"The younger generation is truly getting more and more..." Joseph was repeating what he had just said, when he noticed that young and familiar face.
The room then became silent.
Joseph seemed frozen, his mouth wide open. His eyes were filled with shock and fear. It wasn't clear whether it was because he was too frightened, but he looked as if someone was grasping his neck. He opened and closed his mouth repeatedly but could only let out a meaningless sound.
"Please do continue, Joseph, more and more what?" Ross Merlin entered the room while looking rather irritable. Although he had a smile on his face, his gaze didn't look amused.
"More and more..." Joseph gulped as he looked at Ross, unable to finish his sentence.
"More and more..." Joseph was scared to the point of getting teary-eyed. What could he say? The one standing before him was Ross Merlin, one of the three geniuses, a powerful competitor to become the next patriarch. He confronted a thousand Raging Flame Beastmen in the Crimson Fort. He had killed more people than Joseph had ever seen. Even if Joseph were a hundred times bolder, he wouldn't dare offend him.
When he saw Ross enter, Joseph wished he could slap himself. 'Why was I so stupid to insult the younger generation? Now, Ross, one of the geniuses of that generation, showed up. What should I do now, should I really repeat what I said?
'No way... I'm only fifty, I still have a lot of years ahead of me...'
"Ross... Young Master Ross, I was naturally not talking about you. I was only... I was only saying this to Mafa, my words were aimed at him..." Facing the pressure from Ross, Joseph was struck by inspiration. "This Mafa Merlin is too impudent, he truly doesn't care about the Elders. I was referring to people like Mafa Merlin when I mentioned the younger generation, not you. Don't misunderstand..."
Joseph spoke while cautiously observing Ross' expression. In Joseph's eyes, his words were extremely fitting. He was shirking the blame while sucking up to Ross. And these words would definitely leave Ross with a bad impression of Mafa.
He could hardly protect himself, so how could he care about a new member of the Merlin Family?
If it hadn't been for Mafa Merlin, he surely wouldn't have offended Ross. Using him to avoid the blame was just taking cheap advantage of him.
"Young Master Ross, this really can't be blamed on me. People like Mafa Merlin only spend their time asking what the Family can give him, but they disregard the Family when they are asked something. Some people truly can't be compared with others. Young Master Ross already conquered the Crimson Fort in your twenties, comparing you to people like Mafa is like comparing heaven and earth..." Joseph became more and more energetic as he spluttered, while shaking his head with a lamenting expression.
He was shaking his head and gesturing so exaggeratedly that he didn't even notice that the more he talked, the worse Ross' expression became.
"Locusts like Mafa Merlin should be removed from the Family..."
"Ah?" Joseph had been getting more and more excited as he talked. He'd planned on ruthlessly criticizing the thoughtless youngster, but he became confused when Ross interrupted him angrily. He stood there in a daze, looking nervously at Ross...
Joseph was scared silly.
'What's going on? What's going on? Did I say something wrong?
'I only spoke about Mafa Merlin, how could Young Master Ross be unhappy? How did I offend Young Master Ross... Are they acquainted already?'
"Do you know what you are talking about?" Ross almost jabbed his finger in Joseph's nose...
Joseph had always played an insignificant role in the Merlin Family. It couldn't be helped because he didn't have a backer and could only struggle for a decade before finally getting a position at the Elder Council... He was in charge of running errands. From that point on, that fatty relied on his position to use his powerful connections to intimidate and pressure people with the backing of the Elder Council.
Naturally, no matter how Joseph liked to bully people, he wouldn't dare try it on Ross. Thus, Ross would usually turn a blind eye to Joseph's actions.
But Ross hadn't expected this fatty to be so near-sighted...
'Really? He actually dared to try and intimidate Cousin Mafa...'
When he thought of the consequences, Ross started sweating. If not for Lin Yun standing right next to him, Ross would have grabbed that fatty's neck while he asked him what he was trying to do!
'Is Cousin Mafa someone you can casually provoke? It doesn't matter if you are courting death, but don't draw the whole Merlin Family into this... The Elder Council may already be acting noisy, but who are you to dare to come here with such an attitude?'
"Young... Young Master Ross... I... I was only..." Seeing Ross' expression worsening, Joseph's started to soften. He wobbled there, not knowing what to say.
"Fuck off!" Ross took a deep breath, suppressing the urge to kill that fatty with a Fireball.
"Yes, yes, yes, I'll scram immediately..."
"Hold on..." At this time, Lin Yun suddenly called out to Joseph.
"Ah?" Joseph stood there with a dull expression, looking at Lin Yun and then turning to Ross, not knowing who he should listen to at this moment.
"Ah, what!" Ross saw Joseph's expression and a vein started pulsating on his forehead. "Cousin Mafa told you to wait, didn't you hear that?"
"Yes, yes..." Joseph discreetly wiped away some cold sweat before facing Lin Yun. He didn't dare to appear condescending this time...
Joseph's position in the Elder Council wasn't as simple as going around and intimidating others. He also needed some insight. The situation in front of him was clear and simple: Ross flew into a rage and almost attacked him, but Mafa Merlin told him to wait and Ross immediately echoed his words.
Since it reached this point, how could Joseph not figure it out?
It was only now that Joseph truly understood the offense he had made.
It seemed that this Mafa Merlin wasn't just a kid who had recently joined the Merlin Family without any ability or backing. From this situation it could clearly be seen that Mafa Merlin's backer was most likely Ross.
Joseph couldn't help being regretful as he thought about it. He regretted not asking for more detailed information before. If he had known that this Mafa Merlin's backer was Ross, he wouldn't have acted like that. With just a few sentences, he had offended Ross Merlin. His future days in the Merlin Family might not be that great...
"Young Master Mafa, is there... is there something you need?" The more he thought about it, the more scared Joseph became. It reached the point where his attitude did a full 180°.
"It's not that much. I only wanted to ask which Elder ordered me to be questioned by the Elder Council," Lin Yun casually said with a friendly smile on his face.
"It's Elder Logan..."
"Oh?" Lin Yun was distracted for a moment before remembering that William had mentioned Elder Logan being Jason's grandfather, the unfortunate man whose head had been stepped on by William.
He was the leader of the Lorraine Merlins, one of the three main branches of the Merlin Family.
He had a lot of authority in the Elder Council, his influence so great that it was only below Patriarch Ofran's.
"Good, I understand..." Lin Yun nodded before he stopped paying attention to Joseph and sank into contemplation.
"What are you doing, still not fucking off?" Ross saw Lin Yun and knew that he no longer needed Joseph's presence. Thus, he immediately kicked Joseph's leg to drive this middle-aged fatty out.
"Let's go, Cousin Ross. Let's check the Elder Council and take a look at this Elder Logan. I want to see how much he wants the Gilded Rose..."
The two left William's sister's house, Lin Yun in front and Ross following behind him.
They walked for about ten minutes before finally reaching the Merlin Family's conference hall. This was the most sacred place, and it was only used when the Elder Council was convened. It would usually be heavily guarded anyways, but when the Elder Council convened, it would be surrounded by a hundred guards and not even a fly could go inside.
"Are you blind? This is the Merlin Family's conference hall, the place where the Elder Council gathers. Why don't you fuck off?" Lin Yun just arrived at the conference hall when a few guards blocked his path.