The Empress's Gigolo Chapter 224
Chapter 224: House Yunyan
Chapter 224: House Yunyan
Translator: YHHH Editor: Book_Hoarder
On the second morning, Ren Baqian went to the Ministry of Works again. He saw Tong Zhenye and asked, "Sir Tong, how is the cement now?"
"Let's go together to take a look," Tong Zhenye said. "I haven't had the time to check on it yet."
The two went by the backyard and did not see Feng Hou or Zhe Hongbo. After all, they were officials who had to deal with a lot of things every day. They didn't have much time to spend on just looking at the cement. So long as they knew the results of the cement, it would be sufficient.
As Tong Zhenye was the minister in the Ministry of Works, he had a broader outlook on matters than most people and his concern for the cement was also much higher.
When they reached the backyard, they saw the pile of cement that was mixed yesterday and a block that consisted of two stones cemented together.
Ren Baqian used the tip of his toe to feel it and found it to be very hard.
"I have succeeded?" Ren Baqian was elated. What he feared most was that the ores in this world were different in some aspects from those on Earth. After all, this was a different world and whether it was even in the same universe was also not known.
Furthermore, there were spirit swords and extremely powerful martial art skills in this world. Therefore, it was normal for differences to exist between these two worlds.
Testing the hardness of the cement with his leg had let him see hope for success.
He squatted down to press with his finger and sure enough, it felt as hard as stone. He checked the block that had two stones cemented together again and found that the cement had solidified and wrapped around the stones.
He lifted up the block and threw it on the ground with all his might. A corner of the slate was smashed and only a piece of the cement was chipped off.
"Success, there is no problem with this cement." Ren Baqian said happily.
Tong Zhenye saw the action by Ren Baqian, understood the result and nodded his head.
Leaning on the cement block, he patted it before smashing it with his palm again. The pile of cement on the ground fell apart and some pieces landed on Ren Baqian's body.
Ren Baqian gasped for breath, it wasn't fear, but pain, as a piece of cement had hit the shin bone of his calf directly.
"Ow, hiss, ow!" Ren Baqian clutched his calf and hopped continuously.
"It is slightly inferior to stone, but acceptable. Even though it requires quite a lot of materials, but it is much easier than collecting stones, grinding them and then transporting them." Tong Zhenye nodded and turned to look at Ren Baqian's painful expression, averted his eyes and acted like he did not see anything.
After thinking about it, he felt that Ren Baqian had many good things in his hands and might have something he desired. He then apologized, "I am sorry."
After Ren Baqian jumped for a long time, he lifted his trouser leg, saw a bruise on his calf and a cut that was still bleeding as well.
On reflection, he could not be calculative with Tong Zhenye as these aboriginals were crude, and it was just due to his bad luck.
"The next step is to store more cement and wait for ten days to see how the burning of the bricks go. If there's no problem, then build the brick kiln first. Put full effort in producing cement and bricks, and then prepare to build a blast furnace.
Once the blast furnace is built, glass can be produced. Moreover, this type of blast furnace can also be used to produce steel, so much so that it can directly refine steel and save heaps of effort.
"In addition, cement has many other uses, such as paving the roads by directly applying it. Flagstones will not be required anymore. The same is true for the repair of city walls and similar structures. It is beneficial to produce as much as possible and its consumption will certainly be huge in the future." Ren Baqian rubbed his leg as he spoke to Tong Zhenye.
"I understand, I will present a petition to Her Majesty and dispatch people to carry out these matters." Tong Zhenye nodded his head and did not doubt what Ren Baqian said. As for paving the road, even if Ren Baqian did not mention it, he would have thought of it later on.
If this cement was utilized properly, it was a good material which would be of special benefit to the Ministry of Works.
Then he looked at Ren Baqian again and said, "The cement that Deputy Prefect Ren have given us have been very useful to Dayao and the Ministry of Works. Tonight, I will host a banquet at House Yunyan in honor of you as well as to express my gratitude. The officials of the Ministry of Works will be there, and you must certainly attend."
Ren Baqian gladly nodded his head after hearing this, it was the first time a big shot from the court had invited him to a banquet and could be implying acceptance of him. After all, how could he just rely on the empress and wander around the palace every day?
He hoped this was a good start to letting him quickly integrate into Dayao's court.
After leaving the Ministry of Works, Ren Baqian headed directly to the beast park.
A short distance from the entrance, he saw Caretaker Shi exercising with stone dumbbells. The stone dumbbells, which weighed about thirty kilograms, were being lifted up and down repeatedly and he was sweating all over.
On noticing Ren Baqian's presence, Caretaker Shi's hands trembled, and the dumbbells smashed straight into the house.
"Deputy Prefect Ren." Caretaker Shi didn't even take a look despite the loud bang and dust generated, giving the impression of a cool-guy-who-doesn't-turn-his-head-to-look-at-explosions.
"Caretaker Shi." Ren Baqian smiled.
"I was wondering when Deputy Prefect Ren would be back, those shaved ice shops made a profit of four hundred over taels of silver over these two months and the fans you made have had a profit of over two hundred taels of silver.
Giving me a part of the profit from the shaved ice shops is enough. I have to give you four hundred and fifty taels of silver. Nowadays, it is not easy to see Deputy Prefect Ren and I was wondering how to pass the money to you." On mentioning this matter, Caretaker Shi became elated. The shaved ice shop made over four hundred taels of silver in just over two months and his share was over two hundred taels of silver. He could have an income of about one thousand taels of silver this year, which was a king's ransom to him.
Of course, he never expected Ren Baqian to receive promotion after promotion during these few months. From an official position that was one level lower than his, he rose to become a Secondary class, Rank 5 official. This official post of Imperial Deputy Prefect was inconsequential, but the important thing was being chosen by Her Majesty as her future husband.
Thinking about these changes in the past few months, he had some regrets.
Regarding this matter, Ren Baqian didn't pay much attention to it recently. He only remembered the shops he set up when Caretaker Shi mentioned it.
Although money didn't mean much to him now, he was still happy to get more than four hundred taels of silver and using it to reward other people wasn't a bad thing. The most important point was it was earned from his own enterprise and was totally different from what was given by the empress.
"How is the shaved-ice business doing recently?" Ren Baqian asked with a smile.
" The shaved-ice business is still doing well, but I have stopped making the electric fans as several other shops are selling them," Caretaker Shi replied with a tinge of regret.
"It doesn't matter," Ren Baqian casually said.
Originally, he wanted to tell him there would be more good stuff for him to sell in the future, but he retracted his words before they came out of his mouth.
In terms of Caretaker Shi's status, the present business was considered his limits and any more wealth would make other people jealous of him.
At least, this was the case on Earth.
As for the future, it depended on Caretaker Shi's luck. If he had the opportunity, he would offer some words of advice to help him make some money and wouldn't forget the friendship forged during his initial period here.
"When the time comes, I will get someone to retrieve it. This time, I am here to ask for two people from you," Ren Baqian told Caretaker Shi.
"No problem," Caretaker Shi replied.
"Find Teng Hulu and Tie Tao, I want to ask them if they would like to follow and work for me."
"There is no way they will be unwilling. They have been thinking of Sir Deputy Prefect all this time and their only worry is that you have forgotten them."
A moment later, Teng Hulu and Tie Tao were found, and they greeted Ren Baqian with joy.
"Are the both of you willing to work for me?" Ren Baqian asked.
"Of course, we are willing. Your underlings are thankful that Sir Deputy Prefect has not forgotten the both of us." The two were overjoyed. It was a great fortune to work for Ren Baqian.
Even if it were as before, they wouldn't refuse. Now that Ren Baqian was in an even higher position and status, it was a no-brainer.
Both of them knew their own strength. Their abilities were average and if they had not served Ren Baqian when he was just a caretaker, it wouldn't be up to them to serve Ren Baqian at this moment.
"It is settled, this token is for the two of you. See me in the palace tomorrow morning. As for your residence, get the money from Caretaker Shi and rent a place in the city," Ren Baqian informed them.
This token was requested by him from the empress to enable him to mobilize people to do farm work or implement his other ideas.
Ren Baqian returned to the palace after meeting a few people. He enquired about the whereabouts of the empress and then went to the garden. Anyway, he still had to notify her of the invitation to the banquet that night.
The empress usually stayed in just a few places. It was either Yangxin Palace Hall, the garden, or Qing Xin Palace Hall, and the beast park. These places seemed really uninteresting to Ren Baqian.
On seeing the empress, Ren Baqian paid his courtesies and sat down one side and said happily, "Your Majesty, the cement project is a success."
"It is good news, but you have been more than amply rewarded, so I will not reward you any further." The empress nodded her head. She had seen the tall buildings on Earth and her understanding of the importance of cement was deeper than Tong Zhenye.
Ren Baqian laughed, "To be able to stay by Your Majesty's side is the greatest reward."
After hearing this, the empress slightly tilted her face and her eyes narrowed under the sunlight. She always liked to hear him say these types of words.
The two just sat there, talking occasionally, but most of the time they were silent. The empress wasn't talkative, and Ren Baqian was a man of few words.
But, their mood was very relaxed, and the atmosphere was very warm. Even Qing Yuan and Hong Luan kept their distance so as not to disturb them.
It was only after lunch that Ren Baqian brought up the topic regarding the invitation by Tong Zhenye to attend the banquet dinner.
After thinking a little while, the empress asked, "Where is it held?"
"House Yunyan." Ren Baqian replied.
"Oh, I know." The empress said, "Change your clothes this evening and get ready to go. If you encounter anything interesting, tell me when you get back."
Then, Ren Baqian left for Qingxin Palace Hall, and in the evening, he changed his clothes and went towards House Yunyan.
When he mentioned this place, the palace guards around him gave a strange expression.
"Why, what is wrong with this place?" Ren Baqian doubtfully asked.
Everyone's expression became even weirder.
There was nothing wrong with the place, it was, in fact, a nice place.
The key point was that the person going wasn't the right one.
"My Excellency, in Great Xia it is known as a brothel." The lead bodyguard assigned by the empress couldn't help telling Ren Baqian.
"Pfft !" Ren Baqian spat out old blood upon hearing what he said.