"Let me show you the true power," Obadiah said.
Obadiah pressed a button, instantly activating all the laboratory's lighting fixtures. The intense brightness flooded the area, creating a daylight-like environment.
The blinding light didn't hinder Stark from noticing the towering silver monstrosity at the center of the laboratory. It was a gigantic suit of armor, even larger than the Hulk, adorned with numerous iron chains and cables that interconnected throughout its body. The suit emitted an overwhelming sense of power.
The moment Stark laid eyes on the armor, everything became clear to him.
It was evident that Obadiah had created this armor by secretly copying Stark's blueprints. After all, the prototype armor he designed bore a striking resemblance to it.
If Obadiah could clandestinely construct such armor, it was highly likely that he was involved in other nefarious activities, such as selling Stark Industries' weapons to terrorists. Pepper's suspicions seemed to be justified, and it was possible that Obadiah was behind the terrorist attack on Stark. This man wanted to eliminate him.
"Why?" Stark asked.
With these thoughts swirling in his mind, Stark's emotions became mixed. "I always treated you like family..."
"Family? Ha... Stop dreaming," Obadiah scoffed.
Obadiah's mocking laugh followed. "Stark Industries was created by Howard and me. I have diligently managed everything here, pouring my heart and soul into it. I am the true hero of this company!"
"What about you, Stark?"
"You merely rely on the gadgets and inventions I created. Everyone worships you, Tony Stark, like a god. And now, you've announced the closure of Stark Industries' weapons division, destroying all my hard work! Has anyone ever recognized my efforts? You and your father took away all the credit and glory simply because you bear the name Stark. Well, now it's time for me to reclaim what is rightfully mine!"
As Obadiah spoke, his face trembled with excitement, and even his excess flesh shook.
Stark looked at Obadiah, whose expression had turned manic, and a profound sense of sadness overwhelmed him. "Obadiah, there's still time to turn back."
"Turn back? I'm about to have it all. I'll become the richest person in the world!" Obadiah sneered. "Why would I turn back now? Do you think everything can go back to how it was? Wake up, Tony!"
Witnessing Obadiah's madness, Stark understood that his mind was set. Mere verbal persuasion would be futile. So he spoke directly, "Regardless, release Pepper first. She's innocent."
"Don't you understand your uncle's words?" Obadiah laughed. "You need to give me the reactor first. Didn't I already tell you about it?"
"Do you think I'm that foolish?" Stark couldn't help but retort. "If I hand over the reactor now, both Pepper and I—the only two who know the secret—will die. So you must release her first. I will give you the reactor when the time comes. Otherwise, forget about getting it."
"Hmph, making demands when you're at death's door."
Obadiah's eyes darted around. "If you want to see her one last time, you have to remove the armor."
The meaning behind his words was clear: Stark had to disarm himself first. Otherwise, if he were to make a sudden move, Obadiah wouldn't be able to handle his armored suit. Besides, Obadiah's own suit lacked a power source.
Stark, driven by his eagerness to save lives, agreed immediately.
However, the current version of the Iron Man armor was still in its early stages. It was extremely difficult to remove the armor without the assistance of mechanical arms. Stark activated the emergency escape system, causing the entire armor to suddenly scatter into pieces. It was clear that it couldn't be reassembled in a short period of time.
Witnessing this scene, Obadiah laughed triumphantly. It became evident that Pepper Potts meant a lot to him if he was willing to remove the armor.
With this in mind, he waved his hand, and soon a few people escorted Pepper Potts out.
Pepper Potts realized her mistake. If she hadn't been captured, Stark wouldn't have been pushed to this extent by the other party. Her face was filled with apologies.
"Pepper, don't worry."
Seeing Pepper Potts, Stark couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. "Everything will be fine soon, trust me..."
However, just as Stark was letting his guard down, Obadiah secretly placed something strange on his ear and put his other hand in his pocket.
The next moment, before Stark could react, a buzzing sound filled the air, and everyone except Obadiah collapsed to the ground.
"Do you remember this, Tony?"
Observing the fallen figures, Obadiah felt confident. He smiled and approached Stark, slowly retrieving a small and delicate mechanical device from his pocket. "A subsonic emitter. It's a pity that the military didn't approve mass production of this device. It's so useful, don't you think?"
Stark was now completely paralyzed. The subsonic waves disrupted his body's balance function, rendering him essentially immobile. He could only helplessly watch the situation unfold before him.
"You are a chicken that lays golden eggs, Tony."
Obadiah casually stood up, walked to a nearby workbench, picked up a disassembly tool, and approached Stark. He aimed the tool at the reactor in Stark's chest. "You should know, Tony, a hen cannot enjoy its own eggs."
"Thank you for providing me with the best egg in the end."
Obadiah smiled and pressed the trigger. There was a click, and the reactor detached directly from Stark's chest. Instantly, Stark's face turned pale.
Without the magnetic adhesion, the shrapnel inside him began to move toward his heart valve.
Witnessing this scene, Pepper Potts, lying nearby, felt anxious. However, the subsonic waves affected her as well, leaving her unable to move. She could only watch as Stark slowly succumbed to his fate, filled with despair and helplessness.
"Oh, behold this groundbreaking masterpiece."
In stark contrast to Stark and Potts, Obadiah's mood was truly ecstatic. He approached his Iron Man armor, his eyes filled with admiration.
Soon, he inserted a small reactor into the chest of the Iron Man armor.
With a hum, the machine activated, and the eyes of the Iron Man armor illuminated with two blue lights. Obadiah could no longer contain his excitement. He opened the cockpit and climbed directly into the driver's seat. The next moment, the Iron Monger armor, towering like a small mountain, slowly stood up. The cables and iron chains behind it were violently torn apart.
"This power, unbelievably magnificent."
Obadiah was extremely satisfied. He maneuvered the Iron Monger armor for a moment, and soon the cockpit closed. Then, Obadiah controlled the Iron Monger as he approached the fallen Stark on the ground.
Regarding Stark's situation, he has partially recovered at this point. The effects of the subsonic generator only last for about fifteen minutes, and now their impact has significantly weakened. He can now make some effort to move his limbs.
However, the problem lies in the fact that he no longer has the reactor, and the shrapnel in his blood vessels is about to pierce his heart. The excruciating pain has left his mind blank. Faced with the towering presence of Iron Monger, he can only crawl backward, but each movement requires a long pause, which doesn't provide a solution.
Now he is starting to regret his reliance on the wizardry. It has proven to be quite unreliable.
He has clearly been deceived by Fang Mo. The other party hasn't offered any help at all. If given another chance, Stark would trust science.
Just as Stark managed to crawl a few meters, Obadiah also closed in. With each step, the immense weight of Iron Monger produced thunderous noises. Obadiah directly blocked Stark's path and uttered, "Tony, you are useless now."
Upon hearing these words, Iron Monger slowly raised his arm, and a Gatling gun extended from it, taking aim at Stark on the ground.
Stark felt genuine panic in that moment. The dark barrel was directed at him, and the threat of death engulfed him instantly. Obadiah would undoubtedly spare him no mercy. This time, he was likely to meet his end.
However, at this critical moment, a purple light suddenly flickered, accompanied by a voice.
"Tony, what's wrong with you? Hurry and crawl!"
Upon hearing this voice, Stark became immediately excited and wanted to shout something. However, the subsonic interference on his nerves hadn't completely subsided, so all that escaped his mouth were incoherent sounds.
"No, why did you have a stroke and become paralyzed?"
Witnessing the situation, Fang Mo couldn't resist making a sarcastic comment. "I already warned you not to touch palladium, but you didn't listen. Now you're done for. In just a few minutes, you've been exposed to radiation and mutated. You can't even speak like a human anymore, just crawling on the ground like a turtle."
(TL: Do you find this type of writing unpleasant to read? Please inform me, and I will eliminate such "playful" comments by Fang Mo in future chapters.)
"Who are you?!"
Finally snapping out of his shock, Obadiah had gathered information about Fang Mo and knew that the latter might possess some kind of witchcraft. He was somewhat on guard. However, based on the gathered information, the magic mastered by the wizard should be similar to curses and witchcraft. Nevertheless, this sudden teleportation caught Obadiah off guard, leaving him nervous. What was this guy all about?
With these thoughts in mind, Obadiah swiftly took control of Iron Monger, and the Gatling gun shifted its aim from Stark to Fang Mo.
Before Fang Mo could say anything else, sensing the threat, Obadiah immediately pulled the trigger.
Tongues of fire spewed out as numerous bullets rained towards Fang Mo.
However, in the next second, these bullets seemed to be obstructed by an unseen force, suspending densely in mid-air, leaving Obadiah completely stunned.