Along with Xiong Pi, Ren Baqian returned to the bureau. He felt that this job wasn't as easy as he had thought.
Just the four girls that carried Mister Emptiness's sedan chair alone were extraordinary. After all, it wasn't an easy feat to carry him over a great distance to Lan City.
Ren Baqian was fiddling with the golden pages in his hands. Each of them looked exactly like the pages of a pocket-sized book. Upon taking a closer look, he realized every page contained a word. It was a pity he couldn't recognize the words.
When they reached the entrance of Honglu Bureau, they saw a filthy-robed young man that was carrying a book trunk chatting with Qi Heng and Qi Sheng.
The book trunk he carried looked like the one that Ning Caichen from A Chinese Ghost Story had. It seemed to contain the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucianism. There was also a canopy that extended from the top of the book trunk to over his head. It could block sunlight during sunny days and protect him from rain during rainy days.
Ren Baqian did not know what they were talking about. Suddenly, Qi Sheng took a step forward and gave that young man a fright, causing him to almost fall down on his butt.
"What's the matter?" Ren Baqian asked after walking closer to them.
"Deputy!" Qi Heng and Qi Sheng cupped their fists and greeted Ren Baqian when they saw him.
"He said he is here to celebrate Her Majesty's birthday," Qi Heng replied.
Ren Baqian examined that young man closely. The young man looked sixteen to seventeen years old. His face was young and tender. Ren Baqian wondered who would send such a young across the border of the Yue Nation to Dayao.
He looked slightly filthy. Ren Baqian wondered how long he had not washed his robe as it was covered in dust.
"You're the deputy of this place?" The young man was extremely curious.
Ren Baqian nodded his head and replied, "Yes, I am. Why? Don't I look like one?"
"Yes, you indeed don't look like one," the young man replied honestly.
"You might get beaten up if you continue to be so honest." Ren Baqian looked at him with a slanted gaze.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I am saying that you don't look like you're from Dayao," the young man hurriedly said.
"You come on your own?"
"Yes," the young man replied.
"Follow me, I need to register you." Ren Baqian gestured to the young man to follow him. Following which, he placed his hands behind his back and walked into the courtyard.
"How do I address you?" Ren Baqian asked.
"My first name is Caichen, my last name is Ning."
"Ning Caichen?" Ren Baqian abruptly turned his head around. His head almost made a 180-degree turn, giving Ning Caichen a fright.
"Yes, my name is Ning Caichen. Sir, what's the matter?"
"How's your Xiaoqian?" Ren Baqian smiled insincerely. He did not know what he should said.
Just now he met a Mister Kidney Deficiency, now he met a Ning Caichen. It's a small world after all.
"Who's Xiaoqian?" Ning Caichen was at a loss.
"Perhaps you will meet her in the future," Ren Baqian added.
When he returned to the room, the mess was still there. The fragments from the shattered table were all over the ground.
"Fill in the form. Your name, birthplace, family background, occupation, whether or not you have arranged accommodation, and your purpose of visit." Ren Baqian passed the paper to him and looked outside of the window.
Within a short period of time, Ren Baqian took over the paper from Ning Caichen and scanned it. Another fellow from Great Xia.
After keeping the paper, Ren Baqian led him to his room.
Along the way, Ren Baqian asked Ning Caichen about his journey. He was very curious about the world outside of Dayao.
Upon hearing this question, Ning Caichen began to blabber on and on. He enthusiastically talked about his journey with streaks of saliva flying through the air. He described his journey as though it was Journey to the West, difficult and dangerous.
"Sir, you will be surprised to hear this. There was a day where I stayed in the depths of a mountain. There, I saw a gigantic bird, so much so that it covered the clouds and hid the sun. Every time it flapped its wings, it almost blew me off the mountain. I had to hug a hundred-year-old ancient tree to save myself. At that time, I was so scared that my heart almost jumped out from my chest. I did not expect the existence of such a ridiculous beast in this world. It really widened my horizons. In the future, I will return to that place and draw that creature so that everyone in the world can know about it."
"There was also a day where I spent a night in an ancient temple. In the middle of the night, a young girl suddenly came to the temple. She told me she had lost track of time while trekking through the mountain, so I shared some of my rations with her. Then, she wanted to thank me by inviting me to her house to rest. At that time, I indeed felt tired from travelling for a few days straight. Furthermore, she said her house wasn't far from the temple. As such, I decided to follow her to her house The next morning, when I woke up, I realized the house had disappeared and I was lying in the middle of an ancient cemetery"
"There was also another time where I encountered a group of bandits. When they saw how shabby I was, they captured me and brought me to a mountain. The king of the mountain was surprisingly a girl. She was only twenty-eight years old, unmarried. Furthermore, she was exceptionally beautiful. When she saw that I was a scholar and how fair my skin was, she wanted to marry me. Eventually, I agreed to the marriage for the sake of staying alive. Then, while they were preparing for wedding, I made an escape. Now that I think about it again, it was a close shave..."
Ren Baqian was scared a few times. He had to admit that Ning Caichen was much better in the art of storytelling than him. Behind his seemingly young and tender face, he was actually a powerful veteran in bullshitting and boasting.
Ren Baqian felt that if Ning Caichen did not possess such outstanding bullshitting skills, he would not have made it to Lan City safe and sound.
During the short route from the Honglu Bureau to Ning Caichen's residence, Ren Baqian could not help but take extra care of him after hearing the hardships that he faced on his journey.
It was indeed very touching that he gave up marrying a beautiful, 28-year-old queen of a mountain stronghold to celebrate the empress's birthday.
Ning Caichen's residence shared a courtyard with Mister Emptiness's.
"You will stay here for the time being," Ren Baqian told Ning Caichen.
"Sir, thank you very much, I really can't thank you enough for all you have done," Ning Caichen said. He looked as though he felt it was a pity that he couldn't continue bullshitting.
"It is part of my job. If there's anything, you can head to the Honglu Bureau and look for me. If I am not around, you can look for other people," Ren Baqian reminded Ning Caichen. He did not look like he could fight very well.
Of course, this might not be the case. Bullshitting alone couldn't possibly allow him to travel over a great distance without encountering any dangers. This Ning Caichen might be an expert that disguised as a pig to eat a tiger.
After waving his hand at Ning Caichen, Ren Baqian and Xiong Pi walked past the courtyard that Mister Emptiness stayed in and cast a glance inside. The sedan chair was still there but the four girls had disappeared. All of them should be in the house.
After returning to the Honglu Bureau, Ren Baqian did not encounter anything else. He sat down and recited the Song poems until the sky darkened. When it was time for him to end work, he dismissed Xiong Pi and went to Chen Medicinal Shop by himself.
Now that he was wearing an official robe, he would not encounter any trouble on the street.
As long as he was wearing this robe, he would be an official of Dayao. Even the aboriginals would treat him like their own if he wore this robe.
Now that Ren Baqian could stroll on the street without having two tall and burly bodyguards by his side, he felt rather pleased and relaxed.
There weren't many people in the Chen Medicinal Shop. When Chen Zisheng saw Ren Baqian, he looked slightly shocked. "Mr. Chen has become an official of Dayao?"
"It's just a temporary position in the Honglu Bureau," Ren Baqian chuckled.
"The rank of your robe is Secondary class, Rank 6, I don't think it's just a temporary position." Chen Zisheng chuckled.
Ren Baqian knew the rank of Honglu Deputy was Standard Class, Rank 6. When he saw that Chen Zisheng could tell his rank from his robe with a glance, he then knew every rank had a specific official robe.
"I have benefited from your words," Ren Baqian cupped his fists and replied.
He only knew a bit of the things that all citizens in Lan City knew about.
In the future, he would have an easier time identifying the ranks of other officials.