Lin Jie was not the least bit interested in what was contained within the heavy, black leather suitcase.
Neither was he looking forward to the blissful image of Cherry opening the suitcase's buckles with a clack and pouring out stacks of banknotes.
It wasn’t that Lin Jie was a saint who viewed money as dirt, but this was just absolute nonsense.
His unchanging friendship of three years with Cherry could not be measured with just money.
And money talks would often damage relationships.
After all, whether it was a gift or not didn't matter. What was important was that Cherry had come and it was the thought that counts.
Everyone had a tacit mutual understanding as they glanced at each other with a smile. Their years of sentiments were understood without uttering a single word.
Such an atmosphere was nice.
Lin Jie rubbed his face and cleared his throat, curbing his brilliant smile slightly as he reached out to shift the suitcase to the side. “How can I accept this?”
When shifting the suitcase, he felt the weight of it really heavy, to the point that it was excessive.
It took a great effort for him to stop the sides of his lips from twitching.
Cherry had just sat down on the high stool at the counter. She wasn't seated stably yet, but when she heard what Lin Jie said, she immediately looked towards him eagerly. “This is a gift that I spent three years meticulously preparing, please do accept it.”
“This…” Lin Jie was troubled for half a second before finally succumbing to Cherry’s gaze. He gave up the back-and-forth haggling and sighed helplessly. “Alright.”
He couldn’t help but lament at what a sincere child she was. It wouldn't be her past three years of savings inside, would it…
Lin Jie strangely felt like a parent who was collecting the New Year's money his child received and it aroused a slight sense of guilt in him.
Cherry's face immediately brightened up. “You changed my fate all these years ago. If it wasn’t for you, the me of today wouldn't be here. Regardless of what I do, no matter how expensive a gift, all these wouldn’t be enough to express my gratitude towards you. I can only do my best to put my mind at ease.
“Don’t worry. Although the gift may be expensive, it wasn’t much trouble for me. As long as you’re happy, everything that I did will be worth it.”
Cherry took a sneaky glance at Lin Jie’s expression as she said this.
After confirming that there was happiness and eagerness, even though restrained in Lin Jie's expression, Cherry let out a silent sigh of relief.
That’s great! The gift this time round is to Mr. Lin’s liking. He really likes it!
Cherry puffed out her chest, feeling a little proud knowing that she was the person who absolutely understood Mr. Lin the best.
As for the look that Lin Jie had as though he knew what the suitcase contained, Cherry felt that it was justified.
It was Mr. Lin after all. This sealing sigil from the Destructive-rank white magician was bound to be useless in the face of Mr. Lin. It would really have been strange if that wasn't the case.
Bella looked on from the side with some frustration and let out a silent sigh.
Mistress, oh mistress, you just vowed to let Mr. Lin feel your blazing emotions, but in the blink of an eye you have already forgotten about it and instead became all modest… This won't do. If you don't make it clear, no one would know…
But midway through her thoughts, the maid shook her head as she saw Cherry being immersed in bliss. Sigh, never mind. There’s no helping her.
Lin Jie smiled. “I’m really happy, but… only just this once. I won’t be accepting any more gifts from you in the future, unless there's something you require help with. Then, we can count it as an equivalent exchange.”
Cherry was too reliant and trusting of him as well as thought too highly of him. This wasn’t a good thing and… It would be appropriate to put some distance between them.
It was alright to be friends, but it would all be over if this little lady were to worship him like some sort of god.
As for now, well… He could still tell that Cherry's expression wasn't forced. Upon consideration of her position in the Ash Chamber of Commerce, Lin Jie reckoned that most things wouldn't be 'much trouble' to her.
Moreover, there wasn't anything unusual in the demeanor of the calm and reliable head maid Bella either.
So this time, he would have to reluctantly accept the gift.
Cherry obediently replied with an OK, but happiness was filling her heart by the minute.
On the surface, Mr. Lin’s words seemed like a polite decline for formal reasons.
But in fact, he was also saying that Cherry could look for him if she had had any troubles in the future. This promise was an extremely special honor.
After all, would anyone not know that Boss Lin was practically omnipotent?
Looks like Mr. Lin is really happy this time round.
Cherry took the opportunity to strike while the iron was hot. “Open and see what it is! I spent a long time preparing it. If you’re not satisfied, I can try to look for other rare treasures…”
She recalled what Lin Jie had just mentioned and quickly added, “I’m here because I still have a book that I’d like to consult you about. I hope that you’ll help me to decipher it, so I ought to send another gift.”
Lin Jie couldn't help feeling like something was amiss.
In a normal course of events, it should be him helping her out first before Cherry chose to give him a gift as thanks. Why had it now become as if Cherry was giving a gift as repayment in order to request something of him?
The difference between the two situations was that the former could receive the favor for free, while the latter needed to pay.
Lin Jie always felt that Cherry, who had the attributes of an overpowering boss, seemed to be somewhat fond of giving him gifts as if this could increase his affection towards her…
Sigh, alright... Lin Jie conceded that this could indeed raise his favorable view of her.
“I appreciate the thought, but you don’t have to give me gifts so frequently. I would much prefer books or things related to culture.”
As Lin Jie spoke, he cast a glance at that black leather suitcase.
Bella immediately respectfully said, “Let me.”
Lin Jie nodded. Bella reached out, and with some deft and complicated maneuvers, opened the clasp of the suitcase.
How excessive… Lin Jie couldn’t help but think to himself.
But whatever was inside the suitcase was probably valuable, so requiring such a complicated lock wasn't out of the ordinary.
Lin Jie watched with anticipation as the head maid opened the suitcase.
It sounded just like how he imagined it.
However, after seeing the contents of the suitcase, Lin Jie blinked several times, falling into deep thought.
The situation was slightly different from how he imagined it to be.
The suitcase indeed contained a stack, but it wasn’t stacks of banknotes, but a stone with stacked layers… That’s right, what the suitcase contained was a complete fossil!
The entire piece of pale rock presented fine ridges with lines that looked like scales and blood vessels expanding from the center, spreading out over the layers. At its center point, it appeared as if a heart was embedded on this complete fossil.
Lin Jie was stunned.
A complete fossil with intact soft tissue and organs?!
Cherry explained, “This is an Ancient Dragon heart from the First Era.”
According to Azir history, the First Era was at least a hundred million years ago, which also meant that this piece of fossil in front of him was at least that old. Moreover it was an extremely rare fossil that even had intact soft tissue and organs.
Holy, shouldn’t this thing be kept in a museum?
The corners of Lin Jie’s mouth twitched.
In a sense, this gift before him was far greater than a suitcase full of banknotes in terms of both value and shock factor.