Ren Baqian was completely absorbed by the story. He thought about the military advisor's prowess, about how he single-handedly orchestrated the destruction of a nation, and about how he played them all for fools. Ren Baqian could not help but feel admiration for him.
"What happened next?" Ren Baqian asked, curious about what happened to the military advisor. Surely someone as awesome as him had an exit plan? Also, why did he do such a thing?
Having revealed everything, the smiling military advisor killed himself by ingesting poison amidst everyone else's hatred. After the military advisor's death, Ya Peng found several pieces of paper in his room detailing his plans and reasons.
Ren Baqian was not expecting such an ending. The military advisor actually killed himself with poison.
"Although, some people claim that they've seen him in other places. Who knows, perhaps he faked his death." Tie Dao shrugged.
Ren Baqian believed that this was the true ending. After all, how could someone with such meticulous schemes die just like that? Maybe he really faked his death to escape and traveled the world with a concealed identity.
"Caretaker Ren, do you know why Her Majesty's surname is Qi?" Teng Hulu chuckled.
Ren Baqian knew that Teng Hulu's question probably had something to do with the story he had just heard. He suddenly had a flash of inspiration, "Could it be that the military advisor had the same surname?"
"Not bad. The first emperor had nothing more to lose after the death of his entire family, and did not expect himself to end up as an emperor. After the military advisor's death, he changed his surname to Qi. Some people believe that he made this change because of those papers that he found.
"What was written on those papers?" Ren Baqian asked inquisitively. He was keen to know why the military advisor would do something like this, even giving up his life for the cause.
It could not simply be because he was a pure, noble, and morally upright individual who had transcended beyond earthly desires. He could not simply have plotted this to bring up the aboriginals for their benefit, could he?
"No idea, Her Majesty is probably the only person who knows now." Teng Hulu shook his head. "Rumors say that he was half a Hao Nation citizen and half aboriginal."
"How do you guys know this much?" Ren Baqian asked curiously. Logically speaking, such information should not be common knowledge, should it?
"My ancestors fought in one of the armies that sieged the palace," Teng Hulu answered. "He told my grandfather, and my grandfather passed the story on to me."
"The same goes for me," Tie Dao nodded.
"What happened to the people of the Hao Nation and the rebel soldiers?" Ren Baqian continued.
"Some of them went to the Yun Nation, the Chen Nation and Great Xia. Others went to live in the South." Teng Hulu replied.
"They're in the South? Are they considered as Dayao citizens?" Ren Baqian was curious. He had nothing to hide since all of them knew that he was an outsider who knew nothing about Dayao anyway. And so, he asked away.
"The large plains near the Sixty Thousand Mountain range belongs to Dayao. They have a population similar to the aboriginals of Dayao. Although they are people of Dayao, they aren't exactly contented with being so." Teng Hulu was slightly uncertain at first, but his eyes revealed a bitter hatred when he mentioned their discontent. Tie Dao laughed bitterly at the side.
This was the first time Ren Baqian saw such an expression on their faces.|
Looks like there is conflict between the aboriginals and the people who came from the Hao Nation.
Although, this was not particularly surprising. As much as the Hao emperor was a ruthless tyrant, they were still a civilized nation. Surely getting decimated by a bunch of barbarians would make them thoroughly dissatisfied.
The same could be seen in the ancient China, where anti-Qing sentiments were aplenty.
Ren Baqian felt some pity for the citizens of the Hao Nation, but he was now on the side of the aboriginals. Furthermore, he had just begun to integrate into their society.
All Ren Baqian could do was silently feel sorry for them in his heart, since they both shared a similar history. Furthermore, he did not identify with the Hao Nation, but instead was slightly more aligned with the aboriginals.
Ren Baqian counted his heart. Dayao had thirty to forty thousand citizens, but he was not sure if that number included those remnant citizens from the Hao Nation. After asking, he found out that they were included, which meant that there were only around ten to twenty thousand citizens who were descendants of the aboriginals. What's more, a large number of them still lived in the mountains.
No one was sure how many aboriginals still lived in the Sixty Thousand Mountains today. The mountain range was too vast and became steeper the deeper one went. In addition, the wild beasts became stronger and more numerous as well. Nobody had crossed the mountain range and seen the other side before.
The aboriginals counted today included only those from strongholds that had participated in the war.
Ren Baqian went on to ask some more questions and managed to solicit answers from both Tie Dao and Teng Hulu. Ren Baqian now had a better understanding of Dayao.
Both the rebels and citizens of the Hao Nation subsequently joined forces and fought against the aboriginals three times. They lost all three of these massive battles, losing practically all fighting capability. After these battles, Great Xia took advantage of the situation and immediately conquered several border cities. If not for the fact that the aboriginals had suffered severe casualties and that the other nations had begun to stir, everyone who was originally from the Hao Nation would probably have been wiped out.
Under these circumstances, both sides took a step back. The rebels and the Hao Nation citizens lived in the South as an autonomous region, which was something the military advisor had advised in his papers.
The region was governed by their own people, and they were allowed to keep a small army. Military equipment and army size restrictions were strictly enforced, and the area they could control was limited to the size of a city.
The aboriginals treated them in rather laissez faire manner with regards to other issues and were not strict in enforcing other rules.
Dayao, as a whole, retained its down-to-earth culture, treating those who were from the Hao Nation well. After all, they only resented the Hao Nation's emperor and not its ordinary citizens.
It became a situation where they were left to govern themselves. The aboriginals could not be bothered to interfere with their affairs as long as they did not cause trouble or try anything funny. If the Hao Nation people really did attempt something, the aboriginal army will descend upon them like a locust swarm.
Even though that was the case, there were still people who did not give up and played dirty tricks from time to time. Coupled with the blood feud from that time, the conflicts have become more intense over the years.
Without a doubt, there was one most important point among everything that had happened. Not a single Hao Nation remnant citizen was an official in the imperial palace. The highest position that a Hao Nation remnant citizen could ever accomplish would be the warlord of a city, guarding a piece of land which is about one mu in size. The Hao Nation remnant citizens rarely lived in other parts of Dayao, and both parties did not live in harmony. It seemed that the aboriginals did not have any concerns over that and did not have any plans to integrate the other party either. This was also one of the reasons why they ultimately remained unsettled with one another.
After all, there were always ambitious people who weren't satisfied with just the position of a warlord. All in all, a warlord would always remain in that one mu of land, and there would always be someone who wanted the vast opportunities out there.
However, these were things that Ren Baqian need not worry about.
From these past events, Ren Baqian could roughly guess why the empress had such a huge reaction after listening to the Investiture of The Gods.
There were many similarities with what the aboriginals had experienced in the past.
The three of them were seated and chatting when three burly men dressed as imperial guards walked towards them. The first guard was Shi Hu. Just as Ren Baqian got up to welcome him, he heard Shi Hu said, "Ren Baqian, receive the imperial edict!"
Ren Baqian was confused upon hearing Shi Hu's words. He completely did not know what to do. Was he supposed to kneel on one knee, two knees, or stand to receive the imperial edict? He no experience whatsoever on this.
"Caretaker Ren, kneel on one knee to receive the imperial edict," Shi Hu understood about Ren Baqian's situation and whispered to him.
Ren Baqian immediately followed accordingly.
Only then did Shi Hu pull open a scroll with a border that had a black edge and a white center, "Imperial order from the Dayao's empress! Ren Baqian will be appointed as the Storyteller of Qingxin Palace Hall! End of order!"
A blank look appeared on Ren Baqian's face after hearing what Shi Hu said.
What did Shi Hu mean by Storyteller of Qingxin Palace Hall?
Don't tell me that there is an official position that is in charge of telling stories to the empress?
"Caretaker Ren, still not receiving the imperial edict?" Shi Hu said in his low voice.
"I, Her Majesty's loyal subject receives the imperial edict." Ren Baqian hurriedly lifted both of his hands according to how they acted.
Upon receiving that scroll, Ren Baqian was still muddle-headed. He wasn't sure of the situation right now.
It is certain that I have been promoted.
Originally, I was still a Wei ru liu, but now, I am even able to receive the imperial edict.
This was definitely getting promoted to an official.
What will happen next? What am I supposed to do? Where will I live?
"Sir Ren, congratulations." Shi Hu cupped his fist in one hand and changed the way he called Ren Baqian.
"Brother Shi, please do not call me Sir at all means. It is still better to call me Brother Ren." Ren Baqian pulled Shi Hu aside. At the same time, he asked, "Brother Shi, what official position is this?"
Shi Hu's shook his head with a queer expression on his face, "I don't know."
Ren Baqian was flabbergasted. Even Shi Hu didn't know? It couldn't be that the empress specially gave him a title for storytelling just because she wanted to listen to more stories?