Chapter 275: Handpicked Books

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Lin Jie shut the suitcase.

He took a deep breath and calmly swallowed the tea in his mouth. Then, he gently placed the teacup on the counter and smiled as he allowed Mu’en to collect the cup.

As he watched the gradually distancing figure of the teenage girl, the smile slowly faded as he reopened the leather suitcase with a gloomy look on his face.

“Come on, I thought you only wanted these things. To think that you would go one further and treat them as snacks. Are these even edible?

“Fine, perhaps these are edible for an unknown life-form, but isn't your appetite a little too excessive?”

Lin Jie stared at the empty suitcase in despair. This time, even the shadow within was nowhere to be seen.

Clearly, the culprit was adept at disappearing and the speed at which he escaped was top notch.

Lin Jie couldn’t even catch a second glimpse of the treasures and didn’t even know exactly what items had been inside!

All of a sudden, he sensed a strange, indecipherable voice ringing beside his ear.

It was similar to a rave or mumble, but Lin Jie wasn’t able to discern whether it was a male or female voice and couldn’t recognize the language either.

Yet, Lin Jie was able to pick up the meaning from it.

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The voice seemed alien, yet at the same time, somewhat familiar.

Back when he was being transmigrated here, when Blackie’s ‘silhouette’ form hadn’t appeared, this had been how Blackie communicated with him.

Now, Blackie clearly had some actual form, yet he was still using these same means to communicate from afar.

It had to be said that this resembled a child that had been caught red-handed eating snacks on the sly by a parent and trying to pretend as though nothing had happened from fear of being punished.

“Catch it? You ate it by accident and want to return it to me now? It’s useless to you?” Lin Jie asked in bewilderment as he hurriedly put out his hands in a motion to receive something.

Even though he didn’t know what was going on, this probably meant Blackie was going to return some of the remaining objects.

He was both relieved and somewhat looking forward to it at the same time. Could it be that most valuable golden apple?

A strange, warped point appeared before him, rotating outwards before it ‘spat’ out an object.

The object fell into Lin Jie’s hands and he stared at it intently.

It was the stone fragment with the flame markings.

Lin Jie was speechless.

You’re really something…

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Lin Jie examined the fragment on his hand. Apart from the markings on it, it bore no difference from an ordinary rock, and Lin Jie’s face fell.

The warped point then smoothened by some formless imaginary force and the raving voice disappeared.

Blackie was gone.

Lin Jie’s lips twitched, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. He then went into a meditative state and placed the fragment into his dream realm.

“Well…The rune markings on this fragment are worth researching. Although there are some impairments, according to Candela’s memory, these runes appear to be the characters used in the First Era, more ancient than those used in the Second Era...”

This was what Lin Jie reluctantly said to force himself into accepting the fact.

“But even Candela didn’t learn these characters. I doubt I would even find enough relevant information even in the Truth Union’s library if I wanted to make out what these mean.”

After stroking his chin several times, Lin Jie muttered to himself, “Ms. Ji mentioned just now that some of these things were excavated while Rolle Resource Development was expanding the Lower District. This means that large amounts of ancient relics are probably in the Lower District and perhaps there are things that I need there…”

He then shook his head. “The Lower District has restricted entry and I’d have to seek the approval of various organizations in the Central District and have a more persuasive reason if I wanted to head down. It would be out of the question if I were to make the request myself, and it’d be difficult for Rolle Resource to squeeze another person into their quota…Forget about it, I’ll think about this again.”

Lin Jie sighed and stood up to stretch his aching back before turning around and moving toward the bookshelf behind him.

Right now, his main task was to handpick a collection of suitable books, which according to the contract was for Rolle Resource Enterprise to distribute on behalf of his obscure bookstore.

As for the price, commission, and how it was to be sold, all of it was well documented in the contract that Mu’en and Ji Zhixiu had signed.

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All Lin Jie had to do now was to select suitable titles monthly and Ji Zhixiu would come over to collect them. And the following time that Ji Zhixiu showed up would be to give a sales report and just collect his profit.

Currently, Lin Jie’s concerns were just as he had imagined.

Not all the books here were suitable for sales as many of their contents were unprecedented in this world and could lead to chaos if people with evil motives understood them.

As such, he had to practice caution.

With a single thought from Lin Jie, the collection on the shelf transformed into a section of novels.

That’s right, after careful consideration by Lin Jie, this selection carried minimal risk and, at the same time, were literature works able to be more widely received by the masses.

Even if the contents had things that didn’t exist in this world, it could be explained with the concept of “fabrication” and the readers would be enriched as well. This was the safest way forward.

All this time, he had often recommended various novels to patrons who frequented the bookstore and had yet to meet with an unexpected situation.

Moreover, common forms of literature with tropes such as romance and fantasy possessed even less risk.

After all, these were genres loved by the masses; regardless of whether people were from Earth or Azir, they were all capable of evoking emotions.

Thus, the first book that Lin Jie picked out was The Count of Monte Cristo.

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This novel revolving around the theme of “vengeance” was the classical feel-good novel and, together with the roller-coaster ride of a plot, would probably make for a bestseller in this other world.

Then, Lin Jie thought for a bit and picked out Pride and Prejudice.

This was a classic romance novel, and besides being a love story, it contained some discussions about human nature and was unlikely to fall from popularity.

A comparison to this book was Jane Eyre, a title of similar popularity, perhaps even a slight bit more popular… Lin Jie did not have much opinion about it, perhaps because back in its era, this novel would be the champion work on feminism, symbolizing freedom and equality.

But to prize it as a work of literature would be too far-fetched.

The truth is that it’s not much different from Overbearing CEO Falls In Love With Me (a manhua title), pooh-poohed Lin Jie as he picked out The Old Man and The Sea followed by Water Margin.

The Old Man and The Sea was undoubtedly Ernest Hemingway’s most representative work, a true display of the human spirit.

As for Water Margin, Lin Jie personally felt that this was one of the Four Great Classics of Chinese literature that had the least cultural barrier. At the very least, it wasn’t difficult to understand. Since others would be distributing it, Lin Jie reckoned he would just test the waters and observe if there was a market for it.

“These four should suffice, there’s a little bit of everything now.”

Lin Jie nodded in satisfaction. “After all, this is our first partnership so I’ll provide… 100 books each.”

Lin Jie felt he needed to be ambitious.

As he picked up the books and headed in the direction of the door, he suddenly stopped in his tracks and turned back. After a brief thought, he retrieved a copy of One Thousand Classic Homedishes (The Complete Colored 365 Days Edition) from the bookshelf.

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