After settling his stuffs, Ren Baqian called his family. All along, he had been calling his family every half a month. This time around, he had not called his family for nearly an entire month.
A female voice picked up the call. Following which, the female voice grumbled, "So you still remember to call me huh?"
"I am quite busy recently. I have set up a company with my friend, and I have been working hard every day." Ren Baqian gave a hollow laugh.
"Company? What company? Where did you get the money to set up a company?" When Ren Baqian's mom heard the word "company", she immediately forgot about reproaching her son. She was afraid that her son might get scammed.
"I provide the technology while my friend provides the capital. A venture capital firm even thinks highly of us and invested some money in our company." Ren Baqian wasn't exactly speaking the truth.
Telling his mum that a venture capital firm invested in his company was much easier than explaining to her what the black mud cream was.
Otherwise, he could not explain the money in his pocket.
After speaking for some time, his mom still remained skeptical. Ren Baqian continued, "I have transferred 300000 yuan to your account. You and dad should spend some money and have fun."
"There's no need for you to transfer me money. Your dad and I aren't in need of money anyway," Rem Baqian's mom grumbled. However, she still felt happy that her son sent her 300000 yuan. This proved that her son had indeed made money and their relatives would not look down on him anymore in the future.
"Save it for you and your younger brother's weddings," his mom said.
"There's no need for you to save the money for my wedding, I still have a lot of money with me and I didn't transfer it all to you. Whatever Younger Brother wants, buy for him," Ren Baqian chuckled. After speaking for another ten minutes, his mom reminded him not to squander his money and put down the phone.
That afternoon, Ren Baqian went out again to run errands.
The ten odd-job workers worked very hard, and Ren Baqian had told himself before that he was not going to ill-treat them. Therefore, he had to make good on his promise.
However, he definitely could not reward them with money.
After thinking about it, Ren Baqian felt that it was still better to get them food.
Ren Baqian found a famous restaurant and bought a lot of roast stuffed chickens, marinated beef, and pork shoulders. He bought enough food for the ten odd-job workers to have a feast.
The food in that world was much worse than Earth's. After all, they did not have such a variety of spices or recipes that had been continuously improved throughout the generations.
Ren Baqian reckoned that Earth's food would make those people lick their plates clean.
As for the idea of bringing liquors to that world, Ren Baqian abandoned it after much consideration.
For the food, he could tell them he make them himself. On the contrary, he couldn't tell them he made the liquors himself as it was impossible to produce them in one or two days.
That night, when Ren Baqian went to bed, he tied two huge bags of food to his body with a rope. When he woke up, the two bags of food appeared with him in the room in the other world.
The first glimmer of light shone through window.
Ren Baqian put on his coarse clothes, placed his things and the food neatly on one side, and left the house.
A gush of extremely fresh air hit him in the face.
Unpolluted air smelled really good.
Ren Baqian felt lucky that he would only stay here for three days. If he stayed any longer, he might not be able to get used to the heavily polluted air on Earth anymore.
The people of this world slept early and woke up early. By this time, people were already beginning to do their daily chores.
Ren Baqian paid a visit to the ice cellar and noticed that one-third of it was already filled with ice. This was after some of the ice was used for the white bear.
This showed that the odd-job workers did not slack off while he was gone.
However, washbowl-shaped ice slabs were not easy to pile up. Ren Baqian considered whether or not should he make a few cube-shaped boxes to make ice.
The odd-job workers arrived not too long after Ren Baqian reached the ice cellar. All of them greeted him and said hello. Becuase he was young, he had never taken up any leadership positions before, not even the position of class monitor. Ren Baqian, who had always been a follower, felt extremely good now.
The odd-job workers wanted to work for a while before eating breakfast.
"Where do I go if I want to forge something?" Ren Baqian asked.
"If you want to forge metallic products, you will have to go to Baishi District. There are many workshops there." Someone understood what Ren Baqian's words meant and answered him.
"Is troublesome to leave this beast park?"
"Let Caretaker Shi know you're going out and take a paper slip from before you go."
Ren Baqian nodded his head and said to everyone, "Work hard, I will treat everyone to a feast tonight."
"Yes!" Everyone's morale rose sharply after hearing Ren Baqian's words.
Usually, Ren Baqian's breakfast would either be vegetable porridge or rice with mixed vegetables. When vegetables were cooked together, they did not really taste good; however, his food was already considered not bad in this world. The meals provided for the odd-job workers were worse than his.
After finishing his breakfast, Ren Baqian went to find Caretaker Shi. "Caretaker Shi, I need to go out and make a few metallic boxes."
"I have to go out and run some errands too. If you're not in a hurry, you can wait for me and we can go together," Caretaker Shi replied.
"That would be the best," Ren Baqian smiled.
He did not even know where the entrance of the beast park was, let alone Baishi District. Therefore, it would be a good thing if he could go out with someone who was familiar with the city environment and the local culture.
Otherwise, he might offend the locals and get into a fight due to his lack of knowledge on the local culture.
After completing the task he had in hand, Caretaker Shi changed into a new set of clothes that was made up of a higher quality fabric and took Ren Baqian out.
The beast park was connected to the imperial palace, but it had other exits that were guarded by a few soldiers.
Caretaker Shi flashed the medal on his waist and brought Ren Baqian out of the beast park.
"The next time you leave the beast park on your own you'll have to bring the paper slip. Don't lose it otherwise you can't come back in," Caretaker Shi reminded Ren Baqian.
"Entering and exiting this place is much easier that I thought."
"How secure do you think it should be then?"
"Don't you think there should be more guards and the inspection should be more thorough? What if someone sneaks into the beast park?"
"That would be so troublesome! The beast park is Her Majesty's, no one will go there!" Caretaker Shi burst out laughing.
When they came out of the beast park, a dirt path greeted them. There were woods on both sides of the dirt path. As they walked further down the path, they reached a residential area.
"This is where the court officials live," Caretaker Shi pointed to the huge and luxurious houses on both sides of the path and said.
After walking for a while more, Ren Baqian heard a commotion coming from ahead. Apparently, there were two persons fighting.
Or rather, one person was mounted on the other while beating him up.
Both of them wore embroidered clothes, appearing to be from wealthy families. Standing to one side, the people spectating the fight seemed to be the attendants of the two men.
Caretaker Shi led Ren Baqian past the commotion, looking as though he did not find it at all surprising. Ren Baqian kept on turning his head around to look at the fight. Every punch that landed on flesh was filled with force. He could clearly hear the sound of the punches landing on the person's face. Ren Baqian felt pain for that person being punched.
Suddenly, the guy, who had been mounted, retaliated by kicking the person on top of him. That person flew into the air and crashed into a wall, creating a huge hole on it.
Ren Baqian sucked in a breath of cold air when he saw this sight.
"No one cares about them?" Ren Baqian asked.
"What's there to care about? They are merely scuffling," Caretaker Shi spoke as though it wasn't a big deal.
"Why isn't anyone helping them?"
"Of course, they are drawing a circle. If someone helps either one of them, the person who receives assistance will definitely be ridiculed," Caretaker Shi explained.
At the same time, he warned Ren Baqian, "If someone finds you to draw a circle, don't be afraid and beat him up. Whether he is a court official or a commoner, just beat him up."
After thinking about it for quite some time, Ren Baqian reckoned that "drawing a circle" might refer to a duel. Interpreting this phrase literally, whoever stepped out of the circle would lose the duel.
"But can a court official be beaten up too?" Ren Baqian curiously asked.
"You can definitely do that if he finds you to draw a circle. However, you are not allowed to find him to draw a circle. If that was allowed, then all the high-ranking officials would be dead tired."
Ren Baqian grinned. Drawing a circle seemed somewhat similar to the duels of some countries in ancient times.
If a provoked court official looked for someone to draw a circle, that person would be allowed to retaliate. And after listening to Caretaker Shi's words, Ren Baqian felt that one did not need to fear acts of revenge.
He looked at his own body. These few days, the people that he encountered in this world were tall and huge. Their arms were thick and muscular enough to be used as legs. He guessed he would not be able beat them even if there were several clones of him.
After knowing the existence of the street fight culture in this world, Ren Baqian considered whether or not should he carry with him a taser or a pepper spray.
"Do the officials frequently find people to draw a circle with? What will happen if you offend them?"
If it's a commoner that offends an official, that official will at most send his guards to teach him or her a lesson. An official will personally draw a circle only if the other party is also an official as well."
"The officials will draw a circle with each other too?" Ren Baqian asked with curiosity.
"Of course, there are fights in the Empress Hall almost every day. A few days ago, Her Majesty approved the Guardian of Nation and the Conqueror of the North to draw a circle on the palace wall. That day, the space beneath the palace wall completely filled with spectators. Some people even went a day earlier to reserve a good spot to see the fight."
Initially, when Ren Baqian first heard about "drawing a circle", he felt unusually uncomfortable. However, after he finished listening to Caretaker Shi, he had a direct understanding of the Dayao Nation's valiant social culture. Even though he knew Dayao's citizens were known to be valiant from his previous drinking session with Caretaker Shi, it was only now that he realized how valiant they really were.
When he thought of the daily fights in the Empress Hall and the empress allowing people to fight on the palace wall, he felt his teeth hurt.
Fortunately, the fight wasn't as epic as The Duel.
("The Duel" is a Hong Kong wuxia movie)