Joseph froze. From past experience, he reckoned that Boss Lin was reviewing their performance, thus, he cautiously questioned, “What kind of dream would stir the interest of you, Boss Lin?”
However, Lin Jie didn't mention the dream he had this time. Instead, he seemed to observe the strange looks of the others and gave a mysterious smirk.
“It's nothing much, just that it felt like this thing was somewhat special which made me change some opinions I have of you guys. Oh, nothing of the negative sort though.
"It’s rather cold outside, let’s continue the conversation inside.”
The bell jingled as the main door was fully opened. Grinning, Lin Jie allowed his assistant and the two esteemed guests to enter the store first.
It was roughly 4:30 in the early hours of the morning and the whole of Norzin was still deep in slumber.
The cyan-hued sky, which the moon still hung upon, was dotted with twinkling stars. A thin morning fog had formed on the streets, making it seem all the more quaint and serene.
This only made the overlapping creaking of the doors and the chiming of the door chimes all the more apparent in the morning breeze.
Joseph and Vincent exchanged glances, reaching a shared consensus that by opening up for the day at this time, Boss Lin must have been specifically waiting for them.
Otherwise, the bookstore would’ve probably been opened for business according to the usual opening hours of around 7 or 8 a.m.
Furthermore, based on Boss Lin's manner of speech, wasn't he insinuating that the conceited Gabriel who was crushed in a swift blow resembled a brainless mosquito seeking for death?
More importantly was what he said about ‘having the most fascinating dream’ and having ‘changed some opinions about you guys.’
Both of these were rather self-explanatory and it meant that without a doubt, they had all been in Boss Lin's dream realm!
Ever since they stepped foot into the Central Chapel, everyone present within the church grounds had unknowingly entered his dream realm. Every single one of them had become the tiny ‘grains of sand’ overlooked by the gigantic shadowy figure… or rather, they had become ‘chess pieces.’
Thinking back, the frightening image of the shadowy figure reaching out and crushing Gabriel did closely resemble a chess piece being taken out.
Everyone present had been in Boss Lin's control and he had been watching over everything. Their performance during this incident must have appeased Boss Lin for him to have an improved opinion about them.
It was also well established in historical records that besides the Primordial Witches, no one else had ever been able to enter the realms of dreams.
This was mainly because in addition to it being the harrowing abyss, powerful monsters beyond one's imagination also crawled these realms. The stronger someone was, the less they would be willing to try and enter a dream realm.
Sorcery tools like the dream catcher were prohibited objects that even Destructive-ranks didn't dare use. Entering a dream realm in person was definitely out of the question, as the aether of higher level transcendent beings were very noticeable, which could attract a large number of such creatures in minutes, akin to moths to a flame.
If one was unlucky enough to disturb something beyond what they could handle, dying on the spot was a very likely outcome.
During the fabled Dark Ages, the tragedies caused by dreams invading reality were hair-raising stories. Even in the present day, the occasional dream beast escaping from a dream realm fissure was more than enough to cause them massive headaches.
No one in their right mind would ever want to face a horde of dream beasts numbering hundreds or thousands by themselves…
Yet now, Boss Lin wasn't just entering dream realms with no issue. He was straight up able to have one of his own. He literally had the ability to create a dream realm!
This level of strength was beyond belief!
While Joseph was already rather desensitized to Boss Lin’s formidable capabilities, he had never personally experienced it before. Most of it had been exposed to the ‘all-knowing’ wisdom of Boss Lin.
This time, being trapped in the dream realm allowed him to directly witness a Supreme-rank transcendent being squished to death like an ant. The shock of it all had left him at a loss for words.
Taking deep breaths, he pressed his hand against his chest to calm his pounding heart. As he entered the bookstore, he suddenly recalled that there was only one seat in front of the counter—the bookstore rarely had multiple customers at once, hence there was also only a single high stool there.
As the bookstore's assistant, Mu’en routinely made her way to pour some water for everyone. Therefore, it made sense to give up the sole seat to the injured Vincent.
The priest's face was still white as a sheet. He had contributed the most in this great battle. He had suffered grave consequences in order to finish off that Supreme-rank false god and had nearly given up his own life as a result.
Despite this, the final outcome was still a favorable one.
From this day forth, the Church of the Dome no longer existed, and the Seven Parishes would be taken over by the gradually establishing Sun’s Faith.
After today’s visit, Vincent would be heavily involving himself with developing the Sun’s Faith.
This time, Joseph was just simply exhausted. When Gabriel had appeared, Joseph was originally preparing to use Virtual Soul Realm to engage him. Yet, it turned out that Boss Lin already had arrangements in place and had handled it, allowing Joseph to have largely recovered by now.
Noticing the recliner still tucked away in a corner, Joseph felt a sudden jolt of yearning deep down. He went over to sit in it and caressed the armrest.
Recalling his very first visit to the bookstore made Joseph break out in cold sweat. At that time, Boss Lin had only given him a minor punishment, and helping to resolve his troubles with the demon sword meant that he was actually in a good mood then.
The longer Joseph spent with Boss Lin, the more he would increasingly find the bookstore owner all the more unfathomable.
Joseph glanced at Boss Lin who was still standing outside the door. It was a rare occasion to be able to see Boss Lin in his sleepwear, giving off a more mysterious vibe than the young boss who was usually behind the counter reading.
Boss Lin’s ability to disguise himself is also of utmost brilliance, thought Joseph to himself.
Lin Jie flipped over the signboard on the door and erased the previously written ‘Closed for 3 days,’ and changed it back to ‘Open.’
Returning to seat behind the counter, he took a sip from his glass of water. “Have all your issues been resolved?”
The two men froze for a moment upon hearing this. Then, Vincent nodded and answered with a slightly downcast voice. “Yes, the Church of the Dome will no longer be continuing their sinful acts. My hatred has been quelled, it’s just that we’ll never be able to get back those who lost their lives when they got involved with this matter."
Whether it was Old Father Terrence or those former colleagues bewitched by Rodney and sent to their deaths, all of these lives couldn't be recovered, along with his past as a priest.
At this point, Joseph spoke up, “The Church of the Dome will forever be shrouded in shame. We will publicize all of their misdoings, including their crimes of killing innocents, making large profits of their followers, and pardoning the crimes of the rich and powerful.
“Regarding the huge wealth they had amassed, half will be confiscated, and the rest would be handed to the Sun’s Faith to be used as reimbursement for this operation. The Church would also be passed on to the Sun’s Faith.”
Mmm… This is rather police-like.
But this large amount… Lin Jie couldn’t help sneaking a glance at Vincent. Although he kept a calm expression, Lin Jie was already scheming deep down.
Yet another important customer groomed. Vincent will soon become the leader of the largest religious organization in Norzin, so shouldn't I get him to buy a few books here?
Best to develop relations with their followers too. Even if they don't come to buy books, becoming regulars of the book cafe would be great as well...
Noticing Lin Jie’s expectant gaze, Vincent understood the ‘hint’ and proceeded to take out the relics he had found in the inner chamber.
One was a silver ring, while the other was a peculiar hard-shelled ‘insect egg’ roughly the size of a palm.
These were indeed two out of three sacred artifacts from the Church of the Dome: the Ancient Ring and the Sleeping Moon Child.