SC 91-100

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Zhao Jiangui’s expression was stiff.
“Did you hear me clearly, Hero Zhao?” Wei Qi grinned. “Do I need to repeat them?”
“I heard you.”
After Xiao Lin left, the position of Ji Han’s personal attendant was temporarily vacant. Furthermore, with his lesson learned, Ji Han was being particularly careful about selecting a new one, to the extent that there was no fitting candidate yet.
The attendant was responsible for attending to Ji Han in his daily life, meaning one staying close to him was par for the course. When it came to protecting Ji Han, that identity was very convenient, but if he ever came across someone he knew, they might easily recognize him.
Deathguards, meanwhile, were not the same. They also had to stick close to and follow Ji Han. Most of the time, they had to hide away in the dark with veils and black clothes, giving almost no chance that his identity would be exposed. He much preferred this one.
As for that last option…
Looking at Wei Qi’s expression, Zhao Jiangui got the overall feeling that he was deliberately messing with him. He frowned a bit, coughing. “That last one… is too much.”
“But, Hero Zhao, that’s the best option!” Wei Qi looked very disappointed. “As of late, the Creed’s Elders have also thought in that direction—“
Zhao Jiangui choked, alarmed. “What? They all want to be Ji Han’s lovers, too?!”

Wei Qi felt quite awkward. “You’ve misunderstood.”
Zhao Jiangui nodded. “I know. This is Creed insider knowledge that shouldn’t be circulated.”
“That’s not what I meant…”
Displeased, Zhao Jiangui frowned. “Previous generations of Creed Lords have all been fickle-hearted, disloyal wastrels. Ji Han is a Creed Lord, too, so him keeping a few paramour canaries is normal. I get it.”
“But the Elders of your Creed are either weird-looking, or old men over seventy. Did they not think about how he could even be attracted to—“
“Hero Zhao!” Wei Qi interrupted his bizarre line of thinking. “The Elders only want to send the Lord a few beauties, and thereby get power from doing that! It’s not what you’re thinking!”
“Don’t worry. The Lord has no interest in any of that, either,” Wei Qi added.
Zhao Jiangui, quite embarrassed, quickly turned the topic around. “I… I choose deathguard.”

Zhao Jiangui became Ji Gan’s deathguard. Wei Qi later reported this to Ji Han in the evening, even confirming Zhao Jiangui’s identity.
Wei Qi set him up to protect Ji Han alongside the deathguard leader, Fang Luan.
Fang Luan was a young man in his early twenties, yet was already responsible for the allocation and management of all of the Creed’s deathguards. Zhao Jiangui couldn’t help but admire him a lot, believing that he had to be a mythical creature amongst humanity, and simply had to sigh about how the righteous path’s talents had faded out in recent years; there were few as young as he.
Ji Han had needed to cool conflicts with those old foxes in the Creed all day long, feeling mentally and physically exhausted. After coming back to say hi to Zhao Jiangui, he went to sleep without even eating dinner.
Thus, Zhao Jiangui was following Fang Luan in experiencing the day-to-day life of a deathguard. As he silently hid in the rafters of Ji Han’s bedroom using his unmatched lightness arts, he looked on as Fang Luan fished out an illustrated storybook for kids from his pocket.
Before he could clearly make out the cover of Fang Luan’s book, he saw him suddenly take out a handful of melon seeds and small cloth pouch from his pockets, stuff one seed in his mouth, quietly wiggle it around for a moment, then spit out two intact shells and toss them into the pouch.
Zhao Jiangui stared dumbstruck at him. After a long time passed, he suppressed his voice to talk to him. “What are you doing?”
Fang Luan still had seeds in his mouth, and he raised his head to look at him rather innocently. “Deathguards are on duty every day, Hero Zhao.”
“This is you ‘on duty’?”
“Night watch is boring… keep your voice down, the Lord sleeps lightly and has good hearing. Don’t shout him awake.” With that, he ptoo’d out two more shell halves and turned the page of his book. “I hate night duty the most.”
Zhao Jiangui felt that this guy’s actions were laughable. Deathguards were responsible for Ji Han’s safety; what was this nonsense?
He couldn’t help but get kind of angry, thinking to correct Fang Luan’s neglect of his duty. “You’re the Lord’s guard, so you should be keeping him safe!”
Fang Luan paused, looking even more innocent. “You need to wake up a little, Hero Zhao,” he said sincerely. “With his martial arts, it can only be that he protects us, not that we protect him.”

Zhao Jiangui watched Fang Luan read his storybook all night as well as finish a big sack of melon seeds, then followed him back to the deathguard barracks in a daze.
He had originally thought that the experts in the barracks would be as clouds, but when he walked in and looked around, he saw that in addition to Fang Luan, the so-called ‘deathguards’ were only a few old men that had gone senile in their age as they pooled together for mahjong. They didn’t look a bit like deathguards at all.
Zhao Jiangui was dumbfounded.
He also watched as Fang Luan, already at ease with a bowl of rice, sat down in the circle to play. Stifling the suspicions in his heart, he quickly slipped out to find and confront Wei Qi.
“What in the world is actually going on here?” His heart was filled with bewilderment. “Why do your deathguard barracks only have six people?!”
Wei Qi looked extremely calm. “That’s simply how it is, Hero Zhao.”
“Like that?”
Wei Qi nodded. “The Lord has superb swordsmanship. No one in the Creed is his match. The martial arts of Fang Luan and all of them, in a real fight, would only drag the Lord down.”
Zhao Jiangui choked, feeling that Wei Qi was making sense, yet also knowing that something was wrong. “Even if that’s so… shouldn’t they do their best to defend him, anyways?”
The other shook his head. “If something really did happen, the Lord would protect them.”
Carefully observing Zhao Jiangui’s expression, Wei Qi lightly coughed. “Also, weeeell…”
“Truthfully, the Creed’s deathguards were disbanded a long time ago. I only dragged Fang Luan over because you said you wanted to be one.”
“The deathguards aren’t valued, so their talents have naturally withered.” Wei Qi sighed again. “Even when the former Lord was here, the Creed had no deathguards set up, since the Creed Lord was already the top expert of our Holy Society.”
Wei Qi snuck a look at Zhao Jiangui’s face again. “Do you still want to continue being the Lord’s deathguard, Hero Zhao?”

Zhao Jiangui gave up. The Demonic Creed’s deathguards were such a joke, that if he actually tried to do the full extent of his duty as one, he would instead make everyone suspicious.
With the option of ‘deathguard’ eliminated, his remaining options were being Ji Han’s ‘attendant’ or ‘lover’.
He chose ‘attendant’, no hesitation.
Wei Qi brought him to see the Elder Maid, then handed him to her to sort out.
She and him could be considered old acquaintances, but when they had last met, he had still been trying to seduce Ji Han in accordance with the scriptbooks the Alliance had made up, where about half of his behavior had been false. She’d had no idea at the time, yet had truly supported him. Now that she did know the truth, their current meeting was inevitably a bit awkward.
The Elder Maid of today, while looking at him, didn’t have the enthusiasm that she used to have. In fact, when he saw the look in her eyes, he even felt that she kind of didn’t like him.
“Hero Zhao,” she greeted politely. “It’s been a long time.”
He quickly nodded and agreed.
“Many in the Creed know how you look. If you want to be the Lord’s attendant, you’ll need to be disguised a bit.”
He naturally had no objection to that.
“Protector Hua is the most proficient in the art of face-changing. Follow me, and after your appearance is changed, I will tell you what you should do as the Lord’s attendant.”
She led him to see Protector Hua, obviously very cold the whole way. He felt overly awkward, mind filled with ways to explain everything to her, and by the time they reached Protector Hua’s door, he put them all into one sentence. “That time with Ji Han and I… I had no choice. I didn’t want to do it.”
“I know my errs.”
And yet, she just misunderstood him again, biting her handkerchief as tears filled her eyes, glaring at him with a gaze that wanted to cut this heartless man into thousands of pieces. “Men are all a bunch of pigs!”

He watched the Elder Maid’s back as she turned and fled, completely bewildered.
Protector Hua, who had come out at some unknown point, was standing behind him and smiling. “Hero Zhao, you should know that that pretty much sounded like you only wooed the Lord because you were forced to.”
“That’s not what I meant…”
“Also, if you know your errs, then you’ve changed, and now have not a single thought at all about him.”
There… there seemed to be a misunderstanding, here.
She didn’t say anything else, only inviting him into the room, then personally using acupuncture needles and face-changing techniques to transform his current appearance for him.
With extreme care, she put on gloves that were made from deerskin to keep her own hands away from the medicine. He couldn’t help but be curious. “What are you doing, Protector Hua?”
“Human-skin masks require attentive upkeep, and aren’t comfortable to wear. It would be too inefficient to have you wear one all day while you do things, but, if I stick needles into your acupoints and combine that with medicinal gu, that can alter your appearance, as well. It’s simply that the changed face will still be somewhat similar to your original looks.” She wiped some crushed-up medicinal stuff on his face. “You’ll just need to come find me every three days to touch-up the needles.”
He shut his mouth tightly and dared not say anything. The medicine’s smell was sharp and unpleasant, making him fear that the nasty stuff would drip into his mouth. He allowed her to muck about on his face for a long time, barely pulling through until she said that everything was finished, and then opened his eyes in time to see her throw the deerskin gloves away while complaining. “This stuff is the worst. If just a little bit accidentally stains you, it won’t wash off until a year and half later.”
She held a bronze mirror up. He snatched it quickly for a look; his self in the reflection was quite different than what it had been.
He used to have a chivalrous aura and sharp features, and now, he looked a lot gentler. There were some similarities, but lots of people in the world looked like this; he thought that there wouldn’t be a problem.
Protector Hua brought him back to see Ji Han, unable to keep from asking after their relationship midway through. “Hero Zhao, are you and the Lord now friends, or…?”
Perhaps, she feared making Zhao Jiangui unhappy by asking bold questions, because she didn’t say the latter half of that. It just made him feel even more awkward. Truth be told, he couldn’t tell what their situation was, either. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, they had been on a roof in the Creed, and Ji Han had taken the initiative to kiss him — at the time, he had been under the impression that Ji Han had genuinely been moved like he had, but after that, the other had sealed his acupoints and sent him into the prison. That kiss had just been a lure to catch him, apparently.
After that, Ji Han had released him, then had specially rushed a far distance for their duel appointment. It could be said that they were mutually enamored, but those also seemed like things very good friends would do. He didn’t know whether Ji Han ultimately saw him as a friend, or as a boyfriend.
Zhao Jiangui couldn’t help but sigh. This was a real mess.
Xiao Lin wasn’t even here anymore, so he had no one to ask.
During this conversation, Protector Hua and he arrived at Ji Han’s room.
“Hero Zhao, you should think up a new name for yourself. Maybe you can ask the Lord for ideas.”
Protector Hua walked a few steps into Ji Han’s courtyard, about to notify the Elder Maid, only for Ji Han to coincidentally come out from inside with three others.
One of the three was Wei Qi, and he wasn’t any sort of surprised at seeing Zhao Jiangui’s disguise. The other two were Creed Elders, one surnamed Sun, one Yu — both were well-experienced Creed-goers, as well as known opportunists. Now that Ji Han was the Creed Lord and it was the period where dissidents were getting eliminated, they were pondering all day long on how to curry favor with him in order to sit steady in their Elder positions.
Ji Han didn’t intend to engage with them, as being nagged the full day was really annoying. He had finally managed to make up an excuse for them to leave, but once he got outside, he saw Protector Hua leading Zhao Jiangui over.
Wei Qi had informed him ahead of time that Zhao Jiangui was going to get face-changed by Protector Hua, so he wasn’t surprised, but the Elders were clearly not like him.
Upon seeing Zhao Jiangui, Elder Sun was the first to ask. “Protector Hua, this is…?”
“This is the Lord’s newly-selected personal attendant,” she answered with a smile.
Elder Yu had a heap of smiles. “The new attendant? What is your name?”
Startled, Zhao Jiangui blurted some crap out. “My… my surname is Jin.”
With Elder Yu’s sudden question, the first person that had come to his mind was, once again, his friend Jin Beiguo, hence why he had randomly used his family name. Even though he really hadn’t been thinking too hard, the blurt clearly aroused certain memories within Ji Han. He gave the other a weird look, but since so many people were around, he didn’t end up saying anything.
Elder Sun appeared to understand something, eyes immediately looking at Zhao Jiangui differently.
“If the two Elders have nothing else…” Ji Han started.
“We don’t, we don’t!” Elder Sun quickly said. “Have a good rest, Lord. We will be leaving.”
Seeing them off with his eyes, Ji Han then dragged Zhao Jiangui inside the room, looking serious. “I’ve been wanting to ask you something for a long time.”
Zhao Jiangui got a bit nervous. “What is it?”
“Did something actually happen between Jin Beiguo and the Twin Elites?”

Elder Sun dragged Elder Yu a far ways away. Seeing that there was no one else around, the former stopped, looking excited. “I understand!”
Elder Yu understood nothing, conversely. “What do you mean?”
“Did you see that attendant just now?”
“Of course I did.”
“Don’t you think that he looks like a certain righteous faction swordsman?”
Elder Yu startled, then proceeded to see the light. “So that’s how it is!”
“No wonder the Lord had not the slightest bit of interest in the people we sent! Turns out that we were going at it from the wrong angle since the very beginning.”
“It’s alright. Our wake-up call was not too late!”
“I’ll send someone to find a beauty like that straightaway!”
Elder Yu grasped Elder Sun’s hand excitedly. “Our success and failure rides on this! Do your best!”
Elder Sun grabbed that hand back in similar excitement. “Don’t worry! The position of the Lord’s spouse is set!”
Zhao Jiangui told Ji Han the cruel truth.
“That was just random nonsense I made up,” he said, hesitant. “There’s actually nothing going on between him and the Twins.”
Ji Han was very evidently disappointed.
“Brother Jin is an upright noble. He would never do something like that, of course.”
Sighing, Ji Han was forced to change the subject. “You’re certain about being this Lord’s attendant?”
Zhao Jiangui nodded. “Attendants follow close, so this makes it easy to protect you.”
Ji Han had thought himself to be a big manly man wielding three-chis worth of dark light, and therefore not needing of anyone else’s protection — even so, hearing the other say this not only didn’t offend him, but instead made him quite happy. He couldn’t resist smiling. “Then I’ll have to wrong you, Hero Zhao.”
Zhao Jiangui shook his head. “Being an attendant is no sort of wrong.”
He thought of how he hadn’t done any rough work since his childhood in the sect. He couldn’t cook, but he could do other things — like chop firewood and sweep floors — that he was proficient in. Being a trifling attendant certainly wouldn’t be difficult for him.
“When no one’s around, you don’t need to be too cautious, but in front of people…”
“I know. In front of people, you are my Lord.”
There was no odd undertone in his words, but hearing that way-too-glib phrase still made Ji Han a bit shy. He quickly averted his gaze. “I will have the Elder Maid look out for you.”
Zhao Jiangui nodded. “Okay.”
He subconsciously looked over to the Elder Maid. Before he could say a word of reminder to her, her eyes forced his words back in.
All of a sudden, he understood the pressure Ji Han had been under when he had been putting on an act of deceiving him.
Now that the Elder Maid was in charge, the dozen maidservants and their dozen pairs of limpid were glaring angrily at him, eyes filled with the capitalized words of ‘scummy, heartless man’.
He gulped.
There was quite a misunderstanding between himself and the Elder Maid.
For the sake of having a road of survival in his future in the Creed, he should go clear it up.

Zhao Jiangui’s first day of his attendant career wasn’t too busy.
Ji Han wouldn’t actually order him around, of course. He simply stood at the side for a short while, and when it got late, Ji Han had him go back and rest. Rather than do that, though, he ran to the outside of the Elder Maid’s room and knocked on her door.
She came to answer it with a book in her hand. After seeing that the one outside was Zhao Jiangui, she immediately hid the book behind herself.
“Hero Zhao.” Her expression was extremely icy. “What is it?”
“I think there’s a misunderstanding between us. What I said today did not have the meaning you think it does at all,” he bluntly explained.
She frowned as she looked at him, having a resolution of preferring to die than surrender. “No more talking! I won’t let you hurt the Lord anymore!”
He’d just have to tell her his intent for being in the Creed according to the facts. “I indeed did wrong at the beginning, but now… did you know that Jackdaw is planning to assassinate Ji Han again?”
She was clearly startled. “I didn’t.”
“I came to protect him.”
He believed that as long as he had a sincere attitude, she would certainly understand his concern for Ji Han, since she had always been a reasonable person.
As expected, her attitude softened up a little. “But… why did you deceive him in the first place?”
It was here.
The fatal answer of life and death was finally here.
“You should understand this principle that the righteous and chaotic oppose each other. I’m a righteous path warrior, so before I met him, I naturally had the preconception that he was a bad person. I was entrusted by others to infiltrate the Creed, and I did many things that I shouldn’t have, but I recognize my faults now. I will never do any of that again.”
“How can I believe you, now that things are at this point?”
“Ji Han is now my best friend in life and death! I still haven’t had time to protect him, so how could I ever hurt him?”
That wording seemed a bit far-fetched, but he still hadn’t clarified his relationship with Ji Han himself. It would overall be poor to boldly claim that they were a harmonious couple; if Ji Han heard that, he might just kill him on the spot.
He had thought that this explanation would be far from enough to convince her, but, against expectations, after she heard this, her expression suddenly changed.
“So it is true! I knew that you and the Lord had to be in true love, Hero Zhao!”
In the midst of her excited emotions, she flung the tiny booklet she had just been reading out from her sleeve with a flap of her hand, and it landed at Zhao Jiangui’s feet. He subconsciously looked down to see a bunch of big words written on its half-concealed cover.
A Dramatic Narration of the Number One Swordsman…
The nimble maid sent the booklet flying with a kick, only for it to hit the wall and flutter open just enough to let him get a good look at the words that had just been obscured on the cover.
…and the Demonic Creed Lord’s Beautiful Love Story That Simply Must Be Told.
“…Hero Zhao! I can explain!”

“It’s really not what you think it is.”
“This is just a coincidence!”
“It… someone else threw it over here!”
She completely panicked, not knowing what to do with herself. “You absolutely must not tell the Lord of this! If he knew… he’d certainly skin me alive!”
He picked up the booklet, flipped through a few pages, then took in a breath. “Just tell me one thing.”
She nodded obediently.
“Who wrote this junk?”
The Elder Maid hesitated for a long time, then finally came to a decision.
“The companion Hallmaster Wei brought back. Yu Xian’r.”

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2 thoughts on “SC 91-100

  1. Hello, thank you for translating this novel! ❤
    I'd like to point out a mistake at the end of ch 96: "Seeing them off with his eyes, Ji Han then dragged Ji Han inside the room, looking serious." I believe the second Ji Han should be Zhao Jiangui.

    Liked by 1 person

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