After listening to what Ren Baqian said, the empress was somewhat between laughter and tears.
She replied after looking at him for quite some time, "You were so impressive then, why are you gutless now?"
Ren Baqian carefully replied, "Whatever your subject said a moment ago was all heartfelt words. Regardless of whether it is a Rank 9 official or a wei ru liu, everyone has shed blood or played a part for Dayao. If they made a mistake, they should be punished. But, they cannot always be casually treated by those who relied on their slightly prestigious family background. If those officials and soldiers, who have rendered great service and also shed blood for their nation encounter such a situation, they would be bitterly disappointed."
The empress revealed a smile," I didn't actually say that you made a mistake"
As a matter of fact in the empress's eyes, what Ren Baqian did actually matched her intentions. Nowadays, the children of these powerful officials were indeed somewhat domineering.
During normal times, I have turned a blind eye to all the domineering acts that you all have done.
But, to the extent of robbing and bashing up a court official, who the heck do you all think you are?
"Her Majesty wants me to find a wolf pack with this physique of mine. Neither can I shoulder a pole nor lift anything heavy. Even killing a chicken takes a heap lot of effort from me. I'm afraid that I will not come back alive," Ren Baqian said.
"Don't you want to take a look at the second level of Qingxin Palace? The original Hao Nation's valuables are all stored inside. If you are able to find something suitable, and even though you may not reach the expert stage, you will at the very least gain something from it." The empress was full of smiles.
"Your subject wants to take a look, but I know my own limits," Ren Baqian lowered his head and honestly replied.
"Whether you are too feeble to truss a chicken or are planning to use other methods to handle this, in any case, I still want to see the mountain wolf. Even if you cannot catch it, it's fine. All you have to do is to take shelter in the mountain for a night. Take it as punishment for teaching that Du Family's young fellow to speak that way."
If it was anybody else, the punishment will not be so lax.
Moreover, only a handful of people dare to bargain this way with me.
The empress glared at Ren Baqian with her piercing eyes and gave him a if-you-still-dare-to-bargain-with-me-I-will-show-you-who's-the-boss attitude.
Upon hearing what the empress said, it was exactly what Ren Baqian had expected. He immediately scowled miserably," Your subject will serve Your Majesty faithfully and will not hesitate to go through water and tread on fire just for you."
Even though the tricks that Du Changkong played were not taught by Ren Baqian, whatever he said now seemed to be useless.
"I will be waiting for your mountain wolf. Remember to bring one back with short legs as it will be tastier." Ren Baqian sullenly took his leave after the empress spoke.
Ren Baqian sighed in despair and returned to the mountain-gazing bird's side. He removed the gun pocket holster and his top, put on the bulletproof vest, and then adorned himself with the previous two items again. At the same time, a bag containing anesthetic and bullets hung from his waist.
He tied the military knife to his leg.
Lastly, he carried the crossbow arrows on his back, held the crossbow in his hand, and randomly chose a direction to ascend the mountain.
Back then, when Ren Baqian went to meet the empress, everybody else had already gone their separate ways to ascend the mountain. This mountain extended endlessly into the distance, and it was unknown how far it could extend.
If it was a small hill, it wouldn't be able to accommodate such ferocious beasts, and there wouldn't be a need to hunt over here.
Behind Ren Baqian were a few nobles from the other three nations. After making ample preparations, they then took their own time in ascending the mountain.
With regards to these nobles, the Great Hunt was merely for them to have fun. Although the empress's reward was very attractive and tempted many people, only a few people genuinely took action.
After all, there were 200 to 300 over aboriginal youths and it was not an easy task to fight over the top three positions with them. Only a few with confidence penetrated the mountain in the very first moments.
It seemed that very little people usually came to this mountain, and there were tall trees with thick trunks everywhere. Once he entered the woods, it immediately became dark and gloomy as the crown of the trees obstructed majority of the sunlight from entering.
Ren Baqian carried a loaded crossbow that he started to find inconvenient just after entering the woods.
There were vines everywhere, and he had no choice but to pull out his military knife andd chop them off so that he would be able to continue forward.
After walking for less than an hour in the woods, there was no one apart from himself in his surroundings. It was quiet all around, and only sounds from birds and unknown beasts calls could be heard from time to time.
Such an environment made Ren Baqian somewhat nervous.
After all, this was the woods in a strange world. Before he came, he already knew that there were many ferocious beasts lurking inside.
"F***," Ren Baqian suddenly cursed. Suddenly, a stick suddenly stood on end somewhere near the front of his feet. Upon a closer look, he realized that it was a snake as thick as the rim of a cup with its head lifted. It nearly scared him to death.
Ren Baqian momentarily stopped in his tracks and wasn't sure if he should retreat or not.
If he made an unsuitable movement and got bitten by the snake, it would be not worthwhile. It was also unknown whether this snake was extremely poisonous or not.
It would turn out as a joke if he got bitten to death by a poisonous snake just as he entered the woods.
Ren Baqian slowly took two steps backwards. He dared not increase the intensity of his movement as he was afraid that it would enrage the other party.
After taking two steps back, only then did the snake lower its head and slither into the underbrush at the side.
"Hu!" Ren Baqian let out a long sigh as he was extremely nervous just now.
After experiencing this situation which left a huge impact on Ren Baqian, he found a small tree and chopped off part of the branch. Following which, he peeled off the excessive portions of the branch and transformed it into a stick. He moved it in sweeping motions as he continued to walk as this would help him to deter any snakes that were on the ground.
Soon enough, this stick proved its use. He didn't use it on the ground but instead used it on the dangling vines. He used the stick to clear it away and he was revived once again.
After which, Ren Baqian was even more cautious.
He was suffering terribly. This place was practically crisis-ridden as far as he was concerned.
He continued walking forward, and all of a sudden, he heard something similar to a cat cry. He immediately stopped in his tracks, and soon after, a trembling noise came from the underbrush near him. It was as if there was something about to make its way out from the underbrush.
Ren Baqian immediately lifted the crossbow and aimed at the underbrush. He was prepared to shoot if anything revealed its head.
As the trembling intensity at the underbrush increased, a white rabbit head appeared from within. It was about the size of a dog and had a mouth full of sharp fangs.
Ren Baqian was practically too familiar with it. This thing could be found in the beast park and it wasn't a rabbit. It was called babeast, had a vicious temper, and lived in a large group.
The fighting capability of a babeast wasn't considered powerful. But, its unique feature was that regardless of who it sawwhether a human or a sharp-toothed tigerit would dash towards the other party and bite them.
At that time, Ren Baqian observed the babeast for a period of time and discovered that was indeed the case. In general, any animal which sees an organism bigger than itself will not act on such an impulse like the babeast.
From Ren Baqian's memory, there was only one other type of animal which was same as the babeast. That would be the geese which were raised in villages.
Due to a goose's unique composition of vision, whatever it sees is actually much smaller than in reality. As such, it dares to dash towards anything and peck on it. Geese were basically tyrants in villages. Most children who grew up in villages would more or less have been bullied by these geese before.
When Ren Baqian was younger, he frequently made trips to the village with his father to visit his grandfather. In the end, he was chased hundreds of meters around by a huge white goose the first time he went back. He was pecked all over and was covered in bruises from head to toe. Since then, whenever he saw a goose, he would take a detour.
Later on, when Ren Baqian's brother was slightly older and he brought him back to the village, he intentionally incited his brother into taking a look at the geese. The ending was obvious as the geese's fighting strength were off the charts. Ultimately, his brother went home crying.
This babeast gave him the exact same feeling. Even though he didn't know whether his suspicion was correct or not, Ren Baqian did not hesitate a single bit and shot an arrow over.
The babeast jumped forward and the shot landed on its head, causing a trace of blood to spurt out immediately. Even more than half of its ear was splattered with blood, causing the babeast to go insane, throwing itself towards Ren Baqian.
An injured wild beast is the hardest to deal with. This saying wasn't wrong at all.
Looking at the babeast which was going to pounce on him, Ren Baqian absolutely did not have the time to load his crossbow. He directly used his crossbow and horizontally pressed it against the other party's head.
This thing was almost the size of a dog. It was relatively strong and almost pinned Ren Baqian down. Ren Baqian had to clench his teeth in order to use the crossbow in his hands to resist the sharp fangs of the enemy. The babeast's head kept stretching forward with all its might, wanting to bite off a chunk of flesh from Ren Baqian's body. It used its claws to scratch Ren Baqian's chest, immediately ripping off his clothes. It was fortunate that the bulletproof vest was able to serve its purpose.
Ren Baqian cursed, drew out the handgun from his waist and instantly fired two shots at it. Two streams of blood splattered from the babeast's body before it wailed in anguish and collapsed.
Ren Baqian dared not hesitate. He immediately turned around and ran.
This thing lived in a group. In the case that a bunch of them emerged after killing one of them, he reckoned that he would be in deep trouble.
However, the more you were afraid of something, the more likely it would appear. Noises of what sounded like cat cries echoed behind his back.
Ren Baqian ran as he backtracked and simultaneously scanned the surroundings. A few moments after he started running, he finally found a tree with the appropriate thickness and height without many seemingly dangerous vines at the top. He first slung the crossbow across his back and then promptly climbed up the tree.
At that moment, five or six white figures appeared in a distance not too far behind him. They gave off cries similar to that of cats. They raced towards Ren Baqian's direction, foaming as if they had rabies.
Not long after Ren Baqian left, a very young imperial guard entered the empress's carriage, knelt down on one knee and said, "Your Majesty."
"Wu Fang, go to the forest and look out for Storyteller Ren. You need not take action as long as he's not dead. Save him only when he is in danger. Do not let him discover you. If he is hiding in some place, think of a way to lure him out," the empress ordered as she gently swayed her wine glass.
Qing Yuan and Hong Luan glanced at each other with a smile on their faces.
Her Majesty's intention was already very obvious. Regardless of whether or not what Du Changkong said was taught by Ren Baqian, he was suspicious in any case. Her Majesty was also not inclined to seek proof. Did Her Majesty require any evidence for whatever she wanted to do?
Her Majesty's intention was very simple. She definitely would not let you die, but she also would not let you hide in one place naively and comfortably. There must be a lesson taught.
But, Her Majesty indeed gave that person preferential treatment. Over the past few years, it was the first time that both Qing Yuan and Hong Luan saw Her Majesty being so meticulous over a person. If it was someone else, that person would had already been executed or sent to the military force at the boundary.
"Yes, Your Majesty." That imperial guard nodded. He removed his full body armor, changed into a set of commoner's clothes and entered the woods.