Ash Chamber of Commerce, Chapman Family branch.
At the largest trading center in Norzin, millions of dollars exchanged hands every day. As a commercial juggernaut led by a family business, the Ash Chamber of Commerce held many legends that rich people told.
However, no one would have thought that Cherry Chapman, one of the three branch heads of the Ash Chamber of Commerce, the mixed-race girl known as Chapman's Witch, was currently… lazing in bed.
Bella, the head maid of the Chapman Family, who had watched Cherry grow up, suddenly drew the curtains open. Harsh, cruel light flooded through the window, filling up the room that was clearly decorated by a young girl.
"Excuse me, my lady," Bella said, folding her hands over her midriff.
Cherry’s entire body was stuck in the soft, cake-like bed. When the sunlight hit her eyes, she turned around and rolled up in her pink quilt, turning into a squirming caterpillar.
"Bella, I recall that there's no morning meeting today…" From within the quilt, Cherry purred impatiently like an annoyed cat.
However, Bella didn't joke with her little master this time. Instead, after a moment's hesitation, she said, "The Village of Dark Night invites you to go home and pay respects to your ancestors and departed family."
Cherry, head buried in a pillow, was silent for a moment. Then she turned her head to Bella, her silver eyes revealing a sharp gaze that didn't look tired at all.
"Village of Dark Night... Would these people still invite me?" Cherry half-smirked as she looked at the delicate dark skin on her arms. "I thought that in their eyes, I was just a by-product of a transaction. A cheap and disgusting mixed-blood that should be thrown away."
"Yes, they're up to no good," Bella gave her worried opinion. "Ever since the fall of the Broodother, the Village of Dark Night has been without a leader. It has stayed like that... But recently, they've pushed Stephanie, whom they call 'Spider Woman,' to the new throne. She's now the new leader of the dark elves.
"Though not every dark elf obeys her orders, she has at least gotten control over the majority of them."
“Oh?” Cherry eyes narrowed before she chuckled. “Seems like they still love being brainless bootlickers."
Bella continued, "It's Stephanie who invited you this time round. She said that the night elves have a big business deal they wish to cooperate with the Ash Chamber of Commerce on. Her exact words were, 'Rather than doing this business with others, it's better to do it with my own little granddaughter.'"
"Huh?" Cherry sat straight up and pointed at herself. Part angry and amused, she said, "What granddaughter of hers am I?!
“I'm not going.” Cherry didn’t hesitate at all. “They are just a bunch that aren't at all interesting."
Bella didn't immediately accept Cherry's order. Instead, after a moment of silence, she hesitantly spoke, "I'm afraid she already knew that we would refuse. So, she said that it didn't matter if you refuse, but there's something to inform you about: Due to the collapse of the Broodmother's lair, the Village of Dark Night has to implement a large-scale land filling. And—"
Cherry froze for a moment as if realizing something. Then her eyes widened with disbelief as she stared straight at Bella.
"And your mother's grave will be shifted..." Bella clenched her teeth and said.
"How dare they!!!" Anger rushed to Cherry's head. Her silver eyes appeared to burn with flames as she stood up abruptly. "If they touch even an inch of my mother's grave, I'll make them pay…"
An image of that gentle, silver-haired woman flashed in Cherry's mind. She had been the only woman who had shown her warmth.
She had once held Cherry in her arms and gently brushed the wounds she got from peers throwing stones at her, telling the young Cherry that she was a girl born with love and not a monster despised by everyone.
While there hadn't been any love in that union which was rather painful to her, she loved Cherry....
Cherry took a deep breath and ordered, "Prepare the car."
Bella replied, "Right away, my lady. To the Village of Dark Night?"
"No," answered Cherry. "To the bookstore. I wish to... say goodbye to Mr. Lin."
Lin Jie was seated at the counter of his bookstore, but it was rare for him not to be reading. His arms were crossed while he rubbed his chin with one hand. He had a pensive look on his face as his gaze fell on Joseph, who was cleaning the bookstore.
The muscular Joseph was wearing a slightly ill-fitting shirt, which made him look all the more bulky. He also had on an apron and held a whisk broom as he carefully helped to tidy the books, making him appear very out of place.
Lin Jie wanted to say something but stopped himself; instead, slapping himself on the forehead and sighing.
Joseph was the reason why Boss Lin was in this state.
When Boss Lin had run out after Joseph to get some materials for repairing his broken wall, he had witnessed Joseph breaking yet another wall with a punch.
That incident had caused Lin Jie's view of the world to change.
Afterwards, he had even gone over to the wall and investigated carefully. Ordinary men surely couldn't break this wall and would get injured even attempting it. However, Joseph had the strength to break this wall and was actually fine after it.
Naturally, Lin Jie started thinking. It seems like there was only one sort of explanation for such a situation... Joseph is actually a transcendent being, right?
Or rather, I just can't generalize people. Perhaps people like you from this world can smash walls with a punch when you are extremely angry?
According to his previous study on the Truth Union's documents, as well as Candela's existence, it proved that transcendent powers did exist in this world. However, Lin Jie thought that it was merely the stuff of legends, like the mythical creatures from the Middle Ages back on Earth.
But now, Lin Jie reckoned that he had misunderstood.
Especially when Lin Jie recalled that at the banquet, Ji Zhixiu hadn't seemed surprised by the entire Fred Family's sudden demise... as if she already knew.
However, although Lin Jie was rather suspicious, they had always been keeping in touch and getting along rather normally.
Wouldn't it be a little... awkward if I were to ask a strange question like "Are you guys usually so strong?" or "Do you guys have superpowers?"
Haa, how do I make it less awkward? Lin Jie mulled.
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Sharp screeching of brakes from outside the bookstore interrupted Lin Jie's train of thought. He glanced in that direction and looked through the door's transom windows to see a pair of beautiful leather shoes peek out from behind the door of a black luxury car.
"Mr. Lin!" As soon as he heard the lively voice of a girl, the image of the voice's owner had already appeared in Lin Jie's mind.
A girl in a white dress got out of the car and stepped into the bookstore with ease. However, her face changed slightly when she saw an unfamiliar old man inside.
Though completely different from the Great Radiant Knight who was rumored to be dead in terms of appearance and aura, his appearance at this time… would have answered a lot of guesses.
Especially since Wilde, who was supposed to be working with Cherry, seemed to have completely disappeared from the face of the earth.
However, the little lady was quick to adjust herself.
“Mr. Lin, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.” Cherry walked briskly with small steps. Her silver hair danced and her skirt fluttered in the air, drawing beautiful arcs in the air. Her cute smile revealed two tiny canine teeth. She hopped up and sat on the bar stool in front of the counter, swinging her little feet.
"What's with the sudden visit? You didn't inform me in advance." Lin Jie immediately put on a professional smile and looked toward the little lady warmly. However, Cherry, who was usually sticky toward him, hung her head and didn't look up. After a while, she finally revealed a pitiful little face and puffy red eyes.
"What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Lin Jie pinched the girl's soft face and asked with a frown.
Cherry pursed her lips and pouted. "I got up too early this morning. It's all Bella's fault."
"Ahh, I see... Lazing in bed isn't a good habit." Lin Jie smiled slightly. "From the look of things, you aren't here to borrow books today, right? Is there something you want to say?"
Cherry raised her head, meeting the looming bookstore owner's jet-black eyes.
Just like he was very far away from her, as if he had never changed from the first time they met all those years ago.
Wasn't it wrong for mortals to expect the pity of gods from the beginning?
Otherwise… Otherwise, how would those people have dared make a move...
"I… came to say goodbye to Mr. Lin today." Cherry had a smile that wasn't like her usual one. It wasn't adorable, but there was a strange gentleness and determination incongruous with her child-like appearance.
Lin Jie paused, then heard Cherry continue. "I've decided to protect someone who is very important to me, even if she's no longer around... There are still some things that have to be defended. For this, I can make sacrifices, but it might implicate others.
"Mr. Lin, if it were you, what would you do?"
Lin Jie reached out to rub her head and said gently, "I've always felt that whenever in a dilemma, everything will work out if you follow your heart.
"You should already have an answer in your heart when you came to ask me. Besides... You've already come to say goodbye."
Lin Jie chuckled and added on, "Go wherever you want to go. You are no longer who you used to be, right? If you ask me, Cherry is so adorable that she will succeed in whatever she does because the heavens can't bear to see you cry... Of course, I can't bear to either."
While comforting Cherry, he wiped the tears off her face. Though he didn't know what had happened, he needed to humor her at this time.
Cherry clenched her fist and nodded vigorously. "Yes, because I met Boss Lin, I'm different from before."
"Alright, don't you worry," Lin Jie chuckled. "It's a small world. Perhaps, we might meet each other somewhere else soon."