'Forget it, it doesn't matter whether they team up or not...'
Lin Yun shook his head and walked to the 3rd floor of the stone tower. The floor was made of white Moonstone and appeared clean and tidy. Some paintings were hung on the walls, and although Lin Yun didn't know the name of the expert craftsman who painted them, he could make out from the colors and lines that these weren't cheap...
"Knock knock knock..."
William softly knocked on the door to the study before hearing an aged voice from within, "Come in."
The study was quite huge, eight neat and tidy bookshelves surrounded the room. The flames in the fireplace were roaring, and even though it was late autumn, they couldn't feel any chill in the room. A short old man was sitting on a chair next to the dancing flames, the shadow of youth could still be seen on his roughly seventy years old face. As the two of them entered, the old man smiled, "The journey must have been exhausting, please sit down."
"You are too polite, Sir Ofran..." Lin Yun smiled back as he nodded towards the old man, and sat down without being modest.
"Haha..." The old man was startled at first, because he noticed that the other side had called him Sir Ofran and not Grandfather or Great-Uncle.
Ofran had stepped in the Archmage realm ten years ago and occupied the position of a peak existence in Okland, there was nothing improper with Lin Yun calling him Sir Ofran.
But today was the day of Lin Yun's return to the Merlin Family.
The Family's power was based on blood relationships, thus, the 3rd generation of the Merlin Family would usually call Ofran Grandfather.
But Lin Yun was politely calling him Sir Ofran.
Ofran knew by hearing this way of address that getting the other side to return to the Merlin Family would prove a lot more complicated than he had surmised.
Ofran's head hurt as he thought of this.
When Judd Merlin left the family, only Ofran knew that he had been heading for Thousand Sails City. But before leaving, he kept telling Ofran that no one should know about it. Thus, Ofran remained tight-lipped for many years, clearly aware that if Judd learnt that he couldn't keep the secret, the consequences would be unimaginable.
It was just recently, when word about a lot of weapons forged out of Nether Iron reached him, that Ofran sent someone to Thousand Sails City and found out that the one in control of the Nether Iron Vein was actually an offspring of the Merlin Family stranded outside. When he heard this news, Ofran sank in contemplation for a long time. Judd who had always been on his mind had already passed away, and even his son, Locke Merlin, seemed to have suffered from a shipwreck...
The only remaining one was a grandson named Mafa...
And that Mafa seemed to be hopeless.
Based on that intel, Ofran sent William over to discuss the transferring of the Nether Iron Vein's ownership while helping Mafa out.
But he hadn't expected that after William reached Thousand Sails City, he would find out that the information they gathered was far from the truth. Indeed, Mafa Merlin controlled a Nether Iron Vein, but he had no plan to give up that Nether Iron Vein. Moreover, the alchemy shop that was supposedly in debt was actually extremely prosperous. It completely monopolized the alchemy market of Thousand Sails City and even some merchants and mercenary groups of the nearby Oddrock City would go there for items.
The Merlin Family naturally had some alchemy shops, so how could Ofran as the leader of the Merlin Family not understand how profitable an alchemy shop could be.
Let alone Oddrock City...
Just Thousand Sails City market monopoly was frightening enough. Describing the Gilded Rose as the richest in town was no exaggeration as William even told him that only the millennium old Monchi Family could compete with the Gilded Rose in terms of wealth.
Ofran was a bit regretful when he heard that.
If he had paid attention to Thousand Sails City, to Judd's grandson, early on, then that Mafa Merlin who could compete with the Monchi Family in terms of wealth might have already become a member of the Merlin Family.
Unfortunately, it was already too late.
William's letter clearly stated that Mafa Merlin didn't have much interest in returning to the Merlin Family and that there might even be some conflict. If he rashly sent someone over, he might incur his dislike.
Thus, Ofran refrained from sending someone to Thousand Sails City and only kept William there, to let him build a good relationship with Mafa Merlin and convey the will of the Merlin Family at a suitable time.
Because Ofran knew that he had missed the best opportunity to recruit Mafa Merlin.
Mafa Merlin grew up in Thousand Sails City for almost twenty years and had never came in contact with people of the Merlin Family before. Moreover, Locke Merlin's shipwreck and the Flashing Gold chamber of commerce going bankrupt overnight had all been taken care of by Mafa Merlin, all on his own.
Mafa Merlin had already struck it rich and had enough wealth to attract the eye of the Merlin Family. Sending someone to contact him now would only make it seem like they are trying to seize his belongings.
In the end, it was inevitable for Mafa Merlin who grew up in that kind of environment to not consider himself as a part of the Merlin Family.
As the leader of the Merlin Family, Ofran knew this more than anyone else.
That's right, the power of the Family was maintained through blood relationships, but only those foolish old geezers from the Elder Council who only know how to argue all day believed that they could rely on bloodline to force an affluent merchant to re-enter the Merlin Family.
Ofran knew that the road would be very long if he wanted to make Mafa return to the Family.
Fortunately, after bitterly waiting for a few months, Ofran finally got an opportunity.
William brought back some shocking news.
Mafa Merlin wanted to enter the Merlin Family Ancestral Land!
This was an extremely rare opportunity to let Merlin return to the Family.
This was what he had been waiting for.
Even if the Merlins' Ancestral Land wasn't casually available for entering, this was only to ordinary people. Which of the true core children of the Merlin Family hadn't entered the Ancestral Land? Of the third generation, Aube went in, Leon went in, Ross went in, and even William would go in this year.
Although this didn't conform to the rules, it's not as if an exception couldn't be made to let Mafa Merlin into the Ancestral Land.
As long as the old guys of the Elder Council remained calm and collected and simply embraced the Gilded Rose, Lin Yun's return to the family would go without problem.
At that time, Ofran was overjoyed and accepted a lot of conditions.
Although these conditions didn't have much importance to the Merlin Family, in Ofran's eyes this was a good chance to let Mafa Merlin know his value to the Family.
The conversation through William Merlin also went very well.
But he had never expected the Elder Council to suddenly obstruct the negotiations.
Especially because the disputing old geezers used the argument that they couldn't break the family tradition as a reason to reject Mafa Merlin's request to enter the Ancestral Land.
Ofran almost went crazy on the spot.
At that time, he wanted to point at those stuck up elders and ask them if they knew how much wealth Mafa Merlin gained in Thousand Sails City and if they realized how much of a loss the family would suffer because of their so-called traditions.
Unfortunately, the Merlin Family was like that. The Elder Council had a lot of power.
Even as the head of the family, Ofran wouldn't dare use the Patriarch's authority to suppress the Elder Council unless he was sure that he could control the situation. His reputation going down was trivial. But he might very well be accused of misconduct by the Elder Council, and at that time, he might even lose his seat as the Patriarch.
At that time, Ofran still thought that Mafa Merlin only asked to enter the Ancestral Land as a justification to return to the Merlin Family. It wouldn't have been difficult if that had been the case, as long as he comforted him and promised him that he would let him in the Ancestral Family Land when the time was ripe, and everything would be solved.
A condition for entering the Ancestral Land was to make a contribution to the Merlin Family.
Even Ofran didn't find this difficult. For a wealthy business, casually helping the Merlin Family with a deal could be considered an achievement.
At that time, he would make him enter the Merlin Family Ancestral Land and everyone would be happy.
From hearing that "Sir", Ofran realized that this Merlin Family's offspring he had just met for the first time wouldn't be as easy to deal with as he thought.
"Regarding the matter of your entry to the Ancestral Land..." Ofran wanted to explain.
But his mind was in a mess at this moment. After all, he was an Archmage and the Patriarch of the Merlin Family. He had agreed to his terms before, yet he had broken his word to a youth decades younger than himself. If this spread out, people would ridicule him.
"It's fine, Sir Ofran..." Lin Yun smiled, a calm expression on his face, "I only want to know what do I have to do to become eligible to enter the Merlin Family Ancestral Land."
"This..." Ofran felt embarrassed when he heard that.
Entering the Ancestral Land wasn't that difficult usually.
But for some reason, the Elder Council was unyielding this time so Ofran didn't dare to promise anything.