After hearing this order, Justin was slightly taken aback.
Then he simply agreed, “Okay, sir. Please follow me.”
Justin remembered that in Master Viscount’s study, there should indeed be some things that outsiders should not know.
Although Justin was not barred from entering the study, he had never sneaked in.
This was the manifestation of his wisdom.
—The more you know, the faster you die.
Justin was just working here anyway. His main purpose was to seek food and shelter. He knew in his heart that those who loved to inquire about the employer’s secret would die inexplicably.
So, Justin never poked around sensitive stuff.
In this way, his reputation would become better. After leaving Viscount Barber, it would be convenient for him to find his next employee with a letter of recommendation.
He isn’t Don Juan Geraint, but someone under Chilly Austere’s Grand Duke.
Maybe the viscount and the grand duke are initially in the same team. Or they have reached an agreement.
Taking a step back, if Chilly Austere’s Grand Duke had ill intent to Master Viscount, was Justin capable of protecting his Master Viscount?
Worse still, that old man might sell Justin off.
Justin was not stupid.
Alvin Barber was not his ‘actual’ lord but his employer. Viscount Barber only took care of his salary and food matters. In exchange, he was only tasked to kill or persuade the Transcended who invaded the territory. There was nothing more than that.
It was wiser for Justin not to offend enemies, not within the scope of Justin’s responsibilities.
Annan Chilly Austere was classified as Transcended.
But his status was much higher than the ordinary Bronze Rank Transcended. Under normal circumstances, Annan showing his face was enough to achieve what Bronze Rank Transcended could do. However, the reverse of said situation would not hold true.
This was fate.
Justin sighed silently.
They soon came to Alvin’s study.
“Inside is Master Viscount’s study.”
He respectfully said to Annan, who was at least two heads shorter than him, “Your Excellency Annan, what else do you need?”
“Can you come in with me, Brother Justin?”
Like a 14 years old child, Annan raised his head and said in a soft and immature voice to the burly man who was close to 1.9 meters. “I’m worried that I’m not tall enough for certain files.”
Annan complimented the slightly more estranged address with a more amiable “brother.”
Justin couldn’t be wary of this child with clear eyes.
Justin didn’t pay much attention previously. But he simply found this young noble a polite and good boy.
Although with his status, it was not right to pity a Big Shot like Annan. Worse still, Annan was someone from the enemy’s territory.
But seeing Annan hustling around alone at a young age, Justin still felt that it must not be easy for this young boy.
At least, if it was Justin himself, he was not as good as Annan at this age.
But Annan could be so innocent. Presumably, he had never encountered any setbacks.
Oh, he’s worthy of being a big shot.
What a nice boy.
Annan asked again. His voice was soft, and his eyes were clean. Though, his tone was troubled, “Is it inconvenient?”
“It’s fine,” Justin came back to his senses with an awkward smile on his fierce-looking bald head. He tried his best to say gently, “I’ll just follow you in.
“Are you still staying for dinner today? I just told the kitchen to make more delicious food.”
“Probably.” Annan made a prompt response on the spot.
Then, he thought about it seriously, showed a bright smile, and replied happily, “I think I should stay for dinner.”
Annan’s words seemed serious with careful consideration.
Anyway, Black Fire isn’t needed to exterminate the viscount. This manor will not be detonated as well.
Since the kitchen will be serving dinner, it is better to stay here for dinner after killing Alvin.
It would be a shame to waste food.
Annan followed Justin into the study with the purpose to safeguard against possible traps.
Justin also knew Annan’s purpose as well. After all, he was a senior hunter. He was aware of Annan’s intention.
“Thank you, Brother Justin.”
After Annan entered the room, he greeted Justin again.
Seeing such a big shot treated him so respectfully and friendly, Justin couldn’t help but sigh.
For some reason, the dissatisfaction he harbored in his heart dissipated.
“I want to read the most recent letter.”
Annan said softly.
Justin nodded, “Well, it should be here…”
Annan had his way of tackling this situation.
He was not just bluffing or enacting a persona.
It was a wise tactic to tackle varying people on their weaknesses. Justin was someone amenable to coaxing but not coercion.
When Annan interacted with Justin, he realized Justin’s needs were different from Alvin’s.
Annan did not need to seize the right to speak and did not need to establish authority. Instead, Annan wanted to relax Justin’s vigilance.
Annan noticed that Justin was not a sluggish type. On the contrary, he had a keen judgment on human psychology, and his conduct was cautious. He liked to think before acting.
This often meant that Justin had lost something important.
Justin stayed alone for a long time outside his home. Judging by his age, he most likely was a parent or wedded.
When Justin walked, he was always alert to his surroundings and loved to look at the path instead of looking at people. He appeared restless at all times, which meant that he had low self-esteem hidden in his heart. When he first met Annan, he was very enthusiastic to greet Annan with Chilly Austere Dukedom’s etiquettes. This showed that he admired people of high status but were less capable than him.
This also meant that Justin desired status.
Every man—or strictly speaking, everyone, had a desire to be a “hero” in their heart. This was also the core interest of various teamwork or team competition games from ancient times to the present.
Having robust power in defeating enemies perfectly and gorgeously. That was strength;
Having keen judgment in countering the enemy’s strategy. That was wisdom;
Being capable of leading teammates to defeat the enemy. That was leadership;
Having gentle and pragmatic qualities in protecting teammates. That was the ability to protect the family.
One of the essences of competitive games was guiding people to become “heroes” and test their abilities as “heroes.”
In this process, the game would tell the players who “I” was, why “I” should be proud and give meaning to “I.” All in all, the game was targeted to fulfill the crowd’s desire for self-realization.
When a person felt that he had become a hero, their self-esteem and self-confidence would be strengthened. They would find more worth in themselves. The world around them would become friendly. At this time, the first person who came into contact with them would share this joy. As a result, the “hero’s” view of that particular person would also improve significantly.
This was one reason why you would feel that your friends had become friendlier and more enjoyable after you won along with your friends. This sense of intimacy would be significantly greater than the sense of trust that came from “getting a common victory.”
Annan’s approach to Justin was to bypass the whole process and tackle Justin’s heart.
Annan flexibly utilized the noble status of “Annan Chilly Austere” to continuously raise the opponent’s “sense of status;” he expressed himself weakly to appeal to the opponent’s “sense of power” by contrast. Then, he hid his leadership and turned to admire Justin like a child to strengthen Justin’s “self-acknowledgment.”
Annan would give Justin what he lacked.
Whatever Justin wanted, Annan would give him.
Annan made Justin briefly become his own “hero.”
With that, how could Justin still be vigilant to Annan?
Typically, it was easier to abuse kind people than evil people. But for Annan, evil people were far easier to manipulate than kind people. This was Annan’s art of assassination.
This was because evil people were always more inclined to believe in themselves than kind people. That self-belief and self-interest were often their initial motivation for doing evil deeds too.
For example, Justin, as a curse hunter, utilized murder as a means of making a living.
Such people would tend to have an inexplicable sense of superiority towards kind people.
It was like a wolf watching a sheep.
But the question was, were those in sheep’s clothing necessarily a sheep (Annan)?
He was polite to Annan, of course not because Annan looked good.
It was not because Justin was kind to this young boy.
It was because Annan could give Justin what he wanted.
It was because Annan’s status was higher, and yet he looked silly and kind-hearted. So it seemed easy to get close to Annan.
Just like those hired thugs who were polite to the son of Boss X and the daughter of Boss X.
“Brother Justin, can you help me grab the photos over there?”
Annan pointed at the height of a particular bookshelf, “I can’t reach.”
“Photo? Hmm… Which one are you talking about? This…or…”
Justin raised his hand laboriously, stepped on the stool, and reached out to touch the top of the bookshelf.
Annan took the hammer out of his pocket silently and hid it in his sleeve. Then, he lightly knocked on Justin’s calf.