IRNDGL - Chapter 10: You Failed?
"Yet another lackluster day of business," sighed Lin Jie as he poured himself a cup of tea before starting to read.
Days without any business was just but a common occurrence in Lin Jie's daily life. Three days had gone by since the day Old Wil and the affluent young miss came by. There hadn't been any customers during this period.
It was easy to lose track of time with the unceasing rainstorm outside. Only a handful of people came out to buy reserve foodstuffs in this gloomy weather that shrouded the entire city.
The pitter patter of rain and gushing water were the only sounds in the quiet streets. Water level in the roads had already risen to about ten centimeters high but fortunately, 23rd Avenue was situated on slightly higher ground.
According to the news, residents of more than thirty streets in Norzin had already been temporarily evacuated to other districts. Such abnormal weather had only happened a handful of times in the history of Norzin.
However, for Lin Jie, life went on as per normal, the only difference was needing to put on a jacket because of the colder weather.
He didn't need to worry about food because he had three months of reserves. A reserve generator meant that Lin Jie didn't have to concern himself with power.
Moreover, boredom wasn't an issue here.
This was a depository with all the books in the world. Lin Jie wouldn't be able to finish reading them all even if he possessed a quantum reading speed, much less now where he studied the books meticulously and made notes.
While Lin Jie wasn’t born with a compulsive reading disorder, hoarding books had more or less caused him to develop this habit over the years. Such a life was simply heavenly for a severe homebody like Lin Jie… just that he didn’t have much money.
“Ah, but it’s all thanks to that little dark-skinned lady that I’m able to lead such a meagre yet fulfilling life right now. If not for her support of the bookstore and assistance in helping me get an operation license and temporary residence permit, I really have no idea where I would be now,” mused Lin Jie to himself.
As Lin Jie flipped the page, he murmured with a tinge of disappointment, “She hasn’t visited the store in a long time.”
All those past customers seemed like very busy people. Despite their good relationship with Lin Jie, there were rather prolonged periods between their visits. Frequent customers like Old Wil were few and far between.
One such example was his very first customer, Qili, a young dark skinned lady with snow-white hair.
Qili had been in poor spirits from being bullied in school when she first wandered into this bookstore. At that time, Lin Jie had given her some counsel and recommended a book—Nonviolent Communication. Ever since that time, Lin Jie had yet to see her return.
Haa… She’s probably busy with her studies. But given that she could get my unlicensed shop registered right away and sponsoring a significant amount of money means that she’s probably an affluent young miss just like Ji Zhixiu.
There hadn’t been any customers in this horrendous weather for the past few days and the strange, unknown entity didn’t reappear again after showing its presence that day. After finally getting a sense of his calling as a transmigrator, Lin Jie started to feel like an idle person again.
Over the past three days, Lin Jie had dug out all his past works and gone over them. After all, with the mission of propagating his own books , Lin Jie would need to properly think about how best to advocate them.
Promoting academic works like these is a tough task. There are just so few people that have specialization like Old Wil. Lin Jie brooded.
A muffled chime from the bronze bell at the door suddenly sounded. Lin Jie was in deep thought and called out casually, “Welcome.”
Lin Jie closed the book and looked up, finally noticing the arrival being Ji Zhixiu who had first come by a few days earlier. He was slightly stunned at first, but quickly put on a professional smile.
Speak of the devil. Another repeat customer appears just as I was reminiscing about Old Wil. Hasn’t it only been three days? Is the business of my bookstore finally changing for the better? This lady may very well be a bringer of good fortune, I have to nurture her properly.
Lin Jie’s smile widened with this thought in mind. “Ah, it’s Miss Zhixiu. My shabby bookstore has never seen a customer return within such a short time. You are the first!”
Ji Zhixiu bit her lip, as she suddenly felt a wave of shame wash over her.
She should have resolved the whole matter in one shot having received such powerful guidance but yet, here she was running back to seek help midway through.
Am I the most useless one amongst all his “customers”?
She could sense that the bookstore owner wasn’t mocking her. Instead, he had on an encouraging and concerned smile, as if trying to spur on a child.
But this caused Ji Zhixiu to feel even more pathetic and embarrassed.
“I’m sorry to have disappointed you,” Ji Zhixiu abashedly murmured as she made her way to the counter and sat down.
Her attention immediately went to the sculpture on the counter top, nearly causing her to jump. A magician’s gargoyle?
That evil and devilish black sculpture was indeed a gargoyle that magicians used.
Although Ji Zhixiu didn’t sense any fluctuations in the aether coming from gargoyle. It was just as undaunting as this ordinary looking bookstore had been in the beginning. However, the owner had then brought out Blood and Beast, a book full of mystery. This bookstore definitely possessed something, just that it was hidden too well.
“Boss, is this where you wanted to bring me?” Ruen pushed open the door and entered, surveying the place suspiciously. “A bookstore?”
His gaze then went to Lin Jie behind the counter—An ordinary person?
However, he didn’t say it aloud and kept the suspicions to himself because he noticed Ji Zhixiu’s respectful attitude.
Lin Jie was pleasantly surprised. You brought along someone?
He glanced at Ji Zhixiu and asked, “This is?”
Ji Zhixiu nervously gestured for Ruen to keep silent and wondered if the owner was displeased that she brought someone else.
“This is a subordinate of mine. Please don’t worry, he is absolutely devoted to me,” she replied.
Lin Jie cast a sympathetic look at Ji Zhixiu and nodded.
Poor thing, having to use a “devoted” label to introduce someone after freeing herself from the shadow of a scumbag… Wait a moment, she shouldn’t be this devoid of self-confidence if she had thoroughly given that scumbag tit for tat. Furthermore, she did say “sorry to have disappointed you”.
Lin Jie observed Ji Zhixiu a little more closely and noticed the ashamed look in her eyes.
Then, he crossed his arms and said solemnly, “You failed?”
BB is still looking for an editor to help me with this novel!
Read ahead by supporting on Patreon
Join BeetleBarker's Discord to chat with me: https://discord.gg/bEr3QYN
Also, join this website's Discord: https://discord.gg/gC3RMvd