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IRNDGL - Chapter 160: To A Pleasant Partnership

Adjoining store?!

This caught Claude’s attention and he felt that he had gotten hold of some extraordinary new information.

He had been busy dealing with the Blood Feast recently and hadn't noticed that the audio-visual store next door had closed down.

It seemed like a good thing for the boss of the audio-visual store.

Claude's heart skipped a beat when he recalled the words "Mu'en will be in charge."

Since Mu’en was the boss’ assistant, which also meant she was likely being personally groomed by Boss Lin, it was already obvious who the 'adjoining store’s boss' was going to be.

He didn't necessarily imply he was letting her set up her own business...

And now he's allowing her to get involved with the Church of the Dome matter.

If the church was really controlling the congregation with addictive substances, then its collapse would be unavoidable. At that time, a new faith would be needed to replace it, for the sake of the stability for Norzin citizens.

Even if there wasn’t, other factions would have to recommend a new faith.

These words from the boss... hold a deep meaning indeed.

Being a bright young man with the ability to think on his feet, Claude thought of many possibilities in an instant.

But the specifics would only be confirmed after he checked with Vincent and Mu’en. Anyway, Boss Lin had already presented him with an answer and it would be stupid for him to guess blindly on his own.

But on second thought, Boss Lin's generous behavior seemed to have the intention of testing Secret Rite Tower’s stance as well...

Claude thought to himself, What's there to test? Our hearts are all yours. Don't worry, we are at your command. The council of elders are still craving for your bod- Ahem, no, I meant your realm of power.

Of course, he wouldn't say such words out loud.

He wasn't close with Mu'en and Vincent, so they might not share certain information with him, but his teacher, Joseph, was on pretty good terms with Boss Lin.

Claude cleared his throat and asked tentatively, "What kind of adjoining store are you planning to open?"

Lin Jie thought for a bit, then aired his views, “Next door is slightly bigger. Hence, most of the books will be on the shelves here and there should be more than enough space for buying and borrowing.

"I will use next door as a book cafe serving refreshments, and with more seating space, that will be more convenient for chatting. As for customers, that would be up to Mu'en."

So, to expand the business and attract more customers, the two shops would have to split up their main business direction. The adjoining store's focus would be selling coffee and tea, whereas buying books would still take place in the main store. Just that the store next door provided a place for customers to read and rest.

And the hook was a beautiful store owner. Even just standing with an expressionless face would attract eyes.

And that was why attracting customers all depended on Mu’en. Presumably, she would naturally be more attractive than a fully-grown adult such as Lin Jie himself... At least appearance-wise.

So that's why... thought Claude to himself.

Does this mean that Boss Lin wants to develop the interactions between those who come to borrow books?

He had heard from his teacher that the bookstore's business was 'poor.' On top of that, there was a long period before the borrowed books were due.

Therefore, most of the time, patrons of the bookstore didn't have much chance of meeting fellow customers and so there was no interaction nor communication between them.

The owner of the bookstore had surely interacted and trained more people than what was known to them.

Thus, the power that this bookstore held might be beyond their imaginations. Just that it had probably been dispersed greatly that it hadn't been made known yet.

And now there was an adjoining store. Was this implying that this bookstore owner had an idea to establish an organization made up of the customers that came to borrow books?

Also, was he implying that Mu'en was to be the spokesperson of the bookstore by having her in charge?

With all sorts of speculations revolving in his mind, Claude followed Vincent and Mu’en to the new adjoining store.

The newly-refurbished unit had a very novel look, with an elegant and graceful layout. There were flower vines, several pots of magnolia, and decorative plants on the partitions everywhere. It was totally different from the gloomy atmosphere of the bookstore next door.

Of course, there was nothing bad that could be said about the Ash Chamber of Commerce’s workmanship.

With some of Lin Jie’s minor additions, based on the book cafes that he had previously seen, the new store had a modern style.

Compared to Azir, whose technology level was slightly askew and like the 80s and 90s, this pure and fresh literary style was very fresh and eye-catching.

The main bookstore, though, still remained the same as before. In the past, Lin Jie didn't have money to renovate it, but now he had already gotten used to it and didn't bother making changes.

The new store would be a great tool for sucking in money in the future, so Lin Jie had thought through it meticulously.

As someone used to seeing shops in the Central District that served the nobles and also transcendent beings, Claude was still rather amazed by this never-seen-before style when he walked into the new shop.

It wasn't that the store was that aesthetically pleasing, but it wasn't something he had seen before, so the experience stood out.

"Was this also designed by Boss Lin?" Claude tried to start a conversation with the frosty young girl.

While the bookstore’s meek assistant was only responsible for serving drinks and sorting out books, Claude could sense an extremely dangerous aura resonating from her during the slight interactions he had with her.

This was especially prominent for Claude who was a sort of 'Police for Transcendent Beings' and often dealt with criminals.

He could sense a carefree and unrestrained vibe. She was like a sharp sword, but without a sheath. As long as she felt like doing something, she would definitely do it.

If it weren't for Boss Lin, this young girl might have likely been one of those wanted criminals and probably likely to be near the top of the most dangerous lists.

Mu’en nodded and surveyed the shop. A gentleness showed in her eyes as she said, "Yes, these were all designed and personally instructed by the boss himself."

During that period, Lin Jie came over every couple of days to supervise the renovations by the Ash Chamber of Commerce and made sure they met his expectations. He was engrossed and devoted to the renovation of the store and cared about it even more than the makeover of his own bedroom.

Claude could only be impressed. Haa... Boss Lin is truly omniscient and omnipotent.

Vincent seemed to be more silent than before. With a deadpan face, he picked a random seat and sat down before starting to recount his recent experience.

Vincent’s and Mu’en’s current mindsets were now to expose the Church of the Dome’s crimes to the public first before proceeding to make known their new region to the people from Vincent's parish whom he had saved in the past. Chances of the common folk believing would be greater because of the reputation he had garnered there.

But there was still one thing. They needed Secret Rite Tower's cooperation.

"This is not an issue. If the Church of the Dome reports to us that an evil faith has emerged, we can just let it drag on."

Claude continued on, "But the problem will be how you publicize the new religion. I believe you know the status of the Church of the Dome in Norzin better than I do. The teachings and name of the new faith have to be recorded officially as well."

"I've printed the materials for the official documentation. You just have to bring it back." Mu’en displayed her high efficiency as the bookstore assistant. She went on indifferently, "As for what means will be employed, you don't have to worry about that."

Vincent took out a crumpled cigarette from his pocket and said in a hushed voice, "After I escaped, I got the sample of the Holy Moon Essence from my former colleague. You can take it back to test its composition."

Although the priest was blindfolded, Claude felt a faint pressurizing sensation as though he was being stared at.

Another dangerous person…

"Very well," Claude sighed. "Secret Rite Tower will do its best to cooperate. We won't stand by and do nothing if the Church of the Dome is really doing such evil. However, attempting to eradicate this giant organization is an extremely difficult task and we would still need to work together.

"So then," He reached out his hand and looked at the two, "to a pleasant partnership."

Vincent subconsciously glanced at Mu’en but she didn't move. He understood that he would be up against something far greater as he stood up.

The two of them shook hands firmly.

——

When Lin Jie was waiting alone in the bookstore, he suddenly received a call from Cherry.

He took out the communications device and thought about that little lady who said she would visit soon. It appeared that she had probably finished dealing with the matters that had delayed her schedule.

After answering, as expected, the little lady's somewhat puerile voice sounded from the other end of the line, "Mr. Lin!"

Just listening to her voice, he could sense the vitality this child-like girl had.

However, he could hear some anxiousness and unhappiness in her tone. This was how she sounded like when she first sought him out for help.

"Cherry?

"Have you finally settled the matter at hand? Or do you need help again?" Lin Jie asked with a smile.

"Erm..." After hesitating for a while, she lowered her voice and said, "I've indeed encountered some troubles. My sources got a book from Congreve, that stupid brother of mine who has always wanted to seize power. However, no one has been able to understand the words on that book, so I would like to consult you about it."

beetlebarker's Notes:


Special thanks to Tetra & Aco for editing and pr-ing
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IRNDGL Manhua translation by Zeroscans
Written by Great Calamity Of Fire (万劫火). Translated by beetlebarker.