"I've been a live-in son-in-law according to that woman's request for so many years, everyone now thinks that I'm just a useless piece of trash and won't pose any threat to anyone. What else does she want?"
"Don't tell me she still wants more from me? Did she send you here to take out the trash?"
On the streets of Medfolk, Harold Kendrick was in cheap clothes with a bag of trash in his hand. He had an indifferent expression on his face.
Standing before him was a well-dressed old man, who seemed to be perspiring in embarrassment.
"Young Master, you misunderstand, I'm here to pick you up, and she is your mother, it's not appropriate for you to call her that."
Harold sneered and said, "My mother? The way I see it, she is just a vicious woman blinded by greed."
"Back then, when my father had gone missing, she took the opportunity to take over the authority of the Kendrick family, and because she feared that my existence would affect her status, she even made up a huge lie about me attempting to kill her for power, then drove me out of the Kendrick family. Is such a person worthy of me addressing her as my mother? I even doubt the fact that she is my biological mother."
The old man sighed and said, "Your mother was also in a state of confusion back then. After all, you are the only descendant of the Kendrick family, and when she took over the Kendrick family, she had a great desire for power, so she would very naturally see you as a threat."
"She has now realised her mistake and deeply regrets it. Besides, she is currently gravely ill, and her health is deteriorating with every passing day. You are the only descendant of the Kendrick family, and she is waiting for you to go back and take charge of the overall situation. As one of the most powerful families in Country H, the Kendrick family can't be without a leader."
The only descendant of the Kendrick family? When the topic of identity was brought up, Harold's heart did not stir at all, he even felt like laughing.
"Having been adopted into the Merlin family as a son-in-law for all of these years, I have been ridiculed and shunned day after day. Had she ever shown any concern for all of those times when I was being humiliated?"
"Back then, it was her who had forced me to be the despised live-in son-in-law of the Merlin family, and now, because the Kendrick family needs a successor, she wants me to go back and take charge. Does she really see me as a dog, calling me to come and go as she pleases?"
"From the moment I was driven out, I no longer was a member of the Kendrick family, and the rise and fall of the Kendrick family has nothing to do with me."
"I'm just a good-for-nothing now, and I'm not fit to have anything to do with the Kendrick family. Go back and tell her to just give up."
After disposing the trash, Harold turned around and strode away, leaving the formally-dressed old man standing there with a bitter look on his face.
Although his identity as the successor of the Kendrick family was something great enough to shock the world, Harold had no interest in that at all.
Back then, when he had been driven out of the Kendrick family, he had lost all feelings for the Kendrick family.
He was now the despised live-in son-in-law of the Merlin family, a second-class family in Medfolk. He was a well-known throughout Medfolk for being a good-for-nothing.
No one had any idea that he used to be the young master of the great Kendrick family located in the Capital.
However, it did not matter anymore. It had been years since Harold first arrived at Medfolk, and had gotten used to being mocked and criticised behind his back throughout those years.
He had learned how to endure and restrain himself, as well as thinking thoroughly before carrying out his actions.
As soon as he got back to his house and opened the door, he was greeted with a mug flying towards his head.
If it had not been for Harold's swift reaction, allowing him to dodge the attack in time, he would have suffered a huge gash on his head.
"Harold Kendrick, calling you a good-for-nothing sounds like a compliment at this point. It took ages just for you to take out the trash, were you a maggot in your past life?"
A sharp and harsh female voice sounded, then an arrogant-looking woman with her hands on her hips came into sight. She was Harold's mother-in-law, Maggie Gillian.
"All right, don't waste any more time on him. Just hurry up and get dressed. The others have almost all arrived at my father's place. My brothers won't be pleased if we're late."
A middle-aged man in his fifties said as he came over, then he shot a glare at Harold.
That man was Harold's father-in-law, Keaton Merlin, the weakest link of the Merlin family.
"Humph, don't bring them up, it pisses me just to think of the looks your family members give us."
Maggie then left Harold to himself and turned to pack her stuff.
Harold did not say a word. He bent down to pick up the mug that had fallen to the ground and placed it back on the table.
After that, he turned around, and a beautiful figure with an indifferent gaze came into his sight.
The person was Harold's wife, Valda Merlin.
Valda had a graceful figure, she was voluptuous at all the right areas, and there were no traces of fat where they did not belong. Her long legs were exquisite, and her hourglass figure would draw the attention of any man.
Plus, she had a flawless face and sparkling eyes, it was no exaggeration to describe her as an unrivalled beauty.
It was also because of Valda's outstanding appearance that caused quite a stir when she married Harold back then.
Everyone felt that it was a huge waste for such a beautiful woman to marry a good-for-nothing like Harold.
Harold smiled when he saw Valda. He was very satisfied with his beautiful wife.
Even if Valda had always treated him indifferently, and even appeared disappointed with him.
Valda said in a warning tone, "How about you don't go to the Merlin family's banquet later? All of my relatives will be present today, them mocking and humiliating you will be unavoidable. Seeing that you are destined to be a laughing stock, it'd be better if you didn't go. At least that'll save me from some embarrassment."
"Everyone else will be there. It's not a good idea for any of us to be absent."
Harold said lightly with a smile.
"It's up to you then. Just follow behind me and be careful with what you say later. As for their gossip, you have to just endure all of it in silence."
Seeing how indifferent Harold seemed, Valda felt a little wronged in her heart.
No woman in this world would not wish for her own husband to be a successful man with an impressive career and great reputation, would she?
She had never wished for Harold to be incredibly outstanding, nor be gifted with both talent and looks, neither did she wish that he was powerful enough to rule the world. However, he could not even provide her with the most basic sense of security. He always had an unconcerned expression on his face, which infuriated and annoyed people, yet made them feel somewhat helpless towards him.
He had no power, no authority and no background, but he should try to be more capable, at the very least!
However, after all those years, other than doing the laundry, cooking, and cleaning the house, which he did quite well, it did not seem like he had done anything else decent.
She suddenly felt a sense of pity for Harold, but it was also a sense of pity for her own fate. She was in the best years of her life, was it her fate to marry such a useless man?
Harold showed no dissatisfaction for Valda's attitude towards him in the slightest, because he knew, that for all those years, their nominal marriage was indeed very unfair to her. After all, no woman would be willing to marry a nobody, especially when they had no feelings for each other.
What was more, he was well-known as being a good-for-nothing. Therefore, he could understand Valda's feelings for him very well.
Keaton and his family finished tidying up and drove off to the villa of the Merlin family.
"Harold, when we're at the Old Man's place later, you better be careful with your actions. You should know the person the Merlin family sees you as. If you embarrass us this time, I will definitely not let you off the hook."
Maggie muttered to herself, feeling extremely annoyed.
She also knew that bringing Harold along to the Merlin family banquet was bound to bring them embarrassment and there was no way of avoiding it.
When they arrived at the Merlin family's villa, the four of them walked in together, with Harold at the end.
At that moment, almost all the relatives of the Merlin family were gathered in the hall, it was a very lively scene.
The Merlin family, a second-class family in Medfolk, ran a large-scale family business under its name. It was considered a powerful family in the eyes of the ordinary folk.
Ever since the Old Madam of the Merlin family had passed away, the originally soft-hearted Old Master, Kim Merlin, began to take charge of everything in the Merlin family, every decision in the Merlin family had to be approved by him. Besides the late Madam, Nerita, he also held great credit for the development of the Merlin family up until that very day, and at that moment Old Master Kim had all of the family's financial power firmly in his grasp.
It could be said that the one who could win the favour of the Old Master, Kim, would be able to possess more power in the future.
There were lots of antiques placed on the exhibition shelves in the living room. The old man was introducing his collection to everyone with a proud look on his face.
His biggest hobby was collecting antiques, and regarded them as his lifeblood.
A group of family members surrounded the old man, all of them carried an extremely respectful attitude towards him.
In order to win the Old Master's favour, they showered him flattery of all sorts.
Even Maggie and Keaton, joined in fiercely. They praised him enthusiastically, which made Old Master Kim, laugh aloud happily.
Harold glanced at the shelf and immediately saw through the collection. In fact, the quality of the antique collection was not worth mentioning, and among them were two fakes, which were not even close to the real deal.
Back then, when he was still living in the Kendrick family in the Capital, he had seen treasures of all sorts and even met a true expert in that field. He had long been familiar with the knowledge of antique appraising, and his expertise in it was definitely much greater than all of those who were present.
Kim was smiling happily, but when he suddenly noticed Harold's indifferent expression, his face immediately hardened.
Harold was the only one who did not compliment his collection, as if he was the only one who did not care about his collection.
"Harold, you have been standing there for a long while, why haven't you said anything? Are you not interested in my collection?" Kim looked directly at Harold and asked.
Harold was stunned. He had not expected to be called out in that situation.
He immediately shook his head and replied, "No."
Everyone turned to look at Harold, with ridicule and reproach written all over their faces.
"Old Master, Harold is just a good-for-nothing, everyone knows that. He can't even see the difference between silver and platinum, what would he know about your collection? Don't bother wasting your time with him."
"That's right. He's just a househusband who does the housework every day. It'll be surprising if he knew anything about these."
"Haha, sometimes I can't really tell if he's really stupid. Even if he doesn't know anything about antiques, he could just say something nice at the very least. All he does is stand there looking like a know-it-all, what's the point of pretending anyway?"
All the relatives of the Merlin family began gossiping about Harold amongst themselves.
He was nothing more than a live-in son-in-law who only knew how to live off others. It would come off as a surprise if he were able to appreciate and understand such high-classed things!
Maggie and Keaton's faces darkened. Both of them shot Harold an annoyed look. Maggie whispered to Keaton, "I told you that we shouldn't have brought him here. He'd only bring us shame."
Valda's face also froze as she bit her lip. She had not expected to be embarrassed by Harold that early.
After all, Harold was her husband. Harold being an embarrassment meant that she also shared that embarrassment.
"Haha, it's no surprise that a good-for-nothing like Harold wouldn't know about anything. How could he be compared with grandpa, especially in artistic talent? Grandpa, don't bother paying any attention to someone like him. Just ignore him."
At that moment, a burst of ridicule sounded. Everyone turned around and saw a young man, approximately around the age of twenty-eight walking over.
He was the eldest grandson of Kim Merlin, and the son of Valda's uncle, Elton Merlin. He was Kim's favourite because he was his eldest grandson and had a very sweet tongue.
Most of them believed that the Merlin family's assets would be handed over to Elton in the future.
Elton carried himself around as if he was a man blessed by the heavens, so he had always looked down upon Keaton's family, and every time they met, he would make sure to mock Harold and belittle him. It was even possible that the fact that everyone in Medfolk saw Harold as a useless live-in son-in-law, was actually Elton pulling the strings behind the scenes, smearing Harold's reputation from time to time.
"Elton has a point. How could a good-for-nothing like Harold, be compared to Old Master in terms of artistic talent? Just ignore him, Old Master."
"The Old Master's has the best aesthetic sense in the Merlin family, and in my opinion, even the servants have a better aesthetic sense than Harold. It's very normal that he's unable to appreciate the Old Master's collection."
"Haha, it seems that Elton is the one who knows the Old Master best. They are both young men, but how can there be such a huge gap among them?"
"Forget it. Harold wouldn't even be qualified to carry Elton's shoes for him!"
One after another, they showered Ethan with words of flattery. After all, Elton would be the heir of the Merlin family in the future, they saw it necessary to be in good terms with him.
Elton walked up to Kim and glanced disdainfully at Harold from the corner of his eye.
After all, he was the heir to the Merlin family, he had to be seen under a different light every time he emerged, just like how the beauty of a red flower would be emphasised when accompanied with green leaves.
As for Harold, he was destined to be a green leaf for the rest of his life, or in other words, he could only be a stepping stone for Ethan to step up to a higher ground.
Kim's face relaxed a little when he saw Elton approach him.
"Grandpa, unlike a certain pretentious good-for-nothing, I've brought you a gift. Please take a look."
As Elton spoke, he turned around and received a scroll from a someone behind him, and unfurled it slowly.
Kim took a look and his eyes lit up. He exclaimed, "This... This is Leonardo da Vinci's 'Vitruvian Man'?"
"Grandpa, your eye for art is still a keen as before. That's right, this is an authentic piece of Leonardo da Vinci's. It took a lot of effort for me to obtain it." Elton said with smugly, everyone around him looked at him enviously.
Kim received the artwork and inspected it as if he knew what he was doing. In truth, he did not know a great deal about antiques. He simply enjoyed collecting them just to hear others praise him.
Most of the time, he was unable to tell if the item was authentic. Since Elton said that it was authentic, it probably was authentic.
Elton turned to look at Harold and said proudly, "You see that, Harold? That is an authentic piece of work from Leonardo da Vinci, worth 1,688,888 Dollars. How about that? Bet you've never seen something like that before, huh?"
"Haha, that's nice. I haven't seen that before, indeed."
Harold kept an unconcerned expression on his face, but he was secretly holding in his laughter. He had never indeed seen such an expensive fake.
As soon as Elton pulled out the artwork, Harold had immediately recognised that the it was a fake and had no collection value.
However, Valda had warned him to watch his mouth before coming to the gathering, so he just remained silent.
However, Elton obviously had no intention of stopping there. He tried even harder to show off his superiority in front of everyone, shouting,
"Harold, you'd better feast your eyes on this. A vulgar man like you would not have many chances to see art like this in entire your life. You should take a longer look at this, it'll help with curing you of your ignorance and brainlessness."
As soon as he said this, laughter erupted in the hall of the Merlin family's villa. Everyone saw Harold as a joke.
Valda, who was standing by the side, was fuming. Although Harold and her did not seem to be living an impressive life, Harold was her husband, that was an undeniable fact. Elton mocking Harold in front of everyone, was equivalent to him humiliating her family.
If she did not take any action, she feared that everyone would see them as doormats.
"Elton, you'd better not go overboard with this. Just get over with your gift, there's no need to keep finding excuses to make yourself look good through comparing others to yourself."
Harold was stunned by those words, he suddenly looked at Valda, and countless emotions welled up in his heart.
For all of those years, Valda had never spoken up for Harold, that was the very first time she did that.
"Haha, Valda, I'm just speaking the truth. He's just a useless fool who knows nothing, yet still portrays himself so self-righteously. What's more, I presented an authentic piece of Leonardo da Vinci's art to my grandfather, can he do the same? I'm just giving him a little lecture. What's the matter, is it wrong of me to do that?"
"What's more, he's a complete bum, why would I need to compare myself with him? But look at you and your family, you have a bum for a son-in-law, who doesn't know how to behave himself, don't tell me, you don't you know how to behave as well? You didn't even prepare a decent gift for the family banquet, have you guys lost respect for Grandpa?"
Elton sneered. His words were merciless as he called them out immediately.
Valda gritted her teeth in anger, her pretty face was flushed red with visible uneasiness.
Over the years, their status in the Merlin family only grew weaker, and in terms of financial capabilities, they came in last in the Merlin family. Even if they wanted to, they could not afford to present anyone with highly valuable gifts.
On the other hand, Elton's family was highly regarded by Kim, and ever since then they have prospered, and they could easily give away anything worth more than one million yuan whenever they pleased.
"You've got nothing to say now, huh? You don't even know to show respect to your grandfather, yet you have the nerve to show up at the family banquet? Hah, you'd better pay more attention in the future. After all, being filial and respectful to your elders is very important. If you don't even understand this, don't bother coming here and hang around us, lest you make a fool of yourself, am I right?"
Seeing how he had mopped the floor with Valda's family, Elton was extremely proud and happy with himself. He even seemed to speak as if it was definite that he would be the next head of the entire family.
The people in the villa even echoed in and pointed their fingers at Valda and her family.
At that moment, everyone from Valda's family became the common enemy.
Valda, who was , was so angry that her face turned red. However, because she couldn't refute it, she could only bite her teeth and bear it.
At that exact moment, Harold suddenly got up and stood in front of Valda.
As she stared at the back of Harold, who was standing firm and tall in front of her, Valda felt as if she had been caught by surprise, an inexplicable feeling rose in her heart.
Could that be... a sense of security?
But how could that be possible? How could a man known for being a good-for-nothing make her feel that?
Harold's face suddenly turned solemn. He pointed at the drawing in Elton's hand.
The words that came out of his mouth in the next second boomed like thunder across the entire villa.
"Leonardo da Vinci's work is famous for its perfect human proportion, symmetry and balance. The figure of the man is somewhat roughly illustrated, and his waist a little too thin. It is not at Leonardo da Vinci level at all."
"Besides, Leonardo da Vinci has quite a few styles when it come to his signature, but the signature in this drawing is 'Leo d V'. It is obviously a lousy fake made by people of the current era who have no knowledge of Leonardo's art."
"Yet you, see this lousy fake as an incredible artefact, and even dare to present it to grandpa in public."
"Elton, is this what you call filial piety? Now tell me, who is the one here who isn't taking our grandfather seriously?"
Harold's words were so sonorous and forceful that everyone shut up instantly. The entire hall fell dead silent.