Chapter 273: How To Tactfully Reject A Relationship

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Lin Jie folded his arms and rubbed his chin as he fell into thought.

Previously, when he let Ji Zhixiu take her pick of anything as a gift, the young lady hadn't requested anything apart from a stalk of rose which he had grown himself.

In terms of value, besides it being slightly prettier than most, this rose which could be found anywhere else didn't have anything that really stood out. The only difference was that it was normally sold at 9 dollars on normal days but 99 dollars on Valentine's Day.

But regardless of how expensive it could cost, it was just but a rose in the eyes of Ji Zhixiu.

How could a typical rose sway Ji Zhixiu to request it? Therefore, the only plausible explanation would be the person she was getting it from.

Speaking of roses...

Lin Jie stole a glance at Miss Ji’s ample bosom. The brilliant and delicate red rose appeared exceptionally eye-catching on the collar of her black dress. Yet, it was no different from Lin Jie’s memory of it from a few months back.

Maybe Ji Zhixiu had used some sort of technologically advanced solution on it. Or perhaps the seed given by Doris possessed some unique properties, so the rose retained its initial lively look even after being plucked for such a long period of time.

Moreover, Ji Zhixiu was still keeping the rose by her side all this time.

Lin Jie couldn’t help but delve into the implied meaning of it.

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A girl, once hurt and betrayed, entered his bookstore on a rainy night... She had sought his assistance multiple times and seemed to be really dependent on him. She had requested a rose from him and kept it by her side for months, and now she was inviting him to her birthday party...

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Lin Jie could only think of that sort of possibility.

One that made perfect sense.

The only problem was that he didn't have this sort of intention.

The more important question is how should I turn her down... It would be too hurtful if I am too blunt. I’ll have to find an appropriate timing to do it tactfully.

But I can’t be overly indirect either... If this isn't dealt with decisively, it would surely lead to more troubles in the future...

Lin Jie thought to himself.

Furthermore, she is such an important patron. If this isn't dealt with appropriately, I will lose a VIP customer and we can forget about signing the contract.

Despite considering himself a life mentor and chicken soup master, Lin Jie regrettably didn't have many unforgettable relationship experiences. It could even be said to be a complete blank.

Thus, Lin Jie felt that he was in a tricky situation at the moment.

Lin Jie's gaze on her made Ji Zhixiu nervous and her heart started to race. She could sense an imminent rejection.

Ji Zhixiu lowered her head in disappointment.

Indeed... Getting Boss Lin to head out is a truly difficult task.

From what she knew, Boss Lin had rarely stepped outside in these three years. The only exception was when he had to visit a nearby mall to purchase daily necessities as part of his disguise of an ordinary person.

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Seems like Rolle Resource Development is still unable to attain a more powerful backing.

This request had been wishful thinking on their parts.

But since Boss Lin had agreed to give them the distributing rights, it was fine even if he turned down the invitation to the party. This was just a hopeful wish that would be the icing on the cake. What they had gotten at present was already more than sufficient.

“Truth be told, I was a little hesitant. Umm, in other words, I’m not really too keen on attending. You know it, I’m more of an introvert and prefer to stay in the bookstore. But aside from being business partners, aren’t we also friends?”

Lin Jie let out a sigh before smiling warmly at the young lady before him. “A kind and eager invitation from a friend shouldn't be turned down."

“Does that mean…”

Ji Zhixiu’s initial depressed expression shifted to a gush of ecstasy.

“You'll come?!”

Her tone was still shaky as she could not believe this unexpected turn of events.

She is so delighted just from me accepting her invitation... Lin Jie nodded and broke into a smile. “That’s right, I accept your invitation. I will show up for your birthday party.”

Boss Lin agreed!

And... he personally said that it was an invitation from a 'friend'!

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The embedded meaning was obvious.

One, it implied that Rolle Resource would soon become a very important business partner of the bookstore.

Two, it meant that Ji Zhixiu would soon become Boss Lin’s right arm deserving of his trust and she possessed the potential worthy of being groomed.

Ji Zhixiu could immediately feel the high expectations Boss Lin had for her. Still basking in joy, she quickly responded, “Thank you for accepting my demanding request. After hearing about you, my father also respects you greatly. I believe that he would be looking forward to your arrival.”

Even though her father was right beside her and had temporarily lost his wits after that warning, she said so to prevent any awkwardness when they meet again in the future—mainly awkwardness on Ji Bonong's part—so Ji Zhixiu still had to try her best to change Boss Lin’s impression of her father.

Upon hearing that, Lin Jie’s smile got slightly wider.

“Is that so? I have long heard a lot about your father. I'm looking forward to being able to meet the chief decision-maker of Rolle Resource Development, haha.”

Somehow Ji Zhixiu felt that these words were laced with Boss Lin's sarcasm...

She cast a quick glance at her father, who still stood rooted to his spot, and let out a few dry laughs before responding cautiously, “No, no, you flatter him. He's actually just an ordinary man who often worries about the future of Rolle Resource Development.

“I have often spoken about you to him. He greatly admires your extensive knowledge and is very intrigued about your collection of books...”

At this point, Lin Jie wanted to bury his face from embarrassment.

Telling her father about me... Are we already moving to the stage of meeting the parents?!

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That won't do. If this continues, I’ll be in deep trouble.

Indeed, I still have to resort to this solution if I want to reject her tactfully...

“Mr. Ji enjoys reading books as well? Then I’d handpick a book as a gift for when I meet him. But before that, I have a book for you which I hope you'll read through properly.”

Lin Jie went to the bookshelf beside him and picked out The Great Gatsby. He felt that someone with the intelligence of Ji Zhixiu, heiress of Rolle Resource Development, would definitely get his point.

Alas, such a rejection was the most gentle way possible he could think of.

“People have to grow constantly. This is an amazing book which I hope you can gain plenty from. Treat it as an advance gift for your 20th birthday... Of course, I'll still prepare a formal present on the day of the party itself."

Lin Jie placed the book in Ji Zhixiu's hands and said earnestly, “It's our instinct to chase what's getting away and to run away from what's chasing us.”

That was a quote from Gatsby.

“You will have to learn to control your instincts, else you will be unable to grow. When it’s time to let go, learn to do so, and when it’s time to accept, you’ll have to as well... Do you understand?”

The deep, somber voice rang in Ji Zhixiu’s ears, and all of a sudden, the book in her hands seemed to transform into a fragment of a strange creature, covered in some sort of uneven semi-flexible rainbow scale, with a white, thin stem and half the parts of a flower. In addition, it had white colloidal matter and green feelers which were constantly wriggling.

Such a thing was impossible to describe, but one could sense that this was a part of something alive.

Then, in the blink of an eye, the terrifying illusion vanished and the book remained just a book.

The title of this book was Great Race of Yith.

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