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IRNDGL - Chapter 171: Human Skin Book

Lin Jie had yet to see the book's contents, but his entire face had already paled.

The village with the custom of making human skin drums had done so out of yearning and respect for the dead. The skin they used were from the backs of the recently deceased and the drums were used to beckon to these souls through a special ceremony.

They believed that the soul leaves a body from behind and thus the skin on a person's back had spiritual properties and could act as a gateway to the netherworld for a person's soul.

And all these human skin were prepared by the old priests of the village using ceremonial knives, and it was a sacred and masterful process.

So, while this custom might sound weird, it was in fact a sort of primitive manifestation of the culture of death which wouldn't be viewed too badly by others...

Of course, this was only Lin Jie's personal opinion. He had researched folklore and customs for so many years and had experienced many bizarre customs so he wasn't too fazed.

However, just thinking of an object like this might be a tad creepy for the average person.

On the other hand, this book was different. It came from Congreve.

This was a man who made a secret deal with the Church of the Dome to create 'Holy Moon Essence' for profit and there definitely was no cultural aspect to this.

Therefore, whether this skin came from a living or dead person remained unclear.

From Cherry's depiction of Congreve, Lin Jie reckoned that there was a slight propensity for it to be the latter.

The thought that this piece of skin could have come from an innocent person made the book feel even heavier in Lin Jie's hands.

The Church the Dome that used unknown addictive compounds to control the congregation and killed wantonly using a so-called god as a guise, and Congreve, who bound books with human skins, were both committing grievous crimes that were beyond normal comprehension.

An evil organization with a sinister purpose, and a twisted murderer... thought Lin Jie to himself as he flipped open that human skin book.

Bella's follow-up of a detailed explanation confirmed Lin Jie's thoughts. "We can't understand the words in this book, but after thoroughly studying it, we've found that this book is made entirely from human skin.

"The cover is made from the back skin of a man in his prime, two pieces joined together. The 'paper' of every page, in order to maintain the thin and soft texture, makes use of baby..."

At this point, Bella realized that the young man at the counter was completely unmoving and the entire store was so silent one could hear a pin drop.

Bella's heart thumped as she watched Lin Jie looking at the opened book without saying a single word.

But, not knowing whether she was perceiving things wrongly, Bella saw the dark eyes of the bookstore owner, seemingly filled with thunderous intent, like dark ominous clouds brewing up a massive storm.

"Mr. Lin?"

Lin Jie nodded, then smiled slightly. "Go on."

A chill ran down Bella's spine as she saw Lin Jie's usual smile. A thought popped up in her head. Mr. Lin is angry.

But Lin Jie had asked her to continue. Bella regarded this as a warning and didn't contemplate further, clearing her throat and finishing the explanation.

But for some reason, she lowered her voice subconsciously.

Lin Jie's gaze returned to the page.

Of course he was mad.

This human skin book was a twisted amalgamation of numerous crimes, and the extent of the cruelty was appalling.

"Huu..."

Lin Jie took a deep breath, regaining his composure as he settled down to view the book's contents.

"Huh?"

As soon as he saw the first word, Lin Jie recognized that these were the same sort of characters that were inscribed on the sacred sword he kept upstairs.

At the same time, it was also the common language used by elves.

This was a language of the Second Era that had already been lost in the long river of time during the dark ages. It was no wonder Cherry couldn’t find anyone capable of translating this book even with the vast financial muscle at her disposal.

Of course, that could also have been because she couldn't let too many people know about this book. Perhaps, if she were to widen her scope, Cherry might be able to find a suitable linguist.

For example, Old Wil.

However, he was currently undercover at 'Blood Feast' and probably won't have the time.

It was also fortunate that Lin Jie had received Candela's memory in the dream. Although a large part was still missing, at least language had been packaged along with it.

Lin Jie looked through it carefully and discovered that the contents of the book were very different from what he had imagined.

It wasn't the sort of dark magic that one would associate with such a human skin book.

The words written in blood red were more like a person's soliloquy. Questions without answers, answers without questions, monologues, and at times, simple commands.

Putting it simply, it was like a conversation with another person that didn't exist.

The tone was condescending, but the wordings were enticing.

It felt like the diary of a twisted psychopath's daily mental struggles.

"Is Congreve crazy?"

After Lin Jie read out the contents he had seen, Cherry and Bella immediately exchanged glances, finding it difficult to understand what Congreve was playing at.

Moreover, this wasn't the 'incriminating evidence against Congreve' that they were expecting, and it was somewhat disappointing.

Cherry said, "But at the very least, we can know that he intercepted a shipment which he gave to the Church of the Dome."

There were clear cut references to the Church of the Dome inside the book. The meeting place was also recorded, so as long as there were still transactions, the two ladies would be able to follow the tracks and thoroughly expose their evils.

No. Lin Jie's eyes narrowed. This isn't written by Congreve.

He flipped through the book from start to finish once more and eventually sorted out his thoughts.

The tone of words employed in the writing here was mostly commanding and beguiling. On top of that, things like‘the 'Ash Chamber of Commerce is nothing', 'assist you in usurping and getting rid of Cherry', 'for the great cause' and other such phrases.

It clearly wouldn't make sense if Congreve was insane. The long arguments here were too objective and logical.

Lin Jie immediately wondered whether this was a form of transmitted messages?

Or perhaps this human skin book was something like a 'magic mirror' where Congreve spoke to it and the words automatically wrote themselves on the human skin book? Everything would certainly make sense if this was the case.

Find the original at h*sted novel.

However, he still wasn't sure and translating so much content in such a short span of time was difficult and there were still areas he didn't understand too well.

However, this somewhat scary conjecture was yet unproven, so Lin Jie decided to not mention it so as to not frighten the two ladies.

"Please leave this human skin book with me. There are still some areas I'm yet unable to translate fully. You can first investigate where they met and see if you can find any clues."

Lin Jie also told them about Claude who was next door and urged them to seek his help.

As he watched Cherry and Bella leave reluctantly, Lin Jie placed the human skin book aside temporarily and once again returned his attention onto the suitcase that held the fossilized heart.

He didn’t notice an oozing line of blood-colored words appearing in the last page of the human skin book—

Find the original at h*sted novel.

“I've

Found

You.”

beetlebarker's Notes:

Wishing everyone a happy lunar new year!

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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.