Fang Mo already had a general idea of how Pepper Potts was captured.
In the original storyline, she went to investigate Obadiah on her own and narrowly escaped while downloading evidence. However, Fang Mo's presence has altered the plot and timeline. Stark was supposed to stay in Afghanistan for over a month, but Fang Mo brought him back within a few days, potentially causing a butterfly effect.
Although Stark didn't create the MK1 armor in the cave this time, he had thoughts about it since the introduction of the miniaturized reactor.
Fang Mo speculated that after returning to New York, Stark locked himself in the lab to start researching the Iron Man armor.
Perhaps it was a desire to show off or a failure to anticipate his uncle Obadiah's betrayal. In any case, Stark unintentionally leaked the design concept of the Iron Man suit, capturing Obadiah's interest. Obadiah began secretly manufacturing the Iron Monger suit behind the scenes.
However, he faced difficulties in the final step due to the complex production principles of the miniaturized reactor, making it impossible for him to replicate.
Coincidentally, when Pepper Potts inexplicably started investigating him, Obadiah, driven by anger, decided to capture her. If his secret plan failed, he resorted to open threats, forcing Stark to surrender the miniaturized reactor.
Obadiah claimed that he would exchange Pepper for the reactor, but could it truly be resolved that easily?
Stark understood Obadiah's intentions. He likely wanted to eliminate both Stark and Pepper in one fell swoop, eradicating anyone with evidence of his crimes while gaining control of the reactor. It would be a two-in-one solution, wouldn't it?
Stark was well aware of Obadiah's thinking, but he still felt compelled to act. After all, he was a hero. Despite his sharp tongue, he had a kind heart. However, going alone would undoubtedly be a suicide mission. That's when he suddenly thought of Fang Mo, the wizard. While he couldn't come up with a scientific solution, perhaps magic could save the day.
"What should we do now?"
Inside the seaside villa, Stark was anxious, pacing restlessly. "Should I take you there and let you use your magic to confront Obadiah directly?"
"Do you see this person beside me?" Fang Mo pointed to Nick Fury. "This guy here just educated me that magic isn't all-powerful."
"Huh?" Stark was taken aback.
"I'm telling you, can't you stop holding grudges?" Nick Fury said. "Saving lives is more important now. It's not the time to discuss this."
"I'm telling the truth," Fang Mo replied.
Fang Mo shrugged. "Though most people don't believe in magic, Tony easily escaped from the terrorists' hands. Shouldn't Obadiah be on alert? I don't mind, though. Can Obadiah be more formidable than the Abomination? I turned Abomination into minced meat. Should I be afraid of him?"
After pausing for a moment, Fang Mo continued, "What I mean is, I'm only good at fighting, not skilled in protection and such. So I need to think about how to save Miss Potts. After all, it's rare for Stark, this big-hearted guy, to be moved..."
"Wait a moment," Stark interjected.
Hearing this, Stark quickly defended himself, "Pepper is just my personal assistant, my employee. I saved her because I thought she was capable. It's not the kind of relationship you're thinking of."
"Oh? A capable relationship?" Fang Mo chuckled. "I understand now. So it's that kind of relationship. You use your personal assistant when you need her, and when you don't, you don't..."
"It's not like that. Can't you stop causing trouble?" Stark's impatience grew. "I'm not the playboy I used to be. Saving lives is important now. Can't you understand my current situation?"
"I'm already thinking of a solution," Fang Mo assured him. "In any case, this time is different from before. Let's forget about being reckless. The risks are too high. Wait for me to open a treasure chest... Oh, by the way, do you have any food here?"
"Why do you need food?" Stark couldn't help but ask. "Do I have to wait for you to finish eating before we save people?"
"Do you know that the Iron Man suit consumes a lot of power?" Fang Mo suddenly asked.
"Of course, I know," Stark replied, slightly puzzled. "Otherwise, why would Obadiah threaten me for the arc reactor? The Iron Man suit itself isn't a very complicated manufacturing technology, it's just that the power supply can't keep up..."
"The suit consumes electricity, so what do you think magic consumes?" Fang Mo countered.
"He just helped the military solve a serious experimental accident," Nick Fury interjected, explaining to Fang Mo. "Believe me, it's definitely a very troublesome thing."
"...J.A.R.V.I.S., bring the cheeseburgers from the fridge," Stark quickly ordered.
"And a cola!" he added.
Soon after, a mechanical arm brought a tray down from the ceiling, and a voice echoed, "Your cheeseburger with a chilled cola, sir."
"I like this artificial intelligence," Fang Mo remarked. He picked up the cheeseburger and began eating it without hesitation, quickly replenishing Steve's hunger.
When Fang Mo defeated Abomination earlier, he had already loaded a new module, the Mutant Creature module. He had also obtained a Lucky Block, but due to his busy schedule, he hadn't had the chance to open it. Now was the perfect time to open the box and give it a try.
With a slight thought, Steve immediately used the Lucky Block.
In the next second, a small white bag suddenly appeared in his inventory.
Upon seeing the bag, Fang Mo was lost in thought.
He did indeed recognize this item.
In fact, this item was exactly what Fang Mo had been longing for day and night—the object from the Equivalent Exchange module.
However, despite originating from the Equivalent Exchange module, the practical use of this item was rather insignificant. After all, it was merely an alchemy bag, capable only of storing items and lacking any other functionality. It was akin to the Qiankun Bag in fantasy novels or the space rings found in Western fantasy novels.
If Fang Mo had drawn the Transmutation Table, he would probably have laughed himself to death on the spot. Unfortunately, that item was as elusive as drawing an SSR in a gacha game—it was a matter of chance.
"What's the matter?" Stark also noticed Fang Mo's expression and quickly asked.
"There's a minor issue," Fang Mo replied, rubbing his forehead. "In short, I failed to draw a card, but it's not a big problem. I have a second plan."
"Brother, I've been calling you brother," Stark quickly said. "It's getting late now. Can you speed things up? Obadiah gave me half an hour, and now we only have three minutes left... It's a matter of life and death."
"This time, my luck was terrible, and the plan of using the cards to save people failed," Fang Mo touched his chin. "So let's proceed directly with the second plan. In any case, we'll go there first, and you confront Obadiah head-on, while I'll adapt accordingly."
"After all the discussion, aren't we still preparing for a direct confrontation?" Nick Fury couldn't help but interject.
"Shut up, shameless old thief!" Fang Mo shouted angrily. "The reason I failed to draw a card this time must be because of you. Your gloomy face has thrown off my luck. How dare you babble here?"
"You..." Nick Fury was about to say something, but Stark quickly interrupted.
"Alright, alright. I don't care about your grievances. The important thing now is to save people. Time is running out!" Stark opened the skylight and said, "I'm going ahead. Make the most of your time, you two!"
"Wait..." Before the words could fully leave his mouth, flames erupted beneath Stark's feet, and he disappeared into the sky.
"No, is he so eager to sacrifice himself?" Fang Mo couldn't help but turn to Nick Fury and ask.
"...," Nick Fury silently glanced at him without uttering a word.
"Why aren't you speaking?" Fang Mo found it strange. "Are you mute?"
"I dare not speak here," Nick Fury said.
Fang Mo found himself speechless this time, but he fully grasped the gravity of the situation. He quickly regained his composure and stated, "Alright, I won't waste time arguing with you. Let's prioritize saving people. Oh, by the way, bring the prototype with us."
"A prototype?" Nick Fury inquired. "What is that?"
Fang Mo explained, "Tony Stark created a small reactor in a cave in Afghanistan. Given the harsh conditions at the time, it was likely just a prototype. I assume he replaced it with a new one upon his return. Obadiah threatened him to hand over the reactor, and if he complied, it would undoubtedly be dangerous. So it's crucial for us to find that prototype first."
"But where is it?"
"I don't know, but J.A.R.V.I.S. should have the information," Fang Mo addressed the surroundings directly. "J.A.R.V.I.S., did you hear what we said?"
"It's in the cabinet on your left," promptly replied J.A.R.V.I.S., the artificial intelligence butler.
Fang Mo snapped his fingers and forcefully opened the cabinet, shattering the glass display inside. He retrieved the first-generation reactor, which resembled a commemorative plaque.
After obtaining the reactor, Fang Mo immediately contacted Nick Fury.
During their journey, Nick Fury also reached out to his agents. While not the most proficient in combat, these agents possessed excellent tracking skills, which would be valuable in finding Pepper Potts if she was hidden elsewhere. He enlisted their assistance in the search.
Meanwhile, Stark had already arrived at the specified location provided by Obadiah, which turned out to be a laboratory belonging to Stark Industries.
"Tony, you've actually come," greeted Obadiah, wearing a smile.
"Where is Pepper?" Stark completely ignored him, his eyes scanning the surroundings anxiously.
"Hehehe, she's safe, at least until I obtain your reactor," taunted Obadiah, seemingly in control, as he pressed a button abruptly. "You're too weak, Tony. You and your armor are insignificant..."
"Let me show you true power."