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Right as he said that, people barged into the tavern. The Twin Elites were only two people, in the end; there was nothing they could do against such a large group rushing in.
With so many folks suddenly crowding inside the tavern, the building that hadn’t even been that spacious to begin with shortly became even more crammed. The diners had already scurried back, and even the shopkeeper had taken the waiter and hid inside the rear courtyard.
Zhao Jiangui looked at those inside the crowd; most of those that had come were somewhat familiar faces. All of them were chivalrous fighters from jianghu, a lot even being his friends.
Jin Beiguo stepped forth. “All of you, I believe that there must be a bit of a misunderstanding here. Brother Zhao is absolutely not the type to—“
Before he could finish, four people attacked at the same time.
Zhao Jiangui thought of how they didn’t know the truth, and were only attacking him due to their justice-filled hearts. He absolutely could not hurt them, only dodge all over the place to avoid them. The longsword slung across his back never once came out of its sheath, even.
However, dragging it out like this would eventually not work. While he was in the middle of thinking up how to get out of this, the weapons of those few people were suddenly knocked to the ground.
He turned his head to look.
The thing that had disarmed them had actually been a wine cup.
Ji Han’s wine cup.
The few exchanged looks, likely because they hadn’t expected that this young man of such high martial skill would be by Zhao Jiangui’s side. They dared not act rashly anymore. Following repeated deliberation, one of them stood out. “Who are you? Let us kill this evildoer, won’t you?”
Ji Han was still seated in the same spot, face darkening. “I refuse,” he answered coldly.
“Do you know what he’s done?”
“I don’t care what he’s done. I refuse. You lot aren’t allowed to touch him.”
Zhao Jiangui: “…”
What?! Had he, at some unwitting point in time, already successfully seduced him?!
That one guy was dumbstruck for a second. It took him a long time to open his mouth again. “Why does your esteemed self protect him?”
Ji Han side-eyed him. “I made an appointment to fight him at Swordmeet Peak. Before this battle happens, I will never allow him to die.”
Zhao Jiangui: “…”
Oh. He overthought it.
The man furrowed his brow. “Your martial arts may be high, but you’re only one man with one sword…”
“You’re all very free to come try me,” Ji Han said.
Several people subsequently drew their weapons, then surrounded Ji Han and Zhao Jiangui.
“There has to be a misunderstanding here!” Jin Beiguo was still trying to explain, flustered.
“I would advise you all not to force me to draw my sword,” Ji Han stated. Despite still being seated, his right hand slowly went for the blade at his waist.
“Who actually are you?” someone suddenly asked.
Ji Han shot him a cold glance, then loftily replied, “Ji Han.”
Sudden silence descended all around.
What they dreaded was not the name of this newly-ascended Creed Lord, but the sword he had.
Said sword was over three chi long. Its sheath was dark gray, simply-shaped, and hung diagonally from his waist, with no extra decorations whatsoever. It resembled a piece of junk that could be bought for just a few silver.
Yet, when matched with the name ‘Ji Han’, that inconspicuous longsword became one of the most terrifying weapons in jianghu.
Before Ji Han had become the Creed Lord, he had already been regarded as the top powerhouse of the Demonic Creed, and its sharpest blade. Whenever his sword was drawn, blood would be seen.
Zhao Jiangui drew his sword for the sake of the chivalry in his heart, but Ji Han drew his sword to kill.
Zhao Jiangui would show them mercy, but Ji Han would never do so.
“Do you all still want to try me?” Ji Han suddenly asked.
Everyone drew back.
With two great swordsmen of the world assembled together here, who would dare to take a half-step forth?
Also, who knew whether there might be a Creed ambush nearby?
Ji Han stood up. Several drew their weapons in fright, but he merely straightened out his sleeves, then went to head out. The crowd even made a path for them on its own.
He walked a few steps out, then suddenly stopped, turned, and looked at Zhao Jiangui. “Keep up,” he said, expressionless.
Zhao Jiangui: “…”
Jin Beiguo took Zhao Jiangui’s hand. “Brother Zhao, that man is the Devil of the Creed. You mustn’t…”
The latter was well aware of this. Were he to leave with Ji Han, it would be akin to being branded with the heinous mark of being an accomplice to the Creed. The people of the righteous faction would never let him go.
He pushed Jin Beiguo’s hand away, plundering his brain for scripts that those heroes had left him.
“You don’t need to say any more, Brother Jin. I’ve already made a decision,” he responded, enunciating each of his words. “Since I’m following him, I will be certain to follow him in both life and death.”
Jin Beiguo: “…”
Ji Han: “…”
Jin Beiguo was astonished. “B… Brother Zhao, you and this Devil… you both…”
Ji Han: “…”
Zhao Jiangui: “I…”
That phrase hadn’t been in the book. How should he answer it?
Everyone’s expressions were a bit strange.
Seeing that they weren’t saying anything, Jin Beiguo was dumbstruck for a long time. “I didn’t expect that you were actually…” he mumbled, “I didn’t expect…”
Ji Han’s face abruptly darkened. “None of you heard anything just now.”
Jin Beiguo had not yet returned to his senses, his voice blank. “I heard it…”
The crowd responded in succession.
“I heard it…”
“I heard it, too…”
After a moment of silence, Ji Han suddenly showed a vicious expression. “If any of you dare to speak out about what happened today, then even if you flee to the far corners of the earth, I will take your heads.”
No one dared to say anything else.
After that, Ji Han turned his head, grabbed Zhao Jiangui’s hand, and hauled him outside.
Zhao Jiangui: “…”
The carriage driver was still waiting out there. Upon sighting the two of them holding hands like so as they left, he was apparently struck stupid.
Ji Han paid him no mind, using the full extent of his lightness arts to run outside the city, all while towing Zhao Jiangui. The latter was confused, but could only follow after him.
He had believed his own lightness arts to be excellent, but as of right now, he could see that Ji Han’s were pretty much on par with his. In the blink of an eye, they arrived at the city’s outskirts.
Ji Han dragged him to the corner of a wall. “Are you sick or something?!” he raged.
“I’ve always been in great health, thanks.”
“…You really are sick.”
“I’m actually not…”
Ji Han didn’t want to be in a snag with him anymore, face still filled with anger. “Didn’t you say that gossip is horrible? Are you not afraid of rumors spreading through jianghu from you saying stuff like that?!”
I was just wanting to spread rumors with you.
Zhao Jiangui was not brave enough to say that sentence. He had to lower his head and ponder over how he ought to answer.
Then, he noticed their hands.
Perhaps Ji Han was so furious, he had never noticed, but he was still clutching his hand right this very moment.
“Creed Lord Ji,” he called.
Ji Han was on the alert. “What do you want to do, now?!”
Zhao Jiangui moved his hand that was being held in a death grip, expression honest. “Can you let go? This really hurts.”
Ji Han abruptly flung his hand away, jumping a few chi back like he had seen some kind of monster.
“Thank you very much,” Zhao Jiangui politely said.
The other took out a handkerchief from his pocket and desperately wiped his hand off.
“Are you going to take me to the Demonic Creed now, Lord Ji?” Zhao Jiangui asked. Upon seeing Ji Han throw him an eye-dagger, he swiftly changed his wording around. “…Holy Creed.”
Ji Han threw the handkerchief onto the ground, turned, and stormed off.
Zhao Jiangui quickly followed after him, shouting as he did so. “Creed Lord, wait a minute!”
Ji Han turned to glare at him. “You’re sick!”
“I am not!” Zhao Jiangui felt quite wronged.
“You’re definitely sick!”
“I am not!”
The driver, who had just rolled up: “…”
He resolved to turn the carriage around and pretend that he was admiring the roadside scenery.
Zhao Jiangui toured several Creed subdivisions during Ji Han’s journey — they were the least important ones, of course.
Ji Han didn’t conceal these from him. The righteous faction had long known about the locations of these subdivisions, but on account of a lack of staffing, they had never been able to eliminate them.
Soon after, he felt that having someone sit on top of his carriage all day long was excessively ugly, but he also didn’t want to squeeze into the same carriage with Zhao Jiangui. He was forced to throw a horse at him to make him go his own way.
On the journey, Ji Han had apparently settled on the decision to not talk to Zhao Jiangui anymore. Whenever he needed to speak, he did all he could to keep what he had to say within three words.
Zhao Jiangui had landed into tranquility, but progress on the big seduction plan had stagnated.
The tale about Zhao Jiangui killing the eldest disciple of the Alliance Leader spread throughout all of jianghu. At each place they went, there would always be righteous warriors staring dead at them, though not a one dared to step forward.
That was because there were also jianghu rumors that stated that Zhao Jiangui was constantly following that number-one expert of the Creed.
The reason why that was so, no one dared to say.
All sorts of hearsay and speculation circulated in a moment’s time, to the extent that Ji Han felt that the eyes of even the feral dogs by the roadside were all looking at them slightly abnormally. It seemed like all of the passersby that saw them were shouting at them in their minds.
Damned cut-sleeves! Damned cut-sleeves!
Ji Han was quite unhappy. He wanted to just stab Zhao Jiangui to death, so as to clear up these jianghu rumors.
But… stabbing him to death would be a truly difficult thing.
He had no choice but to restrain himself. Every day, he spent a vast quantity of time refining his own sword arts; his blade had long become fast enough to instantly split apart every single leaf floating down from an autumnal parasol tree, but he still wasn’t one-hundred-percent confident that he could stab Zhao Jiangui through the throat before the other could scramble to draw his sword in their decisive battle.
Right now, he only hoped that he would be able to stab him to death in front of everyone at the duel in a year, thus restoring his innocence.
That was quite a pleasing thought.
Afterwards, they returned to the Demonic Creed. Zhao Jiangui had never thought that there would be a time in his life where he would be able to waltz in here so blatantly.
Ji Han refused to pay attention to him, the seduction could not progress, and the phrases he had memorized had already been almost entirely used up. His top priority was, of course, to carefully look out for the spy the righteous faction had left in the Creed.
He had no idea who that spy was, though. Those seniors had only informed him that the spy was someone close to the Creed, and after he himself got in, they would inevitably come find him to link up.
All he could do was wait in his room.
He guessed at the identity of the spy in his head. Someone that had come across so many Creed secrets, and was even able to come and go from the Creed Lord’s room at will, had to be of an extremely high status in the Creed.
Ji Han’s personal attendant knocked on his door with his food.
“You can just set it down on the table,” Zhao Jiangui answered. Even though Ji Han refused to speak with him, he had never treated him poorly in everyday life.
The attendant placed the food upon the table, but didn’t depart.
“Is there something else?” Zhao Jiangui asked.
The attendant had a face full of mysteriousness. “Hero Zhao! It’s me!”
So the spy wasn’t a high-ranking elite, but Ji Han’s personal attendant?
A Creed Lord’s attendant would indeed have ease in coming across some confidential matters, and it was indeed possible for one to catch sight of the portrait the Lord had hung above his headboard, but that was exactly why the filtering of Ji Han’s attendants should have been appropriately strict. How had the Vast Alliance managed to stick such a spy into the Creed?
Zhao Jiangui couldn’t help but have some doubts.
The spy appeared to only be in his twenties, and had enigmatically come in close, wanting to give Zhao Jiangui a secret signal. He was the first to introduce himself. “This humble one’s surname is Lin, the one made from two characters for ‘wood’. You may call me Xiao Lin.”
The other slightly nodded.
“It is inevitable that you would have some doubts towards me, Hero Zhao. The Alliance Leader told me to confront you with an issue from that book of lines so that you can trust me.”
The Leader had indeed brought that up to him before. He had to nod again.
“If the Creed Lord suspects you, fights with you, and you have no way to explain yourself, what should you do?”
Okay. He remembered this section, of course; it had been written at the end of the book, and circled in vermillion ink.
To be honest, he really hoped that that scene wouldn’t occur.
Xiao Lin was still eagerly gazing at him. He had to cough. “I trust you.”
The instant he said that, someone suddenly pushed the door open and came in.
The two of them were startled. Zhao Jiangui turned his head to look — Ji Han was standing outside the door with two maidservants behind him, all with expressions of shock.
The Creed Lord’s personal attendant leaning so close to a righteous faction Hero such as this… would unavoidably make one suspicious.
Xiao Lin staggered a few steps backwards. “Creed Lord, this is—“
“Zhao Jiangui,” Ji Han interrupted, expression frigid, “what are you two doing?”
Zhao Jiangui had no idea how to explain this. He hadn’t expected this moment to come so soon.
Xiao Lin was still trying to speak. “Creed Lord, this subordinate and Hero Zhao were just talking—“
“I didn’t ask you.”
Xiao Lin had to shut up and retreat to the side. Ji Han’s gaze moved to Zhao Jiangui again. “I asked you.”
Zhao Jiangui knew that explanations at this point would have no effect, so he had to earnestly recall that final maneuver.
The book had said… that there needed to be a wall.
Ji Han was standing by the door, with two pretty maids behind him. He needed to trick him into getting near the wall.
“Come over here,” he said, “and I’ll tell you what we were doing.”
Ji Han kept staring at him gloomily, not moving a bit.
Zhao Jiangui thought for a time, then said, “There are some things that I think you probably won’t want anyone else to hear.”
“This Lord is upright in conduct. Nothing exists that I wouldn’t allow others to know about.”
“‘Following each other in life and death.’”
Ji Han came over immediately.
Behind Zhao Jiangui, there was a wall.
The other grit his teeth. “What do you actually want to say?!”
Great, the first step had been achieved. The second needed to be a surprise.
He beckoned Ji Han over. “Bring your ear in close.”
“Following each other in…”
Ji Han expressionlessly leaned in. “Say it quick.”
Before he finished his speech, Zhao Jiangui abruptly snatched his wrist and shoved him against the wall. His back slammed hard against it, causing pain — anger gushed out of his heart with a woosh as he itched to cut the one in front of him to pieces, but right as he went to move, Zhao Jiangui gripped his chin and came in close before him.
He froze up.
According to his memories, no one had ever dared to be this close to him before. Furthermore, this… this was a grown-ass man!
It wasn’t just Ji Han, but everyone in the room that was stunned.
Including Zhao Jiangui.
The book had written that the next step ought to be… going in for a kiss.
But how was he supposed to do that kiss?! Should he kiss his face, mouth, or forehead?! Straight-on or at an angle?! And for how long?! A second, or fifteen minutes?! Should he just keep kissing when he does, or just stop at one?! Wouldn’t non-stop kissing kind of make him look like a woodpecker, though?! But going once and then stopping would be so awkward!
Why didn’t they write any of this down?!! What use were any of them?!
The inside of his mind was in turbulence, but all he could do was put on a wooden face and stare coldly at Ji Han.
Whose face was right in front of him.
He suddenly realized that Ji Han’s looks were pretty good, he just always had a bad sulking expression. If he smiled, he would definitely be a lot better-looking.
Thus, Zhao Jiangui recalled what Yue Qingqing had once said to him.
He forced the corners of his mouth upward, grinning at Ji Han.
Dejected, Zhao Jiangui let go and turned around. “…I’m postponing this. Come back later.”
“…What is wrong with you?!” Ji Han yelled.
Alas, Zhao Jiangui had already run out the door.
Ji Han was dumbstruck for a good long while. Then, he suddenly remembered that there were several other people on-scene in the room.
Face sullen, he turned to look at Xiao Lin and the two maids.
The slightly older maid placed a hand over her heart and dramatically collapsed, mumbling something out. “Ah, this maid forgot to eat this morning… all of a sudden, I feel weak all over. There’s also darkness before my eyes, and I can’t see anything at all.”
The slightly younger one was panicking. Looking to her left and right, she had no idea what to do, then ended up simply shutting her eyes and collapsing beside her older sister with a plop.
Xiao Lin was nervous to the extreme. “Creed Lord, that really wasn’t what you think!”
Ji Han sneered. “It doesn’t matter what it was.”
Since everyone had witnessed that, they should be killed to keep their silence, right?
“Hero Zhao, he… he was just… just asking me about what you like to eat!” Xiao Lin said in a fluster.
Ji Han was caught off guard. “What I like to eat?”
The other nodded over and over again. “He wants to cook for you himself!”
Zhao Jiangui paced twice around the courtyard, then finally calmed down.
He didn’t understand.
Even back when he had faced the demonic arts of the Rakshasa Refined in the Western Paradise, he hadn’t been this flustered. What was he getting in a bind about? Wouldn’t it have been fine if he had just closed his eyes and kissed him?
He was obliged to return to the room.
The maids had since withdrawn. Ji Han was seated at the table, blank-faced, while Xiao Lin was trembling in fear as he stood by his side.
“I’m done postponing.”
Ji Han turned to look at him like he was viewing some weird creature.
“Can you… go stand by the wall, first?” Zhao Jiangui asked.
“For dinner, I want to eat egg noodles,” Ji Han said coldly. “There needs to be two eggs fried with sesame oil in the eggs. Add in shredded ginger. Scallions are prohibited. Drizzle sesame oil on it prior to taking it out of the pot. If there’s even one tiny bit of diced scallions in it, you can go ahead and get out of my Creed immediately.”
Ji Han had already gone out the door with a frosty face.
Perplexed at heart, Zhao Jiangui turned to Xiao Lin. “What was that?”
“A makeshift plan… Hero Zhao, that’s a makeshift plan!” Xiao Lin agreed.
Zhao Jiangui was even more perplexed.
“I just told the Creed Lord that you were asking me about what food he likes.”
“The food he likes? Why?”
“Because you want to cook for him yourself.”
“My mom once told me that if you want to nab a man’s heart, you must first nab his stomach.”
“Since you’re capable of being the number-one swordsman in the land, a mere bowl of egg noodles will be a cinch.”
“The Vast Alliance is counting on you, Hero Zhao!”
“…There’s just one thing I don’t understand.”
“Why would your mother teach you how to nab a man’s heart?”
Zhao Jiangui had never used these hands to hold a kitchen knife before.
In the opinions of martial experts, everything in the world could be used as a weapon of murder. Kitchen knives were knives, so they, of course, were also weapons. He was the number-one swordsman, but he could be described as having many weapons that he was proficient in — knives were things he had also meticulously delved into, but those knives… had evidently not involved kitchen knives.
All he wanted to do was chop some garlic, and yet he had dropped the knife twice. Were it not for his deftness, it likely would have hit his feet by now.
Xiao Lin kind of couldn’t bear to see this continue, so he requested that the Creed’s chef write the recipe down for advice.
When Ji Han was little, this chef had already been serving the Creed’s food. No one knew the Creed Lord’s tastes better than she did. These egg noddles were simple to cook and easy to start, so she gave only a few uncomplicated instructions. There were already pre-made noodles, along with eggs; Zhao Jiangui only needed to put the noodles in water, then mix the eggs into them after they were fried.
She also cautiously warned that the Lord absolutely hated scallions, but while the eggs were being fried, shredded ginger and minced garlic were to be added.
Xiao Lin handed the recipe to Zhao Jiangui, then was called out by Ji Han to run errands. Zhao Jiangui stared at the paper, sunken into his thoughts.
Even the most difficult sword tome in the world would not have been this cryptic to him.
The noodles were simple, as the chef had clearly written down the time. After boiling them a couple of times, what he dredged out finally somewhat resembled noodles.
The fried eggs appeared to be simple, too. He heated up the oil ahead of time according to the chef’s instructions, then tossed the eggs into the pan.
It was now getting late in the day. The Creed Lord personally graced the kitchen with his presence in order to survey how work on the egg noodles was going.
He saw Zhao Jiangui holding a spatula, his clothes and face stained with ash and soot, as he lowered his head to stare at the two round, shiny, shelled eggs in the pan.
He began to… contemplate.
2 thoughts on “SC 11-20”
If I were Ji Han, I would start looking into cure to live potions bc Zhao Jiangui sure acts like he needs it.
The book is do funny and relaxing to read, thank you for your hard work on translation!!!
Lol 😂😂 this is really hillarious. And the driver all along 🤣🤣