“Well… the more complicated approach to this is to wipe out your competitors making them unable to proceed with the competition. We could try either kidnapping, threatening, drugging or disfiguring them and so on!” suggested Ye Lang. The idea was insane and had sounded way worse than his previous one.  

“Stop, stop. That’s not right. Other alternatives that won’t hurt anyone, please! Something normal would do!” Xiaoyan feared that Ye Lang would actually make it happen.  

“Okay, let’s scrap that. This is the final resort though, I have to warn you that this method is going to be very tough and excruciating for you. I’m afraid we don’t have much time left to spare so we need to execute the plan right now! We’re going to disappear until the day of the competition, help us inform our parents and apply our leaves through school,” ordered Ye Lang to his surrounding classmates who were confused at the event unfolding before their eyes. Ye Lang had then begun to pack his bag to leave school. 

“...?” Zhen Xiaoyan was equally as confused as her fellow classmates, she didn’t understand what Ye Lang had up his sleeves for her. 

“Come on, stop staring and start packing! Trust me, you’re going to win this competition!” exclaimed Ye Lang to Xiaoyan before turning his head to mutter to himself with a slight shake of his head: “Guess I won’t be able to spend any money this time…” 

Though Xiaoyan had not fully comprehended the situation, she still stood up and followed Ye Lang out of the classroom. 

Before Ye Lang left the classroom, he flashed an evil grin to Sha Lan. “You better watch out, you pig. When the time comes and something happens to you, don’t you dare put the blame on me!” 

“Bring it on, I’m not afraid of you at all!” Sha Lan faking firmness to stand her ground. 

Without any further response, Ye Lang left the premise with Xiaoyan. In the next twenty days leading up to the competition, the duo had never once shown up at all. 

After they had left… 

“Say, Ye Lang. Why are you helping me?” questioned Xiaoyan, she didn’t understand why Ye Lang would go to such lengths to help her. Based on his personality, there was absolutely no reason for him to involve himself, especially if he had placed a bet in favour of the current plan. It made no sense at all. 

“I help because I want to help. But I’m not doing this for free though, you need to promise me something,” answered Ye Lang without much thought.

Although it sounded like it was an unpredictable decision of his, Xiaoyan could somewhat understand his rationality behind it. He had stood up for her because Ye Lang was not pleased with the way Sha Lan had disrespected her and the way everyone else underestimated her. They made it seem like she was incapable of achieving her goals and that she was just nothing more than an incompetent fat girl and Ye Lang had found it extremely disgusting. 

“Promise you what?” asked Xiaoyan with a gentle smile. 

“To cook for me every day! This time, I’d like desserts too!” answered Ye Lang with a grin. Zhen Xiaoyan’s dessert recipes were absolutely scrumptious but she had rarely made them as it was just way too much effort. True, the desserts were really delicious but it was just too small to satisfy her appetite. 

“If you help me win this competition and I get a chance to be with Moya, I’ll cook whatever you want for you for the rest of my life! Anything you want, you’ll get!” promised Xiaoyan. She had no concerns about the possible consequences this agreement would bring her, she was more than willing to do anything as long as she won the competition. 

“Alright, that’s a deal!” Ye Lang was a little lost in the conversation, not recognizing the oddness of their dialogue. He was utterly delighted as he had somehow got himself a private and amazing chef for life!  

“So… Ye Lang, what are your plans now?” only at this point, Xiaoyan had remembered to ask. 

Ye Lang’s expression was hard after hearing the question thrown at him. “Listen up, fatty! It’s not too late now to abort the mission because, in the next twenty days, I assure you, will be hell on earth for you! You’ve got to brace yourself for possible failure as we’re short on time now, there’s also so much work to be done on your current self!” 

“I promise, I won’t regret this. Even if it’ll be hell for me, I must go through it!” answered Xiaoyan firmly through gritted teeth. 

“Since you’ve decided to go on, be prepared! Sigh… there’s so much to be done! You essentially have no talents to perform and no aristocrat manners at all. Not only that, you’re only 160cm tall and have 100kg worth of fat to lose! Can I even get you in shape in time…” ranted Ye Lang while shaking his head in despair. Xiaoyan was getting flustered by his words. 

“Hey, that’s enough. I’ll squash you” yelled Xiaoyan. 

“Sigh, I guess desperate times call for desperate measures!” 

A few days had passed since then, everyone was keen to hear updates following the disappearance of Ye Lang. There were plenty of speculations and theories surrounding it, everybody was talking about it. 

“Chengtian, had you heard anything about your son yet?” asked the emperor as he sat on his throne, discussing the matter as if it was a state affair. 

The emperor had no means to merge private affairs into public ones, but it was just that the whole Ye lang incident was starting to give him a migraine. How could something so minor turn into the hottest gossip of the kingdom? It was ridiculous.

Things wouldn’t be so bad if Ye Lang had solely brought Xiaoyan away, worse comes to worst, the Ye family would be worried about his whereabouts.  But Ye Lang was not a kid anymore, his family was just worried, plus they were clear about his behaviour… 

“No, I’ve heard nothing. It’s not the first time he’s done this, if he doesn’t want to be found, we’ll never find him. He’s definitely just somewhere near us, but we’re not sure where,” answered Ye Chengtian helplessly.

Ye Lang had disappeared a couple of times in the past, but he would also reappear after some time. This time, it was different as he had actually informed the Ye family that he was going to disappear for a long time. Hence, they were not too concerned about him. 

However, the problem laid in the words he tossed to the girls before he left. It had stirred up insecurity and fear among the ladies participating in the competition. 

They had caught hold of what Ye Lang said prior to this and had felt immense fear thinking about the possible things he’d do to them. 

No one could guarantee that Ye Lang would not put his violent plan into action and no one knew it was scrapped. But everyone knew he had no concern for the consequences behind his actions and thus, the widespread worry. 

The girls had gotten nervous after they heard that Ye Lang had planned to kidnap and threaten them. The worse thing was that he had planned to disfigure them! The girls were absolutely horrified at the thought of getting their faces disfigured and had started to hire more bodyguards.

Since Ye Lang was still unattainable and possibly lurking around the corners of the kingdom, the girls had decided to approach the emperor to seek his assistance in locating Ye Lang!

This was the reason for the emperor’s throbbing migraine. Ye Lang shouldn’t have threatened them publicly but the emperor couldn’t guarantee that the boy would not make his words come true. The only thing the emperor was able to do now was to ask the girls to be vigilant and hoped for their safety.