Lin Jie wasn't surprised by this. A conflict between Ji Zhixiu and Cherry was almost inevitable given the circumstances.
It would not make sense if there was any conflict between these two given the likelihood of it.
When it comes to business, there are no everlasting enemies or friends. Just interests.
Disputes were bound to happen as long as there was a conflict of interests between the two parties.
One was the daughter of the Rolle Resource Development Company’s president. While the other was a deputy branch head of the Chapmans, which was one of the three families that founded the Ash Chamber of Commerce.
As a monopoly that controlled almost all business activities in Norzin, Rolle Resource Development had its eyes set on the flow of logistics and goods.
If not because they had been so focused on the development of the Lower City District and the growth of related industries, which took up most of their resources, Rolle Resource Development would have wanted to build their own logistics platform.
This had also given the Ash Chamber of Commerce a chance to take advantage of his hole. Moreover, the three family clans behind the foundation of the Ash Chamber of Commerce were powerful, otherwise, they too would be at the mercy of Rolle Resource Development, just like the smaller Smelter's Commercial Association.
By the time Rolle’s Resources Development was freed from the Lower City District, the logistics sector and goods channels sector had already been completely controlled by the Ash Chamber of Commerce. Even with Rolle Resource Development's strength, they were unable to get a piece of the pie and had to regrettably give up.
However, despite giving up, it did not diminish their desire and covetousness.
Ash Chamber of Commerce and Rolle Resource Development had a cooperative relationship with hidden competition beneath the surface. There were many examples of competition between the two, and it was Rolle Resource Development that came out on top most of the time.
In this current situation, it could be said that Congreve was holding the sword by the blade and this was a good opportunity for Rolle Resource Development to give their competitors a good blow.
— Lin Jie learned most of this logic via news on the television. As a folklore studies academic, he didn't really understand all these complicated concepts about business well.
All in all, it seemed as if Ji Zhixiu and Cherry were destined for such a showdown since birth.
On the surface, it appeared like Cherry, who held real power, currently had an advantage over the idle Ji Zhixiu. However, when it came to comparing their backgrounds, Ji Zhixiu, as the destined successor of the Ji family, held a far greater advantage in this sense.
Lin Jie felt that he might not be able to do anything about this either…
The only thing they could do was to resolve this matter as soon as possible so as to minimize the severity of Ash Chamber of Commerce’s losses.
Ji Bonong would also be coming to visit in person — Ji Zhixiu had mentioned previously that she had personally suggested for her father to look into the possibility of working together with the bookstore.
Although Lin Jie appreciated her kind intentions, he always felt that this was a little ridiculous and completely unnecessary.
Cooperation was secondary, and his main aim was to avoid the loss of a big customer.
Ji Zhixiu and Cherry, these two are huge backers. Innocent, lovely, and gullible... I mean good-looking.
Although I might not be able to fool a cunning business tycoon like Ji Bonong, I still have to give it a try. Who knows, I might just succeed?
I've already won over Ji Zhixiu, and if I win over her father, I can earn from both generations!
After explaining his plan to Joseph, Lin Jie also detailed what he had learned from Michael, including the key information that he hadn't yet mentioned — The Church of the Dome had expanded the scope of the usage of Holy Moon Essence, and the second sacrificial ceremony would be held in seven days.
“That," Lin Jie said quietly, tapping his finger on the table, "will be the best time for you to act. Let Vincent blow the lid off all this. The public's disappointment with the Church of the Dome will soon be transformed into a belief in the new faith. When it has a firm foothold, there would be much less social unrest as well."
Joseph understood all this and nodded firmly.
All this was crucial information that was of great importance to him. This had also been the first time he had participated in a Secret Rite Tower’s operation as a combatant since retiring from the frontlines two years ago.
This would be a battle where the Indomitable Sacred Flame reemerged!
Seeing the determination and light in Joseph's eyes, Lin Jie’s expression relaxed a little and he smiled. "It seems that you are certain of victory already, so I wish you a successful start and all the best. There's no need for any other words of encouragement... Remember to change to a better arm."
Joseph glanced at his own empty shoulder and laughed heartily. “Of course!”
"I have to thank you for the book as well," he mused. "I couldn't have gotten the strength I needed without it."
Lin Jie shrugged and doled out a bowl of long-awaited chicken soup. "It's your heart that is most important. When you read a book, the book is also looking back at you. The change in you will also change the contents you see in the book.
"What you receive is the power you already possess deep down, and nothing more."
Joseph fell into deep thought. So the strength and type of summoning are related to my spiritual strength!
Moreover, from what Boss Lin just said, these summons are intelligent and have their own thoughts and ideas.
With that thought in mind, he felt as if the book currently in the cleft of his chestplate had suddenly opened its eyes and was giving him a meaningful look.
Not only that. Those densely-packed books in the shelf behind Lin Jie seemed to be casting their 'gaze' as well, which gave Joseph the chills.
Are they also choosing summonings just like how people chose goods? Only when they are pleased would we have the right to summon and understand them.
Joseph forced a smile. As he remembered that Boss Lin's alignment was neither good nor evil, the joy in his heart diminished slightly.
He shuddered and sobered up from that numbing joy from a moment before, sighing as he thought about Wilde whose whereabouts were still unknown...
Does Boss Lin hide the whereabouts of this mass murderer and provide him with help behind that smile of his?
At this moment, Joseph felt like Lin Jie was a shepherd, smiling down on all the lambs in this world. Regardless of whether black or white, he would gently help these lambs up when they fell. While he appeared kind, such a being was actually indifferent to it all.
He bade Lin Jie farewell and returned to the adjoining book cafe, where the gathering was in full swing.
The Council of Elders’ closed-door off discussion should have reached a conclusion. Once the issue of the Church of the Dome is resolved, perhaps it’s time for the core of Secret Rite Tower to directly make contact with the bookstore.
In a distant place, a handsome golden-haired young man in a white robe was slowly walking along the summit of a mountain shaped like a dragon’s back. In his hand was a red cross.
A flash of light suddenly appeared, causing a change of expression in this young man who extended his palm.
The light immediately flew into the palm and fused with his body.
A look of bemusement showed on his face as the fused memories of what had been experienced appeared fresh in his mind. The last scene ended after Lin Jie left and Michael's fallen 'corpse' turned into spots of light that dispersed into the air.
At the same time, there was a scene where a stone gargoyle took the opportunity to lick the residue of blood, flesh, and bones off the walls.
"Lin Jie... an unparalleled being that has never shown up in history before. Where exactly did he come from? But, it's interesting indeed!"
The young man smiled knowingly. "That gargoyle looks to have the marks of Augustus. Perhaps he might know something."