Lin Jie waited outside for some time before the door finally opened slowly.
Old Wil, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time, appeared in a loose black robe with intricate golden patterns. He didn’t have on his signature mask, revealing his pale, scarred face that broke into a warm smile from behind the door.
This wasn’t the first time Lin Jie had seen Wilde’s true face. In fact, during their first encounter, the dejected Wilde wasn’t even wearing any mask.
However, Lin Jie wasn’t one to judge by appearances and chose to impart chicken soup to the Old Wil of that time and even recommended the first book, Resurrection, to him.
Wilde opened the door wider and gestured to Lin Jie to come in. Cautiously, he asked, “Boss Lin, what are you doing here?”
“There’s something I wish to speak with you about, but you haven’t come to borrow books recently. Since my newly hired assistant is helping to watch the store, I had some free time and came over,” chuckled Lin Jie as he entered.
“I hope my visit isn’t a bother to you.”
“No, no.” Wilde immediately put his hands up. “It’s my honor to be paid a personal visit by you.”
“That’s good. To be honest, you really do live quite a distance away. I even thought that I would have to spend a couple of hours on public transport.”
As he closed the door, Wilde couldn’t help thinking to himself, I clearly saw you show up at my doorstep out of nowhere!
With a dry laugh, he explained, “You do know that I need a quieter environment to stay in.”
“Indeed, it can be a tad troublesome without a conducive environment given the research nature of your job. This, I understand fully.” Lin Jie couldn’t help nodding in agreement when he thought about the remoteness of his own bookstore.
While Lin Jie was exchanging these pleasantries, his eyes were instinctively drawn to the clothes Old Wil was wearing.
His clothes had a quaint air of mystery, like the robes of a wizard. It was something that most people would never wear out. Hmm... Could this be Old Wil's pajamas? Haha, he might be old, but he has the heart of a chuunibyou, haa. But till the day they die, men will always be boys,Lin Jie mused to himself.
Wilde suddenly noticed Lin Jie's gaze gliding over his robe, one that represented the disciples of 'Black Emperor' Augustus. Then, the bookstore gave him a knowing smile.
Afraid that Wilde would think he was judging him, Lin Jie immediately played it cool and complimented, "You have good taste in clothes, Old Wil."
Wilde felt his heart skip a beat. Does he imply that my teacher is great and I chose the right one!
A bold guess once again came into his mind. Boss Lin, h-he knows Teacher!
Wilde recalled the book, Void Extinguishing, which he had found hard to understand. The book was a strange world of magic that tried to connect the rules of life and death.
But... Augustus was the last surviving giant from the First Era. Besides him, there were no other giants in the world.
Therefore, either the book had survived from the First Era, or it had been written by Augustus. Perhaps... It was just like how Wilde had presented his most favored creation masterpiece to the bookstore owner. Augustus might have given his best work to Lin Jie.
Regardless of whichever the case, the bookstore owner's mysticism seemed even more profound, just like layer upon layer of mist, which one's eyes had no way of penetrating and seeing what was hidden behind.
Perhaps... he might even be a true god.
Wilde felt a little dizzy from his own conjecture. He led Lin Jie to sit down, poured water for the both of them, and took a few sips to calm down.
Placing his cup down, Wilde decided to make clear his position and expressed cautiously. "Thank you for your compliment. I think so as well. To me, this piece of clothing holds a very special significance. It represents the most important period of my life that I will never forget."
Lin Jie nodded. So that's why... He kept it up till now for the sake of reminiscing his youth. Old Wil really misses the past. Haa... It's no wonder he was cheated by his own child.
Such a person definitely isn't capable of being an evildoer... If he has indeed gotten involved with that 'Blood Feast' organization, then he must have been forced or has an agenda.
From Old Wil's manner, Lin Jie believed it was likely to be the latter.
Wilde observed Lin Jie carefully, noticing the bookstore owner's face soften a little with a hint of tacit approval.
Inwardly, he heaved a sigh of relief and asked, "Have you come to me because of my arbitrary decision?"
Lin Jie leaned forward slightly, folding his arms and resting them on his knees out of habit. With a straight face, he said, "That's right. You've gotten involved with 'Blood Feast', right? Have you forgotten my advice to you back then?"
Wilde's face turned solemn. "Actually, I wish to use their upcoming gathering to convince them to become your followers and customers of your bookstore.”
"Hold up." Lin Jie put up a hand and asked, "My followers?"
Wilde realized he had spoken out of line. The bookstore owner had never said he needed followers. He had always recommended books to customers, guiding them out of their predicament and into a new life.
What made him truly understand Lin Jie's intention was that book, Corpse Devouring Sect, Rites & Ceremonies, because of the various sacrificial rituals written inside. A sacrificial ritual was done as a tribute to someone or something. The methods depicted in the book were so brutal and cruel, so if this someone was a god, it would definitely be an evil god. Since Boss Lin had written this book, then, without a doubt, he held the position of a preacher.
But in actuality, Wilde's guess had been that the two were the same... which resulted in this accidental gaffe.
"Cough, cough. I meant... believers in books." Wilde covered his mouth and coughed dryly. Then with a determined look in his eyes, he said, "I've always been indebted to the help you've given me. I've thought about it many times over. Just one gargoyle isn't sufficient to repay you, but anything material seems so insignificant.
"So, I decided to practice your ideology, letting those astray find the true meaning of life and also get them to listen to your teachings!"
Lin Jie had a complicated look in his eyes. Never had he imagined that this was the reason why Old Wil had joined 'Blood Feast'.
No, this can't be considered 'joining'. This is an ‘infiltration’ to instigate a revolt and break up this organization from the inside! He...He's so enlightened! Lin Jie was touched. His two years of serving chicken soup hadn't gone to waste.
However, this was too dangerous for a man of Old Wil's age so he decided to try and advise him once again.
"Old Wil, your intentions are really good, but..." Lin Jie's eyes froze, his gaze passing over Old Wil's shoulder and falling on the partition wall behind.
Dark red blood was oozing out on the floor.
"But what is that?"