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IRNDGL - Chapter 72: When The Stars Return

Oh? Lin Jie was slightly surprised. Looks like his words during Joseph's two visits had quite the effect which had brought about a certain level of trust and reliance.

Rather than choosing a book on his own, Joseph trusted Lin Jie to recommend one instead.

Looks like the next one to become a regular just like Old Wil is just around the corner... This is an extremely pleasing progress indeed.

"That's fine as well."

Lin Jie got up and walked to the bookshelf behind him. After some muttering to himself, he picked out a book. "If that's the case, I think this book would be helpful for your current phase."

Joseph reached out and took the book, noticing the very distinct title, When The Stars Return.

When the stars... return?

Joseph's heart shuddered and his arms tensed up. A loud creaking sounded from the interior mechanism of his mechanical arm.

Joseph was someone with a great level of control over his ability and had never lost the slightest bit of control over this mechanical arm before. Thus, this really showed how affected he was.

Of course, a part of it was the indescribable terror he felt after witnessing what had appeared within that bookshelf.

To Joseph, that 'battle of divine entities' that concluded in just a split second was just like a firework in the night sky, etching an unforgettable brilliance in Joseph's heart.

Unimaginable power that was impossible to comprehend, yet that had merely been the tip of the iceberg...

Joseph thought to himself that if gods truly existed, that would be it.

At the same time, in every mystical domain, the heavens would always represent the ultimate taboo.

What lay beyond the expanse of distant sky was a boundless darkness that made people's hearts palpitate because nobody knew exactly what was within that endless unknown.

And now, a 'god' had produced a book regarding the 'heavens'.

Even if Joseph no longer dared to think about it, he couldn't stop himself from flipping the cover open with slightly trembling fingers.

The bookstore owner behind the counter spoke, "These biographies... oh, it might be a little difficult for you to understand, but you can just consider it as a novel with made up records of another lost civilization."

Another world?!

Does he mean that expanse of heavens? There are civilizations that exist beyond the heavens? Oh Sacred Light above...

Was the bookstore owner telling him about secret information about ancient times, or was it the truth about the world?

Even though Joseph was scared witless, deep down, there was an inner yearning that made him continue turning the pages subconsciously.

Amongst the words, a vast and obscure void warped and twisted. Stars, nebulae, galaxies, past, present, and future. Primal chaos, darkness, space, time. Continuous destruction and rebirth. When the stars coincide, opening their eyes in sync, unfurling their bodies and unleashing a muffled and dreadful cry.

Roar—

"Huu..."

Joseph returned to his senses and took a sharp, deep breath. He calmed down his shaken self and shut his eyes, forcibly stopping his mind from thinking about all these things.

He glanced at the closed book in his hand, suddenly realizing that he had been looking through this book for a whole ten minutes already.

Now, he understood that the bookstore owner's choice of words had been to prevent him from falling into panic. A made up story? More like he was trying to preserve whatever little rationality I had left...

Joseph felt that it would be best to abide by the bookstore owner's guidance and not read too much into it. Otherwise, he would have run outside and howled towards the sky right now.

Fortunately, he had been drifting aimlessly for so many years and was already used to muddling around on his own.

This won't be too bad either, hahahaha...damn!

After having his understanding of everything experience two baptisms, the former Great Radiant Knight Joseph couldn't help realizing how ignorant and insignificant he actually was.

He once again revised his evaluation of the bookstore owner.

It wasn't a mistake by them previously, but rather, because the highest evaluation was only S-rank.

Joseph asked cautiously, “In these… biographies, uh… are these great beings, members of this civilization?”

Lin Jie stopped his own reading and glanced at the book, Stellar Moments of Humankind, wondering what sort of question this was.

However, Lin Jie reckoned that much of these biographies could be rather difficult to understand for Joseph and it made sense for him to be puzzled.

“Of course, they were innovators and witnesses of great moments in the olden civilization’s history. However, nobody can be everlasting and no matter how great these beings were, they would eventually fade away in the long river of time,” replied Lin Jie matter-of-factly.

Joseph stared at the book and nodded his head.

He could sense that there were some powerful entities sealed within this book. And as long as specific conditions were met, these entities could be summoned.

But such a summon practically carried an extremely huge risk...

According to what the bookstore owner had said, these divine entities were great members of a certain higher civilization. However, this civilization, like the ancient kingdom, had died out a long time ago. These beings had also declined, fell, and were sealed up.

As for who had sealed these divine beings… Without a doubt, it was certainly the bookstore owner before him.

Lin Jie noticed the grave look on Joseph’s face and added on, “I know you might be feeling a little confused, but it’s normal. After all, there are many parts of this book which you might be unable to comprehend. Don’t dwell on it too much. The important thing is that you understand the will and intent within these stories and let them be of use to you.”

Joseph’s face twitched slightly. “I think… it might be a little difficult for me,” he answered.

“Don’t be discouraged.”

Lin Jie wrapped the long sword up once more and the gloomy ambience of the bookstore returned. Smiling, he said, “Since this is the decision you have made, then put in your effort to do it well. Let go of the past, whether it’s your pain or glory, and then face the future bravely.

“Everyone has their own destiny. Perhaps this book might help you to better accomplish your own calling. Challenges are inevitable when starting a new life. Consider this book as my gift to you. First, use it rationally and then slowly study it.”

Joseph froze for a moment, then nodded his head. “Thank you for your gift and guidance. I have gained much.”

Lin Jie shook his head. “I am merely repeating what others say.

"There's a particular saying I feel can be imparted to you." He cleared his throat and chose the words within Stellar Moments of Humankind that he had resounded greatly with. "Only one genius appears in a nation of millions; millions of superfluous hours have to pass until one stellar moment of humanity arises.

"However, when it comes, its influence would affect the course of history for centuries after. "When an individual's tenacious will collides with predestination, the sparks that form can illuminate the sky of an entire civilization.

"And such times... are a stage for heroes!"

Lin Jie paused for a moment. "Of course, I don't ask you to be a hero. This world also doesn't have that many opportunities to build a stage for heroes."

He smiled and went on, "Don't view yourself too highly, and don't even take yourself too lightly. You are a human, and only a part of humankind. Human strength is limited at times. Do what you are able to at the required time and accomplish the 'destiny' that belongs to you is more than enough."

Joseph felt as if he had been taken back to his youth, listening to the teachings of the seniors in the sacred hall of Secret Rite Tower and feeling his spirit surging as he swore to fight for the light.

Gazing at the demon sword in the bookstore owner’s hand, Joseph felt his many years of desolation melt away completely.

“I will… I definitely will.”

BeetleBarker's Notes:

Stellar Moments of Humankind - Stefan Zweig

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.