Wu Yan's cold words turned Woodman & co into petrified statues.
Wu Yan sighed as he could read the confusion on their faces.
"It seems you guys have been sitting on your high and mighty seats for too long, you think you can go around ordering and questioning people as you please..."
Wu Yan made sure they can hear his sarcastic tone.
"Do you think I am obligated to answer your questions?"
Kotori bitterly smiled when she heard Wu Yan. Woodman stayed mum despite flinching initially. The other members were goaded by Wu Yan's inflammatory remarks.
"What do you mean?"
Growled one of the Round Table members seated in the left-most seat.
"Are you taunting the Round Table?"
"Now, that's a good question."
Wu Yan amused himself with the member's reaction. He continued berating the member.
"First, I don't answer to any one of you. Second, I am not someone who received favors from you people, unlike your other organizations. I don't even get paid for my work. I only came here to meet you all because my sister asked me to. Other than that, I don't have to do anymore."
"Plus, I am sure this isn't the first time you guys snooped around me. I am sure you had fun watching me and investigating dirt on me in the background. How dare you question me when your furtive efforts fail..."
Wu Yan chided them with his deep red eyes.
"Now, I ask again, why should I answer your questions?"
His words were like buckets of cold water. The fuming Round Table cooled down.
It is true, Itsuka Shido, rather, the man known as Wu Yan isn't a member of their organizations.
Why should he answer them?
"I thought you're one of Ratatoskr's subsidiary members..."
Another member on the left side of the table interrupted.
"Ratatoskr is under the Round Table. By indirect subordination, that makes you report to us."
"Yeah! That's right!"
The other members got excited. Wu Yan just gave them a brief answer.
"I joined Ratatoskr because I want to save the spirits who are at risk of capture and murder."
Wu Yan said.
"Again, I never benefited from my membership in Ratatoskr. In fact, I helped you seal spirits without asking for any sort of compensation."
"Is this the attitude you take with someone who helped you out for free?"
The left-side member retorted.
"You recruited a bunch of powerful spirits didn't you?!"
He snickered like a fox.
"More like, you're the one who got the lion's share of the benefits, am I right?"
Kotori shot the guy a cold glare while Woodman frowned.
Wu Yan stared at the guy for a moment. He asked Woodman.
"You sure this guy is one of you?"
Woodman stayed silent while the member whose integrity got questioned slammed the table before standing up.
"What does that mean?! You questioning my identity?!"
Wu Yan replied.
"The Round Table is focused on peacefully handling the spacequakes and spirits. The aim is for spirits to integrate with society and live normal lives, isn't that right?!"
"Did I just hear you say 'benefits'?"
Wu Yan took a step forward. It felt like a giant is peering down at the Round Table members. Woodman flinched while the others leaned back in fear.
"Are spirits just tools that can bring you 'benefits'? I am questioning your motive and your presence at the Round Table."
The member realized how he screwed up so he started panicking.
That was enough ground for Woodman to kick the shady guy out.
He is no longer qualified to handle affairs regarding spirits.
If that is true then he can no longer touch Realizers and the truth regarding spacequakes. At least, he will be demoted. At worst, he will have his memories wiped and truly be demoted to a citizen's level of understanding.
He cannot accept that outcome.
This risk is still manageable if the other members questioned him. All the members here are theoretically on the same level of authority.
But, that excluded the chairman.
With Woodman's authority, it wouldn't take him long to demote the guy.
He is finding it hard to sit back down. Between a rock and a hard place, the member wasn't sure how to move forward.
The member sighed in relief when Woodman apparently didn't mind his words. He grabbed the chance and sat back down.
Woodman apologized to Wu Yan.
"My bad, Wu Yan-kun, it seems like we started off on the wrong foot, I can't move well so you will have to accept my apology like this."
Wu Yan also calmed down.
"I am not actually questioning your motives. I am just saying the spirits are kind individuals who are honestly following me of their own free will. I didn't seek them out for reasons like world peace or order stability. I have my own reasons but my intentions for the spirits are genuine."
Wu Yan swept his gaze over everyone.
"I know the concept of benefits and profits cannot escape the minds of the people here. Don't let your greed and fear make you do foolish things. If you make a wrong move, not only will I suspend my aid, I will also become your worst enemy..."
Wu Yan announced much to the shock of the Round Table members. Kotori said nothing but her eyes were soft. Woodman also revealed a genuine smile.
"I am happy to hear you say that. I can say for certain your heart is in the right place."
Woodman feigned helplessness.
"It seems that is about as much as we are getting out of you."
"This is why I told Kotori this meeting is going to be boring."
Wu Yan shrugged.
"Don't worry, if you stand on the sides of the spirits, looking out for their well-being then you can rest assured that I am always behind you guys. That is the only guarantee you will get for me."
"That's good enough for me."
Woodman cast away his stern look. He turned back into his friendly-old man mode.
"I was going to ask why you need that many Realizers, but..."
"I know Wu Yan-kun will be able to put those Realizers into good use, somehow..."
Woodman gave Wu Yan the nod.
"I leave the spirits to you..."
Wu Yan and Kotori laughed at the same time.