Chapter 412: Old Wil Died?
After the thick white fog had dissipated, Melissa gazed at 23rd Avenue and sighed... That was where the bookstore that changed her destiny was situated.
She wore a long leather coat, and her clothes rustled as the desolate wind blew.
Melissa keenly sensed that the sudden white fog wasn't formed naturally but resulting from some power of a strong transcendent being.
When she was walking along 27th Avenue, she spotted a black-robed figure hurrying out of the bookstore while clutching a book tightly.
Now she was certain that this thick fog wasn't naturally formed; rather, caused by that black-robed figure—
A new bookstore customer? she wondered.
At the thought of this, Melissa's heart started to ache. A sense of detachment, as if time had moved on, swept over her—new customers had arrived, and old ones were leaving for good.
Her fiery red hair was no longer tied high in a ponytail but cut short. Her hands were stuffed in the pockets of her red leather coat, and her expression was no longer as lively as before. It was as if she had aged ten years overnight.
Ever since the battle at 67th Avenue, she had used the books once given to her by the bookstore owner to achieve extraordinary learning speeds that allowed her to surpass rank boundaries and comprehend Supreme-rank power. She had ascended to Destructive-rank and had already gained a partial grasp of Laws. At this point, she had scaled to heights that her peers would never reach.
...Or perhaps, even higher.
However, the price she paid was that she lost her father forever.
Secret Rite Tower had once again recognized her as a family member of a martyr and offered her the opportunity to become a senior executive while at the same time affirming her talent and potential.
Melissa smiled bitterly. She never imagined she would twice have family become martyrs.
She sighed softly. The grief she felt after hearing from Uncle Winston that her father had died had gradually turned into numbness. She clenched her fists and walked toward the bookstore.
The confusion felt like a shackle that hung around her neck, and it was a shackle she had put on herself as if she was heading toward the gallows every day... Perhaps she should seek revenge, but who should she enact her revenge on?
Winston had said that Wilde and her father perished together, and that had perhaps been the best outcome.
Melissa was in pain and at a loss. She didn't know what to do and unknowingly headed to 23rd Avenue. When the fog fully cleared, she found herself standing in front of the bookstore.
Now, she really had no face to see Mr. Lin. After all, the bookstore owner had already given her a chance—reversing time to take control of the battlefield. He had given Melissa and her father a chance, yet they had still failed.
She headed into the bookstore slowly. At the very least, she had to apologize to Boss Lin.
Lin Jie was gently setting down the gift from the black-robed man when he sensed it seemed like a customer had arrived and couldn't help but exclaim in surprise. It was such a foggy day, yet there were actually two customers today.
He looked up eagerly and saw a familiar face.
Lin Jie nearly dropped Life's stone fragment.
His highly intelligent brain began to spin rapidly, and he immediately wondered if Melissa had come looking for Joseph.
However, Joseph had said before that he couldn't tell Melissa he was still alive.
While Lin Jie didn't really understand this sort of educational style Joseph used on his daughter, Melissa did indeed seem to have grown a lot.
Lin Jie scrutinized Melissa from top to toe. Indeed, this child seems to have grown in various aspects. Even her style of dressing is more mature now...
"Melissa, you finally returned," Lin Jie greeted his young customer nonchalantly.
"...Boss Lin." Melissa lowered her head. Her once flamboyant, flowing red hair was now short and flattened. "I'm sorry," said the girl hoarsely.
Ah? Why are you apologizing to me? Lin Jie's brows were furrowed as he pondered, seemingly distressed at this formerly mischievous brat.
Could it be that she's really grown up that quickly? She already understands her previous interaction with me—challenging me to arm wrestle—was childish behavior and that it showed a lack of respect for me, a respected(self-proclaimed) bookstore owner?
Hasn't she matured a little too fast?!
Lin Jie was taken aback.
Melissa cautiously raised her head and peeked at Lin Jie. Upon seeing his strict face, and getting no response, Melissa couldn't tell whether the bookstore owner forgave her or not.
She hadn't been able to protect her father and help him escape that massive battle even though she had gotten the help of the bookstore owner. This probably disappointed Boss Lin, and she ought to apologize.
"At least... at least Wilde is dead," Melissa raised her head and said with slightly more determination.
"Ah? Old Wil died?" Lin Jie was thoroughly shocked. "Who told you that?"
Hmm? Melissa's eyes widened, and she was equally as confused as Lin Jie.
"N-no...?" Melissa had originally been guilt stricken. In her eyes, the intensity of the battle at 67th Avenue was far too brutal for a child like herself to bear, especially the final clash between Supreme-ranks. At that time, she hadn't personally witnessed Wilde dying.
To be precise, no one did. Not even Joseph.
Did Wilde really die...? That black magician was extremely crafty, and having not seen his corpse, Melissa couldn't be entirely sure.
"I don't know if he's dead or alive. I just wanted to confirm it," said Lin Jie in earnest.
"Never mind, let's not talk about that now," Lin Jie said, frowning as he put down what he was holding.
To be honest, even though Wilde committed atrocities and joined a cult, he didn't hurt anyone and was actually quite a good person. He shouldn't have died, right? Besides, it's weird to discuss whether someone is alive or not here...
Even if Wilde was all that, he had given Lin Jie gifts, helped with his business, and could be considered a friend. A friend dying just like this wasn't something that Lin Jie could believe easily.
Lin Jie cleared his throat and asked, "Have you come to see me because of what happened to your father?"
Melissa was still in shock about the fact that Wilde hadn't been eliminated yet. Is Mr. Lin asking me to check Wilde's mortality? Is he implying that Wilde is still alive?!
Melissa clenched her fists so tightly that her nails nearly embedded themselves in the flesh of her palms. She was having difficulty breathing as an indescribable storm surged through her mind—she couldn't accept the fact that Wilde was still alive.
"I know about what happened to your father, but I hope you can move on from the sadness, because you have a greater responsibility awaiting you," Lin Jie consoled the young redhead. "What's most important is to let the departed see your growth so that they can rest in peace."
Melissa glanced up, putting aside the fact that Wilde was still alive.
A greater responsibility...? Is he saying that I need to kill Wilde and avenge Father? Even if Boss Lin didn't say so, I would still have undertaken such a mission...
Melissa sucked in a deep breath. "I will let Father see my growth. I want him to know that I will accomplish what he couldn't and that I will finish what he was incapable of doing..." Melissa choked up slightly as she spoke.
Lin Jie nodded. "Good child."