"Is that a joke? Mafa Merlin is a 1st Rank High Mage, aren't there many more people in the Elder Council that can protect the Gilded Rose? I, Aube Merlin, am a 5th Rank High Mage, a whole tier higher than Mafa. Moreover, I'm also a Master Alchemist. Tell me, do you think I don't have the ability to protect the Gilded Rose?"
"..." Hearing these words, Leon looked at Aube with a strange smile. After a pause, he chuckled, "Haha, Master Alchemist?"
"Is there a problem with being a Master Alchemist?" Aube didn't know why, but he lacked confidence.
"Forget it, Aube, you just don't know. In short, I'm telling you that the Gilded Rose isn't as simple as it looks..."
"Okay, okay, Aube, Leon, stop being noisy..." Logan intervened at this moment. "Everyone is working for the interests of the Merlin Family, there is no point in quarrelling needlessly over a trivial matter. The purpose of our Elder Council's meeting is to discuss whether the Gilded Rose should be managed by the Elder Council. Now, the Elder Council has already made its decision. Mafa Merlin must hand over the Gilded Rose and let it be managed by the Elder Council temporarily. Once he matures, it will be handed back to him."
"Haha..." Leon sneered, but no longer said anything. 'What a joke...'
He had only spoken up to correct the error of that piglike teammate. Leon didn't intend on actually going against the Elder Council. He was only openly showing his stance. 'Mafa Merlin will end up cleaning this mess anyways, he doesn't need my help...'
"Since Leon abstains from voting, I believe that we have come to a conclusion. Patriarch Ofran, you should announce the outcome..." A proud smile appeared on Ofran's face.
"Hmmm..." Ofran thought for a bit, before clenching his teeth. "I think I have to use my veto power..."
"What!?" Logan's proud smile disappeared. He jumped up, startled, at Ofran's words.
The veto power was the greatest authority of the Patriarch, it was the right to make a stand against the Elder Council!
In other words, as long as the Patriarch disagreed with any decision, even if the Elder Council decided on it unanimously, the Patriarch could use that right to set aside that decision for an indefinite period of time.
In the entire history of the Merlin Family, the veto power was used less than ten times.
Because it was a double-edged sword.
Once used, it meant that the Patriarch was no longer standing with the Elder Council. It was often that anything the Patriarch would approve of from then on would be rejected by the Elder Council and anything the Patriarch disagreed with would be approved by the Elder Council.
And the most terrible part was...
The veto power had its own restriction.
It could only be used once every three years.
In other words, after the Patriarch used that right, he would be unable to exercise his greatest authority as a Patriarch for three years. It would normally be fine, but once the Patriarch lost his veto right, he would thoroughly become a puppet of the Elder Council.
The united Elder Council would go right over the Patriarch's head.
This was a situation no one wanted to see...
Neither side would truly win.
Otherwise, how could there be less than ten instances of the veto power being used in the Family's history?
Yet, the always careful Ofran suddenly used this double-edged sword, shocking everyone. They all looked at Ofran as if they were looking at a crazy person.
'Is he insane? How could he use his veto power, doesn't he know that this would push the Merlin Family in a very dangerous situation by using it now? It might even divide the three main branches!'
"The decision will be put aside for the time being, and brought before the Elder Council again when the time is right..." Ofran's voice echoed clearly in everyone's hearts.
"How... How could you use your veto here, Ofran! You are crazy!" Logan completely forgot himself. He pointed at Ofran, a vein pulsating on his forehead and his eyes almost coming out of their sockets. "I don't agree! I definitely don't agree!"
"Elder Logan, it doesn't matter if you don't agree, the veto power of the Patriarch can freeze any decision. You are the most reputable Elder of the Merlin Family, don't tell me that you don't understand this?"
"Ofran, don't forget that besides being an Elder, I am also the Patriarch of the Lorraine branch..."
"Hmm?" Ofran frowned when he heard Logan's words...
In an instant, the entire conference hall turned silent.
It was scarily quiet, to the point that if a fly flew in there, it would attract everyone's attention.
Everyone could feel the oppressive atmosphere in the conference room.
Something huge was about to happen.
And sure enough...
"On behalf of the Lorraine Merlins, I impeach you. I believe that you are unqualified to act as the Patriarch of the Merlin Family. Your actions aren't for the benefit of the Merlin Family. Who is in favor!? Who disagrees!?" Logan roared with a hoarse voice as he looked at Ofran with crimson eyes.
Of course, one arm after the other was raised following Logan's declaration.
"I am in favor."
"I am in favor."
"I am in favor."
In an instant, over half of the Elders agreed with the impeachment and raised their hands.
Eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve...
It was over...
Soon, two-thirds of the Elders were in favor. In other words, the impeachment was a foregone conclusion. Next would be Ofran's official statement... If Ofran couldn't give them a satisfactory answer, he would lose his position as the Patriarch.
Ofran sighed as he shook his head. He didn't plan on defending himself, nor would he try to salvage the situation. He knew that it would all be in vain.
In these Elders' eyes, he was blocking their path...
They had a fanatical longing for the value shown by the Gilded Rose. To them, it meant endless wealth and a way to become rich overnight. Faced with such incredible benefits, none could resist, making them view others as obstacles.
Standing up at such a time meant becoming everyone's enemy.
Ofran didn't feel anger when he saw them all standing against him... He only felt exhaustion, as well as worry for the future of the Merlin Family.
He didn't feel anything wrong about being impeached. In fact, he would have done the same were he in Logan's shoes. Ofran was only worried about the consequences once Mafa Merlin shed all pretense of cordiality due to the Elder Council's decision. He was worried that the Merlin Family wouldn't be able to handle it...
A disaster might occur...
"I'm a bit curious..." Just as everyone thought that this matter was set in stone, Lin Yun, who had been sitting on his chair in silence since the start, slowly stood up.
"Mafa Merlin, you have no right to speak!" Logan had been in an extremely good mood after successfully impeaching Ofran, so he rudely berated Lin Yun when he heard him talking.
"Haha, Elder Logan, everyone seems to have been discussing the Gilded Rose. If I'm not wrong, the Gilded Rose is under my name, isn't it? Shouldn't I have the right to ask a few questions since you are discussing my assets?"
"..." Lin Yun's words shut Logan up. The Gilded Rose hadn't been given to the Elder Council yet, and it was indeed still under Mafa Merlin's name, so he did have the right to speak.
Naturally, this was from a theoretical point of view.
The situation had reached this stage and even Ofran had been impeached. How could a mere youth cause any trouble now?
"I was sitting here and listening all this time. I came to the conclusion that the most important part that made the Elder Council feel that I'm incapable of managing the Gilded Rose is my strength as a 1st Rank High Mage being insufficient... Am I wrong?"
"Yes..." Logan nodded after hearing that. "Mafa Merlin, I am very pleased that you can recognize your flaws. Rest assured, the Elder Council will only manage the Gilded Rose. It'll still be considered yours after we deduct a management fee. Moreover, the Elder Council will return it to you at a suitable time."
"That's not it..." Lin Yun shook his head, he looked at Logan with a strange smile. "I'm just curious, who would the Elders think has the qualifications..."
"Well..." Logan thought for a bit before pointing at Aube. Although they were quarrelling earlier, they were in harmony when it came to taking over the Gilded Rose, so he reciprocated the favor to Aube. "I personally believe that Aube is qualified. He is already an Elder, he is a genuine Master Alchemist, and most importantly, he is a 5th Rank High Mage. He is the most outstanding genius of the Merlin Family, so advancing to Archmage is only a question of time.
"Aube, is it..." Lin Yun nodded before glancing at Aube.
For some reason...
Aube, who had been sitting there with a smile on his face, suddenly felt a deep chill when Lin Yun looked at him. It felt as if he was being stared at by a fierce magic beast inspecting its prey.