IRNDGL - Chapter 101: The Last Ghost
Lin Jie waved at Claude with a slight smile on his face.
Once the door shut once more, his gaze fell onto that somewhat thick stack of resources on the countertop.
Ever since he transmigrated, Lin Jie hadn't come into touch with such things in a long time. Stuff like ancient vestiges, traveling to remote villages, sorting out research data, and a hectic life running about had already become distant memories.
Besides the initial period after transmigration where he wanted to learn more about Azir's history and customs in order to adapt to life here, Lin Jie hadn't done anything else related to his own profession since then.
Helping the elf miss reconstruct the significance of her house's armorial was one thing, but Lin Jie hadn't officially started and was still in the preparatory phase.
He still had to wait for Doris to return from her family clan and provide him with the necessary related information.
After all, Lin Jie was still a stranger in a strange land and didn't have things that he could research on even if he wanted to. But now, Claude had brought him some good stuff.
Lin Jie reached out to gently straighten the papers and felt much merrier.
Since Joseph's disciple was a first-class police officer and the issue with Mu’en's identity had been explained to him in person, Lin Jie believed that there wouldn't be any more worrying incidents like the one today at least till Mu’en's new identification from the Ash Chamber or Commerce is sent over.
These were the benefits of having connections.
Indeed, Lin Jie had to continue with his daily practice of doling out chicken soup, aiming for the long time and hooking in big fish. Only then could there be sustained development and he could squeeze... no, utilize every customer's resources and make it mutually profitable for all parties.
"What are these?" Mu’en came over and eyed the research resources curiously.
The artificial young girl had an innate inquisitiveness from the beginning. The large quantity of knowledge she had been gaining recently made her aware of her initial blank state and this made her start to thirst for even more knowledge.
"Resources pertaining to a lost Azir language from ancient times. It's also the same language as the inscriptions carved on the sword in my bedroom."
Lin Jie poked Mu’en's forehead with his index finger and feigned a solemn look. "This isn't stuff you ought to look at. You haven't reached this level yet. You wouldn't want to have your head spin from looking at this and faint on the spot like those three fellows just now."
Mu’en clutched her forehead and groaned. Recalling the sensation of everything that she knew being rewritten made her take a step back involuntarily.
But because Lin Jie had mentioned the inscribed carving on the sword, Mu’en subconsciously recalled the sword inscription that she had seen.
From her peripheral vision, the characters on the research notes seemed to have some relation with the inscription on the sword. Through those indescribable characters, she vaguely sensed a ghost belonging to a long-destroyed civilization.
Remnants of an entire era, and countless bits and pieces of information flitted across her eyes in an instant.
Though only a moment of insight, it was enough to shock her.
Mu’en remained in a daze for a while, aware that this wasn't something that could be seen. This mere interaction made her feel as if illusions were coming to life. Who knew what would happen if she spent an extended period staring into it.
She quickly picked up the tea set and plodded upstairs to wash the cups.
"Remember to bring the sword and my notes on the table down!" Lin Jie called out, then sighed as he watched her slender back view disappear.
"Does she have to be that frightened? Still a kid indeed... She's very talented, but in the end, still afraid of learning.
"Haa... She will be really grown up the day she suggests studying on her own accord.
"When that time comes, I wouldn't just have a bookstore assistant, but a research assistant as well."
Lin Jie shook his head ever so slightly as he glanced at the yellow police cordon swaying in the wind outside.
He guessed that there probably wouldn't be any more customers for the day given the circumstances and thus, went over to shut the door and flip the sign over to 'closed'.
Lin Jie returned to his seat behind the counter, turned on the desk lamp, and started to go through these research notes thoroughly.
The documents that Joseph sorted out included a copy of the original text, relevant research notes as well as related material. Altogether, there were 21 pages of the original text, 15 pages of relevant notes, and... only the name of a book for related material.
It was clear that this language hadn’t undergone an in-depth study.
Lin Jie first read the documents written by his predecessors.
There were only two researchers by the names of 'Pritt Hall' and 'Trollope Rupert', while the original text had four different segments.
Rupert's research was all the three segments pertaining to history, which Lin Jie labeled as 'Religious Fanaticism', 'Rise of the Kingdom', and 'Homomorphic Revenge'. Hall's study was on the remaining and scattered segment, 'Customs'.
After eliminating much of the pointless views, there were only three main points of useful information.
First, these ancient scripts were unearthed from some ruins in the Lower District and dated back to the ancient Azir's second era, which was also the Alfords Kingdom during the period of darkness.
And what these ancient scripts recorded were about that lost period of history.
Second. The rough details uncovered by the two researchers were astonishingly similar to what Lin Jie had previously seen in his dream.
The descent of a 'god' leading to worship and fear, the rapid rise of the Alfords Kingdom, up to the point where the final generation of the Alford's king challenged this 'god' which eventually led to him perishing alongside his kingdom.
There were even examples of customs such as 'Ceremonies in the huge white hall' and 'Laurel worn by the king'.
This was entirely the life of the elf king Candela that Lin Jie had experienced in his dream.
Thirdly, the title of the book was called Period of Darkness: Rise and Fall of Alfords. Currently, it was preserved by an organization known as the Truth Union. However, those two researchers weren't able to obtain access to it.
Lin Jie kneaded his temples. This was beyond his expectations.
A prophetic dream? Or is this purely a déjà vu?
But everything in the dream was still clear in his memory and these resources couldn't be falsified either.
Back when Lin Jie had received the sword, he could immediately discern that the inscription was of an ancient Azir language because he had seen similar characters during his own study on Azir when he first arrived here.
Most of the resources he got back then were provided by the Ash Chamber of Commerce and couldn't be fake either.
It seemed like only by getting his hands on the Rise and Fall of Alfords would Lin Jie get one step closer to know what exactly was going on.
Lin Jie only realized that Mu’en had already placed the sword beside him after he had put down the documents.
He picked up the sword, scrutinizing its shimmering mirror-like blade, then the inscription on it.
He had kept away the sword ever since he rescued Mu’en in order to not scare her and hadn't gotten a good look at it for some time.
It had been a few days since Lin Jie had woken up from the dream where he had slain the 'god'.
As he gazed at the sword for the first time since then, a sudden sense of familiarity flowed into his mind.
Involuntarily, he understood that the words carved on the sword read "At the end of the long night, thou become the light."
As well as the significance of those stone rubbings.
What Hall researched wasn't any 'Customs', but the ceremony for passing on the sacred sword.
As if a valve was turned on, Lin Jie once again sensed the existence of Candela. His reversed image on the blade suddenly became the gorgeous elf king with flowing golden hair and olive-green eyes.
This was Alford's last ghost's final gift before withering away—His pure soul.