Ren Baqian opened his eyes and stared at the familiar ceiling above him in a daze.
Teleportation in novels was always irreversible or could be done at will. His current repeating cycle was causing quite a bit of trouble.
He was lucky that the empress' birthday coincided with his time in the other world.
But, he was not going to be this lucky all the time. If Ren Baqian was to return back to Earth during an important event in the other world, he would be in a load of trouble.
If only I had total control over the teleportation, things would go so much smoother.
Racking his brains for a bit, Ren Baqian had the idea to install a surveillance camera. Since he could not figure out why he was teleporting, perhaps recording the process might give him some clue.
He got out of bed and opened the windows, it was even colder now. A wave of chilly air blew right into his face, and some residual snow could be seen on the window ledge. From the looks of it, it had just snowed not too long ago, possibly even last night.
It was already November, four months since he had first teleported to that world.
However, only two months had passed for Ren Baqian. This was including both his time on Earth and on the other world.
Ren Baqian wondered if his life span would follow the time he was experiencing, allowing him to age just five years while others had already age ten.
On the flip side, four years for people in the other world was six years for him.
Differences were unlikely to manifest greatly in the short run, but as time went by, they would become more and more obvious.
Ren Baqian was living in two worlds, yet experiencing time differently in both.
This was the biggest issue he had with the relativity of time in both worlds.
Of course, this was only his hunch. He would require much more time to figure out if his hunch was correct.
It was about time for him to prepare the things he needed.
The upcoming Great Hunt was a large obstacle for him. Ren Baqian would be done for if he did not perform well.
If he could make the Seventh Prince see eye to eye with his ideas, Ren Baqian would be able to reduce the amount of misgivings the Seventh Prince had against him.
In addition, he had to account for those annoying nobles who wanted to devour him at the earliest opportunity.
Above and beyond these people, Ren Baqian had to also worry about the ferocious beasts in the mountain range.
Ren Baqian felt that to others, this event was an opportunity to showcase themselves, have fun, or observe others.
To him however, the Great Hunt was an event filled with danger lurking in every corner.
There was of course the possibility that he was over thinking the issue. If there were people from the aboriginals around him, it was unlikely that anyone would dare to lay a hand on him.
But at the end of the day, he did not know much about the Great Hunt. It was still safer for Ren Baqian to be as prepared as possible and stick close to the aboriginals.
This safer way was, however, not in line with the empress' orders for him not to lose face.
Ren Baqian believed that his life was much more precious. If given the choice, he would much rather hug tightly onto the empress' leg and avoid going up the mountains. Perhaps the empress would still kick him up the mountain, given that she told him not to lose face.
Ren Baqian went online to check out the stuff he might need. The first thing he deemed useful was a crossbow. It was extremely suitable for hunting up in the mountains, and its silence would help prevent others from tracking him.
A crossbow might not be as powerful as other bow and arrows, but Ren Baqian would not be able to hit anything with a composite bow anyway. With only three days left, Ren Baqian knew that he could not possibly master the bow and arrow..
The next item was a handgun. This modern killing marvel was way more powerful than any crossbow, and Ren Baqian was intent on keeping one by his side.
If possible, he would even like to have at least two hand grenades on him. In any case, throwing a hand grenade would kill, maim, or at least scare the other party long enough for him to make a run for it.
In addition to these few main items, there were several other smaller items he deemed necessary as well.
As far as he knew, he would have to camp for one night during the hunt and need to prepare adequately for that too.
The things he needed included a sleeping bag, rations, and a swiss-army knife.
Ren Baqian did not have access to channels where he could purchase crossbows or firearms. Even though he had seen a flyer, next to one about a gathering for homosexuals, in the bus terminal's toilet that advertised firearm sales, Ren Baqian felt that it was too exposed to be reliable. If he was lucky they might sell him a BB gun, otherwise they might sell him water guns. The way they worded these flyers was always tricky, and it was better for him to avoid any more trouble.
It looks like he wwill have to ask Chen Qing for help. The guy was practically a noble and could probably find someone to get the weapons.
Ren Baqian microwaved a bag of milk that he stored in the fridge and consumed it with a cookie for his breakfast. He then proceeded to give Chen Qing a call.
"Say, what have you been up to recently? I haven't been able to reach you at all. Seems like it's true that men become monsters once they have money, are you afraid that I'll bother you?"
Ren Baqian laughed upon hearing Chen Qing's voice. He was deliberately distancing himself from Chen Qing, and it seems like he caught on to it. Ren Baqian had no other choice since he was afraid that Chen Qing would discover his secret. His disappearances and reappearances were too orderly, making it highly suspicious.
"Is that why you're terrible?" Ren Baqian chuckled.
"That was all in the past, I'm a changed person now," Chen Qing immediately replied.
"Are you free to have lunch?"
"Sure, send me the address. Jiang Nan was just talking about you yesterday," Chen Qing promptly answered.
"Alright, I'll see you later."
Ren Baqian hung up the phone and noticed that he had received several texts. One was sent from an unknown number two days ago. It read, "This is An Fei. I've just received my first pay from my new job and would like to treat you to a meal as thanks."
An Fei? Ren Baqian's first thought was that this person had gotten the wrong number. He only realized after a moment that this was the girl with the hearing aid who was super confident about finding a job.
Closing his messages to open WeChat, he found a message from Dong Hai. "Prince Ren, are you completely ignoring the existence of your old classmates."
A strong wave of anger seemed to emanate from the screen in his hand.
Below that message was one from Chen Bing, "I haven't heard a word from you after the gathering. Are you okay?"
Ren Baqian shook his head lightly.
Let them think what they want.
He had just entered the other world at that time and still had the mood to meetup with his old classmates.
But so much time has elapsed since then. Ren Baqian often felt that the other world was his main one now, and did not feel much over the things happening on Earth anymore. This was also partly due to the fact that most of his conscious thought was focused on how to climb the power ladder in the other world. On Earth, he could easily survive as long as he had money. There was nothing much for him to worry about here.
He continued scrolling through his WeChat feed and saw that his parents were still sharing posts about the "secrets to longevity" and "ten things that everyone must know".
Placing his phone back on the table, he continued to surf the web for a while before putting on a change of clothes and heading down to the city center to look for a shop selling surveillance equipment. After purchasing a set, he arranged for its installation.
He stopped at a beautifully furnished hairdresser to get a haircut.
The moment he entered he noticed a girl wearing a red hearing aid washing someone's hair.
"Could things get any more coincidental," Ren Baqian thought to himself and smiled. He was not intending to reply to her message, and had only helped her previously because he had nothing better to do. Ren Baqian never thought that they would meet again in a city filled with millions of people. Many people never meet for their entire lives, yet here he was.
To think he would run into An Fei just by walking into a random hairdresser. Was this merely a coincidence, or could one call it fate?
Ren Baqian stood at the doorway for a long while before deciding that there was no reason for him to avoid her. He headed inside with large strides.