Lin Jie’s lips twitched subtly. If he wasn’t careful in keeping his expressions in check, his face now would definitely be scrunched up in confusion.
Quite a number of colorful individuals characters had visited his bookstore during the past in these three years, but this was the first time someone had requested an arm wrestle.
Lin Jie had never heard such a strange request in all his years operating his bookstore or even when he was still lecturing at a university before his transmigration...
Out of the three choices of 'borrowing', 'purchasing', or 'reading', would a normal person have chosen to 'arm wrestle'?
Is this appropriate?
It clearly isn’t.
With his instincts as a life mentor, Lin Jie felt that there was something fishy about this. He once again eyed this teenage girl with a scrutinizing gaze.
She had no makeup on, yet her skin condition was very good. She wore clothes that had an exquisite level of craftsmanship and her cap was from a rather well-known brand. Slight bits of mud could be spotted were on her boots, but the shoe prints left on the floor were clear. She had probably washed them by the puddles outside the door.
From these subtle observations, Lin Jie felt that this teenage girl had an air of sophistication.
The most noteworthy aspect was her tightly braided red hair. It was clearly well maintained like soft fur that would probably be pleasing to the touch.
In short, she was probably from a well-to-do family. While recalling the teenage girl’s expression when she entered, Lin Jie could see expressions of anxiousness and disappointment.
He was quite certain that this girl had specifically come to visit the bookstore and hadn’t entered to take shelter from the rain like Ji Zhixiu had done.
If so, why would a young girl from a rich family that would have no lack of entertainment options suddenly come running over to Lin Jie’s bookstore... to have an arm wrestle with him?
At present, Lin Jie didn’t feel that his bookstore had any special characteristics that would make one brave the rain just for a casual visit.
No, wait a moment.
Could the reason for the an increased number of new customers be because one of them is promoting my place?
Ji Zhixiu, Joseph… Joseph?
Lin Jie folded his arms and examined this young girl closely with a piercing gaze.
Although it wasn’t obvious, there were some resemblances between her and Joseph, especially the eyes. This might sound strange, but… while Joseph looked like an aged tough guy, it was possible to tell that he was a handsome young lad back in his day from the alignment of his facial features.
Therefore, it was correct to say that this young girl before him had an uncanny resemblance to the young Joseph.
At this point, Lin Jie’s intuition told him that this teenage girl before him was probably Joseph’s kin. Unknowingly, Lin Jie didn’t realize realized that he had been staring at this young girl for close to a minute.
This silent and intense scrutiny brought about a formless pressure for Melissa. After being observed watched in silence, the originally overbearing Melissa slowly withdrew her hands from the countertop and placed them stiffly on her knees as if she had a guilty conscience. “What...What’s wrong? Arm wrestling shouldn’t be too much to ask for, right? Or is it not okay?”
This fellow still seems very ordinary but why do I suddenly feel like I have done something wrong? Why is this… the same feeling I get when Dad reprimands me for doing something wrong?
The teenage girl couldn’t help feeling flustered at such thoughts.
Lin Jie returned to his senses and realized he was being impolite. Clearing his throat, he said, "Arm wrestling is fine, but I have two questions to ask before that. Is that okay?"
Melissa nodded. "What questions?"
Lin Jie put up a finger. "First question. You came because of Joseph, am I right?"
Even though this was a query, Lin Jie had said it with such conviction.
Melissa's heart skipped a beat. She never expected the bookstore owner to mention Joseph's name straight off the bat.
Her eyes widened in shock as she stared at the young man opposite her.
At the same time, her foreboding sentiments deep down grew more and more intense.
"Looks like I'm right."
Since these two were indeed related, then the probability of them having familial ties was extremely high.
Lin Jie waved a finger and smiled. "Don't look at me that way. The two of you just look alike."
Melissa rolled her eyes, cheeks puffing up like a blowfish as she huffed, “Who the heck looks like him!”
With his increasingly precise insight, Lin Jie guessed that this teenage girl and Joseph were probably father and daughter given her rebellious attitude and look of disdain.
Alas, he really saw this type of circumstances all too often.
Previously, it was had been a lady left heartbroken by a scumbag, and this time it was a teenage girl having run away from home because of a disagreement with a parent.
Indeed, there was an increasing need for Lin Jie’s ample skills as a life mentor.
At this moment, Melissa was already regretting. She no longer felt that her father had made a mistake but rather, she had landed herself in slightly unsavory circumstances due to her own judgment and curiosity.
Of course, this wasn’t a dangerous situation. However, since this person had instantly realized her relationship with Joseph, there was a very high possibility that he would tattle on her.
Indeed, it was unwise to come barging into an S-rank zone, even if it was supposedly ‘friendly’.
The only fortunate bit was that the ‘friendly’ part evaluation on the file was true after all.
Lin Jie extended thea second finger. "As for the second question, why do you want to arm wrestle with me?"
Had it been any other regular customer making this request, Lin Jie wouldn’t be making such an inquiry. However, the one before him was a new, young customer of the fairer sex and her request involved physical contact.
For the sake of his own reputation and innocence, Lin Jie had no choice but to be a little more prudent.
Females weren’t the only ones that got harassed. Men had to remember to protect themselves when being outside as well!
Furthermore, thoroughly understanding the strange intentions of the other party would aid in his psychological evaluation and doling out of chicken soup.
Melissa sat upright and gazed straight ahead. “Joseph says that when feeling upset over something or someone but being unable to take action due to certain reasons, it’s best to find someone to arm wrestle.”
Huh? Lin Jie was baffled and asked doubtfully, “Why arm wrestling?”
Wait a moment, does this mean that the reason she’s upset is because of a disagreement with Joseph? And she’s… using me to vent her anger?
Oh god, what a brat!
With a straight face, Melissa answered, “It’s best to find the person involved. In this way, I will be able to enjoy the opponent’s discomfited look of having no other alternative.
“Also, the opponent would come across cowardly if he rejects this game-like activity and it can be forcefully started if he rejects it. Furthermore, if the opponent gets angry and acts out, it gives me a reason to beat him up.”
Lin Jie’s entire mind was filled with question marks. He started to really doubt Joseph’s qualifications as a father in bringing up his children.
Haaa, I can’t really expect much from a military veteran suffering from PTSD to raise a child properly, can I?
“Alright, how do you want to compete?” Lin Jie felt like he was on the verge of having a headache.
But Melissa was just venting her frustrations, and Lin Jie was willing to accede to her request. She was such a young girl with scrawny limbs after all, so she would probably not be able to muster up much strength. But even so, Lin Jie would have to put that bratty kid in her place.
“Best of three,” suggested Melissa cautiously while thinking to herself that while this bookstore owner didn’t seem that ordinary, he looked like he was probably a scholar or a magician.
This S-rank person could would probably be more proficient in aetheric aspects, but his physical body definitely wouldn’t be that strong.
The two of them made themselves sit stably on both sides of the counter and locked hands as the atmosphere became nervous and frayed.
The man seemed to be in a rather relaxed state, but Melissa sensed that he merely had the strength of an average adult male.
Taking a deep breath, she muttered, "Three."
The match had been decided.
Melissa stared blankly at her arm pinned against the countertop.
How is this possible?!