That’s right. Hood. It’s him.
If that’s the case, it’s logical since Boss Lin has that sort of power indeed… The power to transform an unassuming second generation scholar into a great one.
Just that I never imagined it would happen. From what I know, it’s likely that he offended Boss Lin, so why was he helped instead? Furthermore, it seems like he’s gotten more benefits than others.
For instance, Ji Zhixiu was currently one of the earliest recorded patrons of the bookstore, yet she’s only recently hit peak Pandemonium-rank. Not only was her progress gradual, she has yet to succeed in ascending to Destructive-rank.
And Hood has somehow reached heights unfathomable by ordinary scholars.
From the analysis report of the Logistics Division, although Boss Lin doesn’t mention this, the extent of help he is willing to provide for a customer is actually separated by different levels. As for the specifics, he will first have to determine the price the customer is willing to pay.
An example was Joseph himself. He had only regained his powers and was granted the opportunity to ascend to Supreme-rank only because he had offered the demon sword to Boss Lin as well as providing several instances of help.
Vincent was another case study. The price this individual had paid was a rather complicated one. It could be said that Vincent lost every single bit of his normalcy, and it could even be said that he was turned into a tool of Boss Lin’s. However, the price he paid was great, and hence he directly ascended to Supreme-rank and took charge of a new faith.
Ji Zhixiu might have made contact with the bookstore at an earlier time, but the fact was that the price she paid was on a smaller scale, so she didn’t receive that much benefit.
What price did Hood pay to be able to obtain such power?
At the moment, Joseph had no answer at all.
Having mulled over it for a while, Joseph returned to his senses. He stopped and turned around at the doorway to first reorganize the team he brought along, re-emphasize the task at hand as well as getting them to make preparations.
Then, he would need to bring some of his men along to follow Andrew and Hood into the innermost heart of Norzin.
Claude had yet to recover from his severe injuries sustained during the previous incident with Oswald and was still recuperating, hence his absence on the current mission.
Claude’s supposed workload had to be all borne by Joseph at present.
Just the thought of this made Joseph’s rage and resentment toward Wilde burn even more intensely. But the more it grew, the more he had to suppress that hatred and smite it into a burning sword.
However, in the past few days, yet another notion had resounded in the depths of his heart.
When their paths last crossed, Wilde mentioned that the reason he’d sought Oswald’s soul was to repair a gargoyle he had previously gifted to Boss Lin. On top of that, he had even referred to Boss Lin as his ‘Lord.’
This also meant that Boss Lin was aware of Wilde’s actions, and he could have very well been the one to suggest it.
Indeed, after the follow-up investigation and Carolyn’s testimony, it was proven that Oswald was a mole planted by the Path of the Flaming Sword for many years.
If this was supposedly all according to Boss Lin’s plan, the outcome showed that he actually treated Secret Rite Tower really well.
However, from Joseph’s point of view, the entire process was agonizingly troubling.
Wilde appeared to be helping Secret Rite Tower under the guise of Boss Lin’s will when in fact he harbored malicious intent toward Joseph and was taking advantage of the situation to get his revenge!
If it were anyone else, the whole incident would have ended the moment Oswald had been finished off.
Yet, out of everyone, the bookstore owner had to send someone who hated Joseph to the core.
He transformed Oswald into a colossally powerful monster, causing Secret Rite Tower to lose a number of knights and also severely endangering the life of Joseph’s only disciple. In the end, before taking his leave, Wilde even dared to triumphantly state that he was aiding Secret Rite Tower.
All of a sudden, Joseph felt that he was more awake than ever before.
A revelation dawned upon him: why would a God care about the views of insignificant beings?
Perhaps, in the eyes of Boss Lin, things had worked out perfectly. But to Joseph, this was all a denotation of chaos.
This wasn’t a malevolent sort of chaos; it was simply chaos of the purest form.
And after seeing the rise of the Corpse Devouring Sect, Joseph’s thoughts became all the more clear.
If Wilde addressed Boss Lin as ‘Lord,’ it would mean the ‘Lord’ of the evil sect founded by the black magician would naturally be the bookstore owner by the name of Lin Jie.
The atrocities committed by disciples of that sect, be it blood sacrifices or other heinous behaviors, were technically under the acquiescence of the bookstore. In fact, the bookstore might even have been encouraging such actions.
Secret Rite Tower had caught wind of rumors about how the Corpse Devouring Sect addressed their lord as the ‘Propagator of the Corpse Devouring Sect’ and ‘Author of the Corpse Devouring Sect’s Scriptures.’ All of it coincided exactly with the bookstore’s recluse.
So, according to those rumors, there was quite a high possibility that the teachings of the Corpse Devouring Sect had been written by Boss Lin!
If so—Joseph dared not to think about it—what would he make of Boss Lin now?
The sense of justice in him seemingly wanted to voice out, but for some appalling reasons, he found himself mute.
“Sir Indomitable Sacred Flame, do you know why I specially asked for you?”
Having avoided several dangerous experimental areas and killing a number of strange mutated dream creatures, Andrew abruptly threw out this question as they arrived at the gates of a section that seemed to be surrounded by tall iron fences resembling barbed thorns.
Find the original at Hosted Novel.
Joseph glanced behind him; the knights he had brought along had kept a distance between them and the three-man group ahead. But if they wanted to, they could easily listen in.
He’s probably not going to say anything confidential, then.
Joseph glanced at Andrew and asked, “Why?”
Andrew replied with a chuckle, “Because we’re all patrons of the bookstore. In a certain sense, we have practically gone beyond being best partners in an organization, and naturally, we should be placing our trust in each other.”
Joseph hadn’t expected him to be so direct.
He looked ahead and saw Hood currently opening the fences.
“Machine Loop is the Truth Union’s top secret area in the Truth Union. Even if outsiders cannot comprehend anything they see, it absolutely mustn’t be shown to anyone from other organizations.
“The aforementioned reasons for seeking Sir out were all a bluff. There is just one true reason—the bookstore is the bridge of our trust that allows us to align our views.
“But the moment I truly laid eyes on you, Sir, I discovered I might have been slightly mistaken. Though I can still place my trust in you, I cannot maintain it unconditionally.”
Joseph’s eyes narrowed. “Why is that?”
“Although we are all ones who’ve entered the bookstore—me, you, Hood, or even Wilde—we are all customers, yet you’re different.”
Andrew turned to face him, eyes sunken, and spoke in a low voice, “You’re impure.”
“It’s opened!” Ahead of them, Hood suddenly raised his voice before he was promptly cut off.
Everyone turned to look at his direction, and all were shocked by the sight before them.
A dazzling light flashed across, causing everyone to either involuntarily shut or cover their eyes.
This was a huge, complex structure resembling a beehive. Standing at an impressive height and width, blinding white balls of light filled the entire ceiling. Metallic frames and grinding gears connected all of the platforms and rooms together. What’s more, the entire building was filled with people.
They were in the masses, either walking about or just working. All of them had donned white clothing, and every single one had cold, numb expressions!