After Annan sealed his spellcasting ability, the mood eased.
After the mood eased a little, everyone subconsciously chose to agree with Annan’s previous proposition: It’s better to sit down and talk calmly.
After all, Annan took the initiative to suffer a bitter end in front of everyone.
Although no one acquired benefits, they would feel guilty at this time.
However, the level of guilt was not deep. If Annan harmed their interests, they would probably refuse it immediately.
But Annan just made a proposal that was beneficial for everyone at this moment; at least it wouldn’t bring direct harm to anyone.
Hence, they would subconsciously follow Annan’s harmless lead.
Of course, this was an opportunity for Annan.
If Annan could grasp the initiative in the following conversation, Annan’s words would still weigh in the next plan.
“Gerald” had no combat prowess, not high in status, had a poor background and average looks. But people would still subconsciously follow his instructions.
This was because of human instinctual laziness. No one would notice it unless specifically pointed out.
It was because it took a lot of energy to analyze “whether a new leader was trustworthy.” Moreover, standing up against authority would take a lot of energy and risk being isolated.
Especially when the leader did not have too much power to shake their fundamental interests, it became not worth it.
This model was somewhat similar to the election of class committees during school time.
Adjustments were allowed in principle in the election of most class committees. But often, students would not choose the best candidate but continue with the first choice.
Therefore, before encountering setbacks and temptations and before shaking the authority of the temporary leader, people would tend to obey the temporary leader’s instructions. This applied even if everyone was convinced that this person was not the best choice.
What Annan had to do was to be this “useless temporary leader” and let the crowd succumb to cognitive inertia .
If the crowd grew accustomed to following Annan’s instructions, they would subconsciously think about whether it was beneficial or not instead of questioning feasibility when they heard an instruction that was harmless to them.
Then, Annan could mix in some private tasks beneficial to him into the public decision. The crowd would not be aware of it.
Under Uncle Ghirlandaio’s decision, everyone came to a tea room.
Although the disciples were dismissed, the tea leaves remained in the tea room. No one looted it away. They had not fallen to that petty level.
With the help of Benjamin, the alteration wizard, they quickly prepared the black tea. As per Annan’s suggestion, they sat down and decided to have a peaceful conversation.
Claire took a sip of warm black tea, and she was relieved.
She lay on the table lazily, as if melting into a mushy ball.
Maria’s icy blue pupils were assessing the crowd quickly.
“Speaking of it.” Maria suddenly faced Benjamin and asked, “I remember you are a famous mentor in Swamp’s Black Tower.”
“Are you questioning why I can be selected?”
Benjamin easily saw through Maria’s intention and directly confronted her.
He looked at Gerald with a complex expression and was silent for a while as if he was organizing his words.
On the side, the Idol wizard, Eugene Melvin, spoke for the first time after entering the White Tower:
“That’s because all his four students have died.
“Black Wizard David Gerald killed all of them.”
His voice was far away and ethereal as if divinity contained in it.
But his words made the crowd assess Annan again.
Many wizards knew this. But there were still some who had never heard of it.
Annan also touched his nose, thinking about what expression he should put up at this time.
In the end, Annan lowered his head with a wry smile and didn’t say much.
Annan muttered in his heart.
Is this the reason which Salvatore mentioned previously that it is necessary to kill Gerald?
According to time, Salvatore should have entered Swamp’s Black Tower by that time, but he had not yet become Benjamin’s disciple. It was because Gerald killed Benjamin’s disciple that the Black Tower put up a wanted notice on Gerald and expelled him.
But judging on Benjamin’s mannerism, it seemed that there were other stories here.
Looking at the look, the faces of the other wizards showed a little interest.
—Spill some tea for us.
—But, asking directly is too uncourteous.
“By the way,” Claire raised her head from the table, looking at the thin old man with sunken cheeks, deep eye sockets, and lack of energy. “If Her Royal Highness Mary is an Edict school’s wizard, then why has this one always been silent?”
“His name is Merlin Manning.”
Maria glanced at him and introduced softly, “It was our country’s ‘Winter’s Hand’.”
Hearing this title, everyone’s eyes shrank.
Legend had it that the Falteration Wizard, who froze his inner feelings, was an unsentimental watcher. He was from the Austere-Winter Dukedom’s secret intelligence department – the elite of the spy agency.
Hearing Mary introducing himself, the old man raised his head and stood up slowly. He got up and bowed deeply to the crowd a little awkwardly.
He pointed to his mouth and shook his hand.
Maria added, “Of course, he retired five years ago because of a leg injury. He has no tongue, so he can’t speak.”
Without a tongue, it was equivalent to not leaking secrets easily.
After all, the elderly Winter’s Hand knew too many secrets.
Even if the new generation of Winter’s Hand could stay guard on the documents and envelopes passed around, it was impossible to seal off potential verbal leaks.
Information could be encrypted, forbidden to be written down, and limited to number count on the information could be passed via verbal communications. However, there were Soul Snatch wizards in this world. With threats that a wizard could gain direct control of another person’s mind at close range, cutting off your tongue would prove to be a simple, convenient, and cheap solution.
Of course, they could resort not to cut off the tongue, but in this way, the involved personnel could only live in a designated area.
However, the Old Winter’s Hand cut off the tongue to reduce the work pressure of one’s younger generation. With lesser watchers monitoring him, it made his retirement life brisker.
But, no one dared to underestimate him even though he was the retired Winter’s Hand.
This was a wizard that specialized in hunting down wizards.
Worse still, many spies were Soul Snatch wizards. As a matter of fact, it was not easy to defeat the Soul Snatch wizard in a one-on-one battle. In addition to wizards being extremely resistant to mind control, Winter’s Hand’s capability in freezing minds made him proficient in hunting down and killing the formidable Soul Snatch wizards.
Since Winter Hand’s able to work until retirement without any obvious disability, this evidence was enough to demonstrate the terrifying fighting ability of this mute old man named Merlin.
“Since everyone knows each other.”
The white-haired youth, Eugene Melvin, with a divine voice, said, “I just had an idea, and I want to share it with you all.
“I think you may not have noticed it before. There’s a detail in the master’s suicide note about ‘the murderer cannot kill.’
“Do you think that the place of death of Master Michelangelo might not be inside the White Tower? If this is the case, then the murderer should be able to kill because he did not trigger the curse.
“But if Master Michelangelo died in the tower, then there are only two possibilities. The first is that the murderer has taken the master’s curse, then he should have advanced gold; the second is…”
When he said this, he paused slightly.
Everyone had understood what he meant.
After a brief silence, Annan was the first to speak.
He looked directly at this person with white hair and white eyes having a peculiar divinity, “We are in Master Michelangelo’s nightmare…”
No one could stay unfazed after Annan spoke.
“That’s possible,” said Miss Claire slowly.
The red-haired youth Kim also nodded silently.
Maria’s brows frowned in deep thoughts; her hands crossed in front of her chest.
Ghirlandaio scratched his hair troublingly.
Benjamin looked sad and sighed deeply.
The muted old man – Merlin suddenly raised his head, first looking at Annan, then at Eugene Melvin.
Melvin’s words gave everyone two directions for thinking.
As we all know, the dead Transcended would turn into a nightmare if no one collected the body.
Well, if Master Michelangelo had become a nightmare, how do they make sure they were not in a nightmare now?
If Master Michelangelo did not become a nightmare in the tower, then there was a flaw in the validity of the murderer being innocent.
If Master Michelangelo died outside the tower, the murderer was not entangled in the curse.
If they were indeed in a nightmare, then dying shouldn’t pose a problem, right?
Annan frowned slightly.
These two thinking directions lead to the same result: The candidates had no way to win.
They were forced to think about who might be the murderer and killed him.
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