When the chef heard Han Sen’s question, she stared at him but did not speak a word.
With the serrated edge of the horn, Han Sen dug a little deeper into her throat. The shredded skin of her neck began to ooze droplets of blood, which rolled down to her shoulders.
“Don’t try my patience!” Han Sen feigned anger and impatience for any resistance she might give.
“Then kill me, if that is what you wish.” The chef spoke with a chilling tone, without a single hint of her words being a bluff. She was not afraid of dying in the least.
Of course, Han Sen still hoped to extract information; he wanted whatever she might have known about Han Jinzhi. Killing her was the last thing he wished to do, for this very reason, and this reason alone.
He decided to soften his tone and try to insert a touch of friendliness into his approach, and so he told her, “I only want to about your relation to Han Jinzhi. If you answer, and tell me what I want to know, you are free to go.”
But her mouth remained firmly shut, prompting Han Sen to elaborate on the specifics of what he ultimately wished to ask. He said, “I want to know if you’re a friend or foe of Han Jinzhi.”
“We… hate each other. We hate each other very much. You are clearly an ally or thrall of his, so stop talking.” The chef spoke with a tone that was laden with spite and disdain, and her eyes drilled holes into the young man in front of her.
If the man before the bark door of the underground shelter’s entrance was a follower of Han Jinzhi, what she said now suggested that she might have killed him herself.
Seeing the chef speak with a muzzled rage, it looked like Han Jinzhi must have done something awful to her.
“Why do you think I’m with him?” Han Sen asked.
“You two share the same race,” the chef said.
Han Sen smiled and said with a laugh, “Oh, you’ve misunderstood things a great deal! We are humans, yes, but our race has a grander population than even you lot, if I were to wager. That doesn’t mean we’re all the same, though. So, what makes you think I’m a friend of Han Jinzhi?” Han Sen did his best to explain things as simply as he could.
The chef looked at Han Sen with confusion, and she stuttered to ask, “Is what you say true?”
“I’ll be honest with you; I’m not a friend of Han Jinzhi. In fact, I am his enemy. If you dislike Han Jinzhi as much as your behavior suggests you do, then you and I have a common goal.” Han Sen put his horn away and put on an expression of apology.
Then, Han Sen continued to heal her wounds before touching her once more with the egg.
“You really do have a bone to pick with Han Jinzhi, too?” the chef asked.
Han Sen brought her over to a nearby tree to resume the healing, and as he touched her wounds, he said, “If I was a friend of his, you’d be dead right now. I risked life and limb to save you; you know that, don’t you?”
The chef examined her own body, and although the healing was a fairly slow process, she could tell she was improving.
She had been hurt badly, and Han Sen’s holy light was still very weak. Because of this, it’d take a long time for Han Sen to finish healing her completely. But Han Sen stayed with her and kept on healing her. They spoke about many things, but in their chatting, Han Sen didn’t ask anything too concerning or serious.
When Han Sen had tried to be hard and firm with her, she did not give him what he wanted. Now, he was going to do his best to be soft and fair. If he behaved that way, perhaps she’d be more willing to open up to him.
They spent the next few days together, and over the course of that time, the chef continued to receive swell treatment, in addition to other kindnesses Han Sen was willing to impart.
“Why were you trying to kill me, can I ask? I know I took the head of that cow, but was that the sole reason that you came after me?” The tension between the two seemed to have dissipated now, so Han Sen thought it was the best time to ask about this.
The chef, by this point, had fully recovered. And she knew she was stronger than Han Sen, too. For him to ask this, it was obvious he had no grudge against her.
The chef said, “You and Han Jinzhi look like one-and-the-same; that is why I wished to kill you.”
“Did you see many humans in the Third God’s Sanctuary? There should have been a few in every shelter,” Han Sen said.
The chef then said, “Han Jinzhi was the only human I ever saw.”
“Then, how did you two become enemies?” Han Sen pushed his luck to ask.
The chef did not answer him directly, and she instead said, “Come. I will help you hunt some creatures, so you can improve. Consider it me paying you back. Then, we’ll be even.”
“There’s no need to do that, but since we both hate Han Jinzhi, we should share what we know. We can help each other like that, but if you’re busy, feel free to move along,” Han Sen said.
Han Sen was going to act this nice for as long as he could, in the hopes that when she departed, absence would make her heart grow fonder. If all went according to plan, perhaps the next time they encountered each other, she’d be more willing to share what she knew.
The chef seemed to feel guilty about not doing anything to return the favor, though. She said, “You just became a demi-god. It is dangerous for you to be left alone out here. If you want, I can get you residence inside my shelter.”
“There’s a shelter in these parts?” Han Sen was shocked to hear this. If there were spirit shelters nearby, he’d be in considerable danger.
The chef went on to explain, “There is a silver-class shelter, owned by a primitive creature. If you offer it resources of value, I see no reason why you would not be allowed to stay there.”
Han Sen immediately agreed. If he was still allowed to return to the Alliance, and he was in no danger of being enslaved, he saw no problem with it. In fact, it would be a fairly amazing deal.
The chef then led Han Sen to the shelter. It was a distance away, so the journey was long. At the midpoint of their travel, they encountered a sheep. It was the Cheap Sheep that Han Sen had developed a love-hate relationship with.
“Ah, Boss Number One and Boss Number Two! I have found you both.” The sheep looked giddy with excitement.