IRNDGL - Chapter 116: May I Have Your Rose
"It's getting late. You should head home early if there's nothing else. It's still rather dangerous for you to be out alone at night."
Now that things were all settled, Lin Jie was ready to see off this customer.
Of course, this wasn't an order to leave. If it was still daytime, Lin Jie would love to chat more with Young Miss Ji. After all, she was a super huge client.
Even if she doesn't buy it herself, she could recommend a bunch of friends too, like Miss Doris.
The problem was that it was around nine at night when Vincent got here. Their chat ended past ten before Ji Zhixiu came, and it was already close to 11 p.m. now.
Normally, 11 p.m. was the time Lin Jie usually closed his doors and headed for bed.
He put down his cup and looked at the sky outside, feeling as though he had just lied through his teeth. How is this considered getting late? It's almost midnight already!
Young Miss Ji was rather brave indeed. She dared venture out at night to one of the more isolated neighborhoods even though she was a rather pretty young lady.
Security around here has never been very good.
"Since that's the case, I'll head on back first and await Mr. Ackerman's arrival," said Ji Zhixiu, nodding her head.
Although she was already a hunter close to Destructive-rank and could be considered a 'powerhouse', the people who came and went to the bookstore were various veteran powers with all sorts of ideas.
Indeed, they could still pose quite a bit of danger to her.
If it weren't for the importance of the original formula, she would have brought along some subordinates.
Ji Zhixiu stood up to pack her things, closed the box, and prepared to leave.
At this moment, Lin Jie felt a tug on his sleeves. He turned over and saw Mu'en's clear bright eyes looking at him, then her gaze shifted to the box on the countertop.
Staring with fixation...
Lin Jie understood at once. This child had taken a fancy to the box.
It was pretty and shiny, and Mu'en couldn't help playing with and opening it. She probably likes it a lot.
Boss Lin felt a little embarrassed. Even though this sort of remnants from a past cheating scumbag would most likely be taken to be destroyed and buried, the box itself seemed a little expensive...
He deliberated for a moment, then decided to try his luck still.
"Wait, my assistant seems to like that box. Is it possible—"
Before the sentence was complete, Ji Zhixiu had put the box down after a slight moment of hesitation. She took out the contents of it, then pushed the box over.
"Not a problem."
Lin Jie didn't know what to think and could only smile. "Well, I don't really have anything valuable to exchange for it. Is there anything in the bookstore you want?"
Ji Zhixiu was first stunned. This was followed by a sense of ecstasy and exhilaration as her eyes roamed the entire bookstore.
Without the seal on the brass box, the scent of the original formula would leak out, which was bound to attract some coveters. The Sky Wolf was a Destructive-rank dream beast and produced high-grade sordid blood.
Perhaps even Destructive-rank powerhouses would be enticed.
Ji Zhixiu reckoned that the bookstore owner was giving her another test of her abilities.
So even though there were dangers, she still chose to hand over the box.
However, it appeared that her decisiveness earned some favor with the bookstore owner, and she was given a chance to ease the difficulty of the impending challenge.
Ji Zhixiu needed to grasp this chance well!
Furthermore, Mr. Lin had said ‘anything’ in the bookstore. That meant to say, it wasn't limited to just books, but other items were applicable as well.
Every one of the books in the bookstore contained limitless secrets and power, but they wouldn't improve one's strength in just a short period of time. Right now, Ji Zhixiu also had no way of judging how much books could help her in her current situation.
Naturally, Ji Zhixiu thought of the stone gargoyle first, but its power level was only at Pandemonium-rank. It would mean just getting an assistant of a similar rank to her could only provide her limited help.
She pondered for a moment, and her gaze fell onto the red rose which she was attracted to yetfrightened her...
The rose on the counter hadn't been here during her last visit. It was probably a new addition in this period.
The beautiful rose that had been maintaining its bud shape all these time seemed to notice her gaze. Its petals quiver slightly, revealing an eyeball as a wave of avaricious malice swept across the room.
Ji Zhixiu broke out in a cold sweat, vaguely sensing an immense threat to her soul.
But when that threat arose, the myriad of invisible tentacles of 'Steel Resolve,' which was produced by her soul that lay dormant behind her all this while, sprung alive and blocked that sensation.
This flower... is terrifying.
Her current strength could not contend with this fearsome sensation and she needed to entirely rely on 'Steel Resolve' to barely be able to stop it.
Ji Zhixiu could sense that this flower didn't have any real intention of making a move and just wanted to scare her out of mischief.
However, she now thought, Wouldn't this be the best assistance?
Ji Zhixiu raised a finger and pointed at the rose. "The rose, may I have it?"
Lin Jie was slightly stunned.
In a room filled with books and an exquisitely crafted stone gargoyle, what did wanting the rose mean?
Lin Jie didn't spend too much time dwelling on it. In every way, this rose was probably the lowest valued item in the bookstore. Moreover, regardless of Earth or Azir, the meaning of a rose probably hasn't changed from ancient times to the present.
But these were all Lin Jie's own opinions. Ji Zhixiu was entitled to her choice if she wanted the rose and Lin Jie readily agreed, giving her the flower and even the pot.
As he watched the customer leave with a happy smile on her face, Lin Jie rested his chin on palms and gazed at the empty space on the counter, lost in thought.
Central District, Machine Loop
Andrew stood before Factory 01 that was currently being reconstructed.
After the Magic Ovum Mirror incident, he had made use of the emergency regulations to keep a hold of his position for the time being. However, that came at the cost of having to be monitored. On top of that, he was assigned here to supervise and search for clues of the attackers rather than be involved in the decision making of other matters.
During this attack, a total of three factories, 01, 07, and 13 were severely damaged. 01 was where bloodline-related drug experiments were conducted, 07 was the housing facility of the 'Clay Idol Project', and 13 was a storage warehouse.
What all three had in common was that the explosions were caused by the detonation of a philosopher's stone from within — These were the only three factories that required philosopher's stone during the recent period, making it even more convenient for the mole.
There's no doubt that the mole is still on the move, yet they drastically reduced my authority... That's just ridiculous!
No, perhaps the mole is someone high up...
He paced around, glaring icily at the lower ranking scholars that were doing the rebuilding works.
The long-distance receiver in his ear sounded, causing him to halt in his tracks.
"Vice-Chairman, those ‘Truth-seekers’ already know. This bunch of crazy knowledge-hungry lunatics is very interested in the bookstore..."
Andrew's expression darkened at once. He had already rescinded this order some time ago!
Someone had overwrote his order to rescind.