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IRNDGL - Chapter 67: Sorrow of a Corporate Slave

“Just solely because of empathy?” muttered Caroline.

“Is that still not enough?” asked Lin Jie. “Everytime I try to understand the reasons behind my customer’s pain and suffering, I would always feel the need to save them from drowning in their sea of bitterness. Otherwise, that would really be too cruel.”

Of course, while saving them, rescuing their wallets at the same time is even better, thought Lin Jie to himself. 

He was just such a kind and warm-hearted soul who couldn’t see the bad in others.

Caroline agreed inwardly. This was similar to Joseph’s recount of his interaction with the bookstore owner.

He was friendly, but chaotic neutral.

With ‘inspiration’ stemming from empathy, this bookstore owner frequently sympathized with customers and thus helped to lead them out from their current predicament.

But regardless of any standpoint, this sort of empathy was purely just towards helping others.

The bookstore owner’s ‘sentiments’ didn’t change regardless of what sort of alignment a customer had.

This kind of sentiment was on a way higher level than what ordinary beings possessed. 

Caroline suddenly came to a realization. That's right! He is indeed a genuine Supreme-rank!

It's no wonder he could make the Iris Clan's elf sage pledge fealty!

This wasn't because of his overwhelming strength but his extraordinary and non-discriminatory love.

Did he mean a comparison between himself and other Supreme-ranks when he said that 'I'm different from others'?

It was very different indeed. Past Supreme-ranks that existed were usually selfish because they were first and foremost, human. Supreme-rank was merely a description of their strength.

However, the bookstore owner was close to the essence of such an evaluation...

Lin Jie's opinion of this 'customer' was simple.

Asking Lin Jie why he set up shop here was to understand the advantages of this district.

For example, convenience of transport, human traffic, or unique societal customs.

Replying why would be answering her motives.

The underlying objective was to find whatever merits there were in this area.

It was much more effective than asking 'What do you think is good about this place.'

When Lin Jie did some customary observations, he would also probe using questions similar to this and they would often pinpoint the merits and weaknesses rather quickly.

And her asking about the gas explosion incident was more straightforward—she was asking about how the people around had been affected.

Under most circumstances, investigating this aspect meant that the other party's motives were related to the gas explosion incident.

Lastly, she had asked him about the circumstances of his shop.

This meant that she was mainly trying to understand the general situation of shops in the vicinity after the gas explosion had leveled the expanse of land just ahead. 

Clearly, the company that this office lady was from wanted to do research to evaluate the developmental value of this area and then get the rights for developing this expanse of ruins.

However, Lin Jie had been hauled over by Blackie and the arrangement of this bookstore had been entirely random. Therefore, Lin Jie could be considered an outlier.

And the reason for using such ambiguous means for questioning was probably to keep it a secret from other rival competitors.

However, even if it were the case, Lin Jie still wanted to promote himself.

From the lady's well-practiced professional bearing, Lin Jie guessed that the company she was from was certainly big since they sent someone of her calibre for research.

"I match the people with suitable books and hope that they are able to overcome their momentary troubles and gain some realization about themselves. Although there isn't much revenue, seeing customers sweep away their gloom and invigorate themselves once more makes me very happy."

Lin Jie's smile was especially dazzling.

"I am more than willing to provide aid and guidance to help people get through their predicaments. Take you for example—You seem like someone worried about your work."

His smile was even more professional than Caroline's charming smile, as if it had some peculiar ability to make others trust him and speak out their mind. 

Since you have already taken up some of my time for these questions, then I shall use you to publicize my store in return.

It would be great if there was a greater effect in publicity.

And if that wasn't possible, Lin Jie would at least have gotten himself a new customer.

The reason he opened his bookstore here was because he hoped to see the happy smiles on everyone's faces, and not because of that little bit of money.

Caroline froze momentarily and her expression became complicated. She hadn't imagined that she would have become the object of the bookstore owner's help. However, stepping into the bookstore and asking such questions to the bookstore owner might have seemed like the requests of a 'customer' to him.

More importantly, she indeed felt worried with regards to her own 'work'.

It wasn't just her assignment by the elders to assess this S-rank zone, but also because of the recent troubles caused by White Wolf and Scarlet Cult that made the Logistic Branch very busy trying to cover up each and every one of these skirmishes. 

As the Deputy Section Chief, this was especially troubling to her.

Besides providing support to the frontline, logistics also had to make sure that there were no future troubles after each battle.

She opened her mouth. "I..."

Seeing Caroline's hesitation, Lin Jie felt that he had a rough idea on what she was going through.

Maintaining his hold on the conversation, he continued, "Do you all plan to take responsibility for this?"

Even though Caroline had been the first to ask the questions, she hadn't been able to get the upper hand at all.

Lin Jie pointed outside at the faintly discernible wreckage through the gloomy curtain of rain.

Rebuilding three streets was a massive process. It would probably be very troublesome if they wished to take charge of such a project.

A research staff would probably have the responsibility of going door-to-door in a large area for surveys before being able to get a more accurate picture. Just the thought of it could easily stress anyone out.

Caroline nodded. In the face of a Supreme-rank's question, she could only answer nervously, "We have to be accountable. Otherwise, matters might become much worse. Even though it gets very busy, this is my responsibility."

Oh? Looks like this company has lofty ambition. No surprise that they have high expectations of their workers.

Haa... the sorrows of a corporate slave, thought Lin Jie to himself as he studied this 'office lady' and the disdain he had for a fellow 'salesperson' disappeared.

"Poor child, if you don't mind, take a rest here and maybe have a book to read."

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
——————————————————————————————
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.