This world was only backwards; its people were not stupid.
The caretaker brought a few odd-job workers with him to carry the ice. Using a net to hold the ice, they lifted it with a wooden pole and placed the ice beside the white bear.
After they put down the third block of ice, the white bear came out of the stream and hugged a block of ice. It rolled around with the ice, moaning non-stop.
The white bear was obviously having a good time: like a lad in a brothel, like finding an air-conditioner in 40 degree heat. The experience was definitely an extreme pleasure.
When more than ten blocks of ice were brought into the enclosure, the white bear surrounded itself with an ice wall. It sat within, humming contentedly.
"It's effective, it's effective indeed!" The caretaker laughed heartily.
Although they had yet to try feeding it, the polar bear was completely different from the half-dead state it had been in for the past month.
"Quick, quickly ask him what we should do next," the caretaker gave the odd-job worker beside him a few kicks and shouted at him.
Ren Baqian watched the odd-job workers from inside the house, feeling impatient from their lack of progress.
What's next? Feed it of course! Now that the bear is finally comfortable, why are these guys not feeding it? This terrible weather is going to melt the ice soon!
"Forget it, I'll go and take a look." Ren Baqian waved at the two persons in front of him. "The 2 of you, come and support me!"
Ren Baqian was drenched in sweat by the time the soldier and the odd-job worker helped him to the bear enclosure. The wound at his abdomen was slightly damp as well.
His wound was probably bleeding.
But this was only a small problem, the white bear was the big one.
Ren Baqian ignored the caretaker who was walking over and leaned against the wall to look at the bear.
The white bear was lying in the middle of a pile of ice blocks, contentedly hugging them. These blocks of ice were its beloved darlings.
By this time, however, the ice blocks had already shrunken to two-thirds of their original size.
"Follow the method I outlined earlier and continue to make more ice. The ice in the large basin should be left there to melt under the sun. After the ice has melted and evaporated, use the white powder left behind to make more ice. Bring some fish and meat to feed the white bear as well," Ren Baqian instructed.
"Understood!" The people here treated his words like a royal decree and scrambled to carry out his instructions. They had after all witnessed him make ice with white powder and cure the white bear.
In a large hall, a lady dressed in a heavily-embroidered, red robe with a golden crown on her head was playing with a cube of sparkling, crystalline ice. The refreshing feeling at her fingertips seemed to touch her very soul.
Beneath her seat, dozens of people wearing various robes and armors were whispering to each other by the side. Their eyes all locked onto the washbowl of ice in the middle of the hall.
"This is made by that person?" The lady asked, slightly curious.
"Yes, Subordinate has personally seen him turn water into this ice." The guard who had earlier left with a chunk of ice knelt on one knee.
"That's quite something." The corner of the lady's mouth curved. Holding an ice cube in her hand, she asked, "What do you all think?"
"Let me try it." An abnormally huge man clad in armor stepped forward and touched the ice chunk on the floor. Following that, he gave it a big hug and gave a contented expression. "It's so cold!"
"Let me try it."
"Let me try it too."
"I'm of higher rank, let me go first!"
A bunch of people suddenly clustered together and surrounded the burly guy. He tried to put up some resistance, but his two fists were no match for the countless hands accosting him. He was eventually kicked out of the crowd with a footprint on his bum.
Playing with her own cube of ice, the lady on the high seat couldn't care less about the tussle happening below. The ice in her hand soon melted into water.
"Alright, stop fighting," the lady lazily commented after some time. The crowd below quickly scattered.
Only one person was left rubbing the half-melted ice chunk against his face while muttering, "It's cooling, it's really cooling."
It was only a moment later that he reluctantly placed it back to its original position and stepped backward.
"Your Majesty, this person is talented, hugely talented. The only issue is his somewhat dubious origin. Why don't you let me whip him into shape before sending him back to you?" The burly man offered at the top of his voice.
"I'm an expert in training people. Under your care, he'd probably be tortured to death in 2 days," someone else hurriedly countered.
"Stop arguing. This person is somewhat useful. I'll leave him in my palace." The corner of the lady's mouth twitched as she shut them all up with a wave of her hand.
Upon hearing her speak, everyone else immediately fell into silence.
The palace hall was filled with outstanding men and women who showed reverence towards the lady.
"Bring the Yun Nation's envoy in! I heard he has something to tell me," the lady said in a lethargic manner.
"Bring the Yun Nation's envoy in!" Someone at the door promptly called out.
Not long after, a fair, middle-aged man sporting a long mustache was brought in. He cupped his hands together and greeted the lady with a bow, "Greetings, Your Majesty I am Ge Qing, the envoy of the Yun Nation. I wish..."
"That's enough, spit whatever you have to say out. You've already delivered so many messages that I can guess what you're about to say," the lady impatiently interrupted him.
Ge Qing maintained his respectful facade, but cursed in his heart, "Barbarian."
He straightened his spine and said, "Your Majesty, Ge Qing is here this time regarding the Zhang and Hong merchants' issue. Your distinguished country arrested our merchants for no reason and even threw them into jail. About their goods that were seized…"
Ge Qing was beating about the bush, but his main message was clear: There is no reason for you to imprison my nation's upright merchants and seize their goods without proper explanation. Your actions have frightened the merchants in my country. The Yun Nation is not going to let you get away with this arrest either, which is why I was sent here to protest your actions. If you do not explain the situation, release the captured merchants, and return their goods in due time, Yun Nation will not hesitate to seek justice, even if it means going to war.
The lady stretched her arm out, and one of her servants immediately came forth to wipe it dry.
The lady then proceeded to ask, "How long have you been here?"
"Ge Qing has been on this diplomatic mission for 3 months," Ge Qing answered.
"Mmm, drag him out and behead him!' the lady casually ordered.
"Even in a state of war, nations do not execute envoys. Besides, I am merely here to expound facts and detail the pros and cons. Does Your Majesty not fear that you might incur the wrath of the Yun Nation?" Ge Qing hurriedly shouted.
The lady could not care less about him.
The many officers, scholars, and military personnel turned a blind eye to what was happening. Several of them even sneered at Ge Qing, revealing their ghastly sets of white teeth.
"Your Majesty… You're embarking on a road to calamity… Your Majesty… Empress of the Dayao Nation…" Ge Qing screamed at the top of his voice as he was being dragged out.
Those in the hall heard his wails drift further and further away before abruptly coming to a stop.
"Inform the Yun Nation that their envoy has passed away from a sudden bout of illness. Get them to send a new one," the lady commanded.
"That gigolo actually dared to talk about going to war? Even if his emperor has all the courage of the Yun Nation, he wouldn't dare to do so," someone jeered.
"The Yun Nation's merchants aggressively depress the selling price of furs, sell inferior goods as premium ones, and mix sand into rice they sold us. The Zhang and Hong families were the worst of the lot. If they still dare to treat us, the people of Dayao, as fools after this lesson, we might as well kill all of them," another one suggested.
"If we kill them all, there won't be any merchants coming here," someone immediately refuted, "Dayao has many mountainous regions and very few plains. Our focus is on hunting rather than agriculture, so we rely on merchants to bring in many resources."
"We can't possibly rely on them for everything? It's best if we can produce these resources ourselves."
"Produce ourselves? Can you do it? The way I see it we ought to take it from them by force."
"Alright, stop arguing. Is there anything else? If there isn't, then all of you are dismissed." The lady sat up in her seat.
When everyone else had left, the lady said, "Xin Zhe, accompany me to the beast park."