156 Part 2

“What happened?!”

Ian hurriedly opened the door. Even if it were only a small-scale explosion, an ordinary person would be severely wounded if he was involved.

“Wow, I thought I would die!”

“Ungh!”

(Do you have multiple lives? Or are all alchemists like this? You are foolish to be so rash with such weak bodies.)

There was another guest in the laboratory, the dragonian Evantus. He had graciously accepted Ian’s request to help Ledio and Douglas and was now acting on his promise.

“…Are you guys all right?”

Ian asked as he looked around to see vials and instruments lying around and books of all kinds haphazardly thrown in all directions.

“As you can see, we’re fine while the lab is not.”

Ledio and Douglas stood up, while Evantus had been the only one impassive.

“Ah…are your plans going well?”

“Yes, and they’re at the finishing stage.”

“That means that our achievements would be the final key.”

“I’m not going to hound you, since I have a second plan prepared.”

“Even if you say so, this is…worrying.”

Ledio’s smile was bittersweet, and Ian could guess the results from his expression.

“I’m sorry to say that we do not have anything we can show you with confidence. We are conducting our research based on the methodology behind the Five Breaths of the Red Dragon that is said to send one to a space of no dimensions, but the inner world is such an abstract concept that…”

Ledio’s voice held none of his usual confidence and was the lowest Ian had heard during the past few years. The task of preparing a ‘potion to the inner world’ seemed to be that difficult, and it was no wonder. The concept was an abstract one from the start, and magicians only believed it existed. No magician not entered there through mana breathing according to the records of the Ivory Tower.

“There are no relevant records, and I do not think we can help no matter how hard we try for the remainder. I have nothing to say for this.”

“No, I’m fine…”

(However, there’s one thing.)

Ian had been about to console Ledio when Evantus intervened with a word.

(Is the book of those two’s family an artifact?)

“What? No. While the information listed reaches far, the book itself is a normal…”

Ledio had been answering Evantus’s question when his and Douglas and Ian’s eyes all widened at the same time. There was a subtle mana aura stemming from the alchemy book.

“……?”

Many questions arose, such as why that book had that aura? And if it had a secret, why now?

“Is it because of that explosion…?”

Douglas mumbled quietly as everyone stared at it in confusion. The explosion had been due to an experiment that Douglas was leading on how to enter the inner world. The problem was that why the book that had been passed down through generations in Douglas’s family was reacting to it.

“Everyone behind me!”

Ian stepped in front of Ledio and Douglas and activated a barrier with the power of language. He had made a shield since this was a situation that no one had expected. However, the light from the book was not aggressive and only became brighter. Actually, it began to form a shape, including a head, body, shoulders, and limbs. Everyone saw it as a ‘person.’

“……”

Ian became tense by this sudden appearance. He thought it might be one of Fran Page’s tricks, and if so, everything Ian had planned and acted became meaningless.

‘I had thought of this from the beginning.’

Ian had considered the possibility that Fran Page was watching all this and had been looking down from a higher place no matter how stealthily Ian had acted. He just wanted that worst possibility to become a reality.

‘Will everything become messed up?’

Ian focused on the form in front of his eyes, and if that shape were another spiritual form of Fran Page who had come to meet Ian, the situation would become urgent.

“Who are you guys?”

However, Ian’s guess had been wrong. The man was completely different in form and voice from Fran Page. While Fran might have borrowed another body, the middle-aged man acted strangely for the estimation to be plausible. The man who had come out of the book looked surprised as the rest of them.

“Why are you guys in front…? Wait. I must have been sealed in eternal sleep.”

The middle-aged man grabbed his black hair in confusion and discovered the book under his feet before staring at Ian, Ledio, Douglas, and Evantus.

“Hey, you damn bastards! What did you do? Do you know how difficult it was to make that seal? I had worked hard for that rest!”

The middle-aged man screamed in frustration, and he might throw a punch after a while. While Ian and Evantus would stop him, he was wild.

“F, Fa…”

While everyone just stood in confusion, only one had become pale. Ledio’s lips shook as if to say something.

“Father…?”

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