While Raymond's mind was in a mess, Lin Yun had found a few cat's eye gems hidden behind the box, so he looked around some more. After making sure that he hadn't missed anything, he called out to Raymond, "Come help me."
He didn't wait for Raymond's answer and just took a few gems that were relatively pure before walking out.
As he was left behind, Raymond felt stunned. 'You think I'll help just because you asked me for it? Am I your friend?'
'Besides, you dare to ask a great mage like me to help you work with such cheap magic materials? Are you joking? Do you think a mage is someone you can hire in the streets for a few coppers?'
Raymond entered the Gilded Rose while full of complaints.
"Let's agree on something! Don't look for me for troublesome things, I can't waste mana like this, don't think that a mage can spend mana so casually. The mana that we mages use isn't something that an apprentice like you can imagine... Hey! Are you listening to me?"
After Raymond complained for a while, he realized that he hadn't gotten an answer yet so he looked over to see what was going on.
He was instantly startled.
"Fuck! What are you doing? Stop! Quick!"
When Raymond glanced over, he noticed Lin Yun shaking a test tube that contained a thick, red liquid inside. It was definitely red coral solution. When Raymond saw this, he immediately paled in fright. Red coral solution was known to be very unstable. High temperature or agitation could make it emit fierce magic fluctuations, and those were very frightening. The effect was completely disproportionate to the cheap price of the red coral. If such a thing happened, then let alone this laboratory, even all of Gilded Rose might be leveled.
That was a destructive power that eluded the control of the mages. It was dangerous, powerful, and unpredictable.
Over thousands of years, who knew how many people had tried to take advantage of that power... Countless sages fell one after the other, hoping to grasp that explosive power within their hands. But regretfully, the red coral was a problem that nobody had managed to solve, despite countless efforts in the past millennia. Those fallen sages either died or became disabled after their accidents.
In the last hundred years, the red coral solution had even become a taboo of alchemy. Any alchemy apprentice would be repeatedly warned by their teacher that there were many ways to handle red coral, but that they absolutely couldn't dissolve it into a solution.
Red coral in its solid state could only be considered a mediocre magic material. Compared to typical magic conductors, it could only release weak mana for two to three days. These two properties made it so that red coral could only be considered a low-tier magic conductor.
Moreover, the production of red coral had always been high, and supply often exceeded demand. Thus, the price had always been very low, making it one of the cheapest magic materials in Noscent.
But once it was dissolved into a solution...
Knowing all this, the blood drained out of Raymond's voice. He was afraid to physically stop the maniac in case it caused him to drop the test tube, which would be disastrous. His voice even shook as he repeated, "Didn't you hear? I told you to stop... Fuck, what are you doing!?"
Raymond's words were cut short because after that scoundrel was done shaking the test tube, he went even further to court death by igniting a small lamp and holding the test tube above the flame.
'If I don't stop him, it'll definitely cause a disaster!'
Thinking of the frightening explosion that could erupt from the red coral solution, sweat dripped down from Raymond's forehead. Raymond instantly cast a Frost spell, putting great effort into shortening the incantation and the somatic component, which sharply increased the consumption of mana. In a flash, a third of the mana within Raymond's body was used up. To a mage, this was like losing half his life.
But that would be better than losing his whole life. After consuming so much mana, the speed and power of the Frost spell were far greater than usual. Almost at the same time that the spell was cast, the empty laboratory was filled with a bone-piercing chill. It was immediately followed by a spiralling blue light, and the lamp was extinguished.
And that wasn't all. After the lamp stopped burning, that blue light seemed to spread crazily like grasping vines. It reached out to the test tube of red coral solution and Lin Yun's right hand, freezing it all in place.
"Fortunately, nothing happened..." Raymond was still shaking as he wiped his cold sweat. That scene had been far too frightening, if he had been a few seconds too late, the entire alchemy laboratory might have already exploded. 'That scoundrel is too reckless, it doesn't matter if you want to play with red coral, but don't involve me...'
After getting over the sudden fright, Raymond was completely filled with shock and anger. In fact, with Raymond's level of magical ability, he could have controlled the Frost spell to only extinguish the lamp and freeze the test tube, without freezing Lin Yun's hand.
That's right, Raymond had done that deliberately.
'This scoundrel doesn't know what he is doing, it'll be a good lesson for him.'
Since he still thought that Lin Yun was a Magic Apprentice, he would never think of treating him as a fellow mage. If not for that scoundrel's relationship with his old man, how could he even care to look at a Magic Apprentice that was so heavily in debt? Let alone one that would try to order him around! If it were anyone else, they would have already been turned into an ice statue by Raymond!
'I have endured enough of this bullshit!'
Raymond had already thought about it when casting the Frost spell. He would let that scoundrel freeze for an hour, and only then would he mercifully rescue him while strictly admonishing him at the time. Hopefully, this would make that wretch behave himself. And if his father asked, he would justify everything by emphasizing the dangerous nature of the red coral solution. He wasn't lying, after all. Red coral solution really was that dangerous. He did all this for the safety of 'Young Master Merlin'...
The more Raymond thought about getting to let off some steam, the more cheerful he got. It was to the point that he didn't even notice that Lin Yun was completely unfazed by what had happened.
With what Lin Yun had experienced at the end of the magic era, an attack like a Frost spell could hardly fluster him. What's more, that Frost could hardly be considered an attack. Raymond hadn't thought of Lin Yun as a fellow mage and definitely wouldn't expect that he was a freak that had only needed a few minutes to form a mana whirlpool. Raymond might have been a mage longer than Lin Yun, but when it came to their levels of power, the two were simply not on the same level.
Facing Raymond's mana-charged Frost, Lin Yun didn't even use a spell to counter it. He only controlled the mana whirlpool within his body to form a thin layer of mana to act as a shield.
That mana shield was definitely rough, because it didn't have any elemental arrangement. It was just an accumulation of mana. If it had been done by another mage of their time, that Frost spell might have been able to just overpower the shield and freeze it out of existence.
But it was clear that Lin Yun wasn't an ordinary mage...
Surviving for over twenty years at the end of the magic era let Lin Yun accumulate knowledge that far surpassed what was known in this era. Moreover, the finesse and precision of his casting also were exemplary. This sort of casting ability was unrelated with ranks themselves. It was the result of Lin Yun's sweat and tears. In the Noscent of this era, there wasn't any mage that was more familiar with the usage of magic for battle than Lin Yun. Continuously fleeing from the sand beasts' claws, always living on the edge, always hunting, always being hunted. All this made Lin Yun develop a beast-like instinct. He didn't even need to think to know of the most mana-efficient way to kill his opponent.
Just like this mana shield: it seemed rather rough and brittle, but Lin Yun was able to block Raymond's Frost spell with it.
Not too weak, not too strong, just enough to do the job.
Just as the icy mist dissipated, the mana shield's mana also depleted. The thick layer of ice seemed to have frozen Lin Yun's right hand, but it only froze over the mana shield. When the mana of both sides depleted, the mana shield faded away and Lin Yun only lightly shook his hand for the large sprawl of ice to fall down with a "crash".
"No way..." Raymond's eyes widened. He didn't dare to believe what he had just seen. 'This... This... This... How could this be? How could a Magic Apprentice's body resist a Frost spell? Even a mage can't! Although Frost is a control-type spell which had never been particularly high in firepower, it is still a 2nd rank spell! To use his flesh to resist a 2nd rank spell... Even a bold mage wouldn't dare to do so. And that scoundrel not only dared to do so, but he even succeeded!'
'No way, there must be a problem here!'
'Even if that scoundrel is very weird, he is still Locke Merlin's son. During the Flashing God chamber of commerce's peak, just the word 'wealthy' was not enough to describe it. Locke Merlin's dear only son, even the alchemy workshop is under his name, how could he not have prepared a few alchemy items for him? And not just alchemy items, he could even have a magic tool!'
'It was definitely a defensive magic tool that blocked the Frost spell!'
'Otherwise, how could that scoundrel be totally unharmed after being hit by a Frost spell?'