IRNDGL - Chapter 107: Please Give Me Guidance
"An addiction? There's a problem... with these cigarettes?"
Vincent quickly returned to his senses. He looked at Lin Jie's solemn expression and shook his head vigorously. "Impossible!"
Lin Jie wasn't surprised by the priest's reaction. For him to ignorantly accept such cigarettes and be unaware of his own withdrawal symptoms meant that the source of these cigarettes was from a trusted source.
It was this exact reason that made it all the more chilling. Whether it was the shop he got it from, or whoever had given it.
Such an exploit was extremely black-hearted.
"Hell is other people. (quote by Jean-Paul Sarte) You can never know what other people think, and no one can be completely trusted."
Lin Jie's arms remained folded as he spoke slowly, "There's nothing that's really impossible. Father, how about answering a few questions first?"
Like I even have a choice?! Vincent thought to himself.
But of course, there was no way he could say it aloud.
Indeed, Lin Jie didn't wait for a yes or no and started on his questioning, "Where did this cigarette come from?"
Vincent eyed the cigarette in his hand, hesitated for a while, then emptied out the hard case.
A vague printed image of a silver tree crown could be vaguely seen on the center of the surplus sticks of cigarettes.
Although transactions of supernatural objects were supposed to be confidential, there was probably no need for secrecy seeing that he was dealing with a transcendent being of at least Destructive-rank.
"Ash Chamber of Commerce."
Vincent closed the cigarette case once again and took a deep breath.
"I got this from the Ash Chamber of Commerce. It's called 'Holy Moon Essence' and only started selling recently... It's still experimental in nature and only offered to selected clergy members of the church.
"The Seventh Apostle has already approved of its effects and believes that it is helpful in meditation and fostering a strong connection with the Moon."
Because of this, when his meditation efficiency fell, Vincent assumed it was an issue in himself and had never once suspected that these cigarettes were the problem.
For clergy members, 'obedience' was also a compulsory lesson.
Apostles had jurisdiction over priests and ranked third in the clergy hierarchy, representing a part of the moon's will and possessed absolute authority.
But now, after the bookstore owner had spoken up about it, a whiff of doubt had started to creep over Vincent.
Could there really be a problem...
Vincent shook his head again. "But that's impossible!
“The credibility of the Ash Chamber of Commerce has never been in question. Moreover, the Apostle himself and all other priests I know say that the Holy Moon Essence works very well..."
It seemed that he was the only one that had adverse symptoms.
Ash Chamber of Commerce? Lin Jie was slightly surprised. He never expected to hear such a familiar name come out from the priest's mouth.
However, it wasn't that difficult to understand either... The Ash Chamber of Commerce had a great deal of resources. Being able to provide false identities within Norzin easily was one such example.
They might not be on the same level as Rolle Resource Development, but they were definitely a big player.
To put it in a modern-day analogy, Rolle Resource Development was a huge enterprise producing goods in all kinds of fields while the Ash Chamber of Commerce was Taobao.
On such a sales platform, it wasn't surprising to find items specially provided for clergymen.
Lin Jie could understand why the priest opposite him had unconditional trust in the quality of these cigarettes if it was from the Ash Chamber of Commerce.
Even if he hadn’t encountered Cherry, Lin Jie would still know that the Ash Chamber of Commerce was a very reputable and reliable sales platform.
On top of this, the priest had mentioned this was approved of by an apostle and there were also others that used it.
But the symptoms this priest was having were also very real.
It seemed that this was even more complicated than Lin Jie imagined.
“I’ve said before, nothing is impossible. I’ll ask about the Ash Chamber of Commerce, but for now, it’s you that’s most important. Father, who are you willing to trust?”
Trust the church, or... Trust him? Vincent fell silent the instant he realized the implication of that question.
The bookstore fell into deathly silence once more. Vincent wished to pray to the moon for calm, but there was no reaction from the holy emblem in his hand.
He subconsciously took out another cigarette and wanted to light it, but he caught himself midway.
Vincent forced a bitter smile as he stared at the cigarette in his hand. He had to admit that there was clearly something not right.
When gazing at that cigarette, Vincent felt that extremely unpleasant sensation washed over him once more. Without any thoughts distracting him, his sense of touch clearly felt as if a swarm of ants was climbing all over his body and he even felt a vague itch within his innards.
This was clearly a tremendous sense of fear!
However, he had no way of doubting the church. All the education and teachings he had received forbade him to question the church.
“I don’t know... I really don’t. Please give me guidance!” Vincent bent forward, gripping the cigarette case tightly.
Lin Jie sighed. It was just like seeing the Old Wil from two years ago.
At that time, Wilde was also going through a painful period. Back then, he was at a loss from his own convictions crumbling and had been on a path to self-destruction.
Fortunately, he had walked into this bookstore and encountered such a warm, good samaritan in Lin Jie and as of now, had gotten his life back on track.
But compared to Old Wil, the priest before Lin Jie might be going through even greater suffering.
It was sort of cruel for a clergy member to question his church.
However... The pangs of independent thinking were inevitable.
If the Church of the Dome did really have internal problems and were continuously tormenting this good priest who had traveled a great deal just to help a member of his parish with an 'exorcism', then that was truly cruel indeed.
"Relax. Other things can be put aside first, and the investigation can be done later on. What's most important right now is your current physical condition,” comforted Lin Jie.
"You probably don't smoke much," Lin Jie continued his analysis.
"According to what you said, your colleagues don't have any negative effects. On the contrary, they smoke more frequently and are very normal when under the effect of 'Holy Moon Essence.’
"How do you feel right now?"
Vincent looked up, calming himself down with a deep breath before finally speaking, "I saw the Moon in my imagination. But this is something impossible."
A blind person seeing was impossible indeed. This was either a dream or an illusion.
But having reached such a point, it did seem a little severe.
"Halting the consumption of 'Holy Moon Essence' might cause you to have these strange effects and make you jittery.
“Try doing something else to divert your attention away."
Lin Jie stood up and picked up a braille copy of Three Days to See.
"I feel that this book is very suitable for you. Perhaps you will be able to ‘see’something different inside."
Vincent stared blankly at the book within his field of vision that was illuminating brightly like a fiery white blaze.
Something very different... Indeed.
A book by blind and deaf author Helen Keller as she imagines what she would do if she had the ability of sight for three days