'And why is he looking at me like that?'
As he thought about it, Rios felt stranger and stranger. 'Did something happen to Larry today? Ever since Mafa Merlin entered, he remained oddly silent, and now he is looking at me with such an odd expression. Fuck, it's like he feels sorry for me or something...That idiot Larry must have been hit in the head...'
After worrying over it a bit longer, he concluded, 'Doesn't matter, I can just ignore him.'
"That's right, compensation!" Rios temporarily put Larry's strange behavior to the back of his mind as he haughtily looked at Lin Yun. "The Gilded Rose's provocation has already gone too far. You have two choices now, either compensation or becoming enemies."
"I feel that compensation is better."
"You are clever." Hearing that the other side was willing to settle the matter, a victorious smile appeared on Rios' face. He finally decided to sit down. All this time, he had been standing up so that he could look down at Lin Yun.
But Lin Yun's next words left him flummoxed. "My requirements are very simple. 200 000 gold for each of the Apprentice Alchemists, for a total of one million. Moreover, I want those stolen goods to arrive at the outskirts of Edge Rift before dark."
"Hold on, hold on..." The Great Swordsman had just sat down smugly, but when he heard what Lin Yun was describing as compensation, he felt that it was clearly off. "What is this kind of compensation?"
"Well, Great Swordsman Rios, did you really think that the people of the Gilded Rose could be casually detained? Don't you know, those five people you detained are the Gilded Rose's best Apprentice Alchemists. Each one of them can bring immense profits to the Gilded Rose. Asking for 200 000 gold for each of them is truly negligible."
"..." Larry on the side was covering his forehead, dreading the result that he knew was coming...
"Hold on, you are saying that you want the Viper Nest to compensate the Gilded Rose with one million gold?" Rios finally managed to react after processing everything.
"And if I am?"
"Mafa Merlin, you are courting death!" Rios jumped up from his seat. His fierce face became somewhat sinister as his scar twisted along with his expression.
"Rios, don't be impulsive..." Larry noticed the situation taking a bad turn and promptly reached a hand out to pull back the Great Swordsman.
How could a 9th Rank Mage physically stop a Great Swordsman that was consumed by rage? Seeing Rios raising his hand, Larry retreated close to the wall.
Rios immediately grabbed the large Magic Greatsword at his side. His aura rose up and a "Crack" sound came out as the long table was split in half. His rippling aura spread through the reception room like a tornado, crushing chairs into pieces one after the other.
This was the strength of a Great Swordsman.
Compared to Swordsmen who could only use their bodies to fight, a Great Swordsman with aura was an existence on a completely different level. An aura trained to the peak had highly destructive power. Even a hard rock wouldn't be much different from tofu when facing the aura of a Great Swordsman, let alone the furniture.
The sword had vividly displayed the might of aura under Rios' rage.
But Lin Yun hadn't moved the slightest bit.
"Those things you broke just now will also be compensated by the Viper Nest..."
"You are courting death!" Provoked by Lin Yun's words, the furious Rios' face contorted even further. That long scar became extremely conspicuous as his face became red from anger, looking almost as if a centipede was crawling on his head.
The sword that he had lowered after his first slash now rose up once again.
Moreover, the target was no longer just the table or those chairs... it was Lin Yun, who was only a few meters away...
The surging aura rose up like waves, crazily crashing against everything around. Even the walls of the reception room were letting out a screeching sound as a crack spread across one of the walls. The red aura gathered on the greatsword, and with Rios' shout, the greatsword slashed down with a thunderous sound.
This time, even Larry couldn't help feeling shocked.
Although Larry was a 9th Rank Mage, when facing the aura of a Great Swordsman going all-out like this, he wouldn't be able to resist at all. Even though he was only facing the incidental backdraft from the uncontrolled aura of the Great Swordsman, Larry could only put up a magic shield to make sure that he wouldn't collapse under the pressure.
This wasn't a force that a Mage could defend against.
Only a Great Mage could withstand the blow of a Great Swordsman.
The sword filled with aura slashed down while Lin Yun still remained motionless. He only muttered a few syllables, a short incantation. His voice was very low, like he was only mumbling to himself, and it was quite hard to hear in front of that whistling sword.
But it was this mumble that suddenly silenced the atmosphere.
The greatsword that had been slashing down so thunderously came to a sudden stop. It felt as if a huge, invisible hand was in the air, firmly grabbing onto the sword.
No, it wasn't only the greatsword.
Even Rios, who had been swinging the greatsword with a malevolent sneer and surging aura, was now completely still. Only the drops of sweat on his forehead were moving, dripping down to the ground. The strangest part was that even though he wasn't moving, it felt as he was struggling to try to move.
The reception room had suddenly become deathly silent...
No longer were the Great Swordsman's bellows roaring out, nor was there the raging aura... It was all replaced by a kind of suffocating pressure.
And the source of the pressure was still sitting there. It was the young mage who hadn't moved at all.
"I said, everything you broke will be compensated for by the Viper Nest." Lin Yun slowly stood up, a smile still plastered on his face, but the way he looked at Rios made the Great Swordsman freeze.
The look was extremely calm.
It wasn't ruthlessly cold, and it wasn't full of emotions.
That gaze definitely wasn't a gaze that a living person would use toward another living person. From Rios' memories, only a ruthless killer would look at a living person like that.
'Who is this Mafa Merlin...?'
Rios wanted to ask out loud, but he currently was unable to do anything whatsoever. In fact, after that mumbled incantation, Rios had been stopped by a power that he couldn't resist at all. That power not only stopped his greatsword in the air as it had been slashing down, but it also instantly bound him.
He couldn't open his mouth or move his fingers.
Although he could still think, he had lost control of his body.
The only thing Rios could do was keep looking on helplessly.
Looking at this young man raising his right hand, looking as he slowly made Rios float into the air.
Afterwards, Rios could only feel an inexorable force slowly clamp around his neck, lifting him higher while tightening its grasp.
Rios wanted to struggle and call for help, but as he was held in place by the huge binding force, he couldn't do anything at all.
Despair and fear filled Rios' thoughts. What about being a Great Swordsman of the Viper Nest? Everything else was thrown out to the back of his mind at this time. If he could, Rios would rather never have entered this reception room or raised his greatsword.
At this moment, Rios finally realized why Larry's expression had been so strange all along.
It was because they were sitting in front of a Great Mage, one that was powerful enough to kill a Great Swordsman with a single move.
Rios had raised his sword against this kind of Great Mage...
Rios wanted to beg for forgiveness, but he couldn't even open his mouth and could only wait as that invisible hand lifted him higher. Rios could faintly feel dizziness building up from being choked. Death and shadows were continuously approaching.
"Go back and tell Sauss to prepare two million gold." Just as Rios began to feel like he had already died, Lin Yun swung his right hand.
In a flash, Rios was sent flying like a cannonball. The walls of the reception room couldn't withstand that kind of power and pain jolted through Rios' body as he crashed through them.
After recovering from his daze, Rios noticed that his surroundings had changed to become the spacious Victorious Return street.
As he regained his awareness, Rios felt a fierce pain throughout his body, as if every bone had been crushed. He simply couldn't find a spot that wasn't hurting. But Rios didn't care about that at this moment. He opened his mouth and started to hyperventilate as he suffered from fear and despair.
"That, Larry..." After casually throwing the Great Swordsman out of the Gilded Rose, Lin Yun looked back at the completely terrified 9th Rank Mage once again.
Startled by his gaze, Larry suddenly jumped up from the ground and quickly rushed to answer, "I understand! I'll put everything in order!"