Chapter 327 – Escalating Conflict
Fernand looked coldly at Zhao Hai, "I'm is still a Viscount, so are you saying that a Viscount can't scold a servant?"
Zhao Hai smiled, "Of course a viscount can discipline a servant, but to scold my servant? You are a bit unqualified. And since you hit my servant, then it wouldn't be excessive for me to hit yours too, right?" Then he waved his hand and sent a Wind Blade towards Fernand's servant who was standing behind.
Fernand didn't think that Zhao Hai would actually deal a heavy hand. The servant's reaction wasn't slow. When he saw Zhao Hai attack, he immediately circulated his Battle Qi throughout his body.
However, Fernand's servant was just a 5th rank warrior, so his Battle Qi's defensive properties were very limited. Additionally, the Wind Blade that Zhao Hai sent had a force equivalent to 7th rank. Therefore, although the servant's was quick in circulating his Battle Qi, he couldn't block Zhao Hai's wind blade. Along with a pitiful yell, the servant's arm fell to the ground.
Fernand saw his servant's pitiful condition and his face couldn't help but whiten, he said, "Good, such boldness, daring to act unruly inside Iksa Domain. You must be tired of living."
Zhao Hai smiled coldly, "For me to be tired of living isn't for you to say. Blockhead, let's go." Blockhead nodded, then followed Zhao Hai to leave Ruyen's room.
Ruyen was frightened, she didn't think that Zhao was that ruthless and would chop a servant's arm off. Moreover, at this point, Zhao Hai had developed a hatred for Fernand, she expected this matter to not end well.
Ruyen also didn't expect Fernand to be that crude and taunt Zhao Hai further even after seeing the latter's ability.
Fernand's face was pale, he didn't expect Zhao Hai to not give him any face. This made him very embarrassed. Even since he was born, there was nobody inside Iksa domain who dared to neglect his face.
Even though he couldn't bear it, he didn't bring enough guards. Even if he went to find Zhao Hai, he wouldn't be able to deal with him, he already lost too much face. Fernand can only snort, then he lifted his foot and walked out. The servant followed Fernand, he suppressed the pain in his arm by sealing the wound with his battle qi, stopping the blood from flowing out.
Ruyen didn't think that things would reach this point. Looking at the severed arm on the ground, Ruyen couldn't help but sense fear. She suddenly thought of that time back in the Purcell Duchy when he threatened Zhao Hai and was almost killed by his follower. She knew that Zhao Hai didn't care about status, he wasn't afraid back in Purcell Duchy, so why should he be afraid in Iksa Domain?'
Thinking of this, Ruyen felt regret. The matter had gone out of control. It may even lead to Zhao Hai and Iksa Domain having a full-blown conflict.
Although she wanted to teach Zhao Hai a lesson, she didn't want him dead. The current situation between Zhao Hai and Fernand wasn't the thing that was on her mind.
While Ruyen was secretly regretting, Shun appeared outside Ruyen's door, he said, "Your Highness Ruyen, Sir Viscount has invited you to discuss about something."
Ruyen froze, then she quickly nodded and replied, "Alright, I'll go." Then she stood up and followed Shun towards Zhao Hai's room.
Zhao Hai was sitting in the living room while waiting for Ruyen. As soon as he saw her, he nodded and said, "Young lady, please take a seat."
Ruyen looked at Zhao Hai, then she said, "Mister, you're being too reckless this time. We are in the Iksa Family Domain, being in conflict with Fernand isn't a good idea. Although Fernand isn't that favored in the Iksa Family, they still wouldn't let you off if you continue to be in a fight with him."
Zhao Hai only calmy looked at Ruyen, "Princess Ruyen, I just wanted to know why Fernand hit Blockhead? Is it really because he didn't give an appropriate greeting?"
Ruyen's heart was beating fast when she heard Zhao Hai, she clearly knew the true reason why but she just can't say it. She lowered her gaze and said, "What does mister mean? Is mister suspicious of me? You can call your servant over and have him testify to what happened."
Zhao Hai looked at Ruyen then calmly replied, "If young lady Ruyen says so, then naturally it is so. But the young lady also saw that I've been embroiled in a great trouble. Thus, young lady will not be safe travelling with me anymore. It would be better for our two groups to separate. I will send word to the Grand Duke later. Shun, please lead the young lady out." Then Zhao Hai closed his eyes and ignored Ruyen.
Ruyen froze for a moment, she didn't think that Zhao Hai would use this method to get rid of her. She quickly argued, "You can't do that. My father asked you to take care of me. How dare you leave me! Do you think my father wouldn't dare confiscate your title?"
Zhao Hai opened one eye and looked at Ruyen, "I don't care, if he takes it back, then take it back. I didn't ask your father for the title anyway, he was the one who willingly gave it to me. If he wants to confiscate it then him confiscate it." Then he started ignoring Ruyen again.
Before Ruyen said anything, Shun went to her and gestured his hand, "Princess, please." Ruyen glared, then she snorted and turned away.
Looking at Ruyen going out, Laura couldn't stop herself from asking, "Brother Hai, do you really want to drive her out and let her go on her own?"
Zhao Hai opened his eyes and looked at Laura, "Take care of her? How would I do that? Staying with her would only give us more trouble. I don't want to spend entire days managing her life, she's a walking disaster."
Laura didn't have anything to say, Ruyen was really like what Zhao Hai said, a catastrophe. It was clear that Fernand was looking for trouble. But he wouldn't be looking for trouble for no reason. It was very certain that the cause was Ruyen, anyone but a fool could notice it.
Meg was worried, "Young Master, can Bell really talk with the Iksa Family? If he couldn't, then what do we do? Do we really have to fight it out with them?"
Zhao Hai can only smile faintly, "I think Bell should be able to talk to them. He had been in Sarte City for many years. His business is also big, and it wouldn't reach its heights if he had no backing from the Iksa Family. If he really can't solve our problem, then it's better to fight it out with the Iksa Family. We're not afraid of them anyway, if we really put our resources into it, how could they stop us?"
Laura smiled and said, "Maybe we can also use this matter to make contact with the Iksa Family. This would make it better for us later."
Zhao Hai smiled, "That would be good. Let's wait first and see how Bell handles it." As he said that, the sound of hooves could be heard outside. Zhao Hai waved his hand and the monitor appeared in front of him. The screen showed a group of cavalrymen heading towards them and surrounding the hotel.
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "He's really a spoiled young master. He even brought an army, it seems that I'm still far behind compared to the real one." Laura and the others laughed, they weren't frightened whatsoever.
What's surprising was that the hotel's response was beyond Zhao Hai's expectations. The hotel Zhao Hai and the others were staying in was the Shelley Hotel. All medium and large cities in the continent had branches of Shelley Hotels in them. Since their service quality was top-notch, Zhao Hai decided to stay here as soon as he arrived at Sarte. What Zhao Hai knew for sure was that this hotel didn't have any relation to Bell nor the Iksa Family.
Ordinary hotels, when they become surrounded by cavalry, would naturally be cowering in fear. Shelley Hotel, on the other hand, did the opposite, which Zhao Hai didn't expect. They didn't come up and capture the person responsible, but instead just opened their doors like normal, the attendants acted as though they didn't see the cavalry outside. Only the person in charge of the whole hotel came and acknowledged the presence of the cavalry.
There was a carriage containing Fernand next to the cavalry. The long and slender manager with an astute face came forward. Zhao Hai had seen him before, he was always smiling when he spoke, but now he wore a calm face as he approached Fernand's carriage, "This one has seen the Eldest Young Master, what did young master come here to do?
Fernand looked at the manager and angrily said, "Illin, you are wasting your breath, no need for more words. I'm here for Wales. It's best if you get out of the way. Otherwise, you can't blame me for my next action."
Illin just looked at Fernand calmly. Fernand had the feeling that he was stared at by a serpent. This made him very uncomfortable.
Illin looked at Fernand and said calmly, "Eldest Young Master, since the day we started opening our business, we made sure to never chase our guests away. I don't know what the young master's grievance with Mister Wales is, but as long as Mister Wales stays within the premises of the hotel, he will be our guest. We're not the kind of hotel that couldn't guarantee a guest's safety. I suggest the young master to go back, if the young master wishes to cause trouble for Mister Wales, then he'd have to wait until Mister Wales leaves the hotel. When that time happens, no matter what young master plans to do, our Shelley hotel certainly wouldn't interfere, but that time isn't now."
When these words were heard by Zhao Hai, he couldn't help but applaud. He didn't think that inside the Iksa Domain, the hotel would actually dare to publicly cross horns with Fernand.
Chapter 328 – Power and Prestige
Fernand didn't expect that Illin would disregard his face, his expression changed and he said, "Illin, you're just a servant, what gave you the balls to oppose me? Are tired of living? Get out of the way or else I'll wreck your entire hotel."
Illin's eyes flashed a cold light, he replied, "Since our Shelley Hotel opened our shops in the entire continent, there wasn't anyone who dared to say that they would wreck our place. If the young master really plans to demolish our hotel, then I, Illin, wouldn't stop you. But you'll have to know that the Marquis would have to provide substantial reasons when this matter reaches the ears of the family."
Fernand calmed down, Although he was a spoiled young master, he wasn't dumb. His father told him about certain groups inside the domain he couldn't offend. The Shelley Hotel was one of them.
His earlier words were only caused by his momentary rage. Now that Fernand heard Illin's words, he calmed down. What Illin said wasn't a lie, there were numerous Shelley Hotels spread out in the continent, being able to handle such a huge business, how could the Shelley Family's influence be small? Not to say about Iksa Family, even the Aksu Empire's Imperial Clan would still have to think twice before offending Shelley Hotel.
Thinking about this, Fernand couldn't do anything other than suppressing the rage in his heart. Then he said, "If don't want me to cause trouble, just go call Wales out. We'll settle our own dispute."
Illin shook his head and said, "The young master has to forgive me, we need to follow the rules of the hotel. Unless the guest informs us beforehand, we cannot just disturb their rest."
The anger that Fernand suppressed erupted, he shouted, "Illin! I have already given your Shelley Family enough face and didn't care about your rudeness. But now you're being completely unreasonable! Men, charge!"
Just as the cavalry was about to rush in, ten stone golems appeared, blocking the hotel's entrance like a wall. Afterwards, Zhao Hai's words could be heard, "Young Master Fernand, if you want to see me, just wait for me to come out. Why are you too impatient?"
After saying that, Zhao Hai walked out of the hotel. He first performed a salute to Illin and said, "I thank Mr. Illin's protection, I will never forget this favor until I die."
Illin showed a faint smile, then he said, "As long as mister continues being a customer at our hotel, then we'll always guarantee your safety."
Zhao Hai smiled, then didn't say anything more. He remembered Illin's gesture in his heart. At this time, Zhao Hai turned to Ferdinand whose face was red with anger, "Young Master Fernand, aren't you being too serious about our conflict? You hit my servant, I hit your servant, we're now even. I don't know why young master dragged these people here, what are you planning to do?"
Fernand sneered, "What? You want to admit defeat now? Too late, you knew this was our domain and yet still dare to offend me. You're courting death!"
Zhao Hai looked at Fernand and faintly smiled, "Does the young master really think that I'm afraid of you? To tell you the truth, I don't want to make this conflict bigger than it already is in consideration of the Marquis. Somebody wouldn't have a happy end if this continues, I hope the young master thinks twice."
Fernand sneered, "Saying these words is already too late, men, capture him!" The cavalry resumed their charge.
At this time, a voice was heard, "Stop! Quickly stop!"
When Zhao Hai heard the voice, he couldn't help but smile. This was Bell's voice, he finally came. If he was late, then Zhao Hai feared that he may actually have to make a move."
Fernand turned to look at Bell. He couldn't help but frown, he wasn't willing to annoy this man. Bell was the largest merchant in the domain as well as a very close friend of his father. Although he looked down on merchants, he still needed to give Bell face.
Seeing that Bell had suddenly arrived, Fernand frowned a bit. With Bell present, the situation became more complex.
At this time, he also remembered Ruyen's words. Ruyen told him that Zhao Hai came to Iksa Domain to meet with Bell to discuss some partnership. Now, it seems that the partnership has gone through.
Bell was very anxious, he didn't ride his carriage this time but rode a horse instead. Shue was right behind, also riding a horse.
Bell quickly arrived at the hotel, he looked at Zhao Hai and nodded. Then he turned to Fernand and said," Eldest Young Master, how did my friend offend you? Please consider this little one's face and quell your anger."
Bell was a merchant, so when he apologized, he put on a smile, with this, people would generally be too embarrassed to get angry.
Fernand looked at Bell and listened to what he said. Fernand didn't want to be in conflict with Bell, he knew that he couldn't offend him. At this time, Ruyen came out of the hotel, and looked at Fernand.
When Fernand saw Ruyen appear, he became delighted. Ruyen looked at him with despise, then turned her head to Zhao Hai and made a face of admiration. Fernand anger flared up again, he looked at Bell and sneered, "Bell, you're just a merchant, why would I give you face? You became an honored guest at our house, became father's friend, and had me call you uncle, and now you think that you're someone great? Get out of the way, or else I'll have to capture you along with Wales."
When Bell heard Fernand, his complexion paled. He clearly saw Fernand's rage reduce, but suddenly it came back. Bell knew Fernand, so he turned around and see the reason for his change.
He turned his head and saw Ruyen. Looking at Ruyen's appearance as well as her looks, Bell immediately knew that she was Purcell Duchy's young lady who was travelling with Zhao Hai. He also understood the current situation.
Bell took a deep breath, then turned to Fernand. He couldn't help but sigh inside, Robert was a perceptive person, so how could he sire a son be as idiotic as Fernand. Such clear motives but still couldn't see through it, he was too stupid.
Bell didn't know what to do. If the eldest young master really made this mistake, Bell wouldn't have anything to say. No matter what, this man was the Iksa Family's successor.
Then a voice came, "Such power and prestige, why don't you also capture me then." The voice wasn't loud, it was just ordinary, you almost couldn't hear it. But when Fernand heard this voice, his expression changed.
Bell and Illin became relieved upon hearing this voice, Zhao Hai also turned to look at the source. There was a carriage that had just arrived. The carriage was large and majestic, but a kind of majesty that was low-key, a humble type of majesty.
A middle aged man stood in front the carriage. Although he was a noble's robe, he wore clear glasses. His noble's robe looked very refined, and paired with his eyeglasses, it gave him a scholarly aura.
Seeing the man, Zhao Hai couldn't help but feel a favorable impression towards him. Back on Earth, Zhao Hai was an author, so his body naturally would express a scholarly tone. This made Zhao Hai form a connection with the man, giving Zhao Hai a good impression of him.
The man was naturally Robert. Although Robert had a calm face, everyone who knew him understood that he was angry. Seeing Robert arrive, Bell greeted him, "Marquis Robert unexpectedly came. How dare we make the Marquis work hard. Wales, quickly greet the Marquis."
Zhao Hai hastily bowed and said, "Wales had seen Marquis Robert."
Robert nodded as he looked at Zhao Hai. Zhao Hai was dressed like a dandy, but when Robert looked a bit more, he felt something was not right. Although Zhao Hai wore clothes that might make him flamboyant, and also wore pink eyeglasses, something that he didn't understand, Robert was very sure that him and Zhao Hai were the same. Robert also noticed Zhao Hai's aura.
Because of his occupation as a novel writer back on Earth, as well as his fondness for ancient literature, and also the relative calmness of Earth's society compared to Ark Continent's, Zhao Hai's aura exhibited a calm and tempered attribute, a strange temperament that didn't belong in the Ark Continent.
Robert was a perceptive man, when he saw Zhao Hai's temperament as well as how he was dressed, he immediately understood. He couldn't help but smile, but he didn't reveal it, he nodded to Zhao Hai and said, "Young man, very good, hehe, what a pity that you have such temper."
Hearing this, Zhao Hai knew that he was found out. His face couldn't help but redden, he really was quite impulsive, he replied, "Marquis was right, I had been impulsive."
Robert chuckled, then he turned to Fernand. Now, Fernand's face was pale ever since Robert arrived. Fernand knew that he was in deep trouble, but he didn't dare to run away. Robert didn't teach him that power and influence came with time. Robert was very lenient with him, making Fernand act unreasonably in their Domain.
Chapter 329 – How did I get a stupid son?
Robert just glanced at Fernand without saying anything. He turned to the cavalrymen and asked, "Who is in command today?"
A man in a horse went to Robert and bowed, "Third Battalion Commander Nicholas has seen Marquis Robert." It was a rule that only in the presence of the Emperor would cavalry men dismount when giving a salute, therefore even though the cavalry were Robert's subordinates, they didn't dismount when giving him a salute.
Robert looked at Nicholas and nodded, "Head back and receive 50 canes, go on." Nicholas immediately bowed and said, "Yes". Then he waved and led the cavalry away.
Nicholas knew why he was punished. He was part of the Sarte city's defense force, so even though they were subordinates of the Iksa Family, they couldn't just be ordered around. It would need Robert's command token to make them move. But this time, because of Fernand's words, they went out, this was enough justification for Robert to punish them.
Looking at Nicholas' cavalry leaving, Robert turned his head to Fernand and said, "Go home. Mister Wales and Bell will go to the mansion with me."
Then Robert turned to Illin and apologized, "Manager Illin, the young one had been impolite. Please don't take it to heart, one of these days I'll come visit and formally apologize."
Illin smiled faintly, "Sir Marquis is too polite. This one wouldn't dare make the Marquis apologize. Marquis had already taken good care of the hotel."
Robert laughed and said, "Mister Illin is also very polite, pulling the business' merit to my head. Hahaha, good, I'll certainly find time to come. But not today."
Illin quickly said, "Sir Marquis can come anytime." Robert nodded, then he gave a signal to the carriage as he drove off.
Zhao Hai hastily went to Bell and rode his other horse. Then the both of them followed the Marquis towards his mansion. Fernand was also inside his carriage heading back to his home.
At the mansion, Robert invited Zhao Hai and Bell to the living room while Fernand followed them. When they entered the living room, the maidservants immediately prepared tea, then were driven out by Robert.
After the maidservants left, Robert's face immediately changed. He slapped the table and looked at Fernand, "You fool! How did I manage to get such a stupid son. You know what kind of place Shelley Hotel is? Even when I eat there, I still need to pay full. But now you just lead some people and want to barge in? Do you want to die?"
Fernand lowered his head and didn't dare to make any noise. Robert looked at Fernand and continued, "Just because our family had such a large domain doesn't mean that we're someone great. The reason we managed to get this territory was because the other Great Noble families didn't take a liking to it. And now you regard yourself as someone powerful? If you add up all of the branches of the Shelley Hotel chain, they would reach up to ten thousand. They're considered as one of the most powerful families in the continent. And you dared provoke them? Do you want to take the entire Iksa family down with you?"
Fernand was still quiet, still lowering his head, but deep in his heart he was not convinced. In his opinion, Robert was exaggerating. He didn't believe that a hotel could have such power.
Looking at Fernand, Robert knew that his words didn't reach his son's heart. Robert couldn't help but sigh, "Also, can't you see that Ruyen was deliberately instigating the conflict? You became too blinded and became stupid. Me, Robert, had been smart my entire life, how did I manage to sire a stupid son? Aside from women, don't you have anything else inside your head? Also, I wouldn't even have any problems if you were playing around with a good woman, but Ruyen is different. Didn't you know that she was quite infamous inside Purcell Duchy? It even made Evan decide to send her away to study in Rosen Empire. For such a women, you are willing to drag a lot of people in trouble?"
It wouldn't be proper for Zhao Hai to open his mouth at this time. Since Bell was in close terms with Robert, he quickly said, "Sir Marquis, you really cannot blame this matter to the young master but instead to princess Ruyen. It's too easy for her to pretend and fool men. If I were to meet the young lady when I was younger, I also wouldn't be able to stop myself."
Robert stared at him and said, "Can't stop? Then how can Wales stop himself? I can see it, Wales didn't have any reaction towards the young lady. Wales, what's this about? Care to explain why you don't harbor any favor towards her?"
It wasn't a mystery why Robert was puzzled. He sees that Zhao Hai was given the Viscount title by Evan. So naturally it would be correct if Zhao Hai were to be more attentive to Ruyen. But why did Zhao Hai dislike her instead?"
Zhao Hai smiled faintly, then he prepared a reponse, "Young lady Ruyen is beautiful, but her reputation in the Purcell Duchy isn't likeable, I won't dare marry her. The title was willingly given by Duke Evan, I didn't want it. He just saw my capabilities and decided to give me this title."
Robert chuckled and said, "It looks like I didn't misread you. Your current appearance is just a disguise, no? What's the matter? "
Hearing this, Zhao Hai showed a faint smile, "Nothing, isn't it just nice to wear this attire? It even excuses me if I do something outrageous, hehe, it's extremely convenient."
Robert laughed, then he turned to Fernand, "It seem like I also need to prepare you for studying at Rosen Empire."
When Fernand heard Robert, he immediately begged Robert, "Father, I'll promise to be obedient from now on. Please don't send me to Rosen Empire, it's too far, I don't want to go there."
Looking at his son's appearance, Robert helplessly smiled and said, "Forget it, you go back first. Don’t' forget to come back in a while and accompany Wales and Bell for dinner."
Fernand looked at Bell and Zhao Hai then nodded and went away. Looking at Fernand's unwilling face, Robert couldn’t help but sigh and said, "His mother had spoiled him too much. He's already a big man, but still acting like a child."
Bell smiled and changed the topic, "Yesterday, I didn't manage to visit you and tell this. This is the league's new member Zhao Hai, you should have heard of him."
Both Robert and Zhao Hai were surprised at Bell's words. Bell's message told both Robert and Zhao Hai that they were on the same side.
Zhao Hai and Robert stared at each other then back at Bell. At this point, Bell was chuckling. Robert couldn't help but smile, "So it's true that the two of you were in a partnership. I didn't know that you had another secret."
Zhao Hai also couldn't help but smile, he didn't expect that the Iksa family's patriarch would be a member of the League of Dark Mages.
However, he changed his thoughts and saw that something was not right. He heard the Robert was a 7th rank Wind element Mage. How could he be a member of the league?
Looking at Zhao Hai expression, Bell smiled and said, "Don't assume that the League of Dark Mages' members are all Dark element Mages. There are also quite a few number of people of different backgrounds that are members of the league, like me and Robert. We became too tired of the Radiant Church's antics. Seeing that we had a common hatred with the league, we decided to join."
Zhao Hai nodded. Robert looked curiously at Zhao Hai and said, "You're also in the league? Are you a Dark Mage?"
Zhao Hai smiled and said, "When I joined the league back then, I was a Dark Mage. But a fire, earth and wind tri-element mage's status is much more convenient in the continent at this time."
Robert and Bell both stared at Zhao Hai. Looking at the two people, he smiled and added, "Don't stare at me like that, I don't actually know magic. I have a Divergent ability, it can imitate magic spells. Presently, I could imitate earth, wind, water, dark, and light element mages. This is how I can pretend to be a three element mage."
Zhao Hai's words further surprised Robert and Bell. But Zhao Hai couldn't blame them, Divergent abilities were very rare and mysterious. Therefore, when they heard that Zhao Hai had a Divergent ability, they were very surprised.
On the other hand, the reason why nobody was surprised about Shue is because he was already quite well known early on his life. Everyone knew his ability and were not surprised. But now that Zhao Hai also said that he had such ability, Bell and Robert almost didn't believe him.
Zhao Hai looked at the two and smiled bitterly. Then he didn't talk anymore, he knew that the more he talked the more mistakes he would make, so he decided to settle for less.
Bell and Robert saw that Zhao Hai didn't want to divulge more information so they didn't push him further. The league was quite a loose organization and everyone had their secrets, so they didn't inquire anymore.
Robert shifted the topic, "Right, Zhao Hai, what did you see Bell for? This fellow is a sleazy businessman. Why would you want to do business with him?"
It was obvious that Robert and Bell's relationship was quite good, seeing how they tease each other. Zhao Hai quite admired these types of friendships.
Bell looked at Robert, "What? You're asking why Zhao Hai went to me for business? Did you forget what he did in the past?"
Robert froze, he remembered the Haven brand products in the Purcell Duchy some time ago. These products were all provided by Zhao Hai. Thinking about it, it wasn't surprising for Bell and Zhao Hai to team up.
Robert nodded then he turned to Zhao Hai, "So what business are you doing with Bell? Haven products?"
Zhao Hai shook his head and said, "Not this time. I want to sell Milk wine at them moment. I'll give them to Bell and he'll be the exclusive seller for Aksu Empire."
Robert said, "Milk wine? Why sell that? Would people buy it?"
Bell smiled and said, "I'll make you try it later, and I promise you, you wouldn't want to drink any other liquor after then."
Looking at Bell's expression, Robert knew that the wine would surely be good. But he was also curious, his family's domain was bordered with the prairie, and also had some businesses with the beastmen. So naturally. he didn't drink a small amount of milk wine, but he still couldn't get used to it.