The words in this world resembled pictograms. Even though they were different from Chinese characters and it would take some time for one to learn to write, it actually wasn't that hard for one to learn to read.
This could be done as long as one did a side by side comparison with Chinese characters.
This could save a huge amount of time and effort.
Ren Baqian's main target was to learn how to read, not to write.
Every time Lin Qiaole wrote a word, Ren Baqian would compare it with a Chinese character in his head, write it down twice, nod his head, and say, "Alright, I get it, next one."
In an afternoon, Ren Baqian had learnt forty to fifty words. Lin Qiaole was slightly surprised at him.
"You really remember all of them?" Lin Qiaole asked curiously.
Ren Baqian took out the words he had written down just now and pointed to them and said, "This is 'Da', this is 'Yao', this is 'majesty', this is 'your',..."
After repeating all the words he had learned, he folded his arms and looked at Lin Qiaole, whose mouth was agape in amazement. A sense of pride arose in Ren Baqian's heart.
Given his current learning speed, he could learn most of the words in two months' time. After all, there were only three thousand plus Chinese characters that were frequently used. As long as he could learn approximately three thousand words, he would not be illiterate in this world anymore.
That night, he went to tell story to the empress for a while. The second day, he brought some White Rabbit Creamy Candies to Lin Qiaole and learned how to read from her again.
Ren Baqian did not know whether or not his eyes were playing tricks on him. It seemed that every time Lin Qiaole looked at him, her eyes would twinkle.
Perhaps she is shocked by my superb learning speed? Ren Baqian felt pleased with himself.
After all, he was a university graduate. There was nothing surprising about his superb learning speed shocking a girl from this world.
When Ren Baqian thought of this, he collected his thoughts and focused on learning again.
By night time, he finally understood why Lin Qiaole's eyes were twinkling.
The empress was lying on her couch. With a graceful hand movement, a White Rabbit Creamy Candy appeared in her hand out of nowhere. When Ren Baqian saw the candy in empress's hand, his eyes almost popped out. How did the candy fall into the empress's hands?
Lin Qiaole that silly-looking girl betrayed him? Even though they were just candies, they weren't something that could be found in Dayao. Instead of offering the candies to the empress, he used them to bribe Lin Qiaole, what would the empress think of him?
Looking at the empress tore open the candy wrapper and placing the milk candy into her red lips, Ren Baqian almost choked on his saliva. He took three steps forward and raised a handful of milk candies above his head and said, "Subject has a gift for Your Majesty. I have obtained these milk candies with blood, sweat and tears. Even though they are not really precious, they are exquisitely made, fragrant and sweet. I don't dare to keep them for my own, so I come here specially to present them to Your Majesty."
Qing Yuan hid her smile and took over the handful of milk candies from Ren Baqian. The empress shifted her gaze to Ren Baqian and said, "Thankfully, you're smart. What are these candies called again?"
"Milk candies!" Ren Baqian wiped off the sweat on his forehead. Luckily, he brought extra milk candies with him today, otherwise, he would not have passed this stage. Sometimes, he would finish eating the candies by himself very fast.
"From today onwards, offer one dou of this candy every month," the empress casually said.
"Yes," Ren Baqian lowered his head and replied in a well-behaved tone. One dou was equivalent to approximately six catties.
Was she trying to eat the milk candies as though they are staple food?
What if the empress eats a White Rabbit Creamy Candy every time she duels with other people in the future? Wait, this scene didn't seem right...
Today while Ren Baqian was telling the story Investiture of the Gods, he noticed the empress's mouth had never stopped moving. Every few minutes, she would place a milk candy into her mouth, looking as though she extremely enjoyed and loved the candy.
This made Ren Baqian realized that Her Majesty had a unique characteristic, that was, she was fond of eating sweet food.
Previously, she had displayed an affection for fried pork in scoop as well.
At this moment, Ren Baqian felt that the empress's foodie nature had been awakened.
He hoped that she wouldn't find trouble for him if she developed toothache in the future.
"You are also proficient in reciting poems, right?" the empress suddenly asked after Ren Baqian prepared to leave after finishing telling the story.
Before Ren Baqian could reply, the empress asked again, "I remember what you recited that time. 'I saw the moonlight before my bed, and two pairs of shoes on the floor'. This line is what you recited that time, right?"
What the hell! The moment Ren Baqian heard this line, he understood why he was almost beheaded by the empress that time.
"I have made a mistake, I have made a mistake. It is, 'I saw the moonlight before my couch, and wondered if it were not the frost on the ground'." Beads of perspiration ran down Ren Baqian's forehead again.
"A few days later, there will be people coming over to present some gifts. You will help to receive them," the empress coldly said.
"Yes, Your Majesty." Ren Baqian was slightly stunned. He did not expect himself to receive such a task. However, he still quickly accepted it.
Following which, the empress seemed to ponder over something as she furrowed her eyebrows. Ren Baqian could only wait patiently beneath her.
"If someone keep their ego in check If you do well, I will reward you accordingly."
After a long while, the empress continued, "If you throw Dayao's face, you should know of the consequences."
Ren Baqian was puzzled.
Did the empress leave out something in the beginning? What did she say before asking me to keep their ego in check?
However, Ren Baqian was shook by the empress's last sentence. He knew she wasn't joking with him.
Ren Baqian quickly raised his head and asked, "Your Majesty, I wonder who are these people? What are they here for?"
"You will know then. I will send someone to notify and arrange a status for you. You're dismissed." The empress waved her hand after finishing her sentence.
After Ren Baqian left the palace, his mind was at a blank. Who were he going to receive? How was he supposed to keep their ego in check?
The task of receiving guests should be quite easy. The task that troubled him the most was keeping those people's ego in check. From the empress's tone, it seemed like she disliked those people very much. Otherwise, she wouldn't have asked him to keep their ego in check.
Who were those people? What were their status? How was he going to keep their ego in check? Ren Baqian did not know the answers to all these questions.
However, Ren Baqian also understood some of the words that the empress said just now. No matter what, he could not throw Dayao's face. Otherwise, he would be in deep trouble.
Before he could do anything, he had to first understand what was going on.
After returning to the beast park, Ren Baqian went to find Caretaker Shi.
"What's happened during this period of time?" Ren Baqian asked.
Caretaker Shi looked slightly puzzled. He did not understand what Ren Baqian was trying to ask.
"Today, Her Majesty told me some people are going to present her with gifts"
Caretaker Shi thought for a long time and fiddled with his fingers. Finally, a realization dawned upon him as he patted Ren Baqian's shoulder and said, "Her Majesty's birthday is coming."
"Every year, whenever it's Her Majesty's birthday, there will be a lot of people coming from Great Xia, the Yun Nation, and the Chen Nation. Most of them are the sons of those aristocratic families. However, all of their physiques are like chickens'. They can't even withstand a single punch."
Ren Baqian felt like his physique was what Caretaker Shi was talking aboutlike a chicken's.
"But why do they have to come when it's Her Majesty's birthday?" Ren Baqian asked. He could still understand if it was the officials from Great Xia, the Yun Nation and the Chen Nation that came here to present gifts to Her Majesty.
But why do these aristocratic families have to come?
Upon hearing these words, Caretaker Shi sneered, "Why do they have to come? Don't forget Her Majesty is still unmarried."