Grey soon started calculating how he would be able to steal the essence stones in the manor. It wasn't like he had any good relationships with the Smith family. If he could take from the Reiss family without feeling bothered, then he could obviously steal the entire reserve of the Smith family if he could without batting an eye.
They soon got to the hall in the main building, and even though the Earl family wasn't much in the presence of the Smith family, they weren't really a pushover either. If push comes to shove, then they will be able to deal some damage to the Smith family before they are eliminated.
The guard went in to announce the arrival of the head of the Earl family to the people of the Smith family who were inside the hall.
He soon came out, inviting Grey and the head of the Earl family inside.
Grey walked behind the head of the Earl family, the sight that welcomed him in the hall were extravagant decorations, statues of dragons, griffins, and other mythical magical beasts were placed in different places in the hall.
Looking forward, he saw what looked like an almost four meters high throne. Grey almost had the feeling of standing in front of a king because of the throne.
Seated on the throne was a man with a slim build, he had short brown hair, and his eyes were in a slit, it was almost like he didn't open them. He was Jean Smith, the current head of the Smith family.
Jean wasn't the only one in the hall, there were three people in the hall as well, all ladies. Twl of the ladies looked to be in their early thirties and a younger one who looked to be around eighteen.
"Francis, what brings you here," Jean asked while still in his seat.
He didn't even bother to offer him a seat. Usually, whenever the heads of the big families visit each other, the host would stand up to welcome them, before inviting them to take a seat. Although the Earl family can't be regarded as one of the big families, they were at the top of the hierarchy below the big families.
Jean's attitude was a blatant show of disregard to the Earl family.
Francis looked at Jean, with a sigh, he went straight to the point, "You've been asking for Zeke Hoover, well, here he is. I hope this will make amends for the error of my children,"
Jean looked at the youth covered by a robe who was standing behind Francis.
"Remove the robe," He said to Grey.
Grey had already looked at everyone in the hall, and to his surprise, Jean Smith was only in the Early stages of the Overlord Plane. If what he sensed was right, that was around the same stage as Francis.
Most people in the Origin Planes will not be able to properly sense the stages of those in the Overlord Plane. Even with Grey's high spiritual sense, he could only get a rough estimation.
He recalled hearing the Smith family was wealthy. Their wealth was what propelled them to the peak of the hierarchy in Frost City.
Grey was sure the heads of the other big families were in the Late stages of the Overlord Plane, yet, Jean was still in the Early stages. Although he knew he was no match for him in a battle even if he used the Fusion State, he didn't have a problem with escaping from him.
He slowly removed the robe covering his face, showing the few people in the hall what he looked like.
"To think William lost to you," The young lady in the hall was the first to comment.
She looked at Grey with eyes that clearly showed surprise. She had heard of his handsomeness from the people who went to the ceremony, but she didn't think he would actually be this handsome. Unfortunately, he was an enemy who would be killed soon.
Grey looked at the young lady, she was surprisingly in the same stage as William, the Seventh stage of the Origin Plane, and she was younger, this showed that her talent surpassed him.
"He didn't really put up much of a fight," He replied to the girl's comment in a calm manner.
"Hmph!" Jean snorted coldly when he heard Grey's remark.
Grey's casual and calm attitude left him suspicious. For someone who would most likely die given what he did, he seemed too calm.
"Do you know why you're here?" He asked.
"Yes, I heard you're searching for me, well, here I am," Grey shrugged with a casual expression, he didn't really show much of an emotion.
"I commend your guts for actually coming, but get this straight, you're not leaving here, alive," Jean said.
There was no use in hiding his intentions from Grey, he had always mostly been a straightforward person, well, on some occasions. ...
"Heh! I doubt that," Grey scoffed.
"Why are you so confident?" Jean was curious about Grey's coolheadedness, so he wanted to quell his curiosity.
"Cause the Emperor wants me," Grey replied calmly.
Surprise was written on the faces of all the people here, even Francis looked at Grey in shock.
'So that's his reason for being so confident. If it's true, then it will be impossible for Jean to kill him.' Francis heaved a sigh of relief after hearing Grey's words.
"The Emperor?" Jean asked, he wanted to be sure.
"Hmm, but I don't think I heard anything of the Emperor searching for anyone called Zeke Hoover," Jean spoke after a while.
Lately, there's been a rumor circulating amongst the higher-ups in the Qilin empire, the Emperor was reportedly searching for a young man.
"You don't really believe that's my name, right?" Grey asked while walking to take a seat on one of the empty seats in the hall, he was tired of standing.
Jean looked at Grey, he couldn't make a move on someone whom the Emperor was searching for, although he couldn't confirm it yet, he didn't dare to act rashly since the Emperor was involved.
He wanted to doubt Grey, but the fact that Grey knew about this either meant he was right, or he was like them, from one of the big families in the empire. They could oppress the Earl family because they were weak, and since the Reiss family was going through a rough time, they could still cause them troubles, but they didn't dare to start a war with them.
If Grey's family turned out to be one of those ones that had been formed even before the Qilin empire was created, then they would be in trouble.
"Father, don't be tricked by him. Why is he here if he clearly knows the Emperor is searching for him?" The young lady spoke up when she saw the hesitation in her father's eyes.
Jean looked at his daughter, then at Grey. He kept quiet for a few seconds before switching his gaze to Francis, "Since you've brought him over, I'll forgive you. You can leave now,"
Francis took a glance at Grey, after getting a nod from him, he turned around, leaving the hall. After finding out about Grey's connection to the Emperor, he felt a little bit less worried about him.
In the hall, Grey was left with Jean and the three ladies.
"Answer my daughter's question," Jean said.
He looked at Grey, according to what he heard, Grey had something the Emperor wanted but he's asking Grey to confirm if he was truly the one.
"I have something he wants," Grey said to Jean.
Jean nodded, according to what he had found out from other sources, the young man the Emperor was searching for had something he wanted. There wasn't much information about the young man though, so although most of the big families knew about this, they didn't know what Grey looked like.
A conflicted look appeared on Jean's face, this was not how he planned it to go after finding Grey. He initially wanted to get people to beat him up, then he would destroy his essence beads just like he did to his children, and then he would throw him into the dungeon while torturing him, but a single word from Grey changed all that.
Now, he was not concerned about his children's revenge anymore, but he was curious about what Grey had that the Emperor wanted. It's normal, any would want to find out why an Emperor would be searching for a youngster.
"What does he want from you?" After keeping quiet for a few minutes, Jean couldn't hold himself back anymore.
If what the Emperor wants was something great, then he would think of his next course of action. He would either hand Grey over or kill him and obtain whatever it is.
"I don't think it would be wise to tell you," Grey replied.
"Hmph! Even if the Emperor wants you, I could just kill you here, if he comes, I'll tell him I had no idea you were the one he was searching for," Jean snorted coldly.