IRNDGL - Chapter 94: Children's Edition
Lin Jie didn't know that his neighbor was on the verge of a mental breakdown and had even sought out a specialist to help with an 'exorcism'.
But even if he knew, Lin Jie would just probably dismiss it with a laugh and perhaps advise the other party to not waste unnecessary money, while at the same time using warm words and a reliable image to dispel any misunderstandings the neighbor might have.
At present, Lin Jie was using the small electric saw to cut through some wood he had brought up from the basement to make himself a bed.
He called it a bed, but it was actually just a couple of wooden planks nailed together to form a wooden frame, simple and crude.
Luckily, Lin Jie had taken some technical courses back in the day and his craftsmanship wasn't all that weak. The basement didn't lack tools either, otherwise, Lin Jie wouldn't even have been able to make a bed like this.
Just like this, Lin Jie squandered away a whole three hours and it was now bright enough to see the entire street outside.
Even though the weather was still slightly gloomy, the depressing rain that had gone on for an entire month had finally stopped.
Cutting out the wooden boards was just the beginning. Assembling the bed was similarly a test of physical ability.
"Huu... It's finally done." Lin Jie muttered while stretching his arms as he gazed at the finished product in satisfaction.
"It's surprisingly more tiring than I imagined."
Lin Jie wanted to rub his chin out of habit, but then realized his hands were completely covered with fine sawdust. Thus, he clapped the dust off his hands instead and sighed, seeing the mess on the floor. "Haa... I still have to tidy it up myself..."
"Do you need help?"
Lin Jie turned towards the girl's voice and saw Mu’en peeking out from the stairwell.
"Hmm? Can you do so ...Mu’en?"
Although taking in this assistant was to help share Lin Jie's workload, this new assistant had just been rescued some hours ago and might still be weak. Lin Jie was worried that he might have to end up cleaning more than just sawdust.
Mu’en nodded and spent a moment in thought before she raised an arm to show a 'flexed biceps' pose.
The sight of her slender arm and the bandages wrapped around it made her seem rather miserable.
Combined together with her 'everything is fine' expression was strangely funny.
With a slight chuckle, Lin Jie instructed, "Alright then, perhaps you can help me clean up all this dust on the floor. The broom, dustpan, and trash bag are in the cupboard at the back. Be careful, don't..."
"I won't break anything," declared Mu’en immediately.
Lin Jie did a facepalm and sighed, "I believe you wouldn't either. What I meant was to be careful not to aggravate your injuries. You've gotta prioritize your own well-being first at all times, got it?"
"A broken broom can be replaced many times over, but there's only one you."
Mu’en put her hand down and contemplated rebutting with what those researchers had stated—that she could be mass-produced. However, seeing the earnest look in Lin Jie's eyes, she suddenly realized that there was some difference in these two meanings.
It was really different... She found it difficult to explain how she felt, but it seemed like she was once more experiencing the warmth she had felt while on Lin Jie's back.
The warmth of humans...
Mu’en nodded her head slowly, watching Lin Jie continue to fiddle with the newly-made bed before moving it upstairs.
He really was a strange man. He was clearly terrifying, but at ordinary times like this, he seemed very much like a normal person, just like Mu’en’s initial judgment.
However, she definitely would not believe such a misperception.
Mu’en carefully walked over to the cupboard at the back.
She peered cautiously at those indescribable bookshelves that gave her the chills before picking out the cleaning tools from the cupboard.
Mu’en had observed the cleaning crew in the laboratory use such tools before, and thus knew how they were used.
She wasn't proficient at first, but slowly got the hang of it.
When the bed frame was halfway up the stairs, Lin Jie chimed, "It is fine to just call me Boss or Store Manager in future."
"Boss," Mu’en called out obediently.
When Lin Jie placed the bed frame in his room, he noticed the covers and blanket on his original bed had been folded neatly.
Haa... What a sensible kid.
After placing the prepared mattress on top, Lin Jie took a deep breath while gazing at the glimmer of sunlight coming through the windows and felt that everything was getting better.
Then, Lin Jie went down and helped Mu’en with the cleanup before giving her a simple tour of the bookstore. Lastly, he went to take a shower before opening the doors for business.
"It seems like there probably wouldn't be any customers today," muttered Lin Jie as he flipped through the register book on his usual seat at the counter.
"Oh right, in future, you would need to record down a customer's particulars, the date of borrowing, and the book title. Have a look to familiarize yourself," Lin Jie said as he handed over the register book to Moon.
The young girl accepted it stiffly and fell silent after one glance.
"What's wrong? Feel free to ask if you have any questions."
Lin Jie was prepared to start guiding this young child and wasn't yet aware of the gravity of this problem.
Only after his monologue was over did he understand that this new helper of his actually lacked any relevant knowledge.
Or rather, she lacked any formal education.
The understanding she possessed was from 'seeing' others, but there was still the lack of a systematic education.
An issue arising from a simply direct observation was that she was illiterate but could comprehend some stuff like philosophy or simple mathematical concepts.
Lin Jie rubbed his temples and felt that this matter was going to be quite the headache.
Haa... What sort of environment did this child grow up in?
Mu’en noticed his expression and pursed her lips. "I can learn."
Lin Jie sensed the girl's unrest and immediately adjusted his own facial expression. "Wanting to learn is a good thing. You are very smart and I'm sure you will pick it all up in no time," Lin Jie consoled.
"There's no need to rush. Your injuries would probably be healed up by the time you learn all this and helping me then would be fine.
"How about this? Read some books first and try to supplement it with whatever you've learned before. And if there's anything you can't understand, you can come ask me."
Lin Jie got up, and after some mulling, he pulled out a children's phonetic encyclopedia and a children's dictionary which he proceeded to pass both to Mu’en.
The artificial young girl involuntarily flinched back when she saw the titles— Door Key: Knowledge and Sigil Fundamentals.
Lin Jie noticed her slight action and glanced at the books in his hand skeptically.
Hmm, I did take the right ones...
Then, he felt that these 'children's edition' books might have hurt the young girl's pride. Thus, he flashed a kindly smile and said sincerely, "One must learn to walk before they can run. Don’t scorn these two books for being elementary. These are all fundamental knowledge and there’s still a lot more to learn in the future."