Chapter 413: Heart
Chapter 413: Heart
Lin Jie's gentle voice rang in Melissa's head as she tried her hardest to blink back tears.
She had resolved herself not to cry anymore on the night she learned of her father's death, but now she couldn't help shedding tears when someone was here to confide in and offer her comfort.
"Boss Lin…" Teary-eyed, Melissa gazed up at Lin Jie and asked cautiously, "Can you bring my father back to life? I would do anything, even if it costs me my own life."
What the heck? Your own life?! Mr. Lin was startled and wondered if this young lady was thinking straight and contemplated taking her own life because of her father's death.
Thus, he quickly shook his head. "A life cannot be exchanged for a life that has been lost. It's just something that's impossible..."
Melissa understood that Boss Lin refused to resurrect Joseph because she couldn't afford to pay the price. This was an outcome she had already anticipated.
She despised her own weakness and clenched her fists tightly. What made her most angry now was the possibility of Wilde still being alive. If that was true, it would mean her father had died in vain, and everything he had lived for, including his ideals and his life, had been buried in the raging fire.
Had everything been in vain and only exchanged for Secret Rite Tower to call it a 'heroic sacrifice'?
Melissa's anger burned fiercely within her.
Lin Jie couldn't help but sigh. Lying was never a good thing. Joseph was alive and well, yet he had to lie about him being dead. While it was a well-intentioned lie, seeing Melissa with red and swollen eyes made his heart ache a little.
He couldn't help feeling that Joseph's parental methods were just too strict.
"Melissa," Lin Jie encouraged, with a gentle smile and soothing voice. "The dead can't come back to life, but you can believe that miracles can happen in this world."
Melissa immediately looked up, eyes widened as she gazed at Lin Jie.
"Think carefully. What would your father most want to see?" Lin Jie asked while trying to make her see the light.
Melissa furrowed her brow and mulled.
What father would most want to see... Surely that would be to see Wilde's head roll!
"I know! It's..." Melissa was about to answer, but Lin Jie raised a hand to interrupt her and instead said with emphasis, "What your father wants is to see your growth."
Melissa was taken aback.
"Perhaps when you are mature enough and can stand on your own, maybe a miracle will happen," Lin Jie vaguely hinted, and as if to raise credibility, he picked up the stone fragment of the 'Witch of Life.'
"Do you know about the legend of the Primordial Witches, Melissa?" Lin Jie abruptly changed the subject. "This fragment in my hand is a relic left behind by a Primordial Witch eons ago and it represents the flame of life."
Archeology was like a second expertise for Lin Jie, and it was a field that was impossible for him not to love. Lin Jie had great interest in ancient relics and the wonders that lay in them. The fact that this fragment, after experiencing many years of vicissitudes, finally ended up in his hands was, in a way, the workings of fate and a miracle.
"Look, an ancient relic left by someone thousands of years ago can be seen by you today. Isn't this a sort of miracle?" Lin Jie said earnestly. "It's a miracle of time and a gift from the world. It's like destiny, totally unpredictable, but you've got to keep believing and wait for the day to come."
Melissa's eyes widened.
Miracle? Flame of life?
The Witch of Life? The first of the four Primordial Witches to 'fall'?
The witch who controls the cycle of life and death?
And Boss Lin is just casually toying with this seemingly mysterious and powerful fragment?
Melissa gulped. If Boss Lin was playing with the Witch of Life's power in his hands, does that mean to say the miracle he's talking about is resurrecting Father with that power?!
But, the condition for that is my growth?
"Then, how can I grow, to witness that miracle you are talking about?" Melissa asked excitedly.
Lin Jie blinked and said, "That can only be up to you. As for your growth, we'll have to see how to perform—just like these fragments, where there are three in total and I have two at present. Who knows, maybe fate will bring the third one to me too.
"Similarly, who knows. Perhaps one day your father might also reappear in front of you."
So that's the case... When the three fragments are reunited, that will be the day Father returns!
Melissa was excited and slightly relieved upon hearing this. She immediately started to think about how to perform well in order to please Boss Lin.
Seeing that Melissa was still looking confused, Lin Jie couldn't help but think of recommending her a book.
While it was rather unethical to recommend a book and make money off someone whose father had just 'died,' it seemed to be a good opportunity to promote his wares. Thus, Lin Jie turned around and drew a book from the bookshelf. He wiped away the dust on the book's cover which revealed the title—Heart.
"Have a proper read of this book when you return home. It may be of great help," said Lin Jie with a kind smile as he handed the book to Melissa.
Melissa reached out a trembling hand and took the book. The title on it read—The Will of Fire.
"While this book is quite simple, I believe that it can help you greatly. Most importantly, I think it can quell your inner turmoil and help you understand the expectations and love your father had for you."
Melissa wanted to flip the book open immediately, but Lin Jie stopped her.
"I hope that you read this book while in a calm state of mind. The surroundings here aren't that suitable," Lin Jie advised while glancing at the door at the same time.
Your father might be returning with the light bulbs for the new store if you stay here any longer.
Melissa quickly closed the book back. "I'm sorry, Boss Lin. I was being ignorant and didn't respect this book."
"It's fine. Go quickly," Lin Jie waved her off. Then, just as Melissa was about to step out, Lin Jie called out, "Ahem, the price is 37 dollars."
Melissa was momentarily stunned, but then she came around almost immediately. This is the necessary 'price'!
Thus, she quickly pulled out 40 dollars from her pocket and prepared to give it to Boss Lin, but then she retracted her hand.
Boss Lin said 37 dollars so it has to be 37 dollars. A single cent more would be disrespectful to him!
Thus, Melissa rummaged through for change and handed exactly 37 dollars to Lin Jie.
Lin Jie could only muster a slight smile. "..."
Melissa left the bookstore feeling stirred up. To be precise, it felt like fate was guiding her each time she came to the bookstore, and she always gained a lot.
Melissa now understood that Boss Lin could bring her father back to life, but she would first have to show her worth.
Since that is the case…
Melissa raised a hand, and a blooming red flame appeared in her palm.
"I will start by succeeding in Father's responsibilities!"
Melissa headed back to Secret Rite Tower.
Secret Rite Tower had already informed Melissa that she would be taking over her father's post. While this seemed exaggerated for someone her age, many Secret Rite Tower personnel had witnessed Melissa's strength in battle and no one dared question this directive.
Moreover, she had already officially advanced to Destructive-rank and had passed the Truth Union's rank evaluation.
After experiencing the fierce battle at 67th Avenue, Secret Rite Tower was going through a wave of change after countless knights had sacrificed themselves in battle. Now, restructuring and reorganizing were Secret Rite Tower's top priorities.
Secret Rite Tower.
Having similarly been promoted to a Great Radiant Knight, Greg was in his dimly lit office, the blue glare of an electronic display illuminating his face as he tapped away on his keyboard.
A line appeared on the screen — [You have successfully taken over all permissions of Great Radiant Knight 'Scarlet Lancer' Vivian.]
As the chief undercover agent who had monitored and probed Boss Lin's intentions as the massive battle raged, Greg had been promoted to the rank of Great Radiant Knight after the war, replacing the deceased Vivian.
"Knight Vivian was a really great person..."
After obtaining Vivian's permissions, Greg had to deal with the backlog and saw the previous operation records of this account, which included some instances of helping Joseph with intelligence work.
Vivian didn't really have a reputation for strength amongst the Great Radiant Knights, but she excelled in personal charm and her ability to command.
Moreover...it was rumored that this heroic and valiant female knight had a bit of an affection for Teacher Joseph, though the latter remained loyal to his deceased wife, with a love as deep as the ocean and as unchanging as the stars in the sky.
But in the end, the both of them had perished together in the line of duty...
Greg felt uneasy and was about to close the interface when he suddenly saw a line right at the very bottom.
"Inquiry... relevant deeds of Great Radiant Knight Darya?"
Greg was stunned.
Darya was the name of Joseph's late wife.
Was she investigating a love rival?
But this is way too detailed...
Greg clicked on it and saw detailed information and records that included dates and times. Suddenly, his gaze paused, and he saw a piece of information about the day when Darya perished.
"Negligence by the Logistics Division led to the enemy's successful attack?
"That's not right! When I was back in the Logistics Division organizing information, I certainly saw that the duty roster was complete that day, and no one was punished for it."
But when Greg searched according to what he remember, he found—
[Lack of information]