IRNDGL - Chapter 90: Bookstore Assistant
Lin Jie shut the door and couldn't help smiling when he turned around and saw the young girl lying in the half-inclined recliner chair.
This kid's eyes were unblinking as she stared at the ceiling, and her dazed expression reminded Lin Jie of a dove: adorable and slightly birdbrained.
Lin Jie hadn't really laid down in this recliner chair ever since he brought it up from the basement, yet the two that had taken a rest in it coincidentally seemed like patients.
In addition to the low transactions in his bookstore business, Lin Jie felt like he was doubling up as a doctor as well.
An IV drip stand at the side would really complete the whole picture.
But even though he had lots of knowledge on both Eastern and Western medicine, as well as a wealth of practical experience, his standard was still far from an actual doctor.
Part of all this knowledge and experience came from occasionally reading up medical journals in his free time, and the other portion came from experiences during his research trips to remote villages and primitive tribes.
Conducting research in these kinds of remote areas, especially those ancient villages that never saw any visitors, was an extremely dangerous task.
In places like this, far separated from the outside world, the geographical environment could be extremely complicated. Sometimes, there wouldn’t be maps or even a proper hospital, and the place would entirely lack safety measures.
When Lin Jie was slightly younger, he had accompanied his teacher's team to many places for research. Although he was only helping to make records back then, he still gained a lot of firsthand experience by just tagging along.
At times, the team needed to scale mountains or cross treacherous ravines to reach the destinations. In places like this, a single misstep could lead to broken bones, serious injury, or even death. And not to mention the wild beasts that could appear along the wayside.
Lin Jie's most terrifying memory was when their group was hit by a thick fog while trekking up a mountain. The fog that encompassed them severely decreased visibility, and in the blink of an eye, a member of the team had disappeared.
At that time, the entire team was dumbstruck and could only cautiously probe around, only to discover that the plateau they were on was only a few meters away from a steep precipice where the bottom of the drop couldn't even be seen.
Thus, with one misstep in that thick fog, that person had silently vanished into the abyss.
Of course, situations like this were rare.
The troubles Lin Jie mainly experienced were those situations commonly encountered in the wilderness where injuries were practically guaranteed. Members of the research team knew the risks when they signed up.
Over time, Lin Jie became rather familiar with dealing with external injuries and ailments that commonly occurred.
However, for Lin Jie, anything beyond that would be clutching at straws.
Even though Lin Jie had read a lot of relevant books, medicine was still a subject born out of actual practice. Idle discussion on it wouldn't really have any meaning.
“Alright, I’ll be back in a bit to treat your wounds. Don’t move about too much and wait for me.”
Lin Jie flashed a warm smile at the young girl, and after seeing her nod her head obediently, he headed down to the basement.
The young girl watched Lin Jie disappear down the stairs, but she didn’t dare move an inch.
At first, her body and reactions might be still sluggish from her injuries, but after experiencing the immense resentment within the stone gargoyle, it was as if a switch in her had been turned on, instantly freezing up her entire body.
She could sense certain things within the bookstore squirming, breathing and gazing.
The columns of neatly arranged bookshelves were like a colossal beast hidden in the shadows.
Every single moment, she felt gazes lingering over her skin as if many people were standing right before her face, staring and hitting her with their warm breaths.
Right now, her back was drenched with cold sweat and every single hair on her body stood on end.
What exactly are these things...
Yet, this young man seemed to show casual nonchalance despite being amongst all these terrifying things.
That warm, gentle smile had become a sinister and deceitful warning in her eyes.
But why would such a scary being save me?
The young girl watched Lin Jie reappear, this time with a first-aid kit in hand.
Lin Jie went beside the young girl and first prepared some disinfectant from the first-aid kit he hadn't used in a long time. Casually, he asked, "Right, I still don't know your name yet. My name is Lin Jie and this bookstore is opened by me. However, business isn't all that good as you can see."
"Don't have one." The young girl cast a sidelong glance. "I have no name."
Lin Jie froze. Is she trying to bid farewell to all the pain and suffering from the past? After all, she's probably around 15 or 16, there's no way she doesn't have a name.
Perhaps, it could be that she doesn't wish to reveal her own identity as well. How much trauma has she suffered from all these injuries on her body?
Lin Jie suddenly felt a hint of pity for this expressionless young girl before him.
She was really a pitiful, strong, and obstinate kid.
"The past is in the past. Just treat it as if everything before never happened. As long as you are willing to let it go, days of the past will merely be numbers that hold no significance. It's the present and future that are always the most important."
Lin Jie consoled her as he started to treat the girl's external wounds.
"This might sting a little, so please bear with it."
The young girl nodded, her gaze falling on the man's earnest side profile.
Her past was indeed just those mere numbers.
277 represented her life within the glass capsule, not her.
Lin Jie disinfected, applied medicine, and bandaged the wounds all over her body in a set pattern.
He got the girl to turn to the side and removed the towel he had placed behind the girl for her to use as a pillow. Seeing the amount of blood soaked up by it made his heart shudder.
There were a number of bloody wounds on the back of the young girl's neck.
There was also a large patch of blood on her back, probably from scrapes after falling from the blast wave.
Lin Jie pulled his gaze away and continued to work. After handling all of her visible wounds, he patted her head to comfort her.
"Have you thought about what sort of life you want? What are your future plans?"
The young girl cautiously eyed him and shook her head.
Lin Jie noticed a sense of loss in the shy eyes of hers. Clearly, what this young girl just experienced had changed up dramatically and she currently had no direction.
"Since that is the case, you might need a new identity. It just so happens that I'm lacking a helper here. If you are willing, I can at least guarantee that you will be safe here.
"And if at any time you decide on doing something else, I won't stop you from leaving."
While Lin Jie was running an unlicensed shop, he had experience with regard to that. Getting his past customer to help create an identity was something that could be done.
The girl glanced around with a wooden expression.
"Bookstore assistant, it's rather easy. You just need to arrange the bookshelves, help with tidying, and make some records."
In actuality... Lin Jie only had these menial tasks most of the time.
If he could hand this job over to this kid, he would be able to read his never-ending supply of books at ease.