The Empress's Gigolo Chapter 276
Chapter 276: Still Short Of Three People
Chapter 276: Still Short of Three People
Translator: YHHH Editor: X_X
In the guest room, Ren Baqian told Tong Zhenye about his purpose in coming. Tong Zhenye touched his beard and said, "I do have a little grandson who is eighteen this year, and he has got pretty good strength."
Ren Baqian had originally planned to find a few men with good enough strength, but he had never expected Tong Zhenye to actually have a grandson who fit the bill pretty well.
"But he seems to have already formed a team with a few friends..."
After Tong Zhenye had just spoken halfway, Ren Baqian immediately swallowed the words that he was about to say.
Why did you even suggest him when he already had a team, to show off that you have a grandson?
Ren Baqian started to feel that looking up this old chap Tong Zhenye was a mistake. This old man was basically not reliable at all.
"Otherwise, you can take Tong Lan along with you."
Ren Baqian almost spat out. He was going to grab lanterns. What was he going to do with a Lolita like her?
"You see, she is a little stronger than you, and at the very least, you can't beat her. She will probably think that you will inconvenience her, but she may actually agree if I were to step forth. There have also been female teams who have participated in lantern-grabbing contest in the past," Tong Zhenye replied as he spread out his arms.
Tong Zhenye's words made Ren Baqian speechless. He was truly no match for that Lolita.
"Lending me a few Earth Wheel level servants will do. People from your Ministry of Works will also suffice. As for Tong Lan, let's forget about her. It won't be good if she gets hurt by others while grabbing lanterns," Ren Baqian replied.
Tong Zhenye looked at Ren Baqian with a look of concern for the handicapped for a long time to the extent that even Ren Baqian felt uneasy. Tong Zhenye then spoke,
"Do you think that youngsters with that kind of strength are foolish? If they have that kind of strength at that age, they would have already enlisted into the army. They were worth nurturing in the army as well. How could it be possible for them to be servants? People around that age with that strength are mostly disciples of the court officials, or perhaps, someone particularly gifted from the commoners of Lan City. If those youngsters who had performed outstandingly in the lantern- grabbing contest every year didn't come from influential families, they would have immediately been enlisted in the army, public order bureau, or the Department of Inspection."
Ren Baqian was slightly distracted. The imperial bodyguards in the palace were all at the Earth Wheel level. He had gotten used to seeing them on a day-to-day basis and had forgotten about this point.
But, what he previously didn't know was the later portion of what Tong Zhenye mentioned. As it turned out, this lantern-grabbing contest actually served the purpose of recruiting the best of the gifted youngsters.
But at the thought of it, this indeed was a great method.
At this point in time, Ren Baqian actually thought of something. "Do we not have something like an imperial provincial examination?"
"What is an imperial provincial examination?" Tong Zhenye was baffled.
Ren Baqian roughly explained, and Tong Zhenye replied as he caressed his beard, "That is something like the martial arts trials in Great Xia."
But there truly weren't any martial arts trials in Dayao.
It was because Dayao had been through three emperors since the nation was founded seventy years ago.
The first was Ya Peng, who was also the founding emperor. In his time, it could be said that there were experts all over Dayao, and randomly picking anyone in the imperial court would lead to someone strong.
In addition, the aboriginal experts already had long life expectancies. There was no need to replace the old with the new like other nations. Everyone already had their own positions in the imperial court, so they didn't bother much with talent selection.
But, that batch of people had already disappeared as Ya Peng did.
According to what Ren Baqian said, they were overly obsessed with wanting to be immortals and had disappeared.
However, everyone knew that there was certainly something that people were unaware of. They had to probably reach Ya Peng's level before they could find out.
Over the years, Hong Wu's greatest wish was to find out why exactly those people left and where had they gone to.
According to his conjecture, they should be somewhere deep within the Sixty Thousand Mountains.
The second emperor was the former emperor. He had the longest reign of 42 years.
When he succeeded to the throne, it was also when Dayao was at its weakest. Almost all of the experts of the older generation had followed Ya Peng and had already left. At that point in time, he had actually selected some talents. Part of them was from the younger generation of those experts, such as Tong Zhenye and Hong Wu. Another group consisted of young experts chosen from the villages of the Sixty Thousand Mountains, who were now mainly in the protectorates.
Of which, one of the more well-known experts was the Protector General of the South, Xi Wangu, He was just slightly weaker compared to Hong Wu. However, Hong Wu was already over sixty years old this year while Xi Wangu was only in his forties.
It was believed that by the time Xi Wangu reached the present age of Hong Wu, he wouldn't be any weaker than him.
He was also very popular within the imperial court of Dayao, especially among the remnant citizens of the Hao Nation, whose expressions change immediately upon hearing his name.
After which, the next in line would be the empress.
There was one time that the former emperor went out and returned with serious injuries. He then entrusted the care of his child to Hong Wu and then promptly disappeared after that.
At present, the people in the imperial court were all still those that the former emperor had left behind.
Because of such reasons, Dayao didn't have a talent selection system like the imperial provincial examination in Great Xia.
Rather, it had something more along the lines of a recommendation-based system.
Apart from the historical reasons above, there was still another important point. There were too many commoners and there wasn't any real sort of culture. For them, the best opportunity for advancement was getting promoted step by step in somewhere like the army.
As for the disciples of those high-ranking officials in the imperial court, even though they weren't really cultured, they at least knew how to read. Since young, they have been subconsciously influenced by what they have seen and heard. As such, their level of knowledge was slightly broader. They were then sent to their individual departments after going through certain examinations.
After chatting for a while with Tong Zhenye, Ren Baqian finally understood some of Dayao's present methodologies.
All in all, the period of nation-building was too short. In addition, the life expectancy of the aboriginal experts was too long. For instance, people such as Hong Wu, Xi Wangu, Tong Zhenye, and Qin Chuan could live up to almost 200 years old. There was no need to worry about replacing the old with the new. As a result, no one was aware of this problem.
It would probably take several decades or even a hundred years before the hidden problem would reveal itself.
Ren Baqian and Tong Zhenye had a good chat. It was only when someone knocked on the door to inform it was lunchtime that Ren Baqian realized it was already noon. He then hurried back to the palace.
After this trip to the Tong Residence, there were three more people added to Ren Baqian's team: the little girl Tong Lan and two of Tong Zhenye's nephews.
Three imperial bodyguards from the palace and him would make up another four people, which meant that he was still short of three at present.
Ren Baqian pondered for a bit and thought of another person that he knew. But, he wasn't sure of that person's current situation and whether or not he already had a team.
It was Du Changkong, whom he had met during the Great Hunt. Back then, he took Ren Baqian's crossbow out to flaunt himself and ended up landing himself in a bunch of problems.
At that point in time, he was intending to give him something from Earth in exchange for a martial arts manual. It ended up not being useful as Ren Baqian had never seen him ever since then.
Even though this Du Changkong was a pig-ignorant teammate, Ren Baqian still had a pretty favorable impression of him.
The next day, Ren Baqian arrived at the Du Residence after asking around for a bit.
Ren Baqian was considered a rather well-known figure in Lan City. No matter where he went, everyone would immediately recognize who he was as soon as they saw those imperial bodyguards around him.
A gigolo, who walked around showing off a bunch of imperial bodyguards from the palace every day. Other than Ren Baqian, there wasn't anyone else like this.
"The second master just went out. Deputy Prefect Ren might want to wait here for a moment. I will go and find him now." The burly man, who was a substitute guard, replied as he cupped his hands.
"There's no need to do so. Just tell me where he went."
"He could be drinking at House Shanhuai now!" That burly man replied.
"House Shanhuai, what a weird name. Do you know where that is?" Ren Baqian asked as he turned his head around.
"It's on Jingyang street. It's run by people from the Shanhuai camp and on normal days, many children of the court officials hang around there," Xu Wei explained.
Ren Baqian nodded his head. "The location where children of the court officials gather!"
After a while, Ren Baqian showed up in front of a store with his bodyguards. The store was unremarkable and didn't have any sign-boards set up. There were only two square wooden boards hanging outside the door, one read wine while the other read meat.
"Pretty interesting indeed!" Ren Baqian laughed and told Xu Wei, "Go up there and get Du Changkong to come down. I won't be going up."
"That fellow actually came here." Someone looked down from the second floor and was surprised.
"Who?" The person beside stretched out to take a look as well. "How could it be him! Liu Ruoyao, your enemy is here."
"Liu Ruoyao has so many enemies, how will she know who it is." Someone at the side let out a hearty laughter, and the others followed as well.
Liu Ruoyao immediately grabbed a wine jar and threw it over. That person pushed the bottom of the jar with his bare hands and promptly redirected it from flying over horizontally to vertically upward. He then caught the falling wine jar and laughed. "Are you treating me to a drink? In that case, I shall not stand on courtesy."
"She gnashed her teeth as soon as she mentioned it. Unfortunately, it was that enemy that she couldn't do anything about!" He turned and stretched his head towards the window, speaking to the young person outside.
Instantly, more than ten people quietened down.
With those words said, everyone knew who that was. It was someone that everyone had recently been mentioning frequently.
Thereafter, everyone had this doubt in their minds, "What is he doing here?"
Is Du Changkong here?" Xu Wei went up to the second floor and asked.
Everybody's attention immediately shifted towards a mature looking man at the side. He was a burly man who looked as if he was around forty years old.
"Me?" Du Changkong pointed at himself in surprise. He had never thought that they were actually looking for him. It had been a long while, and he thought that he had long been forgotten by the other party already.
"Deputy Prefect Ren is inviting you down for a few words." Xu Wei cupped his hands in obeisance.