The Empress's Gigolo Chapter 266
Chapter 266: Molten Iron
Chapter 266: Molten Iron
Translator: YHHH Editor: Book_Hoarder
At the East Sea, an old man wearing green clothing came to a small fishing village and stopped outside. The old man was only carrying a flute on his waist and a jar of wine in his hand.
Looking at some of the dilapidated villages, the old man's eyes filled with emotion, nostalgia, and also memories of the fleeting years.
In the twinkling of an eye, so many years had passed by.
"I'm afraid that in a few years, this village will no longer exist."
The old man stood outside the village for a long time before turning towards a small grove nearby. But, he stopped after taking a few steps.
"Come out!" The old man called in a deep voice.
As his voice died away, two men wearing clothes made of rough material came out of the grove in front. They had the same look, same height, were physically strong, bald, had rustic expressions, and gave the impression of being down-to-earth people from the mountainside.
However, the long knives resting on their shoulders gave them an air of menace.
"Eighth most powerful expert in the world, Lu Pinghai, we have been waiting for you for a long time." They both said in a low, muffled voice at the same time.
Lu Pinghai looked at the two and his facial expression was motionless.
The aboriginals seldom appeared in other nations, and these two specifically came here under someone's order.
"Her Majesty told us to get a Spirit Yuan Pill from you at whatever price or condition you want," the two continued.
Lu Pinghai suddenly realized that the order was from Qi Zixiao.
"Tell Qi Zixiao this old fellow doesn't want anything, please go back," Lu Pinghai shook his head and said.
"Her Majesty said that if you do not agree, she will come personally to find you," the two said in response. Actually, what the empress said was to kill him if he refused to give her what she required.
But if they phrased it this way, Lu Pinghai would turn hostile on the spot.
No matter what, he was the eighth most powerful expert in the world and was not easily threatened.
"Then let Qi Zixiao come and find me." Lu Pinghai laughed loudly. He passed through the two men without even looking at them.
Although Qi Zixiao was the fifth most powerful expert in the world and, furthermore, had Hong Wu, the ninth most powerful expert with her, he was still not afraid of them.
Being the eighth most powerful expert in the world, he was definitely confident of himself. They hadn't fought before, who knew what would the outcome be?
Qi Zixiao was originally the seventh most powerful expert in the world, and didn't she kill Hua Sanliu, who was ranked the fifth in the world?
What's more, it's not as if he did not have any trump cards.
"Lu Pinghai, you really want to offend Her Majesty because of one Spirit Yuan Pill?" The two turned around their hands already on their swords.
"Although Qi Zixiao is powerful, I will not let her have my stuff just because she says so. Today, as a sign of respect to Qi Zixiao, I will let the two of you go if you do not act recklessly." Lu Pinghai grunted, swung his sleeve behind him and immediately the sleeve extended like a snake for a few meters. It directly wrapped around the sword hilts of the two men.
"Clang!" The two knives slashed at the sleeves but could not overcome the force exerted by the sleeve on the knives. Instead, their two swords were directed towards their own necks.
"Roar!" The two men bowed their heads at the same time. The two swords crisscrossed and slashed towards the sleeves which were on the hilts of their swords. But, they slashed their swords in vain.
That sleeve was like a living thing and loosened from the hilts. It then hit the two men heavily on the chests, causing them to move backward involuntarily. They went backwards for seven to eight steps before stopping and vomiting fresh blood.
"Eh?" Lu Pinghai snorted. These experts who had just attained the Spirit Wheel level could not even resist one strike from him, let alone being hit directly on the chest. But to his surprise, they were still standing over there.
These two that were sent here were already quite powerful, the aboriginals must have a lot of experts.
"To cultivate oneself is not easy, so today, I will let the both of you go," Lu Ping Hai said and disappeared into the woods.
The two glanced at each other and turned around to leave.
Since neither of them was a match for their opponent, they had to go back and report Lu Pinghai's rejection of their offer to the general.
Lu Pinghai entered the woods and finally sat down in an open space.
His old friend had lived here for several decades, and now he could not even find his grave.
But, this was also fine as nobody would disturb him.
By closing his eyes, he could visualize where he used to live.
"I am back to see you..." Lu Pinghai opened the wine jar, took a mouthful, and poured some on the ground.
Ren Baqian looked at the silver mirror in his hand and then at the smug looking craftsmen and Jiao Zuo. "How many days does it take for you to make a mirror? How stupid are you? Even the black-faced guy is smarter than you!"
Black-faced guy is another term for the wild boar.
Ren Baqian looked askance at the craftsman who answered him.
"Even one black-faced guy could do the job given in two days."
The few men shrugged their heads and quietly listened to the lecture. The row of big and strong men bowed their heads and stood like walls.
Ren Baqian rambled on for a long time before he finally said, "Everyone gets a reward of ten taels of silver and the monthly salary will be increased by one level."
Although these people were stupid to the point where it was beyond cure, they still managed to produce the silver mirror anyway. Scolding and rewards should be dispensed as warranted.
"Thank you, Sir!" Everyone beamed happily.
Ten taels of silver was equivalent to more than two months of their salary. Furthermore, their monthly salaries were increased by one level and that was also quite a handsome sum.
"Everyone, please take your leave." Ren Baqian let the craftsmen leave first before instructing Jiao Zuo on the important works to be done.
The most important were the concave and flat mirrors that would be used to make the solar furnace. After these tasks were completed, the iron ore mining problem at Mount Damo would be solved. Only then could the iron ore be sent via trade caravans to other countries and sold for cash.
In the following period of time, Ren Baqian would go to the glass factory in the morning, the palace at noon, and practice his martial arts in the afternoon.
After the glass making and silver-plating issues were resolved, things went more smoothly. Although the speed of glass production was not fast, it was better than it was at the start. The proportioning of the materials was also affirmed, there were less problems and one week later, there were enough completed concave and silver mirrors to fill two rooms.
Following this, Ren Baqian brought people to the glass factory every day to make a shelf with square frames made of wood, the center of the square frames was made of rattan cane and was concave in shape to fit the mirrors.
After which, the mirror would be affixed on it.
A few days later, during the afternoon, a group of about a hundred over people came bustling out of Lan City and went straight to the glass factory outside the city.
However, they didn't enter the newly built brick house but went to an open space by the side of the glass factory.
There was a big wooden platform with a shelf on it, measuring six meters high and twelve meters wide. A row of concave mirrors was fixed on it and a dazzling white light could be seen from afar. It was difficult to open one's eyes, and many people used their hands to block the white light from their eyes.
The empress came down from her carriage, followed by six high ranking officials: Shi Qing, Zhe Kouhai, Tu Wan, Tong Zhengye, and Qin Chuan. As long as they were available, they were pulled along by the empress.
Everyone wondered why the empress asked so many people to come and what exactly they were going to see.
At this moment, they saw the shelf and the concave mirror which displayed distorted images. Shi Qing, Zhe Kouhai, Tong Zhenye, and some others immediately knew what it was. It had actually been produced now, but they didn't know whether it would be the same as described by Sir Ren. If it was, it would be a happy occasion.
The rest of the people were looking curiously at that big piece of mirror.
"Isn't that a mirror?'
"I wonder what it's made of, it doesn't look like a bronze mirror and yet is so bright."
"But the reflections are not moving and don't look right. Look at the stones in the mirror, the images are distorted."
"Hey, the images make people look short. What a joke."
The empress looked at the big mirror in front and sized it up for a moment. Afterwards, she told Ren Baqian, "You can begin."
Ren Baqian was very relaxed, he had spent a lot of time building this. Now, it was the time for him to showcase it.
He hoped those idiots didn't mess things up.
After greeting him, thirty guards who normally served him ran to the side to carry thirty mirrors that measured two meters high by one meter wide. Then, they placed the mirrors on the ground, facing the direction of the shelf.
Following which, some people carried a four-meter-long iron bar which was as thick as the circumference of a bowl, and placed it standing upright on the ground.
Ren Baqian walked in front of the row of thirty flat mirrors. He adjusted the angle of one of them, reflecting the sun rays to the concave mirror on the shelf and then the focused beam of light from the concave mirror-reflected to the top of the iron bar.
As he adjusted the angle, the rest of the people followed suit and started to adjust the mirrors. From time to time, he helped everyone adjust the mirrors.
Initially, many people looked at him, but with the empress, Shi Qing, and company fixing their eyes at the top of the iron bar, more of them directed their eyes there and wondered what they would see.
But at once, they got the shock of their lives.
The top of the iron bar suddenly burst into flames without any cause.
One had to know that this was an iron bar. No one was blind, and they were certain that it was an iron bar from the heavy footsteps of the guards that had carried it over as well from the effort it to erect. But, how could an iron bar catch fire?
Even more surprising things were happening, the top of the iron bar not only caught fire but was also melting, and the red-hot liquid iron flowed down the bar.
Very soon, the tip of the iron bar was missing a portion.
Not only was it shocking for those who saw it for the first time, even Shi Qing and company were also surprised.
The previous time, it was just a disk of light which burnt a hole in a steel knife.
This time, it was the melting of an iron bar as thick as the mouth of a bowl, and the difficulty was ten to one hundred times more.
Therefore, several people who witnessed this personally were astonished.
"Your humble servant congratulates the empress and Dayao. This is a great contribution from Sir Ren, and Dayao shall not need to worry about the lack of iron for the next one hundred years," Shi Qing happily announced loudly.
After he opened his mouth, everyone reacted and one after another, and they congratulated the empress.
Although they didn't know what was happening, they could see for themselves the melting of the iron bar, which was as thick as the girth of a bowl.
In that case, Mount Damo could continuously be mined for fine iron, and they would no longer face the problem of a shortage in supply for the army. This was definitely a joyous occasion and very good news.
Ren Baqian contributed the most to this project, and in the eyes of many people, his status was elevated by a few levels.
Earlier, the empress did mention something about letting him run a school and ordinary disciples without innate talent from each family could be sent in. Nobody took it seriously, and many people didn't even consider it.
When the empress asked later on, they would say even though their disciples were not talented enough, putting their heart into martial arts training was enough.
However, based on what they saw at present, this guy really possessed some abilities.
Those families might as well send the ordinary disciples to the educational institution to try it out and see what they could learn.