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Ji Han stiffly pointed at the pan. “What is that?”
“I’m frying eggs.”
“I heard Xiao Lin say that you liked eggs, so I added one more.”
“Wait just a moment. It’ll take a minute to fry.”
“You know that eggs have to be cracked open before they’re fried, right?”
Ji Han picked up the chopsticks from the side, then prodded the eggs in the pan. Zhao Jiangui had even added in ginger shreds and garlic mince. Those two round eggs, mixed in with seasonings that had been cut unevenly, looked indescribably… awful.
Who taught him to cook like this?!
“Have you ever eaten fried eggs before?”
“Of course I have.”
“Fried eggs with shells?”
“No. Don’t worry, I’ll peel the shell off later.”
Ji Han felt that this ‘number-one swordsman of jianghu’ was quite ill in the head. He wanted to say a few things more, but, unexpectedly, the eggs in the pan began to sizzle.
He looked down at the two shiny things.
Zhao Jiangui couldn’t resist curiously looking down, as well, even picking up a pair of chopsticks and lightly poking them.
“They should be about cooked,” Hero Zhao said, completely serious.
“You really are si—“
Before he could finish, they both heard an explosion.
Although this sound was not as booming as the Thunderbolt Flick of Jiangnan’s Thunderbolt Hall, it was enough to scare these two top-tier experts of jianghu. Their reaction times were extremely quick, as they had jumped back to dodge almost as soon as the sound went off.
Once they felt that they could safely move away the sleeves that were blocking their faces, they mutually witnessed their counterpart’s tragic state.
The walls, ground, stove, and even their clothes and hair were coated in a mess of white and yellow egg.
And there was only one egg left in the pan.
Zhao Jiangui looked confused. “What is—“
He didn’t get to finish, as the other egg exploded, too.
“…That was an accident.”
Ji Han sneered. His hair and brows were covered with yolk, which looked really odd.
“I can try again,” Zhao Jiangui stalled.
Ji Han was so pissed, he nearly slammed the pan lid on the guy’s head.
“Really I can—“
“Clean all this up, then get the hell out of here!” Ji Han roared.

Zhao Jiangui was a bit dismayed.
Ji Han told him to get out, which meant… that the seduction would be declared a failure.
What would the Vast Alliance do? And what path should he take, now?
Xiao Lin snuck over to console him. “Don’t worry, Hero Zhao. The Creed Lord was just speaking in a moment of anger.”
“He even told me to get out. That was just anger talking?” Zhao Jiangui answered, feeling wronged. He simply let out a long sigh.
Xiao Lin nearly wanted to grab his hand to rouse his spirits, so that his determination to seduce the Creed Lord would be incited. “Hero Zhao, if the Lord really did want you to leave, he wouldn’t have made you clean the kitchen, first.”
Zhao Jiangui wasn’t getting it.
“He would have made you get out of the Creed at once.”
“You see, Hero Zhao?! He’s still fond of you!”
Xiao Lin was pumped up. “You have to make the egg noodles properly to gain his favor!”

It was deep in the night.
Zhao Jiangui thought back seriously to several of his predecessors that had nearly offered up their own lives for the Vast Alliance, and recalled all his good friends of the righteous path, then finally came to a decision.
He was going back to the kitchen to make another bowl of egg noodles!

There was a light lit in the kitchen.
After thinking for a time, he suppressed his breathing and cautiously went over, wanting to see who was there.
If it was just the chef, then he’d ask her to teach him how to make a regular bowl of noodles that wouldn’t explode. If it was someone else, then he would turn around, leave, and act like he had never come here tonight.
However, the one in the kitchen… was Ji Han.
Ji Han, who, while holding a bowl of egg noodles, just happened to raise his head to look at him.

In truth, the second Zhao Jiangui had come into the door, Ji Han had noticed that someone was there. This place was his Holy Creed, so he simply had no need to hide from anyone.
He just hadn’t expected that this guy would be the one to come.
Both of them felt awkward.
Ji Han had a cold face as he held his chopsticks aloft, noodles grasped within them. Zhao Jiangui suddenly remembered the scene before him — it had been written down in that book, and even circled with a red line. Purportedly, if he did this properly, this big seduction scheme would be successful, all in one go!
He was quite a bit excited. Meanwhile, Ji Han was staring at him with a sullen face, not wanting to speak.
“I can’t sleep,” Zhao Jiangui said.
“You can’t sleep, either?”
“Could you accompany me for a chat?”
Why wasn’t he playing his cards according to script?!

The seniors of the Vast Alliance had told him that if he ever came across the Creed Lord being unable to sleep at night, he ought to use flowery nonsense from poems and song verses to further grasp the other’s fragile heart, allowing him to open up to him. Once he knew what the other’s weakness was, the seduction’s success would not be far off.
He was not a man of any sort of refinement. He didn’t understand poetry, nor could he speak flowery nonsense. All he knew was that he held a three-chi-long blade in hand, and that blade was exactly what he could chat a bit about.
Being able to just talk was fine. As the saying went, different roads reached the same ends; he would reach that step eventually.
That was what he had thought, anyway. He came in a bit closer, then asked, “How… old were you when you started practicing the sword?”
Ji Han stared at him coldly, not answering.
Zhao Jiangui had no option but to carry on himself. “I began wielding swords when I had first started to walk, and have kept doing it for about twenty-six years now.”
The other remained silent.
“You’re younger than me, but your achievements in sword arts are no lesser. Your style is quick and harsh, sacrificing defense to specialize in attack, and you’re already regarded as an unparalleled ace of jianghu.”
“What are you even getting at?” Ji Han questioned, at last.
“I’m getting at your weakness.”
“My weakness?”
Zhao Jiangui nodded.
Truth be told, he didn’t understand what those seniors had said.
If he knew his weakness, he would succeed, but he had already seen Ji Han’s weakness the first time he had seen him use his sword, and the other was still putting on a look of ignoring him, even now.
Ji Han’s interest was clearly piqued. He straightened up a bit, hinting for Zhao Jiangui to continue.
“Your strikes are like grandiose bets. If you miss, you’ll have no escape route.”
“I’ve never missed before.”
“Even so, I’m no less than eighty-percent certain that I would be able to avoid your first strike.”
Ji Han furrowed his brow, carefully considering his words.
“If you can leave a path of retreat for yourself to make your style a little safer, it wouldn’t be hard for you to be number one in the world.”
“You’re saying that I could beat you?” Ji Han asked, hesitantly.
“Given time, your swordsmanship could be higher than mine.”
He said so with extreme honesty. When he had been Ji Han’s age, he hadn’t had such good swordsmanship, and on top of that, he could tell that Ji Han could handle hardships. As an ever-modest man himself, seeing such a young man with such a bright future made him quite happy.
Ji Han gazed at him, a bright light seeming to spark in his eyes.
Having discovered the other’s weakness, Zhao Jiangui had no idea what else he could say. He had to shut up and stand to the side.
“You can’t sleep?” Ji Han suddenly asked. His expression had resumed its previous state, with even his tone having cooled back down.
Zhao Jiangui inwardly cursed about how finding his weakness had had no effect. “No,” he answered indifferently.
“You want to talk with me?”
“Sit down.”
“What?” Zhao Jiangui was a teeny bit confused.
Ji Han coldly huffed. “I don’t like talking to people that are standing up.”
Had he… successfully taken a step?
I’m sorry, seniors! I blamed you wrongly!

Zhao Jiangui sat down next to him.
In front of Ji Han was that bowl of egg noodles he had just taken a few bites out of. He was pretty hungry, but with Zhao Jiangui sitting right beside him, he was too embarrassed to eat any more.
This scene… was really, unspeakably awkward.
Zhao Jiangui really wanted to talk about sword stuff with him, but he thought that he might not like to talk about that with anyone while he was eating. It would be pretty bland to always talk about one thing, too, so he clammed up and watched him dully.
Ji Han was forced to put down his chopsticks. “What do you want to talk about?”
“I don’t know,” the other answered in sincerity.
Ji Han had a think. “Did you actually kill the eldest disciple of the Alliance Leader?”
No, I didn’t.
Not only did I not, but that kid is currently hiding out in a room in the Vast Alliance, doing nothing but eating and sleeping every day.
Still, he could only concede to the false.
“What did he do?”
“Why did you kill him, then?”
He himself never needed a reason to kill anyone, because he was a demon. Zhao Jiangui was not the same, however. He was a hero, and heroes always needed a cause to draw their swords.
Thankfully, those Forest seniors had already fabricated an excuse for him: “I drank.”
Ji Han was somewhat surprised. “You drank?”
Zhao Jiangui sighed, appearing to be quite upset. “I’ve never been one to drink.”
The other seemed to understand. “You got drunk?”
A nod.
Ji Han suddenly appeared to be interested. “You never drink?”
“No. Drinking will slow one’s reaction time, and make swords unstable in their hand.”
“You genuinely can’t tolerate it?”
“I didn’t expect that the number-one swordsman would have something he isn’t good at.”
“Everyone has their weaknesses.”
“There’s finally something that I can compete against you with.”
Ji Han was a little bit excited. “Since you can’t sleep, let’s have drinks together.”

Several jars of bamboo-leaf green, which had been stored in the cellar for over twenty years, were set upon the table.
Zhao Jiangui was still doing all he could to reject what was going on. “I can’t tolerate alcohol. I really shouldn’t do this.”
“Are you afraid that you’ll go mad drunk after you do?”
“I… I kill people when I drink!” Zhao Jiangui rambled.
Ji Han was taken aback, unable to help but feel that Zhao Jiangui’s actions were utterly amusing. “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t be that easy to kill.”
Ji Han had already opened the clay seal of a jar. The mellow fragrance of wine instantly spilled out in every direction; just from smelling it alone, Zhao Jiangui started to feel dizzy.
“Worry not. You can’t tolerate wine, and this Lord would absolutely never humiliate you.”
“For each cup you have, I’ll have three.”
Zhao Jiangui… could not help but feel somewhat frustrated by that adjustment.
Ji Han, though, was quite smug.
For some reason, just by seeing the other’s frustrated look, a strange, insuppressible sense of satisfaction arose within him. The feeling was almost stronger than the thrill he got whenever he finally made some progress in his sword technique.
“I’m not doing that,” Zhao Jiangui answered.
Ji Han was quite delighted by that. “You want me to concede a couple more cups, then?”
“I don’t like others making concessions for me. You drink one, and I’ll drink one.”
Ji Han was now quite un-delighted.
That strange satisfaction hadn’t been sustained for long before getting broken by Zhao Jiangui’s phrasing. How could this ever make him happy?
He always believed himself to have a pretty high alcohol tolerance. Every once in a while, the Creed would have a big feast, and he alone could drink both the Left and Right Protectors under, while he himself would only be about seventy-percent tipsy.
Zhao Jiangui wanted to have a fair fight? He’d overestimated his own weight, then.
Ji Han sneered. Watch and see how this Lord out-drinks you!

Halfway through the drinking rounds, Ji Han had long started regretting this.
He should have eaten the bowl of egg noodles before having a drinking competition with this guy. Hungry people were always easier to get drunk, and now his head was kind of dizzy, while his stomach was a little uncomfortable.
On top of that, Zhao Jiangui wasn’t at all as alcohol intolerant as he had claimed himself to be.
Out-drinking him would not be an easy feat, it seemed.

Zhao Jiangui was pretty vexed, too. Him never drinking had indeed been the truth; this was probably his first time.
After he poured the first cup down, he still couldn’t understand it. What was so great about this crap?
Midway through the rounds, he was already feeling like everything in the world was beautiful, there were high aspirations in his head, and the Creed Lord beside him was his best friend, who he practically wanted to tell a stomachful of heartfelt words.
It was only after this that he realized that he was soon about to go down drunk.
Ji Han grit his teeth as he toasted him. Zhao Jiangui also grit his teeth as he drank it down.
Both of them refused to lose by nature. Af the end of this drink, Zhao Jiangui’s head was foggy and vision swimming. All he wanted to do was fall over and have a nice nap.
Ji Han snatched him by the collar and scolded him inarticulately. “You… you lied to me. You clearly can take alcohol…”
Before he could finish, he was already sliding down off the table.
Zhao Jiangui was laying prostrate on said table, eyes unfocused. There was only one faint idea left in his head.
He never wanted to drink again.

By the time Zhao Jiangui awoke, the sky was already quite bright. He was laid back on a very soft bed, and covered with a blanket of top-notch silk.
He also had a splitting headache, and was so thirty, he could probably drink all of the water out of a well.
Someone was shouting loudly outside the door. It sounded like Xiao Lin’s voice.
“Creed Lord, the two Protectors and Creed elders have been waiting for you in the discussion hall for a long time. Are you awake?”
He was a tiny bit confused for a second.
…Creed Lord?
Upon turning his head, he caught sight of Ji Han’s expressionless face.

“Why are you here?!” Ji Han asked, suppressing his voice.
Zhao Jiangui’s mind was still a bit sluggish. “Where…?”
The other was a bit indignant. “This is my room!”
Right! Why would he be sleeping in the Creed Lord’s bed?!
They got drunk last night… and then what happened?
There was a mess of noise outside the door.
“Elder Wen, Protector Hua! Why are you two here?”
“The Creed Lord has still not gotten up yet, so I can’t help but be a bit concerned,” a woman’s gentle voice came through.
“There’s no need to worry, Protector Hua. The Lord is likely already changing his clothes.”
Ji Han’s expression was overcast. While he sat up from the bed, the silk blanket slid off of him, revealing his lean, yet clearly muscled upper body.
…His seduction had succeeded?
The furious voice of an elder was heard outside the door. “He’s only been the Creed Lord for a couple of days! What’s he so exhausted for?! Open this door! This Elder is going to teach him a lesson for the former Creed Lord!”
“Elder Wen! You mustn’t get so aggravated!”
Ji Han desperately covered the top of Zhao Jiangui’s head with the blanket. Zhao Jiangui, immersed in the stupefaction of his successful seduction, was completely bewildered by Ji Han’s action.
“If you dare to show your face, this Lord will strangle you to death!”
The door was forcibly pushed open by Elder Wen. Beyond the entryway, Xiao Lin, who was leading a few maids, stood by awkwardly. Protector Hua stood aside as Elder Wen angrily barged in, seeming to want to watch the excitement.
Clothes were scattered all over the floor of the room. Ji Han was half-wrapped in a blanket, upper body bare, and apparently wanting to smother the other person in the bed to death.
Elder Wen: “…”

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