Ren Baqian couldn't help but to say that the basic quality of education in Dayao was worrying. Regardless of what people said, it had been seventy years since the founding of Dayao. To one's surprise, only a small number of people were literate. Take a look at China, the literacy rate had not been considered high before the founding of the nation. But seventy years down the road, although not everyone was literate, the figures did not deviate much.
In any case, Caretaker Shi was a major caretaker in the beast park and his position was of Secondary class, Rank 9. He had dozens of underlings, and including the family members of the odd-job workers in the beast park, they totaled to more than a hundred people. He was actually illiterate? Also, Shi Hu from a moment ago was ranked Secondary class, Grade 5. He was an imperial guard, yet he was illiterate.
Ren Baqian seriously doubted their ability to convey the messages of the official correspondences. They couldn't always rely on someone literate to dictate the message for them.
When noon was approaching, two other people from the palace delivered Ren Baqian's official robe.
It was a slant-collared, layered robe which was mainly black, whereas the collar and the sleeves were red. There was also a bird motif on the robe, and the material was so much softer than the one Ren Baqian was currently wearing. Moreover, there was a soft touch to the fabric, which was also similar to silk.
The style of this robe differed from the wide Chinese-styled gowns with huge sleeves that were worn during ancient China times. Although the robe was slightly longer and ended at his knees, the sleeves were only slightly wider than the normal clothes he wore on Earth.
After putting the robe on, Ren Baqian couldn't see if it looked good on him. However, the ventilation and snugness of the robe was a notch above the previous one he wore.
The only thing that made him felt uncomfortable was that he was a little fat.
The people in Dayao were all tall and sturdy and had arms that were thick enough for them to use as legs. Ren Baqian's physique paled in comparison to them, and the robe looked quite ill-fitting on him.
Caretaker Shi stared blankly at Ren Baqian after he stepped out from changing into the robe. Soon after, he burst into laughter.
Ren Baqian became a little nervous due to his laughter. Did he wear the robe wrongly?
"Come and find me tonight. I'll get someone to alter it for you." Caretaker Shi burst into a loud laughter.
Ren Baqian gestured at the loose and baggy official robe on him. He roughly knew what Caretaker Shi was laughing at.
Donning such a huge robe, Ren Baqian reckoned that he must look like a monkey wearing a Chinese-styled gown.
But Ren Baqian had to make a trip to Qingxin Palace Hall this afternoon. It seemed like he only could alter the robe after he returned.
At noon he had a meal with everyone to celebrate his promotion. Although it was said to be a celebration for him, the dishes prepared were no different from their daily meals. They simply added more spices in to make the dishes more fragrant and savory.
On the contrary, the banquet was bustling with noise and excitement. Even though Ren Baqian had not stayed here for a long period of time, he managed to assimilate with everyone during the initial period when he arrived at this world.
Ren Baqian had a warm fuzzy feeling in his heart upon receiving everyone's heartfelt congratulations.
This bunch of people were really too adorable.
Ren Baqian who was lamenting just a minute ago, immediately brought the stool up to protect his chest area and shouted, "Who's slapping me with the dirty claw?"
His expressed a whoever-dared-to-hit-me-with-their-oily-claw-again-I-will-smash-your-face with-the-wooden-stool-on-him face.
After the meal, Ren Baqian cupped his hands in salute towards everyone and entered the palace with a body full of claw marks. He had no choice as they only gave him one set of official robes, so he couldn't even change out if he wanted to. Besides, time was up. Ren Baqian clenched his teeth and headed towards the palace.
Luckily, the oily claw marks on the black shirt were more obvious under sunlight. They were not exactly visible indoors without close observation.
Ren Baqian handed the token to the guards at the palace entrance for examination, and two of them had him wait. One of the guards brought the token into the palace for a couple of minutes before returning empty handed.
Ren Baqian and the two guards then waited outside, exchanging glances occasionally.
The two guards twitched as they looked at Ren Baqian, clad in an oversized official robe with oily claw marks on his face which glistened under the sunlight.
Should they have not known that they represented the image of the palace and had to maintain their behavior, they would have lain laughing on the ground.
Ren Baqian could not see how he looked like, so he ignored them. This set of clothes was quite comfortable anyway.
After waiting for a while, a mid-thirty to forty year old who seemed like a female official scurried out from the palace. She sized Ren Baqian up and almost burst out laughing.
"You, follow me," The female official said, throwing the token back to Ren Baqian as she tried to control her laughter.
As Ren Baqian entered the doors, he heard two voices laughing behind him.
You guys could have at least waited for me to walk further before laughing, right?
If not, what is the point of keeping it in the whole time just now?
So it's okay to laugh once I turn my back?
If I were to turn my back on them just now, they wouldn't have to keep it in this long.
"How do I address you, Madam?" Ren Baqian turned around and asked cautiously. He did not know the identity of the person in front of him. However, as he was now an official awarded by the empress, he might have to enter the palace frequently in future. Hence, it was better if he maintained good relationships regardless of who it was with.
"Don't call me Madam, you can call me Secretary Shi. Secretary is my position." Accountant Shi replied as she glanced back at Ren Baqian.
"I got it." Ren Baqian nodded. Seemed like Shi was quite a common family name.
Not knowing the other party's character, Ren Baqian dared not say more. The duo walked silently and arrived at one of the palace hall. Secretary Shi stopped in her tracks, turned around and said, "We are here. Just enter with the token."
"Many thanks." Ren Baqian cupped his hands and walked towards the palace hall.
This palace hall was two-stories high. It appeared rather tall and occupied a significant amount of space.
After he pushed open the doors and entered the palace hall, Ren Baqian saw a sixteen to seventeen year ago girl seated at the back of a table. She wore something similar to what the female official had worn just now and had a book held together by nails in her hand.
She seemed very serious.
That would be the case only if her saliva did not trickle down from her mouth.
Ren Baqian felt that this girl was a talent as she was able to sit so upright with a book in her hand, and in addition to that, she could sleep so soundly without knowing that someone entered the palace hall.
What made Ren Baqian astonished was, this girl was actually a female official at such a young age?
Seeing that she was sleeping so soundly, Ren Baqian did not disturb her. He looked at her carefully and noticed that she was rather good looking. As compared to the Dayao girls he saw in general, this girl gave off a slightly warmer and gentler vibe.
He did not know if it was due to a lack of exposure to sunlight that her skin tone was slightly fairer. Furthermore, her forehead appeared to be less manly and unruly as well.
Following which, Ren Baqian checked out the palace hall again. He saw that there were rows of rooms within the palace halls. The position he was currently standing at was in a 3-meter-wide passageway which was slightly broader.
The rooms on both sides were all made from wood fretwork. Ren Baqian could see that there were many shelves inside, and on them were many scrolls and a few books that were made from either paper or animal hides. He reckoned that all of them were records.
With that said, this is the library.
After sizing up the place, Ren Baqian had nothing to do again. He leaned against the wall and stared blankly into space.
After God knows how long, the book in the girl's hand fell to the floor.
The girl was awoken from her sleep. She promptly wiped her drool and bent down to pick the book up and exhaled deeply. Fortunately, there was no one to witness what had happened to her.
After which, she saw a man who was flashing a "good-natured" smile at her.
"Ah!" That girl opened her eyes widely as if she was a frightened cat.
Ren Baqian promptly took the token out and flashed it for the other party to see, "I'm the newcomer today."
"Oh, I have recalled it." The girl suddenly realized and subsequently hammered her own head. "For a moment, I forgot about it."
"You are the new Storyteller of Qingxin Palace Hall who will start his duties today, right?" The girl said. Following which, she raised her head and continued, "Why did you not call out to me when you arrived?"
It seemed like she was ashamed of her sleeping and drooling image just now.
"I saw you sleeping very soundly and did not have the cheek to call you." Ren Baqian grinned.
The girl glared at him "very fiercely".
However, as compared to other people, the deterrence of this "very fierce" person in front of him was more or less similar to a kitten.