
"Okay, High Mage Merlin, I can give the patriarch position to Mason within three years." Although the other side didn't stipulate a time period, Monchi was very tactful and didn't try to say that it would be after his death.
Monchi believed that he would end up dying strangely if he said so.