Chapter 2: Everyone Has The Nerve To Bully Me?
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
A man arrayed in an apprentice beast appraiser’s uniform stood outside with a scorned look on his face.
One glance at the man triggered a flood of memories into Lin Jin’s mind.
Zhang He, an apprentice beast appraiser in Maple City. He used to be Lin Jin’s follower, but he betrayed Lin Jin once he saw an opportunity amidst his tension with Chief Wang Ji, and repaid Lin Jin’s kindness with enmity.
In general, apprentice beast appraisers of a lower rank should be considerate and respectful towards official beast appraisers.
But there were exceptions.
And Lin Jin was the exception. Everyone in the branch knew his current relationship status with the Chief, so they knew that he wouldn’t be here for long. His title of an official beast appraiser was on the line of being revoked as a consequence of the ‘beast appraisal incident’. Hence, some of the apprentices had lost their respect for him but still showed him basic courtesy.
But Zhang He was unbothered to show him any courtesy at all.
When he first arrived, Lin Jin took him in and nursed him well, so Zhang He took refuge under his wing, trailing him everywhere. But after seeing how Chief Wang Ji harassed him to the point his future is belittled, the apprentice immediately cut off all ties with Lin Jin and leaned towards the chief, snubbing him as if they never met, and got revenge for the grace Lin Jin showed him through animosity which caused him quite some trouble.
Zhao Ying opened her mouth to say something, but she stopped herself.
Although Lin Jin was failing as a beast appraiser, he was still an official that ranks higher than the apprentices. This level of disrespect was inappropriate and uncalled for.
Little does she know that Zhang He was deliberately behaving this way. For every despiteful action shown towards this ‘official beast appraiser’, he could gain Chief Wang Ji’s attention, that pushed him to insult Lin Jin even more mercilessly.
A prestigious figure losing his power is as inferior as a commoner. So what’s wrong with insulting him?
Lin Jin knew the man meant trouble so he didn’t bother to associate himself with Zhang He. After all, Lin Jin had just transmigrated with the possibility of never returning to his original life. Despite how strong he was mentally, a small part of him would still feel doubtful, lost, and confused. How would he have any energy left to deal with Zhang He in such a shitty mood?
However, Zhang He was reluctant to let this go.
Assembled behind him were several other people who had brought two pet beasts that have yet to sign a blood contract. Obviously they were here to seek guidance from a beast appraiser.
Even between the same species, pet beasts possess different levels, attributes, and potential. So, the process of choosing a pet beast was especially important, and herein lies the value of a beast appraiser.
The Beast Appraisal Association would have endless streams of people lined up in front daily, seeking advice. Like a doctor in a hospital, beast appraisers with higher qualifications and prestige would be harder to seek while some would struggle to attract patients.
As for Lin Jin, the people were no longer interested in him. Those who seek his services were only people of the lower class who did hard labor.
Previously, as an official beast appraiser, he had quite a few patrons seeking his guidance, but after the rumors spread about that ‘beast appraisal accident’ two days ago, no one came looking for him anymore.
They just want what’s best for their future after all…
“Allow me to introduce, this is the famous beast appraiser, Lin Jin. He’s a certified beast appraiser with first-rate qualifications, and he’s so much better than me, an apprentice. Everyone, why don’t you let him take a look at your pet beasts?”
Zhang He announced this on purpose.
News of the appraisal incident had been circulating for quite awhile, so many people knew that this immoral and wretched beast appraiser exists in Maple City’s Beast Appraisal Association. If a doctor had caused the death of his patient, what person would still have the courage to consult this doctor?
It goes the same for beast appraisals.
The group immediately shook their heads. “Appraiser Zhang, please don’t joke around. We’ve only come for you. It’s okay if you just take a look, let’s… let’s not trouble Appraiser Lin.”
It was merely a polite remark.
You could tell that they just didn’t want Lin Jin to evaluate their beasts, the man wasn’t trustworthy.
To have an apprentice’s service be preferred over a certified beast appraiser’s was just blatant humiliation for Lin Jin.
And Zhang He’s intentions were to purely show that.
Degrading his benefactor was Zhang He’s method to use Lin Jin as a stepping stone while pleasing Chief Wang Ji at the same time. This method worked every time.
Lin Jin must be furious. But so what?
He’s done for anyway.
Normally when this happened, Lin Jin would respond with silent acridity, but this time was different.
Lin Jin looked composed without a trace of annoyance. He stared at Zhang He briefly before nodding. “Although I’m busy with work, I can still free up some time to guide you, Apprentice Zhang.”
Lin Jin emphasized on ‘apprentice’ loudly, clearly pointing out Zhang He’s lack of experience. Zhang He never expected Lin Jin to retort, so his snobby expression instantly darkened. The embarrassment from hearing the word ‘guide’ fueled the rage inside him to boil even harder.
He used to learn his apprentice ways from Lin Jin and was considered Lin Jin’s disciple. His betrayal, ungrateful behavior, humiliation, and even his deliberation in going against Lin Jin, was in hopes that Zhang He could erase this ‘shameful’ part of his background.
Now that Lin Jin was bringing up his history, exposing his scars to the public, how could Zhang He not be angry?
“Guide me? Are you worthy enough, Lin Jin? Why don’t you take a look at your current situation? You’re drowning in your own misery and yet you have the nerve to say such shameful things.” Zhang He shed away all formalities. After all, with the Chief backing him up, he wouldn’t have to worry even if things went overboard.
Lin Jin remained unfazed. From what he remembered, Zhang He had a short temper and was easily provoked, so what Lin Jin said earlier had a purpose to it.
He was no longer the doormat he used to be. The Lin Jin now was vengeful and would settle things so his grudge doesn’t last overnight.
“Zhang He, don’t forget. You were once my disciple. Your beast appraisal skills originated from me. Although you’re so thankless to the point you harass your mentor to your benefit, I’m generous enough to forgive you. It’s been so long and it looks like you haven’t improved so I was thinking of making an exception to give you some guidance. If you’re unwilling to accept it, then it’s your loss.”
Lin Jin’s impression of a great master made everyone’s jaw drop.
Sure, Zhang He wasn’t much of a good person, but Lin Jin has no right to fend for himself either. The appraisal incident hasn’t been cleared up yet so how dare he put on airs? How impervious did he have to be, to be as calm as he was now?
Sure enough, Zhang He’s face turned red in fury. He wasn’t an idiot and could tell that Lin Jin was intentionally provoking him. Hence, he mustn’t be influenced. If he really got physical or berated Lin Jin, he would be responsible for initiating trouble.
Regardless, he was only an apprentice and Lin Jin is still an official.
Suppressing his anger, the most he could do was an eye-roll. Then, an idea came to Zhang He’s mind.
“Lin Jin, everyone knows of your standard in beast appraisal, so let’s put guidance aside. If you have the guts, then let’s have a bet. Though, I’m afraid you just might be too chicken.”
Zhang He looks ready for a challenge.
“What kind of bet?” Lin Jin asked.
“Just take a look at these two pet beasts. As an appraiser, evaluation of a beast’s species, bloodline, and attributes are the basics. Let’s compete and see whose evaluation is more comprehensive and accurate while giving the patron an appropriate suggestion. If you lose, you’ll publicly admit that your skills are inferior to mine, Zhang He’s, and you are never allowed to bring up the past ever again,” Zhang He said through gritted teeth.
As he looked excited, a devious glint flashed in his eyes.
Usually an apprentice like him would be disadvantageous when contending with a certified beast appraiser, but the impression Lin Jin gives off now was speculated as if he attained his certificate through sheer luck. The man’s skills were ignoble and suboptimal. While Zhang He has a growingly evil personality, his knowledge and skills in beast appraisal were remarkable. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have crowds demanding his services.
On top of that, Zhang He had also already examined these two pet beasts thoroughly and discovered that one of them had a hidden bloodline. Only appraisers with extraordinary finesse could detect such a fact and Zhang He acquired this unique identification technique after consulting with Chief Wang Ji. In addition to his experience of being under Lin Jin’s wing, he was familiar with Lin Jin’s appraisal methods and knew the extent of his capabilities. It was impossible for him to notice the hidden bloodline in this pet beast in such a short time, so Zhang He had his victory secured.
One can only dream that an apprentice like him will be able to surpass an official like Lin Jin, he would rise to fame, leaving Lin Jin to deteriorate in his humiliation. Without the need for the higher-ups to revoke his qualifications, the man just might be too embarrassed to stay in the association. If he could really drive Lin Jin away, it would definitely shed new light on him to Chief Wang Ji.
“Zhang He, you’ve only explained what happens after your victory. What about your loss?” Lin Jin suddenly asked.
Zhang He smirked internally. “If I lose, I’ll kneel and prostrate before you. How is that?”
Lin Jin shook his head. “That won’t be necessary. After all, we used to be mentor and student. It’s just that your act of bewitchery had made you stray off your path. I feel at fault and guilty for not educating you properly nor guiding you back. For me to compete with you is like picking on my young, but for the sake of aligning you back, I will make an exception this time. When the time comes, you only have to lower your head, acknowledge your faults, and promise me that you’ll return to the right path. Prostrating won’t be necessary.”
What a display of a considerate elder.
Zhang He’s eyelids twitched madly. His mind was exploding, almost cussing out loud.
Who strayed off the path?!
Picking on your young?!
Observing from the past, Zhang He knew how average Lin Jin’s skills were. To get a beast appraisal certificate awarded to him, he must be really lucky.
How dare such a man say this so shamelessly?
The skin on his face was thicker than the city’s walls.
Zhang He sniggers. “You sound as if you can really win against me. Lin Jin, you can fool other people but you can’t fool me. I know exactly how competent you are. If I hadn’t wasted a year’s time with you, I’d become a certified beast appraiser by now.”
The irritation in his tone was increasing.
All Lin Jin did was shake his head with a pained expression, provoking Zhang He till he could almost beat him up.
The people around were beyond baffled.
Even Zhao Ying who felt injustice for Lin Jin was shaking her head. Lin Jin was really crossing the line. While Lin Jin might currently be a certified beast appraiser in the association, it was said that his evaluation skills were inferior to other higher ranking apprentices. The normal folks knew this.
Even a newcomer like Zhao Ying had heard of rumors about Lin Jin being useless and incompetent. It was as the saying, ‘there wouldn’t be smoke if there was no fire’. If Lin Jin was truly capable, he should have proven his worth, unless he wasn’t confident in himself. That accident could almost verify the rumors of him being unworthy of his reputation.