Chapter 24: What A Huge Tortoise
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Having a reputation as an influential beast appraiser in the association, naturally made Gao Jiang full of himself. He strode with absolute confidence in his evaluations. So even when Chief Wang Ji or the three elders -the overseers of the association- pointed out mistakes in his evaluations, Gao Jiang might not willingly accept them, much less from the shame of the association that is Lin Jin.
This little affair had cursed great ‘humiliation’ onto him. Ultimately, an evaluation report represented the appraiser’s dignity.
Tattletale Zhang He was satisfied watching Gao Jiang’s expression. He mused, ‘Oh Lin Jin, several days ago you humiliated me. But today, karma is coming to bite you back. I can’t afford to offend you but if Appraiser Gao wants to deal with you, then I can’t do anything about it.’
Perhaps because he felt that this wasn’t enough, Zhang He decided to douse gasoline onto the flames.
“Appraiser Gao, I’m not sure if I should be telling you this…” Zhang He behaved rather respectfully. As an apprentice affiliated under the Chief, Zhang He did not need to have such politeness. But he was here to sow discord, so he had to put up his act.
“What is it?” Regardless if Gao Jiang was in a bad mood or not, he had to uphold his manners. After all, he retained a noble status. Other than being an official beast appraiser, he was also the young master of the Gao family, one of the three largest families in Maple City.
“It goes like this…” Zhang He stuttered timidly. “It’s also regarding Lin Jin. I’ve heard that he used certain tactics to make one of your affiliated apprentices, Lu Xiaoyun, change sides and switch over to him…”
“Lu Xiaoyun?” Gao Jiang contemplated. The number of apprentices affiliated under him exceeded twenty. It was impossible to remember each individual, but Lu Xiaoyun was different.
Besides being one of the sacred beauties within the association, she was also the younger sister of an extraordinary friar among the younger generations of Maple City’s Friar Association, Lu Yunhe.
Lu Yunhe was no ordinary man.
The Friar Association mainly researched the cultivation of ancient immortals. Not only were the members blessed with exceptional bodily strength, but also from their inheritance of expert techniques and their top-notch pet beasts.
How could Gao Jiang forget the younger sister of this extraordinary figure?
He whipped his head in the direction of the apprentice beside him. The latter jolted in shock and stumbled out to verify this claim. Sure enough, the paperwork came back showing that Lu Xiaoyun had switched to another mentor yesterday at the general affairs department.
Gao Jiang’s face drained a sickly white. Even if he had tolerated the prior incident, this was something he would hold a grudge over.
“This is outrageous!”
Gao Jiang had only looked down on Lin Jin before, but now, he burned with hostility for the man. But Gao Jiang comprehended that if he marched to Lin Jin on his own accord, Lin Jin would be honored. No matter heads or tails, it would only look like he was kicking over a pile of trash to the public.
“That scum must’ve used despicable methods. I’m not in a position to take matters into my own hands in case people say I’m bullying him. I’ll write to Lu Yunhe to inform him that his sister has been influenced down the wrong path. As her brother, he should set her straight.” With that being said, Gao Jiang took his calligraphy brush and began composing the letter, then had his subordinate deliver it.
Since he fulfilled his purpose, Zhang He promptly excused himself.
Once outside, he muttered giddily, “Lin Jin, oh Lin Jin, this will guarantee your downfall. Your fall out of the top five in two consecutive assessments would pair perfectly with that appraisal incident, further endangering your status. Now, you’ve actually approached Appraiser Gao and provoked him, the chicken is coming home to roost.”
Meanwhile, Lin Jin was handing over an evaluation report to the customer he lured in.
The latter glimpsed at it suspiciously. “Appraiser Lin, will… will this really work?”
Lin Jin patted his chest positively, “Don’t worry. This evaluation report has my seal and signature. If anything happens, you can come looking for me.”
This client wasn’t a local. He had specifically come to Maple City’s Beast Appraisal Association for their professional consultation, so he nodded in agreement.
“This is my token. You just have to pay on your way out. The fees are stated in this paper,” Lin Jin reminded kindly.
The client understood the rules here so he nodded and left. Once he exited the room, he was surrounded by whispers and pointed fingers in his direction. Baffled, he asked out of curiosity to find out the commotion.
“You’re saying that Appraiser Lin has a bad reputation and terrible skills and that he inaccurately appraised someone’s pet beast?”
“That’s right. You’re not a local so you must have been fooled. Nobody here would consult him for an appraisal.”
The client shook his head, unwilling to believe this rumor. He murmured, “Appraiser Lin didn’t look as unskilled as they said. Whatever, since I have the evaluation report, I’ll just come back if there’s a problem.”
That afternoon, Lin Jin proactively approached quite a few customers. Of course, he had been rejected, but something was better than nothing.
Zhao Ying and Lu Xiaoyun still had their heads buried in their reports. Whenever they came across complex content, they would raise their hands and question. Lin Jin would explain it to them as per the museum’s elaboration.
“I see. So my pet beast’s problem roots in its attribute clash with its bloodline. Absorption of earth-type spiritual energy would clog up its acupuncture points, no wonder it couldn’t evolve before.” Lu Xiaoyun was enlightened. The knowledge she absorbed was infinite.
Just then, a voice outside asked, “Is Appraiser Lin here?”
Zu Can stood outside the door, expressing worry onto the tortoise beside him whose height reached his waist. As a direct descendant of Maple City’s Zu family, Zu Can’s status was nonpareil. He was a young master born into riches, but he had his troubles too.
Throughout his life, his pet beast, this grand tortoise, had stuck by his side. But recently, it grew listless and blue due to an unknown illness. Chief Wang Ji, he had sought consultation, a report from Appraiser Gao, he’d also gotten, but the outcome was always the same.
The disease was so crippled that no medicine could help. So bluntly put, it was incurable.
Both appraisers had issued prescriptions to delay the illness and Zu Can did try feeding his pet beast the medication several times, but it revealed no promising signs.
As he was tortured to watch his tortoise’s health diminish, Zu Can had many starving days and sleepless nights. The elders in his family had already begun searching for replacement pet beasts, losing faith in this large tortoise.
But Zu Can was stubborn. For many years Zu Can and this tortoise were joined at the hip, how could he just abandon it?
He had quested after various famed beast appraisers. After visiting Chief Wang Ji again today, his outcome was sadly unchanged. In the midst of despair, Zu Can caught his eye on Lin Jin’s token, so he planned to give it a shot.
He was a slave to desperation.
Zu Can was aware of Appraiser Lin’s notorious reputation. His consultation result couldn’t possibly be more profound than Chief Wang Ji’s, but Zu Can was willing. Even if there was a tiny ray of hope, he didn’t want to give up on it.
Lin Jin came out and the first thing he noticed was the dispirited tortoise.
“Wow. What a huge tortoise!” Lin Jin exclaimed.
Zu Can frowned, instantly disappointed. His pet beast was a sapphire turtle, not a tortoise. For a beast appraiser who can’t tell such a difference, Lin Jin was just as useless as they say. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire after all.
Zu Can sighed, redirecting his body to face the exit. He realized he was just burning daylight and turning into a crackpot. How in his right mind could he seek out someone with such an infamous reputation?
Except, Lin Jin’s next words paused him at once.
“Ahem, ahem, this sapphire turtle of yours has quite the potential and even inherited the Seven Sea Dragon Turtle bloodline. Only, you weren’t able to meet its evolution requirement. So even after ten years, three months, and one day, you still struggle to help it evolve. Plus, I don’t think you had any idea that your pet beast had been poisoned by someone…”
Zu Can’s eyes continuously widened as he listened until finally, his jaw was hanging wide open.
Inside Lin Jin’s consultation hall, at the table sat freshly prepped tea and Zu Can, face to face with Lin Jin, visually uncomfortable.
Typical Lin Jin had never lost composure. He knew that the client came to him because this was his last resort. The client must have consulted other experts resulting to no avail, if he had successful prior consultations, he never would’ve considered Lin Jin.
This was a good thing.
“Appraiser Lin, you mentioned something about being poisoned earlier. What did you mean?” Zu Can was flustered. The thought of the possibility of Lin Jin making an exaggeration just to attract his attention had crossed his mind, but whether or not it’s true, he had to first clarify.
Lin Jin saw through the doubt in his eyes so he said, “Has your pet beast been reluctant to eat lately? Besides it being listless, it is also having bloody stools and when it’s fed medicine, it would vomit everything out shortly after. The plastron on its abdomen is peeling and green veins surrounded its pupils. The worst part is, every day as night falls until twilight emerges, your beast would inadvertently go on a rampage, and after it’s destruction, it would drop dead for several hours, too feeble to move.”
The teacup slipped from Zu Can’s fingers onto the table and tea spilled all over.