The Empress's Gigolo Chapter 217
Chapter 217: Ten Times
Chapter 217: Ten Times
Translator: TYZ Editor: Book_Hoarder
There were many people behind the empress and Ren Baqian could recognize a few of them. There were Great Elder Shi Qing, Junior Elder Zhe Kouhai, Minister of Revenue Tu Wan, Imperial Treasurer Gu Yue, Minister of Works Tong Zhenye, etc.
Most of them were wearing the sunglasses that Ren Baqian had bought for twenty yuan per piece from a roadside stall. However, they looked as though they were wearing branded sunglasses, resembling Mafia godfathers. Like a crane standing among a flock of chickens, they were extremely eye-striking.
When the laborers in the beast park saw the empress bringing so many high-ranking officials here, they were shocked. They did not know what was going on.
"Greetings, Your Majesty! Greetings, Sirs!" Ren Baqian greeted everyone.
The empress nodded her head while Tong Zhenyue gave Ren Baqian a smile. After all, Ren Baqian had recovered and could now start working on the glass factory project and all the other things that he and Ren Baqian had talked about. Ever since he heard that the empress and Ren Baqian returned to Dayao safe and sound, he immediately asked his subordinates to find every material that Ren Baqian had asked for. His subordinates even transported back three carriages of coal. Even though three carriages of coal weren't a lot, it still showed how much he valued Ren Baqian.
Among everyone present today, other than the empress, he cared the most about Ren Baqian.
To Ren Baqian's surprise, Great Elder Shi Qing also gave him an extremely friendly smile.
Great Elder and Hong Wu were considered the pillars of Dayao by the commoners. In fact, they really were.
Hong Wu guarded the border for many years and stopped Great Xia from invading Dayao numerous times. He was renowned for his military successes in the north.
Meanwhile, Shi Qing had been toiling away in the imperial court for many years. He had done many things that benefited numerous commoners. He enjoyed an extremely high level of prestige in Dayao.
Amid so many disdainful faces, Ren Baqian was astonished to see an influential individual like Shi Qing expressing goodwill to him. Even though Shi Qing was very old, he still held immense power in Dayao each year. With the addition of his sunglasses, he reminded Ren Baqian of those godfathers in Hong Kong's or Taiwan's movies telling their henchmen, "Work hard, I have high hopes for you."
"Deputy Prefect Ren, how are the so-called sweet potatoes?" the empress asked. Firstly, she brought so many people here because it was an important matter. Secondly, she wanted to give Ren Baqian's prestige a boost. If anything went wrong, not only would the empress be humiliated, Ren Baqian would be in deep trouble as well.
"Your Majesty, they have already ripened. We can dig some out now to weigh them. Just now, I already dug out some to be cooked in the kitchen. Everyone can have a taste of the sweet potatoes later."
"Alright, let's begin."
Now, they wanted to see how many sweet potatoes one mu of land produce could produce.
[One mu is equivalent to one fifteenth of a hectare]
Everyone watched on silently as the laborers from the beast park dug out the sweet potatoes.
Previously, everyone only heard from the empress that it was a new crop. They did not know about it in detail.
However, Dayao had never been an agricultural country all along. Moreover, the aboriginals mainly ate meat. Hence, they valued animal husbandry much more than agriculture. Everyone simply did not care about agriculture.
A new crop merely provided them with a new type of dish.
However, those big shots wearing sunglasses thought slightly more highly of the so-called sweet potatoes. After all, everyone saw how amazing the solar furnace was last time. They felt that anything Ren Baqian took out was definitely something extraordinary.
As the time passed, heaps of sweet potato stems were dug out from the ground and placed on one side.
Not caring about the dirt, an old man wearing a Secondary class, Rank 3 official robe picked up a few sweet potatoes and inspected them.
It was at this moment that someone brought two basins of steamed and roasted sweet potatoes over.
"Everyone, have a taste. They taste pretty good," Ren Baqian told everyone. Then, he picked up a roasted sweet potato and pried it open, revealing its golden interior. An overwhelming fragrance pervaded the air. One could even smell it from far away.
Everyone had been standing the whole morning during court session. When they smelled the fragrance of the sweet potato, they felt even hungrier. They looked at each other and shifted their gazes to Ren Baqian.
Ren Baqian passed the sweet potato to the empress, "Your Majesty."
After taking the sweet potato from Ren Baqian's hands, the empress examined it closely. Even though the sweet potato's outer skin did not look clean, it smelled sweet and fragrant. It was simply appetite-stimulating.
Usually, any food that the empress ate would be tested for poisons by someone first. However, when the food was from Ren Baqian, she did not mind it at all. After all, while she was on Earth, no one tested her food for poisons either. She did not really guard against Ren Baqian.
Taking a bite of it with her pearly white teeth, a glint lit up in her eyes. This thing indeed tasted good.
Nobody could stop the empress from eating the sweet potato without having it tested for poisons first in time. Following which, they looked at Ren Baqian with doubt.
"Let me try it." Tong Zhenye did not raise any objection. Her Majesty has already eaten it, are you afraid that it is poisonous?
"Give me one as well." Shi Qing followed suit.
In an instant, the roasted sweet potatoes were gone. Those who never managed to take the roasted sweet potatoes got the steamed ones instead.
Everyone took a bite and nodded their heads with their mouths stuffed. "Not bad, not bad."
This thing smelled nice and tasted rather delicious too. Upon entering one's mouth, it turned soft and silky.
Like a bunch of old farmers, the big shots gnawed on the sweet potatoes while nodding their heads in approval. The sweet potatoes were well-received.
"What is this thing called again?" someone asked. Ren Baqian realized it was the old official that examined the sweet potatoes just now. He was trying to guess his identity.
"It's called sweet potato," Ren Baqian replied.
"How long will they take to ripen?"
"Three months. Furthermore, they can be grown anywhere. You can even grow them on hillsides. They are very easy to cultivate too," Ren Baqian answered.
"One mu of land can produce how many sweet potatoes?" that official asked again.
"I will let you know later," Ren Baqian replied and continued, "However, you can't eat too many of this thing. You have to eat it with other foods, otherwise you can get heartburn easily."
That official nodded his head and did not say anything else. Then, he looked at the huge heap of sweet potatoes on the ground with his eyes glittering. From the look of it, he felt that one mu of land could produce a lot of sweet potatoes. He had made a rough guess in his heart, but he wasn't really confident with it.
After everyone finished eating, when they saw the huge heap of sweet potatoes on the ground, they were brimming with expectation.
According to Deputy Prefect Ren, this crop could be easily grown anywhere. This feature was very important. Complementing the sweet potatoes with other foods, the strongholds in Sixty Thousand Mountains would have a much better life. Furthermore, everyone in Dayao could have a new type of delicious dish on their dining tables.
Very soon, almost all the sweet potatoes in the field were dug up. Some laborers carried them to one side and weighed them.
Initially, Ren Baqian wanted to help them to weigh the sweet potatoes. After all, he had no confidence in aboriginals' mathematical skills. Will you dare to believe in a bunch of middle-aged men that still counts using fingers?
However, when Ren Baqian saw a few treasurers from the imperial treasury walking over to help the laborers, he stopped in his tracks.
These treasurers should be reliable.
"3160 catties.... 3752 catties 4860 catties 5925 catties 6451 catties"
Every time everyone heard a number, their hearts skipped a beat. Fearing that the treasurers might make a mistake, everyone crowded around them.
Even the voice of the treasurer who was shouting out the numbers was trembling. He was afraid that he shouted out the wrong numbers.
Too many sweet potatoes... there were simply too many sweet potatoes
No one had expected one mu of land could produce so many sweet potatoes.
The output of the wheat grown outside of the city was merely 600 catties. The output of this thing was actually 6000 catties! Ten times the output of the rice! Ten times!