Chapter 196: Everything Was All a Stratagem of Boss Lin's!

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Cherry had been watching everything unfold from the beginning. As soon as the Pandemonium-ranks were eaten up by Grady in succession, she ran to the corner to avoid getting caught up in the fighting.

Her heart pounded violently from witnessing this life-or-death crisis.

Battles between Destructive-ranks were rarely seen and usually once in a lifetime affairs... for one could easily be dead the moment they witnessed it.

Even though the entire room was largely occupied by that huge monster, there was still a space at the corner left by Grady, whether at Wilde's instruction or not.

Cherry held her head and squatted down in the corner, like an anxious little mushroom watching the center of the room anxiously.

However, there seemed to be a gulf in strength between the two parties of this battle. Cherry didn't see the earth-shattering scenes she pictured in her head.

The Destructive-rank hunter, Harper, didn't immediately close the gap with Wilde as she had expected.

From what Cherry knew, most of the time, a hunter would rush to attack and get up close with a magician foe.

After all, magicians are usually physically weaker and not good in close combat, so hunters would naturally use their strengths to target their enemies’ weaknesses.

If a distance was kept, a magician of the same rank would hold a great advantage.

Back when Wilde was young and ignorant, it was such an oversight that allowed Harper to get close. Even though Wilde managed to avoid being mortally wounded, his face was torn off and that was how he got the ‘Faceless’ moniker.

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And now, the two of them were practically in an identical confrontation.

However, Harper didn’t have the guts to charge in.

Not only did he not rush in, he even started to tremble and backed away in panic.

Harper recalled the deep-rooted fear in his heart.

The grown-up Wilde was too frightening, just like a rational and intelligent wild beast. He was crazier, more savage and persistent than a hunter.

Wilde had hunted down Harper relentlessly, until the latter had to seek refuge with the Path of the Flaming Sword and eventually became a lapdog for the organization.

Harper lived in hiding for so many years, yet never once thought of using the Path of the Flaming Sword’s power to change everything and take revenge because his spirits had already been crushed by Wilde.

Now, when Harper saw Wilde once again, his instinct was still to flee.

And it was this action that made Wilde discard any thoughts of ‘reminiscing’ or ‘personally killing’ and just got Grady to do the deed.

Just like that, a Destructive-rank died rather uneventfully right in front of Cherry’s eyes.

She was utterly stunned and reckoned Wilde’s power level was close to Supreme-rank… Or perhaps already at Divine-rank!

This black magician that was one defeated by Joseph and went missing for two years hadn’t died but instead had gotten even stronger at a certain juncture.

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And that turning point was the bookstore!

Her eyes lit up as she felt a strange sense of ‘camaraderie.’ Nodding her head vigorously, she exclaimed, “Yes! I bought a book from Mr. Lin’s store three years ago! I’ve reacquainted with the bookstore just recently and even helped renovate the new sub-store!

“Coming over here to investigate the exchange between Congreve and the Church of the Dome is also Mr. Lin’s intent…”

Cherry recounted her story right from the beginning.

This was her first time coming face-to-face with another customer of the bookstore, and there was no doubt she harbored curiosity.

I wonder what book Wilde got from the bookstore…

Moreover, he called Mr. Lin his ‘Lord and Savior.’ From the look of things, he seems to be a follower of Mr. Lin. 

Does that mean Mr. Lin has some affiliation with a faith? Could this be Mr. Lin’s true identity?

Cherry felt apprehensive the more she thought about it, but extremely excited as well. It was as if she was now coming into contact with another side of Lin Jie.

“I see.”

Wilde nodded with a slight smile. “You got to the bookstore a year earlier than me. Looks like you are a ‘senior’.”

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Cherry immediately put her hands up and hastily rebutted, “You are exaggerating, it was just good fortune on my part. Meeting Mr. Lin is the best thing that happened to me. I’ve heard all about your past deeds. You are a senior to me in every aspect.”

This was a Destructive-rank being and Cherry knew that very well. He was only being polite to her for Mr. Lin’s sake. If at any moment he didn’t feel like it, Cherry knew that she could end up just like Harper.

This amicable old gentleman had killed more than ten people in the blink of an eye, including a Destructive-rank, and was now speaking to her in a calm and gentle way.

It really showed what sort of character he had.

Wilde's gaze towards Cherry softened. "Originally, I joined Blood Feast because I wanted to spread the word and works of Mr. Lin. Just like your mission, this is the task Mr. Lin assigned to me.”

He pointed to the other end of the room. Looking over, Cherry realized that there were four persons lying on the ground convulsing uncontrollably. Those were probably the targets of his preaching.

"I didn't intend to get involved over here, but Congreve's words and the presence of Harper made me change my mind."

Wilde reached into the mess and pulled out a contract, an account book, and a jeweled ring which he handed over to Cherry.

Cherry thanked Wilde as she took the items and discovered that it was indeed an agreement signed between Congreve and the Church of the Dome. The ledger in the account book had every transaction of 'Blood Feast,' and the gemstone on the ring was a tiny philosopher's stone that was an item from the stolen shipment.

"I know. Harper is the enemy you've been searching for all these years," sighed Cherry. "What a coincidence."

Then, Cherry froze.

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Is it really a coincidence?

Wilde was involved with Blood Feast because he was helping spread the gospel of Mr. Lin.

Cherry herself was here to help Mr. Lin find evidence that the Church of the Dome was manufacturing Holy Moon Essence as well as to infiltrate the transaction venue and take down Congreve.

As it happened, Congreve had been helping Blood Feast facilitate a secure location, and so, the two had crossed paths.

Those enemies from the 'Path of the Flaming Sword' that had suddenly appeared would have been a handful for Wilde, yet suddenly withdrawn because of 'a deal between the bookstore and the Path of the Flaming Sword.’

"I see you realize that too," said Wilde. "Before coming here, Boss Lin once paid me a personal visit and used the Coin of Destiny to save my life. On top of that, he helped conduct divination on this undertaking and the result was 'good fortune.' Thus, I was fortunate to find Harper, someone I've been pursuing for decades to no success. And I remember—

"The Coin of Fortune has always been kept at the Ash Chamber of Commerce."

Cherry felt as if her brain had been struck by lightning as everything came together!

She took a deep breath and said, "Yes, during the renovation of the new store, I got my butler to present the Coin of Misfortune to Mr. Lin as a gift. While I was tied up with business and unable to be at the bookstore in person, the butler said that Mr. Lin seemed like a clairvoyant. At about the time, the boss of the neighboring audio-visual store gave Mr. Lin the Coin of Fortune, and the two combined to form the Coin of Destiny."

"That's what I'm talking about!" Wilde was visibly excited. "Using your gift, Mr. Lin came to save me, and at the same time allowed me to find my sworn enemy of so many years. At the same time, we each completed our respective tasks. Your evidence, my mission, as well as making a deal with that 'Path of the Flaming Sword' in a three-way layout—everything was all a stratagem of Boss Lin's!

"A meticulous plan laid out layer by layer. It's just unbelievable!"

The two bookstore customers exchanged a glance, simultaneously marveling at Lin Jie's inscrutable and masterful intellect to be in control of everything.

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