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IRNDGL - Chapter 28: Philosopher

Hearing Silver’s glum voice and seeing her imploring silver eyes, ‘Life Mentor’ Lin Jie couldn’t help wondering if this dream just happened to suit his tastes.

The tranquil and soothing ambience of this romantic hill of irises was straight out of a fairytale. On top of that, there was a gorgeous lady for him to perform one of his favorite activities—dishing out chicken soup. 

This dream is beyond beautiful!

Assuming that Lin Jie’s ultimate dream of possessing all the books in the world had already been realized, then dishing out chicken soup to encourage others and lead them out of frustrations and difficult predicaments was another favorite pastime of his.

Seeing faces fraught with worry or those down in the dumps regain their positivity as if they had rediscovered their hopes and dreams would leave Lin Jie with a warm fuzzy feeling of self-satisfaction. 

According to Lin Jie, there was no such thing as pure and simple kind-heartedness in the world. Most of the time when Lin Jie helped others without asking for anything in return, he was actually gaining satisfaction from seeing the reactions of these people.

To put it simply, helping others in this way made Lin Jie happy. It was just regrettable that he only had a few regular customers that would return in fixed intervals due to his bookstore’s dismal business, resulting in him missing out on a lot of joy in life.

Thus, being asked for help in his dream immediately appealed to Lin Jie’s desire to dish out a dose of chicken soup.

Lin Jie pondered for a moment. Since this was a dream, he didn’t have to be that cautious and thus, he extended a hand and said, “How about sitting down and having a chat?”

A handshake, the universal symbol of expressing friendliness should be the most appropriate method here, Lin Jie thought to himself.

Silver had a slightly bewildered look on her face as she eyed Lin Jie’s hand and hesitated. Finally, she raised her own hand and gently placed it in his palm.

Soft, yet ice-cold.

This was what Lin Jie immediately felt. He tightened his grip on the lady’s hand, shook it, and sat down together on the flower bed where she had been lying on previously.

Lin Jie casually sat cross-legged and decided to first understand more about this “person in the dream” before he could tailor-make some chicken soup to soothe her soul.

“Have you always been alone in this dream?” asked Lin Jie.

Silver tilted her head, her long hair falling to cover the side of her face. “No one has ever come in before, nor has anyone been able to enter. You are the first.”

Ahh… So it’s a character design like Rapunzel...

Perhaps certain conditions make her unable to come into contact with others and she has to lead a life of solitude in eternal slumber within this beautiful flower bed.

It sounds very much like a fairytale.

Lin Jie felt that problems of this sort were the easiest to resolve. Compared to those that felt lonely in noisy and lively places, this issue seemed purely… like boredom.

This could be easily helped by fostering some hobbies. Of course, the most effective way of progress was to actually leave this place, make some friends, and fill one’s life with enrichment. 

However, this being just a figment of his dream made Lin Jie suddenly feel a little uncomfortable.

“It’s solitude and loneliness that is causing you to feel this way.” Lin Jie said softly, “It’s because you have always been all by yourself and never understood that you are lonely. You’ve even lost the semblance of time because you are always repeating the same things without any changes, resulting in a lack of novelty. All you can do is mulling over, and the more you ponder and think, the more lonely… and more painful it gets. 

“Many other people are like this as well. Philosophers, poets for example. Such geniuses often think far and deep, yet are unable to understand and figure out their conundrums. And as a result, they ultimately choose to kill themselves.” 

Therefore, the saying that ignorance is bliss was rather true..

“Thoughts...are the root of pain. Because they aren’t able to understand me, they fear me, and distance themselves from me,” Silver muttered, looking pensive.

Lin Jie was also being pensive as well. Looks like there’s a bit of a “philosopher’ in her character design. From what it sounds like, she’s probably viewed as a freak in the eyes of ordinary people due to her way of thinking and finally chose to cut herself off from the world.

Lin Jie suddenly made up his mind. So what if she was a person in his dream. There were never any conditions required when it came to making friends. Besides, a friend whom only he knew about was in a sense, romantic.

But whatever the case, he could only be a ‘pioneer’ when it came to helping this lonely lady before his eyes. Lin Jie looked towards Silver sincerely and said, “I think that I might perhaps be able to understand you.”

“I know,” replied Silver with a faint smile. “The moment you appeared in this dream meant that you understood me. You and I are of the same level… or perhaps, your ideas are of an even higher level than mine.”

Is this the way philosophers praise others? Speaking in such a roundabout way… is somewhat comforting.

Lin Jie had a slight suspicion that this was a mere flattery, but he cleared his throat and said, “If you put it this way, it means that I have been acknowledged by you… Now, I have a presumptuous… no, a most earnest request which I hope you can agree to.”

When facing someone with such long periods of ‘solitude’, it was best to let them take the initiative. Otherwise, she would surely decline out of habit. Thus, Lin Jie had to make it difficult for her to decline straightaway.

Silver eyed Lin Jie hesitantly.

Lin Jie put on his warmest smile, “Would you be my friend?”

“Fr-fr-friend?”

Lin Jie nodded. “Yes, a friend. The reason you are feeling lonely is actually because you are bored. Don’t you feel that this place is overly monotonous even if it is beautiful? Facing the same scenery all the time would result in it becoming tiresome sooner or later.”

Chuckling, Lin Jie continued, “Have you tried making a friend before? Having someone to chat with and share some everyday trifles would be much merrier than being all alone.”

When sharing was mentioned, the thought of recommending books came into Lin Jie’s mind. 

He was certainly tempted. However, due to it being a dream, he had previously only wanted to provide Silver with some psychological counsel. After all, they weren’t in a bookstore and Lin Jie didn’t have any books on hand...

Since this was a dream, I should be able to do something that isn’t possible in ordinary situations. For example, maybe producing a book?

By relying on his memory, he should be able to completely recall a book...

Thud.

Lin Jie felt a weight appear on his thigh. He lowered his gaze and saw a hardcover copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Lin Jie knew this book all too well. In his childhood, a translated copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales had been one of his study materials when he was learning Chinese. The story of Rapunzel was also from this book.

“Take this book… as a gift from meeting a friend for the first time,” said Lin Jie as he handed the book over.

Silver took the book, gently caressing its cover. “It’s been a long since anyone has given me a gift nor been willing to chat with me… I don’t have anything here except the tree, its fruits as well as the flowers and their nectar. If you are willing, you can choose one of these as my gift in return.”

BeetleBarker's Notes:

Grimm's Fairy Tales - Brother's Grimm
Special thanks to Tetra and Aco for the editing and proofreading.

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Special thanks to Tetra & Aco for editing and pr-ing
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Kofi: https://ko-fi.com/beetlebarker
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/beetlebarker
BeetleBarker's Discord:  https://discord.gg/bEr3QYN
IRNDGL Manhua translation by Zeroscans
Written by Great Calamity Of Fire (万劫火). Translated by BeetleBarker.