SYS (Novel) Chapter 268

C268 - Reliable but Unwelcome Flagbearer (1)

The council of elders was quite similar to the supreme court of the Vermont Empire.

There were three huge and imposing wooden podiums in the center of the grand council hall.

On each podium were the chief elder, the vice-chief elder, and the council secretary. All the other elders sat behind them in an arched formation.

The three individuals on the podium were respectively the leaders of the organizations affiliated with the council of elders: the Black Sword Guild, the Lawkeepers, and the People's Guard.

They were the pillars of the council of elders.

The Lawkeepers and the People's Guard were literally responsible for ensuring compliance with the Runcandel clan's rules and the protection of the people of Hufester. Meanwhile, the Black Sword Guild oversaw the general identification of friends and enemies.

They were the ones in charge of deciding whom to execute or assist, and they made decisions regarding the method of execution.

The council of elders held a great deal of power within the clan.

And the Black Sword Guild held the greatest power among them all.

Once they decided to kill someone within Hufester, an innocent person could become an enemy of the state overnight, and even clan collaborators could turn into traitors.

These old souls could eliminate anyone in Hufester, whether they were commoners or nobles.

Of course, despite their unquestionable authority, there were systems in place to keep them in check.

The patriarch and his partner, along with the twelve flagbearers, could exercise control over their actions. Specifically, the patriarch's order was absolute. This meant that even if the guild ordered someone's execution, the patriarch could veto the decision and have the name immediately removed from the list of condemned.

That's how Jin's name was taken off the Runcandel clan's hit list.

"Jin Runcandel?"

"Yes, Chief Elder?"

"Nineteen years old this year. Your name was listed on the Runcandel death order on January 1, 1798. And on February 9, 1799, today around noon, your name was removed from the list."

The chief elder - and master of the Black Sword Guild - Jorden Runcandel, raised his eyebrows as if greatly displeased by this.

His voice was frail and shaky, far from what one would imagine from a Runcandel. It was accompanied by a thin white beard under his chin, making it impossible to take him seriously.

"He doesn't seem like much, but this cousin of my father is a remarkable self-made man. He survived competing for the patriarchate against my father and still managed to gain some power."

The race for power within the Runcandel clan mainly occurred among the patriarch's sons, who were the flagbearers.

But in some special cases where the successor eliminated all the other flagbearers too early or there were particularly notable figures in the patriarch's cousin's families, things worked somewhat differently.

In Jorden's case, both scenarios applied to him. He showed his potential in his youth and competed in the ranking war against Cyron as a second-tier flagbearer.

Of course, the difference between Jorden and Cyron was like comparing a sparrow to a phoenix. But if he had faced any ordinary pure-blood who wasn't Cyron, most would have believed that Jorden was the phoenix.

He could have become the patriarch if not for Cyron.

"How do you feel?"

"I feel fine, Chief Elder."

"Sure. I'm sure this must be a pleasant occasion for you. But for me, this was quite an unpleasant experience. A wanted criminal voluntarily returns, only to become a flagbearer."

Jorden unabashedly revealed his disagreement with Cyron's decision.

"The whole clan knows Uncle Jorden's feeling of fear and inferiority in front of my father and his peculiar character born out of that issue. But I never knew he could be so audacious."

It was obvious why he was so disgusted.

Not only was he the highest authority in the council of elders, but also no elder would dare report him to Cyron for such a trivial matter.

Moreover, Jorden was a powerful ally of Rosa. The elders were all old and didn't have much in their favor, so there was no reason for common elders to go against him.

"Please calm down, Chief Elder. I, too, am quite displeased that a Magic Swordsman has become a Runcandel flagbearer, but he surely deserves a welcome, if only for today." The vice-chief of the Lawkeepers, Lin Milcano, spoke softly.

The former matriarch of the Milcano clan was also an ally of Rosa. This meant that the Black Sword Guild and the Lawkeepers, two pillars of the council of elders, were already fully supportive of Joshua.

The council secretary - master of the People's Guard - Telrod Runcandel simply looked at Jin without speaking.

"Yes, you're right, Vice-Chief Elder. We were supposed to celebrate the birth of the twelfth flagbearer of the clan. Yes, congratulations. Jin Runcandel."

After saying those words, Jorden waved his hands insincerely.

He was shooing Jin away.

"I expected this, but it surpasses my expectations. And to think they don't even mention the final moves."

Normally, the elders would congratulate the new flagbearers and give them instructions on the final and secret moves during their first visit to the council.

But with Jorden blatantly showing his disagreement, none of the elders could offer to do so.

Anyway, who cared? In the first place, Jin never expected much from them.

But Jin noticed a single elder who was watching everything with a deeply furrowed brow.

Jed Runcandel.

He was Jin's uncle who had instructed him in his cadet days. It seemed that he would tear Jorden apart right now if he could, but obviously, he had to deal with his frustrations because he couldn't say a word.

It was no wonder he felt that way. Seeing the boy he had mentored being ignored was no different from his own efforts being ignored.

He should give Uncle Jed a small gift.

Jin met Jorden with a simple look. "Thank you for your congratulations, Chief Elder."

"Sure. You can leave now. I didn't know you were still there."

"I wouldn't have survived if it weren't for you, Chief Elder." Jin's words had an immediate impact.

Jorden's eyes turned bloodshot. Bam! Jorden pounded the podium with his fist and stared at Jin.

"What did you just say?" His anger stemmed from the same reason that caused frustration in Jed.

That little boy who had just been appointed as a flagbearer had mocked him.

"I understand that you were also quite harsh with him, Chief Elder. In any case, it seems no one wants to teach him the final moves, so I volunteer to teach the twelfth flagbearer the clan's final moves before I become too old and weak to do so."

"Very well, as you wish. But, Elder Jed, I hope you haven't forgotten. There are quite a few final and secret moves that you cannot transmit without the majority vote of the council of elders."

Veins bulged on Jed's forehead. He was a common elder who was rather obstinate and temperamental.

On the other hand, Jorden and Lin were the chief and vice-chief elders who led the rest of the common elders.

It was obvious whose opinion the elders would follow. But Jed did not show his embarrassment and replied, "I'm not foolish. Of course, I remember the law. If everyone does not agree with my opinion, I will only teach him what I am allowed to."

"Then let's put it to a vote here and now. Elders in favor of instructing the twelfth flagbearer in the final moves, raise your hand!"

Jorden shouted, to which the entire council fell into complete silence.

Come on, old bags of bones. I know you're all afraid of Jorden, but seriously? Not a single person! What has Jin done? In fact, Jin should be congratulated for standing up against the Chief Elder like a Runcandel!

Not a single person raised their hand.

Even the one person Jed trusted, the master of the People's Guard, Telrod Runcandel, was busy avoiding Jed's gaze.

"Oh, well. The result is as you can see. It's a shame, Elder Jed. I suppose we can release the twelfth flagbearer now? You can do whatever you want with the remaining final moves that do not require the approval of the council of elders."

The Runcandels had ten final moves, seven secret moves, and three profound mysteries.

But the profound mysteries were not something the council of elders could teach. Aside from those, eight of the final moves and five of the secret moves required the majority vote of the council of elders to be transmitted.

Therefore, only the final moves and the secret moves that the elders deemed low-level could be transmitted to Jin.

Jed nodded, trying to suppress his frustration.

'I'm sorry, Jin.'

That's what Jed thought to himself, but Jin felt he had gained more than he had expected from the meeting with the elders.

Anyway, some of the final moves derived from the Battle God's Combat Technique and the Sword of Legends. Besides, I don't have an urgent need to improve my skills at the moment.

On the other hand, the discovery of a friendly force in the form of Jed Runcandel was quite a gain.

He thought it would be quite troublesome to persuade the council of elders if even his Uncle Jed had been on Joshua's side.

I can always deal with Uncle Jorden in due time. Actually, the master of the Lawkeepers, Lin Milcano, seems to be the toughest one. I wonder what this old lady's weakness is.

The Milcano Clan.

It so happened that Jin knew someone from that clan.

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