IRNDGL - Chapter 105: Look, Father
Vincent stopped in his tracks.
His original plan had been to sound out the bookstore owner.
According to what Colin had said, the bookstore still operated as per normal. If the owner was indeed under the influence of an evil spirit or transcendent being, he would still appear normal under most circumstances.
Vincent had encountered situations like this in the past.
Some souls remaining in the human realm via death by suicide would repeat their actions in life without knowing that they were already dead.
There were also some special circumstances where the evil spirit wasn't powerful enough to influence a host and could only weave traps like a spider and slowly kill off the host.
Moreover, Colin had said that there hadn’t been any strange occurrences prior to this. It was only in the previous month when he asked the bookstore owner to turn on the circuit breaker did these strange things begin.
Thus, Vincent had an assumption that a low-level dream beast had come out through one of the dream realm fractures that appeared during the period when that Supreme-rank dream beast was gestating.
It had perhaps used the aetheric fluctuations of that Supreme-rank beast to hide itself and escape the attention of Secret Rite Tower and the Truth Union.
At present, Vincent didn’t sense any hint of a ghost, so he suspected that this was probably the work of a dream beast or some other extraordinary being.
Vincent had made sufficient preparations before coming, but he never expected such a mishap right off the bat.
The other party was even more... clear-headed than he imagined.
Besides not revealing any indications of possessing this body, it had even determined that Vincent was a priest from the Church of the Dome.
However, this bookstore did give off a very unusual vibe and Vincent did indeed sense some traces of aether upon entering.
This meant that the bookstore had seen the activity of transcendent beings or creatures before.
For instance, that stone gargoyle on the counter gave off an extremely chilling and resentful aura. For a moment, Vincent felt as if he had found the chief culprit.
Colin’s calls for help weren’t unfounded. However… he had been mistaken. The problem didn’t lie with the bookstore owner but the bookstore itself or the objects within.
However, the current situation seemed somewhat dangerous.
When he came over fully armed to exorcise a spirit, the other party had suddenly asked whether he was a priest from the Church of the Moon. Vincent wondered if this was a veiled warning.
Vincent’s mind went to work quickly as he maintained his vigilance while trying to keep his composure.
He cleared his throat and walked over to take a seat. “Yes, I’m currently on a work assignment in this parish.”
As he said this, Vincent carefully ‘observed’ the bookstore owner’s expression.
—Although clergymen of the church needed to blindfold themselves every night so that they wouldn’t see the moon, they were blessed with ‘Eyes of the Moon,’ a special visual sense that allowed them to see in the dark, fog, and even view the bodily conditions of others.
However, when observing the bookstore owner, all Vincent saw was an entirely ordinary person.
Since the problem didn’t lie with the person, there were certainly some other circumstances that Colin was oblivious to… This bookstore owner could perhaps be a victim too.
He could try convincing the other party to leave first, then perform an exorcism on this gargoyle.
Lin Jie raised an eyebrow. The priest before him seemed responsible and diligent, yet Lin Jie could clearly sense some disguised meaning behind his words. As if there was something he wanted to say, yet hesitating to be straightforward about.
Since he said it was work and seemed to have come over with an objective, Lin Jie suspected that it was indeed something to do with his work.
So, what was the job of a priest?
Managing the followers of a parish, doing missionary work, officiating weddings, prayers, confessionals, sacraments as well as... exorcisms.
Lin Jie felt that the sudden visit by a priest wasn’t a special attempt to convert him, and the other reasons were even more unlikely.
Thus, he made a mental association and wondered whether this had anything to do with him being mistaken to be an ‘evil spirit’ by the boss next door as mentioned by those police officers that had come to do some questioning.
Lin Jie suddenly saw the light and smiled widely. “It’s Colin, right? He regards me as an ‘evil spirit’ and has requested for someone to come and exorcise me.”
Haa... His hesitation makes sense now. Colin actually mistook me to be an evil spirit and specially called for a priest!
Vincent’s expression changed slightly, but he managed to catch himself from showing any signs of weakness, except for the silver holy emblem in his hand nearly slipping out.
He actually knows?!
Lin Jie noticed the ‘subtle’ change in the priest’s expression and felt that the both of them could sympathize with each other. This was indeed an embarrassing situation.
Colin had really gone overboard with this!
Calling a priest from afar only for him to end up in such an awkward situation.
Given the tone of those police officers, Lin Jie guessed that Colin’s firm insistence on him being an ‘evil spirit’ had caused quite some distress for this priest and thus, he had come to seek out the other person involved to come up with a countermeasure.
“Actually, this is simply a massive misunderstanding. Although I don’t know why Colin thinks this way, I’m obviously just an ordinary owner of a bookstore, made of flesh and blood like anybody else,” Lin Jie lamented.
Then, as if he just thought of something, Lin Jie mentioned, “Oh right, a few police officers came over recently after hearing Colin’s ridiculous talk. I explained it to them and they can definitely bear witness.”
Vincent’s expression turned uglier. Those three policemen had clearly been carried out!
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To prove his innocence, Lin Jie brought over the stone gargoyle at the side.
With a beaming smile, he said, “I didn’t manage to tell those three officers about this stone gargoyle that was given to me by a customer as a souvenir. Gargoyles are to ward off evil spirits and ghosts. How could I place a stone gargoyle on the counter if I was an evil spirit?”
Vincent’s eyes widened as he met the gaze of the stone gargoyle placed in front of him.
The bookstore owner took his hand and placed it on the stone sculpture. “Father, have a feel. The craftsmanship of this gargoyle is seriously exquisite.”
He could practically see the hundreds of deceased souls wailing mournfully and trying to claw their way out from within the sinister blood-red eyes of the stone gargoyle.
Lin Jie placed the gargoyle back, then pushed the flowerpot over. “And there’s this rose that I grew personally. Look at how beautiful it is. I’m definitely a person who loves life."
Vincent couldn’t pull his hand away in time and came into contact with the rose.
All the hairs on his body practically stood on end!
Those petals felt like real flesh and the blossom was filled with rings of sharp teeth. And there was still that round squirming object full of blood vessels... like an eyeball!
“Enough!” Vincent couldn’t help shouting as he jerked his hand back.
The sound of metal hitting the table made Vincent realize that he had dropped his holy emblem!
“Enough? Oh... I mean that this is more than enough evidence for me to explain the situation to Colin...” Vincent caught himself.
Lin Jie picked up the holy emblem and handed it over with a smile. “Father, you dropped this.”