To Ren Baqian, forging iron was a much easier problem to resolve. It would be resolved as long as there was hydraulic power and a blast furnace was constructed. Even though it would require labor to lift the heavy hammer for forging, it would be more efficient compared to hammering on the iron repeatedly.
As long as there was sufficient steel, it would be possible to assign a breastplate to every soldier. Aboriginal warriors had great vitality and having a breastplate could also prevent many casualties. Moreover, it wouldn't hinder their mobility.
However, the food shortage problem was a little tricky for Ren Baqian.
New crops such as pumpkins, potatoes, and sweet potatoes had just been cultivated. At the very least, it would take six months before there would be a considerable amount to harvest. Only then could these crops be directed to the commoners, reducing their consumption of meat and supplementing the army in turn.
There was an issue which he hadn't realized before. With regard to the aboriginals, they had to eat a lot of meat to ensure that they had sufficient physical strength, especially in the battlefield. This was because the strength of an expert came from food. Moreover, the meat in this world contained the most substances which could be converted into the energy that they required.
Even if there was an increase in pumpkins and potatoes, they couldn't be used as staple foods. It was even more impossible for pumpkins and potatoes to be staple foods for the army.
If their diet only comprised of sweet potatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins, they wouldn't have time for other things anymore. After breakfast, they would have brunch. After brunch, they would have lunch. After lunch, they would have dinner, and after dinner, they would have supper.
Ren Baqian thought hard for quite some time. In this case, there was only one way to supplement the army's food supply; through fishing.
Aboriginals rarely ate fish. On the one hand, they were used to hunting and raising livestock and didn't have any habit of fishing. On the other hand, it was because the bones in the fish made it troublesome to eat.
In addition, unlike livestock, live fish couldn't be delivered elsewhere. With Dayao's weather, fish would probably rot in a day's time.
Therefore, unless one was along the river and there was a shortage of other food, fish was generally not on the Dayao people's menu.
Ren Baqian had a thought. The two reasons why the aboriginals didn't like fish could actually be solved in one way; canned fish, something similar to canned sardines, which could be crushed and eaten together under high-temperature production.
This was actually a feasible solution.
There were two options. One option was glass jars, which were easy to manufacture because the glass factory was already available. High heat would be applied after storing the fish in the glass jars. Wooden stoppers would then be put in place and sealed with wax after. Although the shelf life of these glass jars weren't as long as vacuum cans, it already sufficed.
The downside was that transporting these glass jars would be troublesome as the glass jars would be too heavy. Furthermore, these jars would need to be wrapped in layers of grass during the packing process. Otherwise, given the poor road conditions in Dayao, there would probably only be broken glass left when delivered.
Another option was tinned cans, but he didn't know if there were any tin ore mines in Dayao or not.
Furthermore, manufacturing tinned cans didn't only require iron and tin but also required many other components as well.
Seeing that he was frowning, the empress inquired about what was running through his mind. Then, Ren Baqian told her about the canned fish idea.
After the empress listened to what Ren Baqian said, the tip of her nose wrinkled. She seemed delighted. "This idea is pretty good. Glass jars will suffice. You can make them bigger. I still think that the jars on Earth are too small. It's not even sufficient for one mouthful."
Ren Baqian clapped his hands once. "That's right, it can be made into sturdier glass barrels and glass jars so it will be much easier to transport them. As expected, Your Majesty is exceptionally talented. You actually thought of such a good solution in just a short span of time. I didn't even think of that."
The empress was enjoying the praise with her tiny face looking slightly upward.
Ren Baqian felt that the empress was becoming more adorable, and this always made his heart stir. As such, it made him feel like giving her a kiss.
However, he had to return to Earth at night. In order to prevent himself from getting seriously injured, Ren Baqian decided to give up on this enticing thought of his.
"My intuition tells me that you were up to no good just now, right?" The empress gave him the side eye.
"Your Majesty... I have been wronged!"
That night, Ren Baqian returned to Earth and looked for an assistant that could prepare the examination questions. At the same time, he went online to search for the blueprint of a forging machine.
The academic progress, as well as the literacy level of these aboriginals, was probably around the standard of a fourth grader. As for mathematics, they were equivalent to a second grader. Physics and chemistry were subjects that had never learned before. Moreover, the students' progress in these two subjects weren't the same. As a result, Ren Baqian need not even think about using examination questions from a school to test them. He had to find someone to produce a set of specialized questions.
When the news of Ren Baqian searching for an assistant was noticed by the nation, they went through a thorough analysis again. After analyzing the aspects of gender, age, appearance, height, and personality, an assistant appeared by Ren Baqian's side a few days later.
According to the gender on the information given and the fact that she didn't have Adam's apple, the assistant should be a woman. Her voice, as well as the way she walked, was somewhat similar to a man. In addition, her appearance was masculine, and she was also flat chested.
This was the most appropriate candidate after a thorough analysis of many people.
When Ren Baqian saw this candidate, he somewhat didn't know what to say. Although the candidates before her were either average looking or busty, he had no choice but to give them up even though it was a yes in his heart.
But this person really exceeded his requirements, right?
In addition, she had a name that seemed like a guy's no matter how people looked at it: Shen Feng.
However, apart from this person's gender, all others aspects were in line with the requirements of Ren Baqian.
In the future, Ren Baqian just had to instruct "her" about what to do, and he wouldn't need to things himself anymore.
After thinking for a short while, he decided to hire her. Then, he returned to Dayao with the examination questions as well as the street lamps.
Over the past two days, Ren Baqian hesitated about whether he should bring the street lamps or salt back to the other world. He could only bring back 600 catties of salt per trip, which was utterly inadequate for Dayao.
He had to ensure that more than 30 million people could consume salt, and the monthly salt consumption in Dayao was about 2 million catties. This was according to the current situation where the people in Dayao only consumed half of what a commoner on Earth would consume.
If he wanted to attain the normal salt intake level for the people of Dayao, it would be at least 4 million catties worth of salt.
Each month, he would return to Earth once every five days after teaching at the Black Bamboo Academy. At most, he could only bring back about 2,600 catties of salt each time, and it wasn't a substantial amount.
It was still better to settle the street lamps in the palace first.
As for the salt, he would go to the black pool to take a look. If he couldn't obtain any salt from there, Dayao could only resort to stealing from the Yun Nation.
After the court session on the first day, the court officials in Dayao continued to discuss the situation over the next few days. The plan of attacking the Yun Nation was practically set.
On the contrary, nobody considered attacking Great Xia anymore. In any case, they adopted measures appropriate to the actual situation.
Contrary to everyone's expectations, Gu Zicheng was actually not sacrificed to the gods but sent to the prison. Everyone in the entire embassy was sent to prison. Only one person was sent back to Great Xia with a letter of credence.
However, everyone understood that the day Great Xia invaded Dayao was also the day Gu Zichen would be sacrificed to the gods.
It was time for a legend like him, who had lived for so long, to lose his life.
On the fourth day, when everyone was in discussion, there was news from Ping City. Three days ago, Great Xia had increased their troop numbers by an additional 200,000 soldiers at Tiesuo Pass, Qingyang Pass, and Yunluo City. They were on the brink of stirring up trouble.
On the same day the empress was interrogated by Great Xia's emperor, the reinforcement of Great Xia's soldiers had already arrived. Furthermore, they traveled overnight.
Over the past few days, the soldiers at the Protectorate of the North found that it was now smokier in these three cities than before. The drone that Ren Baqian left behind was used and detected the smoke from a high altitude.
The reinforcement of Great Xia's soldiers came much faster than everyone had expected. From this, it also showed that what Ren Baqian said about the emperor of Great Xia was right; the emperor was just finding an excuse to send soldiers and didn't care about the empress's explanation at all. From his perspective, the war was already imperative.
Dayao, however, absolutely didn't think of explaining themselves either.