If the Blood Moon Clan merely needed a small amount of Serum Grass, Lin Li could give them the Serum Grass from the swamp. Although the Serum Grass was rare, it seemed to be a useless herb to him. If it were a barren and useless swamp, Lin Li wouldnt mind giving it away in exchange for one less enemy for the Tower of Dusk.
However, the swamp area contained an abundance of rare magical metals which, although not the main materials for forging weapons and equipment, were absolutely indispensable. In the process of forging weapons and equipment, a qualitative improvement in the performance of the magical weapon could be achieved with just a minute amount of those rare magical metals. In addition to forging, the rare magical metals were also widely used in producing mageweaths, magical accessories, and Alchemy Arrays. How could Lin Li easily give up such important ores?
However, in the process of mining for the rare magical metals, the environment of the swamp would inevitably change, and gradually end up becoming unfavorable for the growth of Serum Grass, which was what the Blood Moon Clan definitely didnt want to see. Hence, it would undoubtedly be difficult to resolve the conflict, and the result of the negotiation would naturally be a failure.
During the period of time before the Ashen Warlock appeared, the various forces were in constant contact with each other. In addition to the problems between the Tower of Dusk and the three major forces, the other disputes between the forces would also have to be settled and resolved. In fact, the period of Ashen Warlocks absence was to allow them to discuss and solve their issues face-to-face. The Ashen Warlock was not a mediator, but the ultimate judge. Hence, the forces had all reached a consensus to strive to reach an agreement with each other before Ashen Warlock passed his judgment. Otherwise, when the time came, probably none of them would benefit.
A few days passed in a flash. Through the negotiations during this period of time, the various disputes between the forces in the past three years were basically resolved. However, the Tower of Dusk and the three major forces seemed to be completely in a deadlock. On one hand, it was because Lin Li refused to give in, and on the other, the three major forces were astonishingly greedy.
Outside the dilapidated gray tower, the two old servants of the Ashen Warlock were dozing off on the steps in front of the gate. The leaders of various forces gathered in the bare land in front of the tower, and waited for the Ashen Warlock to appear. Even now, no one invited them into the tower, but they did not feel uncomfortable at all. Just like during an open-air event, the ones who knew each other continued to chat with each other softly.
"President Felic, its almost time for the Ashen Warlock to make his final judgment. I still hope that you can consider our suggestions. Without your lives, all persistence will end up becoming nothing," said the Mogadi, the president of the Blood Moon Clan. He was trying to use the Ashen Warlock to pressure Lin Li into agreeing to his request.
After all, the swamp mining area was also a huge temptation to the other forces. Mogadi could not guarantee that the swamp would be given to him once the Ashen Warlock passed the final judgment. Hence, it would be better to make Lin Li transfer the piece of land to them in advance to ensure that the Blood Moon Clan would achieve its goal regardless of the judgment made by the Ashen Warlock.
Before Lin Li could speak, a mage with white hair and beard walked up to him, and smugly said, "President Mogadi, Im really sorry, but I dont think the Tower of Dusk has the right to transfer that swamp to you. The swamp originally belonged to the Thunderbolt Mercenary Corps which was established with the support of the Dida Family. The contract of affiliation is in my hands. Although the Thunderbolt Mercenaries were brutally killed by the Tower of Dusk, the swamp should by right belong to the Dida Family."
Seeing that the person who spoke was Lipdon, the elder of the Dida Family who had just arrived in Gran Town to attend the meeting in place of Charles, Mogadis face suddenly became gloomy, and he coldly said, "Lipdon, are you speaking on behalf of the Mithril Alliance?"
"President Mogadi, dont get me wrong. The Dida Family may be a member of the Mithril Alliance, but we can cooperate with the Blood Moon Clan," Lipdon said ambiguously and softly.
Ever since the death of the former patriarch, the Dida Family had always been in a tough predicament, and the fact that Charles and his team of mages were dismissed made things even worse. Although the five major families of the Mithril Alliance had been very close for thousands of years, their relationship was built on the basis of balanced power. Now that the Dida Family had suffered a huge blow, their power had been reduced greatly, and they were probably inferior to the four other major families. Perhaps they would soon be divided, just like what had happened to the seven families 1,000 years ago.
Hence, after Charles and others were sent back to the family, Lipdon and a few elders decided to find themselves an ally outside of the Mithril Alliance. In the entire Breezy Plains, the only ones that could rival the Mithril Alliance were the Blood Moon Clan and the Caesar Family. Besides, the Blood Moon Clan was also researching a type of blood mixing technology that could be used to greatly enhance the strength of the Dida Family.
Lipdon was not lying about the Thunderbolt Mercenary Corps. However, the Thunderbolt Mercenaries were just a small mercenary group of hundreds of members, and were not directly subordinate to the Dida Family. They were only linked because of two subordinate forces in between. Of course, if that piece of land had really belonged to the Thunderbolt Mercenary Corps, Lipdons statement would be correct to a certain extent.
However, upon hearing Lipdons conversation with Mogadi, Lin Li couldnt help but laugh and say, "Haha, unfortunately, the ownership of that piece of land was transferred to the Tower of Dusk by the Brilliance Shrine. As for the Thunderbolt Mercenary Corps, theyve simply occupied that piece of land without permission from the Brilliance Shrine."
"The Brilliance Shrine? Since when has the Brilliance Shrine extended their authority to the Breezy Plains? Ive never heard of that," Lipdon said in a hostile manner. Since he knew that Charles and the mages were destroyed by Lin Li, he obviously wouldnt be nice.
"Whats so strange about that? At the end of the Dark Age, some of the clergymen from the Brilliance Shrine came to the Breezy Plains to spread the doctrine of Holy Light and bought a lot of land. Although the mission did not go smoothly, the contracts and title deeds for those plots of land were brought back to the Brilliance Shrine. I think youd better check your own lands after you go back. Maybe someday, Felic might just bring the title deeds to you to take the land back," Hoffman said solemnly with a squint, trying to speak up for Lin Li.
As long as it was not a business negotiation, no one would doubt Hoffmans words. Besides, that part of history was no secret in the Breezy Plains at all.
Hoffmans words immediately made Lipdon and Mogadi turn speechless. At the same time, they could not help but be a little surprised about the relationship between the Brilliance Shrine and the Tower of Dusk.
The Brilliance Shrine was one of the most powerful forces that truly stood on top of Anril, and they were so formidable that all the forces probably couldnt rival them even if they were combined together. The Tower of Dusk had been established for only three years, yet they had already made such a huge achievement. Was it merely because of the personal ability of the young President Lin Li? There was undoubtedly some help from the Brilliance Shrine. At least, if they were connected to the Brilliance Shrine, the miracles created by the Tower of Dusk after their establishment would seem less incredible.
While being surprised, Lipdon, Mogadi, and the rest around them couldnt help but be reminded of a rumor that arose not long ago. The three groups of bandits that robbed the caravan of the Tower of Dusk were purged by a team of Holy Paladins that took a long time to do so, while the three Legendary leaders were not spared from the trial of the Holy Light.
The Holy Paladins were the pontifical guards that were directly subordinate to the pope of the Brilliance Shrine, yet they actually left the Holy Mountain for the Tower of Dusk. When they first heard the news, almost no one believed it. Even the spies of the various forces who had personally witnessed the trial conducted on the three groups of bandits by the Holy Paladins couldnt accept the truth from the bottom of their hearts.
However, the Brilliance Shrine actually transferred the contract and title deed of the land to the Tower of Dusk, which meant that they were probably not just cooperating in business. The value of the swamp mining area alone was incredible, and according to Hoffmans description, the Brilliance Shrine had transferred more than just the piece of land to the Tower of Dusk. No one doubted the authenticity of Hoffmans words, because the transfer of deeds was one of the businesses of the Glittergold Trade Union. It did not merely involve the physical handing over of the title deed to Lin Li.
All of a sudden, everyone felt their heart sink as if the sky had suddenly fallen. The heavy atmosphere made their breathing become irregular, and silence filled the air at this moment. Everyone turned to face the tower and kept their eyes fixed on its gate. The triennial meeting had already become a custom for them.
Indeed, under the gaze of everyone, an old and thin figure clad in a black robe slowly walked out of the tower. However, none of the people present dared to show a trace of contempt on their faces. Instead, they were all full of respect.
Is this the Ashen Warlock?Lin Li thought to himself as he stared at the old man who was clad in the black robe. In fact, some of them couldnt even connect the figure in front of them with the overbearing Ashen Warlock who was a famous legend. His beard and hair were all white, and his cheeks were sunken, while his face was full of deep wrinkles and obvious age spots. His wrinkly eyelids were drooping, and it was as if he couldnt open his eyes at all. He looked even older and much more haggard than a dying old man.
What made Lin Li even more surprised was that he did not feel any intense waves of mana from him, but instead felt some dense and lifeless aura. It was as if the old man in front of him had already or was about to die. However, Lin Li knew clearly that the old man was very different from Undead creatures. He did not detect any pungent odor of the Undead creatures from the oppressive aura. Instead, it was very pure and devoid of vitality, just like a withered tree. That reminded Lin Li of the dead Seed of Eternity that had once been in his handslifeless but not decayed.
Seeing that the Ashen Warlock was stepping out of the tower, everyone immediately rushed towards the steps; regardless of how glorious and authoritative they were on the surface, they were all rather respectful towards the Ashen Warlock now. The four patriarchs of the Mithril League that were led by Joseph, the wyrm-human hybrid of the Blood Moon Clan, Mogadi, and the patriarch of the Caesar family, Claus, were people who could easily make the Breezy Plains shudder. However, they all swallowed their pride and hung their heads low to greet the old man. Seeing that they had all rushed forward to greet the Ashen Warlock, Lin Li didnt immediately follow to join them. He felt that it wouldnt make a difference even if he greeted him later.
Roland, the Ashen Warlock, stood on the steps with his staff and occasionally nodded in response to all their greetings. The two old servants beside him did not seem to open their eyes at all, and looked like they were dozing off while muttering and complaining about how noisy they were.
After greeting the Ashen Warlock, everyone retreated and stood on both sides of the steps out of habit. Gradually, the number of people greeting gradually decreased, and the order was gradually restored. Lin Lis figure finally appeared. Just as Lin Li was about to come forward to greet the Ashen Warlock, the latter spoke first. He squinted at Lin Li, and said, "Kid, I heard that youre doing a good job in Doland."
"Hello, Dear Master Roland, you flatter me. I was just lucky," Lin Li said modestly.
Lin Li didnt feel anything special, but the big figures around him were flabbergasted. Ashen Warlock would invite them to the gathering once every three years, and everyone present had at least attended the gathering tens of timesMogadi from the Blood Moon Clan had even participated hundreds of timesbut no one had ever heard the Ashen Warlock praise anyone. Apart from the final judgment, Ashen Warlock would never say a single word to any of them.
Everyone knew very well in their hearts that even though they were all leaders of top forces and were Legendary powerhouses, they were still just tiny and insignificant ants in the eyes of the Ashen Warlock. The Ashen Warlock, who was high above the Breezy Plains and was a godlike existence that looked down on them, actually made a comment about an ant who happened to be the one that the other ants wanted to get rid of quickly
They could not help but guess what exactly Ashen Warlock meant. They had to figure out if it was a compliment, a sarcastic remark, or just a remark made in a moment of impulsiveness! Everyone began to speculate because of that remark, and their expressions changed continuously as well.
Among all the people below the steps, Lin Li was the only one whose expression was normal, followed by Hoffman whose face did not change much. Of course, Hoffman was also taken aback by the Ashen Warlocks words, but after being shocked, he was delighted for Lin Li and the Tower of Dusk.