"It's written on the imperial edict," Shi Hu pointed to the imperial edict and said.
Ren Baqian unrolled the imperial edict. There were tens of words on it, but he did not understand a single one of them.
Ren Baqian remembered just now, while Shi Hu was declaring the imperial edict, he said less than twenty words. When he counted the number of words on the imperial edict now, he realized there were at least fifty words.
"What's written on it?" Before Ren Baqian came here, he did not expect he would one day be illiterate. In any case, his English had reached Grade 4, and he could also understand one or two words of Japanese.
"I don't know," Shi Hu replied with a straight face. He looked trustworthy, but when Ren Baqian heard his words, he was dumbstruck.
"You don't know?" Ren Baqian almost yelled out these words.
"I am illiterate," Shi Hu spoke as thought it was a matter of course.
Ren Baqian's mouth gaped open, appearing as though his tonsil was going to pop out from within. Ren Baqian could not tell what Shi Hu's official position was. However, whenever Shi Hu escorted him to the imperial kitchen, he could see how much Caretaker Gou respected him.
Even the position of imperial guard would be too low for his status. Furthermore, the two soldiers just now were obviously working underneath him.
A person like him is illiterate?
"Then what you said just now"
"I am recounting what Her Majesty said," Shi Hu replied solemnly.
"Brother Shi, how much do you know about this position?" Ren Baqian asked after his face twitched for a long while.
"From what Her Majesty said just now, this is considered an official position in Dayao. This is the first time that an official position has been rewarded to someone. Its rank is Secondary class, Rank 8 and you will be receiving an official's salary." Shi Hu finally knew the answer to something. After saying "I don't know" so many times, he felt slightly embarrassed.
"What do I need to do then? And where do I stay?" Ren Baqian was still confused.
Currently, he stayed at the beast park. If he couldn't stay here anymore, then where would he stay? Without Teng Hulu and Tie Dao as followers, even if he had the stun baton, he still wouldn't feel safe.
"Her Majesty did mention something about these issues. Since you still have other responsibilities, you will continue to stay in the beast park. Every afternoon, you have to stand by at the Qingxin Palace Hall."
"Where's Qingxin Palace Hall?"
"It is the imperial library. Here is a token. Show it to the guards at the palace entrance and someone will bring you there," Shi Hu elaborated as he took out a token from his waist, "Don't lose it, you will need it when you enter and exit the imperial palace."
Ren Baqian extended his hand and took over the token. The token was small in size, but it was very heavy. It felt ice-cold. It was made up of an unknown metal, giving off a silvery luster.
No matter what, Ren Baqian felt very relieved because he could continue to stay in the beast park. He was more familiar with this place, and he felt safer staying here.
However, this also meant he would not have much free time in the future.
There was another thing he had to take note of, which was, he would disappear once every three days. Even though the empress knew about it and did not look into it, he still did not feel safe. It seemed that he had to display his worthiness just in case the empress wanted to behead him if she couldn't find him when she was in a bad mood.
"Thank you, Brother Shi. Brother Shi, please wait for me for a while." After Ren Baqian cupped his fists and thanked Shi Hu, he ran back to his house and grabbed a handful of silvers out. These fragmented silvers were what he had left with after he sawed those silver ingots previously.
According to what he learned from television series, he needed to tip the edict messenger at this point of time. From the perspective of human relations, it was definitely worth it to tip Shi Hu some silvers.
"Brother Ren is indeed thoughtful, thank you so much. Let's have a drink in the future together," Shi Hu chuckled and patted Ren Baqian's back. Then, he passed some of the silvers to the two guards behind him and said, "These are from Brother Ren, take them and buy yourself a drink later."
"Thank you, Sir Ren," the two soldiers smiled as they took over the silvers. Their gazes towards Ren Baqian were filled with kindness.
It seems like money does make the world go round everywhere.
Of course, they did that partly because of Shi Hu as well.
"I shan't stay any longer, I still need to report back." Shi Hu cupped his fists at Ren Baqian and left with the two soldiers.
After Shi Hu and the two soldiers had left, Teng Hulu and Tie Dao stepped forward and congratulated Ren Baqian, "Congratulations, Caretaker Ren. From today onwards, we have to call you Sir."
Ren Baqian felt the token with his hand. Even until now, he still could not believe what had just happened. Did he just become a Secondary class, Grade 8 official? His rank was even higher than Caretaker Shi's now.
However, for someone who merely held a position that drew an official salary like Ren Baqian, his power was still lesser than Caretaker Shi's.
But he was still an official.
Previously, he had told so many stories and did not ask for any rewards. However, today he was suddenly rewarded. He did not know whether was it because of the air cooler or his flattery that made this possible. A more likely explanation would be all the various contributions he had made.
Ren Baqian returned to his house and passed each of them some silvers. "Good fortune to both of you too."
Both held the silvers in their hands and giggled.
"Sir Ren's official robe isn't here yet. Since you have to be in the palace by noon, I guess it will come before noon," Teng Hulu said.
Ren Baqian nodded his head. He'd forgotten to ask about this issue just now. It seemed like he was really inexperienced.
Then, he asked curiously again, "What official position does Shi Hu hold?"
"He is an imperial guard but it seems like he is going to get promoted soon," Teng Hulu replied. Following which, he continued, "The position of imperial guard is ranked Secondary class, Grade 5. They are the most competent and fearsome warriors but they are not considered officials. Sir Ren is different from them."
Not long after, Caretaker Shi heard about the news and rushed over to congratulate Ren Baqian, "Congratulations, Sir Ren."
"Caretaker Shi, stop teasing me," Ren Baqian quickly said, "Continue to call me Brother Ren."
"I can't do that. Since your rank is higher than mine now, I have to call you that." Caretaker Shi laughed. "Today is a great day for Sir Ren, I will ask the cook to prepare a feast later so that everyone can get blessed by your fortune."
Upon hearing these words, Teng Hulu and Tie Dao immediately ran off to inform the cook.
"Alright, there's no one here now, you can call me Brother Ren now. This official position is rewarded to me, it pales in comparison to yours," Ren Baqian said.
"I will continue to call you Brother Ren then," Caretaker Shi said as he patted Ren Baqian's shoulder. He did not send Ren Baqian flying in the air but merely made him stumble.
Ren Baqian reckoned that his shoulder would be swollen later.
"By the way, Caretaker Shi, I'm afraid I can't hold my current position in the beast park anymore. The ice cellar will have to depend on you in the future, and those men too"
"I will settle the ice cellar. The three men working in the ice cellar will remain in their positions. As for the remaining seven men, five of them will follow you first. After all, you still need to take care of that plot of land. As for the remaining two men, I will arrange them to do other things," Caretaker Shi immediately replied.
"Thank you so much, let Teng Hulu and Tie Dao follow me," Ren Baqian smiled. He was already familiar with Teng Hulu and Tie Dao, and it was thus much easier for him to work with them.
He still had some tasks for them to do.
For example, tanning the animal hides. He still had to make a sofa.
Feeling the imperial edict in his hand, Ren Baqian cast a I-don't-expect-much look at Caretaker Shi and asked, "Caretaker Shi, are you literate?"
Caretaker Shi folded his arms and replied with a solemn look on his face, "What makes you think that I'm literate?"