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 This was followed by an explosion as a Fireball blasted the guard blocking the path before he could say anything.

The surroundings fell silent.

"Let me teach you..." Ross waved his arm to extinguish the remaining flames on his fingers. He swore as he kicked aside a few guards blocking the way before entering the conference hall.

Most of the seventeen Elders were already there. They saw Ross and Lin Yun, yet no one greeted them. They were all discussing among themselves in groups of two or three.

"Looks like you don't have good social skills, Cousin Ross..." Lin Yun could see that Ross was even worse than he had thought when it came to relationships. This was the core of the Merlin Family's power. Every single person sitting there was an influential person in the Merlin Family, and their attitude showed the entire Family's attitude.

In other words...

The Merlin Family wasn't too fond of Ross.

Lin Yun had seen many such cases, but Ross was the only one that had reached this point.

Even Mason was better off.

He had some good relations in the circle of rich wastrels in Thousand Sails City...

"..." Ross himself hadn't expected that these old geezers wouldn't show him any respect and let out two awkward chuckles before cursing them in his heart. 'Shit, do you have to be so excessive? Would it kill you to greet me?'

As Lin Yun teased Ross about it, the doors opened once again as Aube and Leon entered, alongside a late Elder. The Merlin Family's seventeen Elders were finally gathered.

After Aube entered, he looked at Lin Yun with a strange smile. No one knew what he was thinking...

But Leon...

Leon staggered and almost fell. After barely managing to recover his balance, he looked at Lin Yun with a pale and terrified expression, as if he had seen a ghost.

"..." Leon almost forgot to breathe as he looked at Lin Yun.

He rubbed his eyes, but it made no difference.

He rubbed them again more vigorously, but he was still there!

'Shit, I'm not dreaming! It's really that Mafa!'

After confirming that what he was seeing was real, Leon was frozen on the spot, 'What's going on? Why did he run here to the Merlin Family? Didn't he already settle in Thousand Sails City? Didn't he agree to let me off? This is the Merlin Family, what is he planning!?'

"Hi!" Lin Yun greeted Leon with a warm smile when he saw him; he could be considered an acquaintance, after all.

But unexpectedly, Lin Yun's greeting frightened Leon even more...

"What... What are you planning!?" Leon subconsciously took two steps back, his hands covering his chest as if he was a young girl being stared at by a pervert.

"..." Lin Yun awkwardly scratched his nose. He hadn't thought that a simple greeting would actually elicit such a strange response.

Lin Yun helplessly shook his head and sat next to Ross.

But him sitting down didn't help Leon feel relieved.

That young genius of the Merlin Family was now looking at Lin Yun with a bewildered expression. He couldn't understand what was happening or when that monster had come to the Merlin Family. 'Is that matter still not settled? Does he want the Merlin Family to make it hard for me? This... This is bullying!'

Leon was extremely angry.

But he quickly calmed down his anger...

He couldn't afford to offend him.

Originally, he had hurried to Thousand Sails City to get him under his control, but because he hadn't been careful with his anger, he'd ended up being Mana Shackled, making him unable to use mana. If not for his teacher, Hogg, taking action, he might have been spent his lifetime without being able to use magic.

He originally thought that since his teacher had gone to take care of the matter, he wouldn't have to be so careful anymore.

But in the end...

The outcome was even worse.

They met Jouyi after entering the Gilded Rose...

Star Sage Jouyi!

The master of the Cloud Tower, a peak Archmage. Okland's closest powerhouse to the Heaven Realm. His name alone would make everyone shake, let alone the real one who stood in front of Leon.

In the twenty years he spent in the Cloud Tower, he had never caught a glimpse of the Star Sage, but he met him in an alchemy shop in Thousand Sails City.

And under those circumstances...

At that time, the master and disciple duo had stood there foolishly. Leon didn't even remember how he returned to Okland, he remained muddle-headed for a full month.

A month later, his teacher took him to the Pale Plane, where he spent a few months fighting magic beasts, continuously lingering on the edge between life and death. Under the huge pressure, he finally forgot the blow he'd suffered in Thousand Sails City...

The world of magic was like that. As long as one invested enough time and effort, it would surely reciprocate. Staying in that hellish place for a few months helped his strength advance greatly, and he was now a 7th Rank High Mage. He'd felt that even if he saw that Mafa again, he wouldn't be as scared as before.

But he knew he was wrong the moment he entered the Elder Council's conference hall, terribly wrong.

He was now a 7th Rank High Mage, which should have made him the number one mage of the younger generation in all of Okland, but even then, he was still scared when he saw Mafa Merlin.

At this time, Leon truly wanted to say, 'Shit, what are you planning, you already terrified me, can't you just let me off?'

But unfortunately, Leon didn't dare to say those words.

He would need to be a hundred times more courageous to say such a thing.

After the seventeen Elders arrived and everyone was seated, Patriarch Ofran entered the conference hall. He sat at the head of the table and looked around at everyone before saying, "Everyone is here, the meeting shall commence..."

Resignation could clearly be heard in his voice.

The conference hall was the place he loathed the most. Every time he came, he would be embarrassed by those old geezers, especially today...

Thinking of what might happen, Ofran couldn't help secretly sighing, 'This is truly unfair to Mafa...'

If he could, Ofran would stand up and say a few words on behalf of Mafa.

Unfortunately, Ofran knew that it wasn't an option.

As the head of the Merlin Family, he was often forced to take the big picture into consideration.

He couldn't do anything about it, as the wealth of the Gilded Rose was too significant.

Of the seventeen Elders, besides Leon and Ross, fifteen were united in demanding Mafa to hand over the Gilded Rose.

Even Ofran, as the Patriarch, had no choice but to tread lightly.

If he stood to talk of justice and fairness on behalf of Mafa, he would inevitably become the target of the entire Elder Council.

Especially Logan...

The proposal to make Mafa hand over the Gilded Rose had come from Logan. Standing against it meant standing against Logan. And Logan represented the interests of the entire Lorraine branch. Standing up against him could possibly collapse the Merlin Family.

Ofran couldn't help inwardly sighing again as he thought of this.

He could only give up on fairness in front of the Merlin Family's interests. No matter how outstanding Mafa Merlin was, he could only become a pitiful sacrifice for the Family.

Ofran threw a glance at Lin Yun, filled with apology and sympathy. That youth had returned to the Merlin Family under his continuous persuasion, and he had made a great contribution to the Merlin Family by eliminating the future threat, Stan Watson. It would be lying to say that Ofran wasn't thrilled about it, but the Gilded Rose that he controlled drew the envy of others.

"Today's first topic is the Planar Legion expanding the Raging Flame Plane. Thorne already sent three urgent letters telling us that the Raging Flame Beastmen's recent attacks were fiercer and fiercer. The losses to the Merlin Family's Planar Legion is disastrous, they have to be reinforced within the month. After receiving the first letter, we already prepared a reinforcement plan, and a conservative estimate of the cost put it at 30,000,000 golds. What does everyone think about it?"

After Ofran was done, Elders started discussing among themselves.

Lin Yun casually looked around and could see that among the Elders, Ross was the most isolated. While they were all discussing, Ross was staring at the ceiling by himself. It wasn't by choice. No one was willing to discuss with him.

Leon's situation was better, but not by much...

There was only a forty-year-old Elder willing to discuss with Leon.

Most of the power of the Elder Council revolved around two factions. One, a group of five Elders, was headed by Aube Merlin. The other faction was a group of seven Elders headed by an Elder that seemed to be in his sixties. Lin Yun could guess that this old man was most likely Logan Lorraine.

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