After chatting with Du Changkong, Ren Baqian knew a thing or two about those youngsters.
Hong Xian was the granddaughter of the ninth most powerful expert in the world, Hong Wu. Her father was called Hong Cheng. He was the lieutenant-colonel of the North Garrison. The North Garrison was stationed in the north of Dayao where the Hao Nation's descendants lived.
She also had two brothers who held office in the army as well.
As for Xi Yueya, his father was Xi Wangu. Xi Wangu was the Protector General of the South. He was also the immediate superior of Hong Cheng.
As for Yao Zi, her real name was Liu Ruoyao. Her mother was an imperial treasurer in the Imperial Treasury. She was in charge of managing the nation's wealth. Meanwhile, her father served as assistant minister in the Ministry of War. Her mother's rank was Secondary class, Rank 3 while her father's rank was Standard class, Rank 4.
As for Du Changkong, when it was time for him to introduce his family background, he spoke with a prideful tone, "My father is the General of Left Guard."
Ren Baqian gasped. Du Changkong was the son of a big shot.
Dayao had a total of five protectorates. A Protector General was the highest ranking officer of a protectorate. The five Protector Generals controlled the military forces in five regions. For those who could become Protector Generals, even if they were not as powerful as Hong Wu, they were no pushovers.
Needless to say, Liu Ruoyao's parents were powerful individuals as well. Her mother took care of money while her father took care of military equipment and pay and provisions for soldiers.
Meanwhile, Du Changkong's father was the General of the Left Guard. Therefore, his rank would be Secondary class, Rank 3. He was in control of one of the two armies that protected Lan City, and he could be considered a trusted aide of the empress.
Now, at least Ren Baqian knew who he had offended this time around.
Du Changkong finished up the remaining roast meat that was barely enough to fill the gaps between his teeth, trying not to let himself go hungry. He could only wait until he went up the mountain later to look for some food.
"Don't you know any martial arts?" Ren Baqian asked with curiosity. He had been wanting to learn martial arts for very long. However, Caretaker Shi and Xiong Pi only knew martial arts that tempered bodies. Those were usually used by aboriginals, and they belonged to a lower tier.
If Ren Baqian learned those martial arts, he would die first before his body got tempered.
Ren Baqian reckoned that there must be many martial arts manuals in Qingxin Palace. However, there were still many words that he could not read. Also, he did not have the chance to browse through the book collections in that place. He reckoned all the good stuff must be on the second level. The second level was even guarded by an old lady.
Now that Ren Baqian knew the son of a powerful official, a thought arose in his head. Will a Rank 3 official have some good stuff in his hands?
"Martial arts? I don't think you're able to learn my family's one. However, my family does have a few manuals from Great Xia. if you want them, you have to bring something to exchange for them."
"Alright, I will come back and find you again." Ren Baqian was overjoyed after hearing these words. There's definitely something that could interest him. All he needed to do was to find something to exchange for it.
"Your fire-spitting gadget will not work, you have to find something better to exchange for our martial arts manuals," Du Changkong reminded him.
"Don't worry, I will definitely find something good," Ren Baqian immediately said.
After a while, they heard the sound of a bugle horn.
"It's beginning," Du Changkong notified Ren Baqian and ran away.
Following which, everyone else began to gather and stand in disarray.
Ren Baqian followed them and found a corner at the back to stand.
After everyone had gathered, a girl fully clad in armor stood in front of everyone.
Beneath the armor, it was a girl that was filled with vigor. It was Xin Zhe. Ren Baqian had seen her several times. She was the commander of the imperial guards.
"The Great Hunt will begin now. Her Majesty wants to see everyone display their valor. Your valor will be judged through the prey you hunt. The top three placings will be allowed into the second level of Qingxin Palace and read the book collections there for three days. This will be the reward, and it's your honor to receive it."
"For Dayao!" all the Dayao people yelled.
The yells of a few hundred people resounded like a tsunami, displaying the full might of the aboriginals' voices.
Even though it was just a few words, Ren Baqian was still somewhat motivated by them. "For my tribe!"
"For the participants from other nations, if you get into the top three placings, you will receive the similar reward too." After Xin Zhe said these words, those nobles from other nations became excited too. Other than a powerful individual like the Seventh Prince, very few would be unaffected by the opportunity to enter the imperial library of Dayao.
"All of you are dismissed, come back tomorrow by noon." After Xin Zhen gave her last order, everyone cupped their fists towards her and departed.
When Ren Baqian saw everyone had left, he walked to his mountain-gazing bird and took down his sleeping bag. His bulletproof vest, grenades, and everything else were still inside it.
Just now, when he heard Xin Zhe said that the top three placings could read in the second level of Qingxin Palace, he was slightly moved.
There was definitely good stuff on the second level of Qingxin Palace.
It was a pity that only the imperial family knew what was on the second level of Qingxin Palace. Even if he had a handgun, he felt that he wouldn't be as powerful as those people.
It was better for him to go up the mountain and return as soon as possible to find something to exchange for Du Changkong's martial arts manuals.
If he could form a good relationship with Du Changkong, he might be able to know more people through him.
Ren Baqian wondered could a glass cup sway this bunch of fellows.
All he needed to do then was serve them wine in a luminous glass cup, and they would present him with whatever treasure they had.
In any case, he had plenty of good stuff. He wasn't worried that he couldn't take out anything valuable to exchange for those martial arts manuals.
Ren Baqian slowly packed his things. He placed the arrows, the anesthetic, the military knife, and etc. to one side. Then, he prepared to put on the bulletproof vest.
Not only could a bulletproof vest block bullets, it could also block various types of projectiles. It was a very powerful defensive equipment that could save one's life.
When Ren Baqian heard this voice, he panicked. Xin Zhe was standing behind him.
"Her Majesty wants to eat mountain wolf meat, and she wants Storyteller Ren to bring it back. Come back when you find it."
Ren Baqian's stomach churned. Mountain wolf meat? Isn't that asking him to hunt a wolf in the mountain? If she really wanted to eat it, why would she ask him to get it for her? If he couldn't find it, does it mean that he had to stay on the mountain for a night? This was obviously a punishment. Was it because of the incident with Hong Xian and Liu Ruoyao? He shouldn't be punished for this. It's most likely because of the trouble Du Changkong that pig-ignorant teammate created for him.
"Her Majesty also said that mountain wolf meat won't be nice if the mountain wolf is too big. A small-sized mountain wolf that has short front legs tastes the best."
I would be considered lucky to even encounter a wolf, is she asking me to find a wolf pack?
Doesn't she know my actual body size?
I will just be offering myself on plate to the wolves if I encounter them.
"Subject have to something to tell Her Majesty, please help me inform her," Ren Baqian told Xin Zhe.
"I have passed your message to Her Majesty, you will wait for her reply now," Xin Zhe returned to the empress carriage.
While waiting for Her Majesty to summon him, Ren Baqian's mind wandered off. Wolf pack? Short front legs? Is this Bei? Does it even exist in this world? Can I really hunt it?
[The "Bei" is a legendary animal from Chinese folklore. The Bei is much like a wolf; the major difference between these two animals is that the wolf has long front legs and short hind legs, while the Bei has short front legs and long hind legs. Working together, the wolf and the Bei will flourish.]
Even if he did not have any target to hunt, it still wouldn't be easy for him to stroll through the mountain and come back alive. By asking him to hunt for such a wolf, the empress obviously wanted his life.
After a few minutes, Ren Baqian was summoned to the empress carriage. With a languid tone, the empress replied, "What do you want to tell me?"
"I'm afraid this might the last time I see Your Majesty. Therefore, I would like to see Your Majesty for one last time. Even if I am eaten by a wild beast, I will die with no regrets." Ren Baqian had a sorrowful look on his face.