The next afternoon, a party of people arrived at Nine-peaked Mountain.
Ren Baqian alighted from his carriage and asked some guards to locate the luoweng horn. Then, he raised his head and examined the mountain range ahead of him. The ridges and peaks on this mountain range overlapped each other. Ren Baqian did not know exactly how long the mountain range was. It merely looked extremely vast to him. The tall trees and the dense prehistoric forest gave the mountain range an aura of savagery.
In the distance, the tallest of the nine peaks looked as though it was touching the sky. This must be how the name "Nine-peaked Mountain" came about.
Sweet-sounding chirps could be heard in the forest. Every now and then, Ren Baqian would see a few birds flying out of the forest.
"Teacher, what are we doing here?" Shi Gan walked beside Ren Baqian and asked. The rest of the students dismounted from their beasts to stretch their bodies.
Tong Lan was standing on her horned cow while checking out her surroundings. The lapels of her jacket were fluttering in the wind, making her look like a delicate fairy.
It was a pity that she was a short-legged fairy.
"You will know very soon," Ren Baqian replied.
From the future historical records of Dayao: "Dayao, 71st Year. The great pioneer, scientist, and educator Ren Baqian led 24 useless students to Nine-peaked Mountain and successfully built salt wells, solving the problem of salt scarcity in Dayao..."
Such a scene appeared in Ren Baqian's mind.
However, just in case things did not work out and he was slapped in the face, he felt that he shouldn't say too much.
The guards quickly located the luoweng horn. A few hundred meters away, there was a 1.5-meter-tall wooden pole. A 60-centimeter-long horn was hung on top of it. One of its ends was thick and the other end was thin. It was entirely brown in color with its surface divided into sections by red rings.
"This is a good-quality luoweng horn," Shi Hui picked up the horn and said.
"Why do you say that?" Ren Baqian asked with curiosity.
"A new ring would grow on the surface of a luoweng horn every eight years. This luoweng horn has 16 rings, which means it is at least 100 years old," Shi Hui explained.
Ren Baqian nodded. It was like growth rings of a tree.
The fact that Shi Hui was able to multiply 16 by eight so fast surprised Ren Baqian greatly. He realized Shi Hui was quite gifted in mathematics.
Following which, Shi Hui placed the thin end of the luoweng horn into his mouth and blew it with force.
The sound produced by the luoweng horn wasn't as deep as a cow horn's. It was very sharp, resembling the screech of an eagle.
Ren Baqian covered his ears. The sound of this thing was very loud and pointed, giving him a severe headache.
After quite some time, a howl came from the distance. It was produced by a human.
"This means that they have heard us and are on their way to receive us," Shi Hu told Ren Baqian.
"What if we were enemies?" Ren Baqian asked.
"When an enemy blows the luoweng horn, a different pitch will be produced. One needs a special technique to blow this thing; outsiders would not know how to blow it. Furthermore, aboriginals won't resort to deception such as pretending to be friendly," Shi Wu explained.
Ren Baqian always felt human nature was unpredictable. There could never be too much deception in war; anything could happen.
However, it seemed that aboriginals seldomly resort to deception.
Maybe it had something to do with their stupidity.
Of course, this was just a joke. In reality, aboriginals had their own set of etiquette and rules that they abided by. For many years, this set of etiquette and rules was strictly followed by everyone.
Furthermore, aboriginals were honest and straightforward people. Therefore, they seldomly resorted to deception.
This was also related to the lifestyle they lived in the mountain in the past. If their reputation was damaged, they would be ostracized by other strongholds. If that happened, no one would help them when they encountered trouble, and they would soon cease to exist.
As time passed, some rules had become inviolable.
These rules were strictly followed even outside of the mountains.
After one hour, another howl resounded through the air from the forest. This time around, the source of the howl was much closer to them and about a few hundred meters away from them.
"This is to check the identity of the visitor," Shi Wu explained.
Following which, he blew the luoweng horn and let out a sharp screech again.
After another few minutes, rustling sound could be heard from the forest. Subsequently, two figures appeared in front of them.
"You're Her Majesty's men?" one of them yelled.
The two men looked approximately 40 years old. They were wearing only a pair of animal-hide underpants, and their naked upper bodies were packed with bronze muscles. They each wore a necklace of fangs on their necks and carried a bow on their backs.
"This is Sir Ren and these are his students. They are from the Black Bamboo Academy. I am an imperial guard and this is my token." Shi Hu flashed a token in his hand.
The two men stepped out of the forest. Instead of looking at Shi Hu's token, they examined everyone closely.
"He is not an aboriginal?" one of the muscular men pointed at Ren Baqian and asked.
"Sir Ren has personally been chosen by Her Majesty to be her husband. He is also the principal of Black Bamboo Academy. This place is not too far from Lan City, so you should have heard of him before," Shi Hu answered.
"Oh, it's him!" That man scratched his head. "I did hear of him, but I didn't quite believe it before."
Following which, he examined Ren Baqian and shook his head. "Too skinny."
Clearly, he was wondering why the empress would choose such a weakling as her husband.
Ren Baqian was 1.75 meters tall and weighed nearly 90 kilograms. Due to the training and beatings he received every day, solid muscles had developed throughout his body as a result.
On Earth, he would be considered a muscular man.
However, in the eyes of these aboriginals, he still looked skinny like a girl. He completely failed to fulfill their aesthetic conception of a man.
His shoulders had to be broader and his arms had to be so thick that they could be used for walking before the aboriginals would consider him to be a normal man.
"Previously, I met a girl called Na Gu from your stronghold." Ren Baqian finally recalled that girl's name after constantly thinking about it on the way here. "I told her about it back then, and that's why we came here today."
"Is it?" That muscular man continued to scratch his head.
"What's your purpose for coming here?" the other muscular man asked. Ren Baqian's party had a total of 70 plus people. Other than Ren Baqian, the rest of them were aboriginals and were equipped with sabers and armor.
In Dayao, only rich people or officials could afford these sabers.
Ordinary people already treated daggers as their family treasures.
However, these two men weren't really afraid of Ren Baqian and his party. Just like the aboriginals that Ren Baqian had encountered on his trip to Mount Damo, these people did not fear officials at all. They did not even show the slightest bit of respect to them. It was as though they treated the officials like people from other strongholds.
Most people living in the mountain behaved like this.
After all, the late emperor originated from the mountains.
Only the people living in the city, who often came into contact with the outside world, would have some respect for the officials.
"I heard that there is a place here called the Black Pool. I want to go there and take a look," Ren Baqian said.
"What's so nice about that poisonous pool?" one of the burly men mumbled. Then, he said to everyone, "Follow me, but that thing can't be brought up to the mountain."
He was pointing at the carriage.
"We can leave it here," Ren Baqian did not mind and replied.
Following which, that burly man led everyone onto a dirt path beside them and explained, "The path where we came from just now is more suitable for descending from the mountain. There is another path that is more suitable for ascending the mountain."
After walking along the dirt path for a few hundred meters, the burly man led them into the forest. Ren Baqian ordered some people to carry the radio station, the solar panel, and the rest of the equipment. He left only two people to take care of the carriage.
Ren Baqian and his party entered the forest. Immediately after they entered the forest, the students ran and jumped around like monkeys.
Even though they had grown up in Lan City, they were instinctively close to the forest.
Tong Lan stepped on a tree trunk and jumped onto a tree branch. Then, she acted like a female Tarzan in front of Ren Baqian.
"Come and chase me!" Tong Lan turned around and laughed at the students behind her.
Propping one hand against the tree branch beneath her, she leaped into the air, flipped, and landed on another tree. Following which, she jumped toward another tree. Along the way, she did not forget to make an ugly face at Ren Baqian.
Ren Baqian looked up, saw her making an ugly face at him, and casually raised the camera hanging around his neck. He watched on as Tong Lan jumped toward another tree and smashed into the tree trunk...
The tree trunk, which had a circumference equivalent to the wingspan of two people, trembled slightly, causing a piece of leaf and two unlucky snakes to fall from the tree branch.
"Mmph!" Tong Lan leaped onto the branch of another tree and covered her nose with her hand. Her eyes were brimming with tears, and she couldn't help but shed a tear.
She was a genius, so how could she cry?
Ren Baqian put down the camera with satisfaction. He had already taken another picture of Tong Lan's dark history.
After walking a few hundred meters in the forest, they saw a small path ahead of them. It was unknown whether the path was made by humans or wild beasts.
Every now and then, they would hear the sound of small animals fleeing away in alarm from the bushes around them, causing a few students to chase after them. After a while, they saw Du Laoliu return with a deer-like animal in his hands. Its large eyes were glimmering with tears, appearing extremely pitiful.
Tong Lan immediately jumped down from the tree. "So cute!"
"It's quite cute." Ren Baqian nodded. "Let's eat it for dinner."
"Yeah!" Lin Qiaole, who was initially sleepwalking, almost drooled when she heard about food.
After walking for about four hours, Ren Baqian and his party finally got out of the forest. They then saw a place in the distance enclosed by a wooden fence. There was also a huge wooden door that had already been opened.
Inside the enclosure, there were two tall turrets.
Ahead of Ren Baqian and his party, there was a brook. The crystal-clear water of the brook refreshed everyone.
Several students instantly ran to the brook with excitement to wash their faces and drink from it. After walking in the forest and climbing up and down the trees for so long, all of them were thirsty.
"Ah!" Before all of the students had run over to the brook in excitement, they saw a student swinging his hand. A fish that was slightly bigger than a finger was biting one of his fingers.
"Finger-biting fish taste quite good, but they are too small." One of the burly men that led Ren Baqian and his party chuckled.
"Taste quite good?" Ren Baqian rubbed his chin. The citizens of Dayao seldom ate fish.
"Are there a lot of them in the brook? Are they easy to catch?" Ren Baqian asked.
"There are quite a lot of them in the brook. If you want to catch them, all you need to do is place your finger in the brook and they will bite it without letting go. When the harvest is bad, the children in the stronghold will come here to catch the finger-biting fish."
Ren Baqian looked at the students around him and felt that he would be able to taste the so-called finger-biting fish soon.
He had always been very satisfied with the food in this world. This world had delicious food that couldn't be found on Earth.