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Alcohol Free

Chapter Text


A study in Oklahoma in 2006, had categorized 7 stages of Alcohol intoxication inside the Human body, based on the concentration in the blood's streams. Starting from subliminal intoxication, euphoria, to the latest stage, death. While a study in Tokyo in 1992, had explained how ethanol, an alcohol substance in liquor, would affect the release of Dopamine from the human brain.

The above mentioned were just a few among dozen of thousands of research regarding alcohol and the impact it had on the human body during the years. Regardless, it's clear how alcohol as a depressant would disrupt the communication pathway in the brain, causing the human body to react slower, and even change their moods and behaviors.

...Shang Qinghua recited silently inside his mind, the opening passage he had written in his College's report at his mandatory subject in Chemistry at the first year. 


Speaking about alcohol and the human body, then what kind of impact would alcohol do on a cultivator's body?

Human but not a mortal. Immortal but not entirely immortal.


To answer this question, then Shang Qinghua would stare at the canopy of his bed,

...and sighed with a complicated feeling. 



The relationship between Shizun and Disciples in Cang Qiong Sect had always been lukewarm at best, professional, or straight ignorance. Most of the Peak Lords in Cang Qiong were not married, or even rarely engaged in a romantic affair. They were a qualified teacher, but not all of them were qualified parents. Taking care of children was honestly...not their forte. Therefore, the need for a Hallmaster who'd take care of the daily affair inside the Peak, and who'd take care of the disciples when they're newly recruited to the sect at a young age.

Consequently, most of the relationship between Shizun and the disciples would be awkward when they're not talking about cultivation or missions. 


Even then, when the time came for the generation to change, when the former Peak Lords had to put down their title and push the wheel of a new era to their successor, it's inevitable not to brush off polite exchanges and engaged in a closer interaction instead. 

Thereupon, 7 days before the public banquet attended with other sects and mortal nobles to witness the ceremony of Cang Qiong Sect Peak Lords ascension, a private banquet would be held within the sect, for their own sect cultivators.


If in the public banquet later, the new Peak Lords must maintain their front and persona to the absolute top condition, then in this private banquet, all of the disciples were permitted to once in their lifetime indulged in the excitement of a banquet. Eating, drinking, chatting, joking, whatever they wanted to enjoy could be done. 

The former Peak Lords, their Shizun, would turn a blind eye upon their deeds. Whether they wanted to eat while speaking, or if their laughter was loud enough to be heard throughout the Tian Gong Mountain range, it didn't matter.

Even if a disciple was drunk enough to propose to the Lord of Xian Shu Peak in the banquet that also didn't matter. The Xian Shu's Peak Lord would only smile softly, the said disciple's Shizun would also laugh while patting the disciple's shoulder, waiting for the next day.....and beat the disciple upside down twice the amount.

The audacity~!


Naturally, with a good banquet, came a good liquor. 

Zui Xian Peak would show off their craftmanship in producing immortal liquor at this moment of time. He QingXuan, the successor of Zui Xian Peak Lord, along with several of his Shidis were busy offering the liquor to the An generation Peak Lords, as well as the Qing generation disciples. 


Here, at this point, in another world, everything would be fine, and nothing special would happen in this banquet. 

Yet in this world, by just a slight of coincidence, a narrow difference, had apparently changed the world trajectory in a...unpredictable course.


By chance, when Shen Qingqiu was about to refuse He QingXuan offer on a new batch of liquor in tonight's banquet, as he was actually not a fan of the burning taste of liquor, his eyes had wandered two seconds longer to the right side. Thus, his gaze had inadvertently met with Liu Qingge who's about to sip his cup of liquor. 

The successor of BaiZhan Peak had subconsciously raised his eyebrows upon the eye contact. It was a reflect action, without any deep meaning within. However, Shen Qingqiu looking at a cup of liquor in his hand, completed with how He QingXuan was currently offering him the same liquor, this man had mistaken Liu Qingge's action as a provocation!


Gritting his teeth, Shen Qingqiu responded, 

"Give me a full jar of it." 


He QingXuan was not aware of the smell of gunpowder permeating in the air, as he happily obliged Shen Qingqiu's demand. He bragged about this prized liquor of his in the meantime, 

"It's a strong liquor, Shen-Shixiong. Only Man among Men would be able to drink this to the end!" 

The future Peak Lord of Zui Xian Peak was about to change his profession to a tavern owner, promoting his own liquor to the sky and spouting obviously exaggerated advertisements to hook a customer.

Unfortunately for him, Shen Qingqiu was quite a...straightforward man, that he truly took He QingXuan's rainbow farts about the Liquor to his heart. 

Looking at Liu Qingge, and then the liquor, his desire of competition had been lit up!


The target of competition at first was oblivious to this sudden challenge. Though, the strange thing about Liu Qingge and Shen Qingqiu's relationship was, both of them had always been looking at the opposite's action as provocation no matter what they did...

As Liu Qingge heard Shen Qingqiu ordered a jar of liquor from He QingXuan, and saw the guy drank the liquor leisurely, even lifting his mouth in a smirk when their eyes were meeting for the second time, the itch of wanting to tear the other guy's stage had successfully been triggered inside Liu-Juju!

Apparently, Liu-Juju was also an innocent customer, the type who'd get hooked easily by an exaggerated advertisement....he had also heard He QingXuan's bragging, "This is the liquor for Man among Men!" 

...Hence, the silent competition between two future Peak Lords of Cang Qiong Sect had commenced with the previous statement~



The time afterwards, was the moment of truth of the earlier question that Shang Qinghua had thrown out.

What's the impact of liquor on the cultivator's body? 



They would be drunk!


Even the mythical beast, Bai Ze, was drunk upon drinking an immortal liquor, slipped down from the Heaven, fell to the Human's realm, and being discovered by the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di), ended up with the still drunken Bai Ze blabbering and sold his fellow mythical beasts' information to the human Emperor for free~

That's how scary the intoxication of liquor was...


Regarding the effect of liquor on Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge, then its impact was gradual. 

First, the strong liquor had affected their ability to reason, that they didn't realize they kept continuing to gulp down jar after jar of liquor, unaware of what the result might be. It had amplified their desire, of wanting to crush each other, and stood triumphantly while the other side succumbed below them, being unable to continue drinking. 

Second, the alcohol substance had affected their moods and behavior. 

For someone like Shen Qingqiu who held all of his inner thoughts tightly, the impact of alcohol on his brain was even more apparent.


By his fourth jar, he finally couldn't continue to drink this unpleasant drink according to his taste any longer. When he lifted his head, he saw that Liu Qingge was also scrunching his forehead to several folds, as his face had gone red and his eyes looked hazy. It was clear that both he and Liu Qingge were suckers at drinking, and wouldn't be able to continue further.


That being said, he also didn't want to be the first to stop drinking. If it was the sober Shen Qingqiu, he'd definitely create a roundabout way to speak and ending their drinking contest. Yet, the drunk-Shen Qingqiu felt like he could solve the problem in a simple way, 

"You, surnamed Liu! Stop drinking!" 

After the sudden exclamation, a hiccup followed his speech. 


Now, in Liu Qingge's case, no matter if he was drunk or sober, his reaction would be, either to ignore Shen Qingqiu, causing the guy to feel even more irritated, or answer him with another taunt. 


However, no one could expect the extent of a drunkard's way of thinking, as Liu Qingge also didn't expect Shen Qingqiu to unsheath his Xiu-Ya and unreasonably shattered the cup in Liu Qingge's hand, splashing the content inside. 


"You, with the surname Shen! Are you picking for a fight!?" 

Liu Qingge finally snarled in response, as he avoided the splash of the liquor to his robes.


Shen Qingqiu had been long-standing up from his sitting position, the guy whose pale face had been flushed red from drinking, lifted his chin as he proudly smirked, 

"Didn't I tell you to stop drinking?" 


Facing the unreasonable Shen Qingqiu, the drunken-Liu Qingge kept stubbornly retorted, "You have to defeat me if you want me to listen to you!" 


"With Pleasure."


Along with the accepted provocation, two sword glare formed arcs as they met one after another. 

The powerful and sturdy Cheng Luan, met with the similarly powerful yet elegant, Xiu-Ya. 

Needless to say, the blow from the two swords had blasted the area around their previous sitting place into smithereens. 


Both swordmasters leaped from one point to another point. Though drunk, their muscle memory was still there, and the long years of practice had been engraved to their subconscious mind, that they could still be able to move skillfully, attacking, defending, and avoiding. 

Soon, the areas that had been destroyed grew wider, and larger, as more and more low tables were overturned. At the end, when Cheng Luan blasted one part of the wall, both of them changed their arena to the outside.





Inside the building,


The current An Generation Peak Lords, "....." 

The Qing Generation Future Peak Lords, "......"

The Cang Qiong Sect Disciples, "....." 


Excuse us, but there were still people inside here when you destroyed the whole banquet!





As the two engaged in a heated (or actually a sloppy sword fight), Yue Qingyuan was feeling anxious about the safety of his two Shidis. He was about to step out, to stop the fight, when his Shizun, the current Cang Qiong Sect Leader, Pei Anpan, grasped his shoulder and shook his head.

Beside him, Shen Anwei, Shen Qingqiu's Shizun, was also shaking his head. To the right side, the Peak Lord of BaiZhan was even enjoying his sticky red bean soup without care of the ruckus.

In the end, Yue Qingyuan couldn't defy the 3 Peak Lords at the same time, and had to put his faith in his Shizun that they would stop the two immediately once they're in danger. 


Contrary to what Yue Qingyuan felt, the other disciples were delighted to see two successors of the Peaks were fighting each other, for them, it was like a bonus entertainment of some sort in tonight's banquet!

When Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge went outside, the disciples also followed them outside, booing and cheering the two. 

The situation of the banquet soon became chaotic.


.....Unexpectedly the loudest of them all was the successor of AnDing Peak, Shang Qinghua! 

As if venting of his tiredness of being busy, as the logistic who arranged the banquet tonight, and the preparation for the public ceremony 7 days later, he was drinking like there's no tomorrow, thus he was also one of the drunkards who's beyond help tonight~


One moment he shouted, "That's it! Push that tsundere to the ground, Liu-Juju!"

And another moment he exclaimed, "Hell yeah! Hit that hateful Ikemen's face, Shen-Dada!" 

His vigorous shouting was inlaid with foreign vocabulary, which the guy had previously said was something he heard from a faraway hidden ethnics he met during the way of procuring supplies.


As if Shang Qinghua's cheering had affected them, Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge ignored the whole mass surrounding the two of them, and kept exchanging blow after blow. 


The fiercer the fight became, the more spirited the commentator-Shang Qinghua was. 

His cheers had also steadily improved and added with even more details, for example, 


"From the right, Liu-Juju, the champion of Cang Qiong Sect annual spar came with swooosh!"

"And from the left, Shen-Dada, the hidden tsundere avoid it with a baaanggg!!!" 

"Oh! Oh! Oh! Now, Shen-Dada swiped his sleeves into Liu-Juju's face! What foul playing! But, Liu-Juju was still caught off guard regardless!" 

"Wait! Liu-Juju didn't want to fall by himself, he dragged Shen-Dada with him to the ground!"

"Now, between the 1.86 m and 76 kg-Liu Qingge, and the 1.84 m with a weight of 70 kg-Shen Qingqiu, which one who'll win the grapple on the ground!?"



Other disciples and Peak Lords, "...."


This punk! How could you know their exact height and weight!?


More importantly, shouldn't you cry snot and tears for your AnDing Peak's hard work to be destroyed thoroughly like this??

Why are you cheering them even more, you fool!? 


The other sober AnDing Peak's disciples could only bitterly crying in the corner.

Not only looking at their hard work being demolished by Liu Qingge and Shen Qingqiu's fight combined with the other disciples' chaos, even their Head Disciple, the future Peak Lord of AnDing Peak, their boss, their leader, was even cheering the two culprits vigorously! 



As it had been said, alcohol could affect one's mood heavily.

Facing Liu Qingge who's still terribly powerful even when drunk, Shen Qingqiu's annoyance quickly surfaced, as he complained, 

"Must you be this strong in whatever condition!?"


Liu Qingge snorted, as he felt a little smug, "You can't even defeat me on weekdays, much less with a trembling hand right now."


As his inner feelings were amplified, Shen Qingqiu felt sour and retorted, 

"If I could cultivate as early as you, would I let myself be beaten by the likes of you!?"


"Why are you complaining to me!? Shouldn't you complain about yourself why did you have to procrastinate your training until 16?"


Both Shen Qingqiu and Liu Qingge were currently rolling on the ground, Xiu-Ya and Cheng Luan were thrown to the corner, forgotten. 

As Shen Qingqiu heard Liu Qingge's reply, he was stunned for a moment, before the feeling of rages, frustration, and remorse engulfed him to the bone.

Throwing himself in the crook of Liu Qingge's neck, he bit down viciously at the other guy's side throat, as if wanting to cut the artery beneath. 


This style of rogue fighting, Liu Qingge could never be used to it! Even though he had grappled with his fellow BaiZhan disciples, no one had the thought or was able to be closer enough to bite his body's part. 

As he cried out, and in reflect loosened his strangle on Shen Qingqiu's arms, the other guy seized the chance and rolled their position upside down, with him restraining Liu Qingge below afterward, as he gloomily said,

"Do you think I have the leisure to even procrastinating?"


It had to be remembered that both of them were still deadly drunk at this moment. Their exchange of thoughts was something they blurted out as an immediate reaction. 

Liu Qingge himself didn't think further as he quickly replied, 

"Is there a circumstance where someone do not even have a chance to delay?" 


Shen Qingqiu seethed, "Do you think everyone could be as lucky as you!?" 


His hand moved to grasp Liu Qingge's collar. The pair of Phoenix Eyes that had always been bathed in a cold and vicious light was dimmed. Perhaps it was due to the liquor or perhaps due to something else, but a layer of crystal clear water was clouding those eyes. 

His long black hair was disheveled. The top of his crown was crooked and had almost fallen to the ground. His several layers of Scholar Robes were also in disarray.

The Shen Qingqiu right now was far from the pretentious self he displayed on weekdays. There's no touch of an elegant and aloof mask he plastered on his face, that had always irked Liu Qingge to no end, wanting to drag out the real personality outside. 


With his long hair sliding down from his shoulder, becoming a curtain enveloping his face, Shen Qingqiu lowered his head, and bitterly said,

" surnamed Liu, you're so lucky you have everything I could never have." 

Sniffing lightly, Shen Qingqiu's eyelashes drooped down, as the past life he had been living flashed by, he said mockingly, "If grievance and sorrow were to have a name, perhaps their surname would be a Shen."

The more he spoke, the lower the volume of Shen Qingqiu's voice was,

"I envy you so much."

"...I have always been." 


Listening to Shen Qingqiu's sudden complaints, Liu Qingge was unable to respond for a while. 

His usual immediate retort was like being shut down, as he couldn't conjure up a quick reply like he always did.


Both Liu Qingge and Shen Qingqiu were still drunk. 

Their mind was still being affected by liquor. 

Affected, as in their way of thinking was more instinctual rather than the result of complicated consideration of matters as what they would do when sober.


Perhaps it was Shen Qingqiu's tone and voice, that was free of his usual vitriol and was filled with aggrieved feeling instead. Perhaps it was Shen Qingqiu's face who was free of any pretension, clearly portrayed his real feelings.

Even though Shen Qingqiu had blatantly said he had always been envying Liu Qingge, but Liu Qingge felt like he didn't disdain him for it. There's no way, no way he could feel any disdain when Shen Qingqiu had said it...with such a tone and facial expression.


Slowly loosening his restraint upon Shen Qingqiu, he tentatively gave a solution, 

"Then...why don't you change your surname into Liu?"


Shen Qingqiu, "....."