"What do you mean, confess?" Lin Yun kept up a dazed expression, but he clearly understood that this overbearing middle-aged man was trying to intimidate him. Otherwise, he wouldn't have brought it up like this.
Sure enough, as Lin Yun thought, the middle-aged man impatiently continued, "Could there be problems with the Gilded Rose, which is under your name, that even you yourself don't know about? And you ask me what I mean about confessing? I'm telling you, Mafa Merlin, you had better cooperate and answer this question truthfully. The severity of your punishment depends on your attitude. Don't be stubborn, that wouldn't be good for you and the Gilded Rose!"
This man had held many hearings, so he was quite used to handling these owners of alchemy shops.
The most effective tactic was intimidation...
These ruthless merchants might look like they abided by the law, but in reality, who hadn't made a few illegal deals? Most hearings were about that. As long as they were intimidated, these merchants would truthfully confess. Even things that the guild was unaware of would come out sometimes.
This middle-aged man was highly experienced.
Unfortunately, he was facing the Gilded Rose this time...
The Gilded Rose rose up from scratch, and more than ninety percent of the products had been personally made by Lin Yun. How could Lin Yun not know if there was a problem with them?
Thus, Lin Yun pushed back. "Then say it, what issue is there with the Gilded Rose?"
"You..." The middle-aged man's face hardened as he thought to himself, 'He is too arrogant, too savage, he refuses to confess to the problem and even ridiculed me, the host of the hearing, an esteemed alchemist of the Alchemist Guild!' The middle-aged man stood up and pointed at Lin Yun as he warned, "Mafa Merlin, you should know where you are. This is the Alchemist Guild, not a place where you can behave as you wish. You'd better confess truthfully, or else..."
"Are you threatening me?" Although Lin Yun was still smiling, his eyes faintly narrowed as he stared back at the middle-aged man.
"Mage Merlin, it is a mere formality, we aren't threatening you." Seeing the two of them glaring daggers at each other, one of the other men hurriedly joined the discussion. After appeasing Lin Yun, he patted the shoulder of his ashen-faced colleague. "Okay, Granger, let me do the questioning."
"Hmph!" Granger ruthlessly stared at Lin Yun for a few more moments and then sat down after snorting.
"Mage Merlin, let me introduce myself first, I am called Bassoro. I am in charge of this hearing with Granger. We called you here to ask a few questions."
"Sure, ask away."
"First, I would like to ask of you, when the Gilded Rose had an alchemy exhibition yesterday at ten in the morning, did the exhibition include a potion named the Hope Potion, which is rumored to be able to make a Magic Apprentice easily reach 9th Rank?"
"Good, second question. Was this potion bought by a 3rd Rank Magic Apprentice named Cruise for the price of two hundred thousand gold?"
"And the last question, can Mage Merlin confirm whether this potion can make a Magic Apprentice easily reach 9th Rank as it was explained by the Gilded Rose, and without any side effect?"
"Good, I have no more questions." Bassoro nodded and only wrote something on a paper in front of him.
"Mafa Merlin, I have to say that this is a very substandard scam." Granger stood up once again and looked at Lin Yun as if he was looking at an idiot as he continued, "I don't know what achievements you have in magic, but honestly, you've really failed in the alchemy field. When you plotted this trap, didn't you think with basic common sense?"
After saying that, Granger picked up a book from the table and threw it in front of Lin Yun.
If Granger's previous actions could be considered intimidation, then this action was certainly an attempt to humiliate him. Lin Yun naturally couldn't go and pick it up. That would be even worse than picking up soap in a shared shower. Lin Yun only glanced down and saw that this book was called - History of Alchemy's Growth -. Lin Yun saw it once in the Sage Tower. There was nearly no alchemy-related knowledge inside. It mainly talked about some important characters and events in the history of alchemy.
"You see, knowledge is under your foot, but you are even unwilling to bend your waist to retrieve it." A sneer appeared on Granger's face. He felt as if he had the upper hand. "If you had been willing to look at this book, you wouldn't have left so many loopholes in your scam. On the 13th page it is clearly written that through several millennia of alchemy history, there had been seventeen types of potions that were able to make a Magic Apprentice smoothly reach 9th Rank. Each of them is an artwork that could be recorded in the annals of history. The cheapest one among them was worth 1 500 000 gold, while your Gilded Rose sold the so-called Hope Potion for barely a tenth of that. I don't know whether to call you stupid or naive. Was your Gilded Rose always so charitable?"
"Then how much should we price it at?"
"Its price should be..." Granger reflexively said half of his sentence before having a sudden realization and changing his tact. "How much you should sell it for doesn't matter, the main point is that your Gilded Rose's scam has already brought about serious consequences!"
"What consequences? Haha, you will understand soon." Granger gave Lin Yun a cold glare before calling for a staff member. After whispering a few words to that person, the latter quickly left the reception room.
Ten minutes later, the staff member came back with a young Magic Apprentice in his late twenties.
"Now, let me introduce this person. He is Magic Apprentice Cruise, the one who bought the Hope Potion for two hundred thousand gold. Magic Apprentice Cruise, could you please share what happened to you after you drank the Hope Potion."
"Yes..." This Magic Apprentice called Cruise clearly hadn't experienced any big events before. Standing in front of several Great Mages and Great Alchemists, he couldn't help acting rather nervous. His eyes faintly flickered as he recalled, "That day... On that day, I originally planned on purchasing a few magic scrolls, but I didn't expect the Gilded Rose to organize an alchemy exhibition. I just happened to be at the first row. At that time... At that time I thought that a large alchemy shop like the Gilded Rose wouldn't scam people, and I felt lucky. I wanted to immediately become a 9th Rank Magic Apprentice so I... I bought it. I spent all my savings to buy that damned Hope Potion."
"Afterwards... Afterwards, they urged me to drink it on the spot. I did as instructed, and after drinking it, I truly felt my mana quickly increase, quickly increasing from 3rd Rank to 4th Rank, from 4th Rank to 5th Rank, before finally stopping at the 9th Rank. At that time, I really thought that I was lucky. Many people congratulated me, and many more people were asking when there would be Hope Potion in stock. But in the end..."
"In the end?"
"In the end, after I came back, I hurriedly entered meditation in order to consolidate the level of mana. At that time I discovered that I couldn't undergo meditation, and moreover, that the previous surge of mana was quickly vanishing. I quickly fell from 9th Rank to 8th Rank, then from 8th Rank to 7th Rank..." The more the young Magic Apprentice talked, the more his emotions came out, before finally, he became unable to control himself, "This morning I couldn't even maintain my status of 3rd Rank Magic Apprentice. Mafa Merlin, you scoundrel, you destroyed my life, I won't let you off!"
"Calm down, Magic Apprentice Cruise."
"Yes, yes... I originally was a 3rd Rank Magic Apprentice, but look, I can't even maintain 3rd rank right now, moreover, I still can't undergo meditation. Maybe tomorrow I might become an ordinary person devoid of mana. This was caused by the damn Gilded Rose!"
After saying that, the young Magic Apprentice even let out a few tears...
"Mafa Merlin, those are the consequences of your actions," Granger sneered while looking at Lin Yun.
"Magic Apprentice Cruise, can I trouble you to come over? You are too far, I can't see clearly." Lin Yun didn't pay attention to Granger's malicious accusations and simply beckoned Cruise over.
"It's fine Magic Apprentice Cruise, let him have a look at what the Gilded Rose did. This is the Alchemist Guild, no one will harm you."
"Understood." After obtaining Granger's guarantee, the young Magic Apprentice walked over.
Lin Yun looked at the young Magic Apprentice for a long time...
"Mana is indeed dissipating. If this keeps going, let alone tomorrow, you might become an ordinary person today." Lin Yun's voice sounded sympathetic as he asked, "Oh right, Magic Apprentice Cruise, what does a Dissipation Potion taste like?"
"What Dissipation Potion!" The originally cowering Magic Apprentice almost jumped up when he heard the words Dissipation Potion. He looked like a cat whose tail had been stepped on, as he yowled, "What Dissipation Potion? I don't understand what you are talking about!"