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IRNDGL - Chapter 68: Eyes of Gazing

As a professional, Caroline’s cool-headedness, mentality, and ability were well-known in Secret Rite Tower.

The elders wouldn’t have chosen to let her interact with a Supreme-rank whose objective and background still weren’t defined otherwise.

When going on any mission, she would definitely prepare adequately.

Before coming to the bookstore, Caroline had thoroughly consulted all material and compiled a case file of S-Rank Zone 0113, including Joseph’s initial framework, recorded information on ‘other customers of the bookstore’ as well as the opinions and conjectures left by the other branches of Secret Rite Tower.

Caroline wouldn’t dare risk conversing with a Supreme-rank without making thorough preparations.

She knew for certain that this bookstore owner had Supreme-rank ability as well as a rough idea of his general actions and logic.

Firstly, he played the role of an ordinary bookstore owner in this bookstore and would promote ‘borrowing’, ‘buying’, and ‘reading’ of books.

But when comparing the information from before with her own experience now, it seemed as if this bookstore owner just liked helping and chatting with others.

As long as one didn’t have any ill intentions towards him nor show any disrespect, the bookstore owner wouldn’t do anything. Or rather, he wouldn’t do it in person.

Therefore, when the initially skeptical Joseph merely fainted, the bookstore owner's evaluation of 'friendly' seemed apt when compared to other Supreme-ranks.

Secondly, the bookstore owner was near-omniscient. This was something gleaned from the conversation between the Truth Union's Vice-Chairman Andrew and Iris Clan's Sage, Doris.

These were words out of a Destructive-Rank powerhouse's mouth.

Thus, it was best not to harbor any hidden thoughts nor hope to fluke and get away with having secret motives.

Lastly, all the books within the bookstore contained extraordinary power that was written in the taboo language.

Perhaps these books alone weren't all that powerful but capable of granting success overnight. However, when carefully selected by the bookstore owner, it would definitely be able to help resolve one's problems.

This was his selflessness—

The payment he asked for was nothing much compared to the value of a book and it was probably just part of the bookstore owner role he was playing.

Caroline wasn't surprised when Lin Jie asked her to stay and have a book to read.

Instead, she felt a deep sense of anticipation.

She glanced at the rows and rows of bookshelves. Under the dusky lighting, the neatly arranged books weren't distinct and even seemed somewhat illusionary.

However, without a doubt, a sense of mysticism had stealthily taken form and was clawing at Caroline's heart.

"Can... Can I take a look myself?" With a soul seemingly captivated by this higher level of mysticism, Caroline asked subconsciously.

She only realized after blurting it out and glanced nervously at Lin Jie. She was worried. What if she had offended the bookstore owner who had already planned to recommend a certain book to her?

Lin Jie didn’t really mind. Recommending books was just that. A customer had the freedom to browse any way they pleased.

For example, Ackerman, the working class from before, had wanted to just look around in the beginning and Lin Jie respected his wishes.

A proper business never forced one to buy or sell. It was entirely done by convincing through emotion and reason.

Moreover, Lin Jie could see a clear excitement in the eyes of this lady. Evidently, having to come out in this horrible weather for work was an exhausting affair. Who wouldn't be happy to have a suitable place to take a rest?

Now, he had already turned a city research worker with no desire of purchasing a book into a potential customer, so saying more wouldn’t have much more of a significant effect.

This lady had come with her own objectives and her task of evaluating this area wasn’t easy. Thus, she definitely wouldn’t have a strong desire to get any books.

I’ll just let her experience it for herself.

Lin Jie smiled as he made an adjustment for the shelves to display novels and prose-forms. At the same time, he picked up the heated electric kettle and poured Caroline a cup of tea. “Of course. Feel free to look around and chat with me. Isn’t this all part of your job?”

He pushed the cup over, indicating that Caroline could take a break from her surveying job and relax a little.

“There’s no rush when it comes to making an assessment.”

Caroline heaved a sigh of relief. She picked up the cup, gazed at the white wisps of steam, and felt at peace.

She had come with the intention of doing an evaluation and the bookstore owner knew that as well. Despite this, he was still amiable and tolerating.

It was no wonder Joseph had chosen to pass on the demon sword to him.

Possessing such overwhelming strength, yet having such benevolence...

Caroline had already made a decision in her heart. Noticing the bookstore owner had once again started reading his own book, she hesitated for a bit, then walked towards the rows of bookshelves behind the counter with the cup in hand.

Only upon walking further in did she realize that the bookstore wasn’t as cramped as she first thought.

There were thirteen rows of bookshelves behind the counter, each at least five meters long. It was only because of the dusky lighting, tight arrangement, and piles of books on the floor that made the entire bookstore seem cramped.

She slowly made her way past the rows of bookshelves as her eyes were drawn towards the spines of displayed books.

Book of Departed Spirits, Seeking the Hidden Flower in Dreams, Chasing Shadows of Past...

The title of every book made her heart pound.

This was something that none of the reports had mentioned. However, despite her excitement, she kept her emotions in check and only made mental notes of these books but didn’t pick any at random.

Finally, her gaze fell on a book titled Eyes of Gazing.

Was...this a book pertaining to a certain investigative skill?

Assessing certain matters, goods, or threat level of beings were all part of Caroline’s job. To her, this was a very important ability.

Caroline wasn’t certain. She brought the book down, took a deep breath, and flipped it open.

Vaguely, the hairs on her body stood on end and she felt as if a pair of eyes was staring at her from behind.

And in front of her, a taboo language drowned out her own reason.

“Can… Can I have this?”

Lin Jie looked up and eyed the book in Caroline’s hand.

Watching You Go... Ah...A classic collection of sentimental prose pieces. Lin Jie never imagined that this seemingly tough working lady would actually like such a book laced with delicate sadness.

But, her voice seems a little shaky and her face has paled. Perhaps the contents moved her?

Appearances really are deceiving. It appears like she is a rather sensitive lass deep down.

Lin Jie placed the book into a bag and said, “Are you alright? Ah, this book can be devastating sometimes but it will pass rather quickly.”

Caroline forced a smile. “Devastating… Indeed. But I can get used to it very quickly. Thank you.

"Huu..."

She exhaled and her body shuddered uncontrollably as she touched her eyes.

The sensation of her eyes being gouged out and replaced with a new pair was something she would never experience again in her lifetime.

Her new eyes squirmed as though they were living organisms, and when she looked at other things, she could see all sorts of information appearing and disappearing.

BeetleBarker's Notes:

Watching You Go - Lung Ying-Tai

A collection of 74 prose pieces written by Lung Ying-Tai. The stories are about the relationships between Lung's family members; her father's death, her mother's aging, her children leaving, her friends' concerns for her, and working with her siblings.

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
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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.