"The Patriarch has been supporting you all along, but... The rules of the Merlin Family are like that. The Elder Council has a lot of power..." William suddenly paused, before adding, "I also got the feeling that someone was secretly influencing the Elder Council. How else could they be so united against you? These old geezers would fight each other for a few dozen golds..."
"Eh?" Lin Yun's frown intensified. It would be troublesome if someone was truly influencing the Elder Council. He would have to have a chat with that person when he reached Okland.
"It couldn't be helped, the Gilded Rose's wealth made some people too greedy..."
"Haha..." Lin Yun smiled and changed topic. "Okay, let's put this aside. How is the merging with your Alchemic Mana Whirlpool?"
"I finished merging with it two days after returning to Okland and I've spent my time adapting to having twice the mana on my way back. It still feels a bit strange..."
"That's good, I'll give you three days to completely adjust to the Alchemic Mana Whirlpool. In three days, we are going to Okland."
Three days later, Lin Yun finished the processing of the Appeasing Soulsong Gem and named this Spiritual Magic Tool the Evil Punishing Pendant.
At the same time, the Heaven Rank Puppet had been renovated.
Naturally, the renovation wasn't a true repair.
The Heaven Rank Puppet was an existence on par with a Heaven Mage, which meant that it was an outstanding alchemic achievement. It would be a miracle if an Artisan could easily repair it, let alone a Master Alchemist like Lin Yun. Even Nolan, who stood at the peak of the Artisan realm, or the future Saint Alchemist Osul, would sigh and shake their heads in front of that puppet.
That was a realm that very few could ever reach.
Moreover, Lin Yun couldn't afford the materials needed to even attempt to fully repair the puppet. He would be ruined just for a fighting system set. Latour Gold was rare and expensive. Lin Yun calculated that if he wanted to rebuild the puppet's fighting system, he would need enough Latour Gold Essence to build thirty Ten Thousand Spell Wheels.
Just hearing about this amount would make anyone feel numb.
Lin Yun's so-called renovation was only based on ordinary puppets. All the materials and techniques used were far from meeting the requirements of the Heaven Rank Puppet. What Lin Yun did could be likened to wrapping the Heaven Rank Puppet in an ordinary puppet shell.
But even then, its strength was outstanding. After all, this mechanical system of an ordinary puppet was connected to the Heaven Rank Puppet. Just borrowing a bit of its strength was enough to make this puppet's power reach a terrifying level.
Lin Yun estimated that the puppet's power was close to that of a Sword Saint...
And as he worked on the puppet, Lin Yun had learnt some things. Although he couldn't make it recover to its full strength, he wasn't completely unable to make it regain some of it. But the method was a bit stupid. He had to amass a large number of rare parts. The more powerful the parts, the more power this Heaven Rank Puppet would recover. In theory, he would be able to make its strength infinitely close to its original if he found enough rare parts.
Naturally, this was only theory.
As for the source of these rare parts... Lin Yun already had a place in mind.
It was rumored that in Gaugass' depths, there was a Planar Path that had never been unearthed. At the end of that Planar Path was an extremely strange world. There was no life on that world, only puppets, a world of puppets. Lin Yun believed that as long as he could find that Planar Path, he would be able to find enough rare parts.
Naturally, the condition was to quickly merge his ten Magic Arrays as soon as possible to remove the obstruction in his magic path. Otherwise, he would never be able to become a 5th Rank High Mage and wouldn't be able to survive in that puppet plane even if he found it.
Before leaving, Lin Yun went to the Sage Tower to give the potion he had spent a few nights refining to Solomon.
"Rest assured, I can help you keep an eye on the Monchi Family."
With Solomon's words still echoing in his mind, Lin Yun took Xiuban and William with him and passed through the Four Seasons Canyon before continuing north. They reached Okland after a few days.
Okland had been built during the early days of the 3rd Dynasty, when that great empire was just rising. It could be described as a mess both inside and outside, with the Nesser Dynasty's shadow shrouding the empire and assassination and war covering every corner of the empire. The Gaugass Battlemages guarded the northern frontier, with Okland behind them. At that time, Okland was one of the five strategic military towns, and even today, countless years later, the shadow of the war fortress could still be seen from the city wall.
But compared to that war fortress bathed in blood and fire, today's Okland was a lot more noisy and thriving. When Lin Yun took the Draconic Beastman and William in, he clearly felt the difference between this place and Thousand Sails City.
"This is Dragon Street, Okland's most thriving area. It has the most people, the most shops, and the most thieves. In front of us is Okland's Mercenary Guild. There are always mercenaries entering or leaving that place. The magic materials harvested every day could supply the Gilded Rose fifty times over. On the side is the Black Horn Auction House, which organize an auction every three months on a larger scale than Cadgar's. All the wealthy merchants and influential powerhouses of Andlusa would visit. I heard that there are always some high-ranked members of the Black Horn chamber of commerce visiting the place. Cousin, if you need something, you can try your luck there..."
William acted as a guide, and two hours later, their carriage crossed all of Okland before reaching the gate of a manor beside the Fallen Star Lake.
"This is the Merlin Family's estate. Normally, only those directly related to the family can enter... Look on the other side," William said as he pointed to dozens of towers on the far side of the Fallen Star Lake. Some were tall while some were short, and they were arranged in a strange order. "This is Okland Magic School..."
"We can check it another day." Lin Yun had some interest in Okland Magic School, even if just to visit Raymond. If he didn't, what was he supposed to tell Pave?
"This might not be possible in the next few days. I heard that Okland Magic School is making arrangements for their graduation trial. Their security is very tight right now."
"Yes, the students of Okland Magic School who want their diploma have to undergo a graduation trial. As for the contents of the trial, it changes each year. Last year they had to go to the Cold Wind Mountains to kill magic beasts, and the year before that was hunting magic beasts on the Gaugass Frontier. The previous year was even worse, I heard that they put a Thunder Beast into the trial field. In the end, eight students ended up seriously injured..."
"..." Lin Yun thought for a bit and remembered that Raymond was supposed to graduate this year. He wondered what would the trial be this year...
"Let's go inside first. The Patriarch told me that once you arrived, I should lead you to him first..."
After the group of three entered the Merlin Family Manor, they found a place to rest, following William's lead. Lin Yun and William then left Xiuban behind and went to meet the current patriarch, Mafa Merlin's Great-Uncle and Judd Merlin's younger brother, Ofran Merlin.
The Merlin estate was huge.
The house left behind by Locke Merlin couldn't even compare. Even Monchi's millennial manor was too embarrassing to compare.
This place was like a small city. Lin Yun and William walked for half an hour before they reached a courtyard on the southern part of the manor.
"This is the official reception room of the Merlin Family..." William pointed at a stone tower that was three floors high. "The Elder Council convenes there every month. The Patriarch usually receives guests on the 3rd floor and should be waiting for you there."
The two entered the courtyard and were just about to walk into the stone tower when someone came out of it.
"If it isn't Cousin William!" The person they encountered was wearing a black robe with a silver line on the cuff. He looked no older than thirty and was already a Great Mage. He also looked somewhat similar to William, but he was a lot paler and his eyes were unfocused and bore dark, heavy circles. This should have been due to losing himself to wine and women. His body had already been completely ruined.
"Jason, you are blocking my path." William couldn't seem to stand that older cousin. Disgust flashed on his face when he saw that person.
"Haha, Cousin William, it's been so many days since I last saw you. How could you be so busy, to not even have time to chat with your cousin? I heard that you did something big recently and the entire Elder Council is flaring up. What, William? After being in Thousand Sails City for so long you forgot that your name is Merlin? You think anyone can enter the Ancestral Land..." This Jason reeked of wine, forcing William and Lin Yun to cover their noses, yet he didn't seem to notice or care as he kept talking. "Oh right, that kid at your side looks a bit young, is he your new follower? Servant? How could he be so rude as to not even say his greetings?"