Chapter 364: Older Gingers Are Spicier

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It all belongs to me?

This crazy confession was way too sudden. Lin Jie was shocked.

However, as a specialized life mentor and expert dealer of chicken soup for the soul, he had seen all kinds of scenarios.

Thus, Boss Lin tried his best to not let his expression crack. After spending a moment to think, he calmed down and felt that his previous guess had been spot on…

His rejection of Miss Ji back then seemed to have the opposite effect as time passed. She must have usually suppressed her feelings to the point that she felt she had gotten over it. But now, as if because she was at home—a comfortable and relaxed environment—all the emotions welled up inside her heart had suddenly rebounded.

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But you can’t just confess so bluntly!

Could it be that… his gestures of familiarity at the previous night’s ball had given Ji Zhixiu the misconception that there was still room for negotiation?

Boss Lin inhaled sharply. He reckoned that he couldn’t continue rejecting her so acutely now, for it might cause Miss Ji, who had been hurt by love, to have PTSD.

He sighed and put on his usual professional smile, having decided to guide her patiently. With a heavy heart, he said, “No… How can all of it be mine?”

Ji Zhixiu tried to retort, "I…"

Lin Jie interrupted her with a solemn look on his face and explained matter-of-factly, “That isn’t self-respecting at all! Your body and soul ought to only belong to you and your will should exist as your ideals. Do you understand?”

As if struck by a bolt of lightning, Ji Zhixiu froze in place.

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Lin Jie knew that his chicken soup had been effective when he saw Miss Ji intimidated by him. That's right. When dealing with an opponent deeply in love, one had to use morality and righteousness to disrupt the other party’s thoughts and turn her attention back to her career and not to a man.

He continued, "I don't want to see a soulless Ji Zhixiu. She ought to be a strong, independent woman with her own views who fights for the future of Rolle Resources. Moreover, she should be able to support this huge company, unlike her current self. You can trust me, but you shouldn't rely on me."

Ji Zhixiu’s mouth gaped as she stared at Lin Jie blankly. She had been about to say, “My dream was given to me by you…”

Creak— Someone opened the door.

Ji Bonong cleared his throat as he pushed the door ajar, slightly dissipating the somewhat stagnant atmosphere of the room.

Ji Zhixiu couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief. Although her father was just an ordinary person, Ji Bonong was still many times better than her when it came to dealing with people.

It would be a lot more reassuring with her father present—as long as he didn’t lose his mind due to the terrifying mental pressure of being in the presence of such an overwhelming transcendent existence.

In truth, Ji Bonong had nearly lost his wits and his consciousness after being frightened by Lin Jie’s act of consuming that Supreme-rank existence. Right now, he was someone nervously tidying up his appearance as he entered.

Lin Jie was stunned to see Ji Bonong. The professional smile on his face was maintained, but awkwardness consumed him deep down.

F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck.

Had Ji Bonong heard what he just said?

What he had said in front of Ji Zhixiu’s father just now—"You can trust me, but you shouldn't rely on me"? What condescending attitude he had shown toward the daughter of this powerful man…

Ah, so that's how I sell books. But it doesn’t matter!

As long as he was thick-skinned enough, he could even fool the other party's father!

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Lin Jie maintained his smile and pretended to be as nonchalant as he could in a bid to bluff his way out. "Well, this was supposed to be the first time we meet… But, now I ought to say that it’s been a while, Mr. Ji.”

While slightly panicking, Lin Jie couldn’t help silently cursing deep down, I agreed to have a meal, but why did it end up as a meeting with her parents? It seems like Miss Ji’s invitation was just a pretext. Her true intention was to bring me to see her father!

Both he and Ji Bonong were adults, so they could probably see through Ji Zhixiu’s intentions at a glance. There hadn’t been any hostility when Lin Jie had caught his gaze just a moment ago, but Ji Zhixiu was his biological daughter after all. Could this be a belated interrogation?

Lin Jie smiled at Ji Bonong, prepared to give up the main seat. Since the true owner of the manor was here, this seat ought to…

But while he was still thinking about it, Ji Bonong sat down without any hesitation before Lin Jie had even moved.

"It's indeed been a while, Boss Lin," Ji Bonong replied rather naturally.

Lin Jie froze up awkwardly. What’s up with Ji Bonong? Aren't you the president of Rolle Resources? Where’s your pride as a capitalist? Is it appropriate for you not to take the main seat?

"Mr. Ji, you're the chairman of Rolle Resource, Miss Ji’s father, and the master of A16 Manor, whereas I’m just an ordinary bookstore owner with no power or money. Logically speaking, this seating arrangement isn’t appropriate…” Lin Jie tactfully reminded Ji Bonong.

Truth be told, Ji Bonong had nearly knelt down just now if he hadn’t held on to the armrests of the chair. However, his body was trembling slightly and his palms were clammy.

As a mortal, it was thanks to his high status of many years that he was able to hold it together.

Ji Bonong’s heart skipped a beat when he heard what Lin Jie said. He cautiously sneaked a glance, wondering what Mr. Lin had meant.

Witnessing Boss Lin devouring the Supreme-rank transcendent being alive had terrified Ji Bonong, making him hesitant about their cooperative partnership. Now, Boss Lin was probably… reminding him.

Ji Bonong’s secular identity might seem prominent, but in reality, he was just but a shiny tool. On the other hand, while Boss Lin appeared most ordinary, he was actually an incomparably powerful existence.

The hesitation in his heart would determine the status of ordinary folk among transcendent beings. This was the choice Boss Lin had given him!

Ji Bonong took a deep breath. Yes, if he chose the seat of honor, it would mean that he acknowledged his status in the secular world. If he remained in his current seat, it meant he acknowledged the world of… transcendent beings.

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Boss Lin feels it’s inappropriate because he noticed my hesitation and is mocking me… Coupled with what he just said to Xiu, he’s telling me that I don’t see myself clearly and lack that determination…

Lin Jie’s lips twitched slightly as he noticed Ji Bonong’s colorful expression and wondered to himself, Haa… No way, it’s just giving up my seat. Do you upper-class people have to spend so much effort just contemplating it?

Ji Bonong eventually gave a determined reply, “Yes, this seat is more than apt.”

Lin Jie tried to retort, "No, don't you think…"

"No, no, no." Ji Bonong waved his hand repeatedly. Now, he truly understood what Boss Lin’s words meant. This was a test.

The first part of what Boss Lin is telling me not to belittle myself, but the second part was to make me understand that I mustn’t view myself too highly at the same time.

Therefore, it was even more impossible for Ji Bonong to take the seat of honor.

"Boss Lin is able to generously share your books with the general public so that all the readers are able to gain a drop of the great knowledge you have collected. It’s like you are a foster parent of all the readers.”

Ji Bonong said this from the bottom of his heart, “What I mean is that it’s our honor, as well as the whole of Norzin's, that you are willing to have a cooperative partnership with Rolle Resource. If it weren’t for you, we would never have been able to come into contact with knowledge that doesn’t exist in Norzin. So this seating arrangement… can’t be any more appropriate.”

Boss Lin liked to keep a low profile and didn’t like others emphasizing his existence, so Ji Bonong had to praise his books. This shouldn’t be wrong, right… Ji Bonong took out a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his forehead dry.

Isn’t this way too much of an exaggeration? thought Lin Jie to himself. It’s no wonder he got to where he is today due to his eloquence. For the sake of those books considered unique in Norzin, the president of Rolle Resource actually lowered himself to take a lesser seat. He’s a really complex character indeed. It has to be said that older gingers are spicier.

However… Lin Jie eyed Ji Zhixiu sitting obediently at the side. At least the matter of force feeding chicken soup to her is finally over…

"Alright… Back to business. I've prepared a gift for Miss Ji's birthday."

Lin Jie changed the topic and pulled out a book. “However, since Mr. Ji is here too, I have a gift for you as well.”

Ji Bonong's eyes widened. "This…"

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"This is my gift to Chairman Ji." Lin Jie smiled and placed the book in front of Ji Bonong.

The Wealth of Nations, also known as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, was an economics book written by the English economist and philosopher Adam Smith that was the product of over a decade of studies.

While being the leader of a commercial empire, Rolle Resource’s monopoly might not last indefinitely. Thus, in short, this book was supposedly a reminder.

Lin Jie was rather confident in his choice of books.

The saying that there was no free lunch was apt here. The reason for Ji Bonong’s praises partially was to make Lin Jie feel good and a tad guilty. Now, if they were to negotiate, Lin Jie would feel awkward to raise his price.

Then, I’ll give you this present, to return the favor—even though I had already promised to give this gift before.

Ji Bonong’s pupils constricted as he stared at the book on the table in horror. He lowered his head and took a closer look. This was like an invisible hand that had firmly grabbed his gaze, making him unable to pry his eyes away. An uncontrollable sense of curiosity and desire was rising in his heart.

However, due to the strange force field enveloping the book, the ordinary Ji Bonong couldn’t make out the cover clearly.

Even though he was mentally prepared that Lin Jie would give him a book that would help him become a transcendent being, he still wasn’t able to accept it calmly.

Or rather, wouldn’t it be strange if he could take the book in a calm fashion.

Eyes still fixated on the book, Ji Bonong took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down.

He warned himself that he couldn’t lose his composure in front of Boss Lin. Gathering his thoughts, he focused his vision and reached out a trembling hand to take the book. The mosaic-like fog faded, and he finally saw the cover.

On the cover, which was still blurry to his eyes, was written—

Void Palm.

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