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IRNDGL - Chapter 59: Brand New Venture

A different path forward?

Ackerman gazed at the bookstore owner's profound expression and was momentarily stunned. What... what did this mean?

Lin Jiefolded his arms as he explained. "Are you still willing to let them make use of you like this since you already know they merely view you as a tool? Perhaps you aren't provided with many benefits, yet they request a great deal from you without according you with the equivalent respect."

A complicated expression appeared on Ackerman's face as he listened to these enticing words—He wasn't willing of course.

The Truth Union's attitude towards hunters disappointed him.

However, he had always known the low status of hunters in the eyes of other extraordinary beings; because the power of hunters was borrowed, and they were often unstable and lacking rationality.

In their final throes of madness, some powerful hunters would assimilate with the sordid blood within the bloodstream and become new dream beasts that brought about great destruction.

Thus, to the Truth Union and Secret Rite Tower, each hunter was but an opportunistic gamble that could turn into an enemy at any moment.

It was only natural that they weren't viewed too kindly.

When it came to advancing in the Truth Union's evaluation, hunters had to go through a few additional steps. For example, a rationality assessment.

Ackerman knew that he couldn't blame the Truth Union for such discriminatory treatment because this was just the way hunters were, he himself included.

The sordid blood Ackerman used came from 'Pale One' and the amount he injected had long passed the tolerable threshold.

After arousing the power within his bloodstream, Ackerman would become just like a white skeletal giant with tentacles and bone sticking out of his back as well as a huge cavity in the middle of his chest. When that happened, he was basically no different from the actual 'Pale One'. 

Ackerman was basically one of those so-called veteran hunters. His wits were on the verge of crumbling all the time and his willpower had become extremely frail.

He could only continuously apply the powerful depressant drugs sold by the Truth Union to maintain his own sanity.

However, he was still proud to be a hunter.

They didn't have the mental fortitude of knights, the passed-down teachings of magicians, nor the intellect of scholars. Hunters were merely ordinary beings with flesh bodies that could draw out savage beasts through their blood and soul to use as their weapon.

But even a hunter like Ackerman whose strength had basically reached Destructive-rank wasn't accorded the necessary respect by the Truth Union and was just viewed as nothing more than a disposable tool.

"I...I've never thought that there were other choices." Ackerman clenched his fists as he struggled to keep the internal contradictions in check. "They've always controlled everything, and fighting for my own standing requires having to go through them."

Ahh, so it's a company in a monopoly system. It's probably a huge one from the sound of things.

Maybe it’s a company similar to Rolle Resource Development that Ji Zhixiu's father owns. Perhaps the expertise and skill set of this customer are limited to this domain and he has no way but to act accordingly to the set rules and regulations. 

Ahh, now the circumstances seem much more troubling indeed.

This isn't just an issue with the company but with his own ambitions as well.

Either he chooses to toll away in a huge corporation and let his superiors walk all over him, or slightly lower his aspirations and move on to a smaller firm, or completely give up on his ambitions and take a leap of faith and change his career... Right, this doesn't seem too plausible.

Without the resolution to go for broke and leave or if his working environment is simply horrendous, such a decision might not be really worth it.

But since the customer across Lin Jie had mentioned he hadn't thought of other alternatives, it meant that deep down, he could accept some big changes, just that his heart was being gripped by some uncertainty or fear.

After some thought, Lin Jie asked, "Then, do you really think that they are the authority? Would you be completely unable to exist once you leave them? Does having your own niche really require you to go through them? 

"Think about your current situation, think about your future possible situation, then think about the situation of people like you. You would then know that I'm not saying words to scare you, neither am I trying to instigate you. I just hope that you would be able to make a choice true to yourself."

Ackerman felt as if he had been struck by lightning as his entire body froze up.

It was a gloomy and downcast day, yet he felt as if a fire was blazing in his heart.

Despite his scorn and critique of the Truth Union, he had subconsciously made out the Truth Union to be an absolute authority.

But in reality, they simply didn't care about hunters. Perhaps, when a hunter applied for an official evaluation, those in the Truth Union might be laughing themselves silly.

Hunters only needed the recognition of themselves and other hunters. Why should they be pushed around by others?

Only this way would hunters have a day where they could stand tall!

Even though the bookstore owner's identity and motives were still unclear, all that he said was enlightening.

Ackerman was stirred up and said, "I understand... What you are trying to say is that an exit is something I have to find on my own. We have to rely on ourselves."

Hmm? Has he made up his mind just like this?

Although this customer seems to be in a mid-life crisis, it looks like he still has an unyielding heart willing to give a final struggle and choose to venture out.

Lin Jie was somewhat surprised but the situation was still within his control.

He had reserves of chicken soup stored up to deal with all sorts of choices... That's right, everything up till now had been just a talk.

On deeper inspection, what Lin Jie had expressed were just some vague prompts based on the information he had.

How it was interpreted depended entirely on what the subject perceived.

Different people had different mind frames and naturally, different answers. The choices they made were their own and in reality, had nothing to do with Lin Jie. 

In the end, they would credit his words, but what they perceived was their own desire.

Lin Jie blinked, then nodded his head while maintaining his calm smile. 

"Sometimes, a blind compromise might not give you the peaceful environment you seek and instead make you seem weak and easy to bully.

"Your strength might be insufficient to them but you aren't alone. You still have comrades to join forces with— and perhaps attempt something brand new? Of course, everything is up to you. Think things over carefully and make sure you won't regret."

Ackerman seemingly saw the bookstore owner's true intent when he heard this.

He's inciting dissension between hunters and the Truth Union in a bid to make the Truth Union's authority crumble!

Indeed, toying with people's hearts and inciting strife. This is a demon's entertainment.

However, these thoughts the demon was implanting into his head actually... excited him.

Ackerman didn't know what of his that had been taken away by that 'flower'. However, he vaguely felt that it was perhaps a portion of his desires.

Because, his greatest desire at the time when the bookstore owner interrupted had been to complete his Destructive-rank evaluation.

Now, he totally didn't care about gaining the recognition of the Truth Union.

On the contrary, he now had a resolve to have no regrets and raise the banner belonging to hunters... It really was an undertaking that he now had a longing for.

Ackerman took a deep breath and said, "I know that it is very risky. However... I really want to do it. I must be crazy."

Lin Jie chuckled, "I have a customer by the name of Ji Zhixiu. I'll introduce you to her sometime and perhaps she could help you. "

As the only daughter of Rolle Resource Development Company's boss, offering a job wouldn't be a tough request for young Miss Ji.

BeetleBarker's Notes:

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

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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.