"I bought this from Zhang Family Store quite a while back. All this time, I could not bear to drink it." When they reached Caretaker Shi's room, Caretaker Shi took down a calabash from the cabinet on the wall and patted it while smiling at Ren Baqian.
"By saving the bear, you have saved my life too. I will split this good stuff with you," Caretaker Shi said cheerfully.
Caretaker Shi was the caretaker of the beast park, and Ren Baqian reckoned that his salary must be quite high. The quality of this liquor must be quite good as well given that Caretaker Shi did not bear to drink it.
However, when Caretaker Shi poured out the liquor, Ren Baqian immediately turned disappointed. The liquor was muddy-looking and had a weird taste.
"Don't judge its quality by its color. This hard liquor is actually a special local product from Yun Nation! Your throat will burn like fire when you drink it."
Caretaker Shi's words killed Ren Baqian's remaining interest in the liquor.
He could bring over hard liquors that had an alcohol content of up to 70% from Earth. He could also bring over spirits, which alcohol content was higher than 70%. He indeed could not have too much expectation for the brewed liquors in this world.
Ren Baqian furrowed his eyebrows after giving Caretaker Shi a toast and taking one sip of it. He had never drunk such a bad-tasting liquor in his life. Even those cheap unbottled liquors tasted a lot better than this.
"Brother Ren had never tried this brand of hard liquor before, right? The men of Dayao like to drink this liquor the most as it is very strong in taste."
Listening to Caretaker Shi bragging about his liquor, Ren Baqian suddenly asked with curiosity, "How much does it cost?"
"1 catty 2 taels of silver." Caretaker Shi gestured with his fingers and said, "If it weren't for the fact that I really like this liquor very much, I wouldn't have bought it. 3 catties of it costed me one month's salary.
Ren Baqian was speechless. 6 taels of silver was equivalent to 300 grams of silver, which was worth approximately 1000 dollars. Caretaker Shi was really extravagant to buy three catties of this "inferior liquor".
Furthermore, this liquor was so disgusting. If he brought back some sorghum liquor from Earth, wouldn't these people go crazy over them? If that really happened, he would make a crazy profit.
Ren Baqian made a mental note to think about it again in the future. While drinking and chatting with Caretaker Shi, Ren Baqian asked him a lot of things about this world.
There were four main countries in this world: the Great Xia Empire, the Nation of Yun (a.k.a the Yun Nation), the Chen Nation, and the Dayao Nation.
The country that Ren Baqian was currently in was the Dayao Nation. It was initially called the Nine Mist Nation. It had only been founded for a measly 70 years by a group of indigenous people. All the systems it put in place were learnt and copied from other countries. Even until now, these systems were still imperfect. After all, the Dayao Nation was unlike other countries—other countries had long histories and their own unique cultures.
On the contrary, the Dayao Nation was just beginning its nation-building process. Up till now, it was still fumbling in the process. Its systems still needed improvement.
Caretaker Shi did not know the exact size of the Dayao Nation or its exact population. It had about 30 million people. The Dayao Nation had many forests and mountains but very few plains. Most of its citizens made their living by hunting in the mountains. More than half of them were actually still living in the mountains and forests with wild animals.
Even though the Dayao Nation was poverty-stricken, underdeveloped, and had occasional outbreaks of disorder, its citizens were brave and proficient in fighting and warfare. In terms of fighting capabilities, Dayao Nation overshadowed the rest of the countries.
To the north of the Dayao Nation, there was the Great Xia Empire, which was rumored to be three times bigger than the Dayao Nation. On the east of the Dayao Nation, there was the Nation of Yun. On the southeast, there was the Chen Nation.
According to Caretaker Shi, on the west of the Great Xia Empire and on the east of the Chen Nation, there were other countries too. However, he did not know much about them.
The Dayao Nation mainly produced furs, gemstones, gold, and silver. Things like daily necessities, edible salt, beautiful clothes and fabrics were mostly imported. Even their food supply was in a severe shortage, and crops had to be imported every year.
And therefore, they were exploited by huge numbers of merchants from the other countries. Most of these merchants were from the Yun Nation. The Zhang Family Store—where Caretaker Shi bought his liquor—was from the Yun Nation.
"That bunch of unscrupulous thieves!" Caretaker Shi spat in anger when he talked about those merchants. "Sooner or later, we will attack their capital!"
Those merchants always bought the Dayao Nation's furs and gemstones at reduced prices while selling them inferior goods at increased prices. Because of such practices, conflicts occurred almost every year.
Reportedly, the liquors sold in the Yun Nation were of much higher quality than the liquor that Caretaker Shi was drinking now. However, Yun Nation only sold low-quality liquors to the Dayao Nation. The Dayao Nation could not even produce enough food, let alone liquors. Its citizens would occasionally make some liquors but they tasted bad and bland like plain water.
This applied to other resources as well. Resources sold to Dayao Nation were poor in quality. The Dayao Nation had been very unhappy with such practices for a very long time. Twenty years ago, because of such practices and its pent-up resentment, the Dayao Nation had almost invaded the capital of the Yun Nation. Eventually, the army of the Dayao Nation returned with an abundance of spoils-of-war, but only after the Chen Nation sent its army to reinforce the Yun Nation while the Great Xia Empire acted as the mediator.
After the incident, the merchants from the various countries became slightly more honest. Even though they were still very irritating, they no longer went overboard with their dishonest practices like they used to. However, as time passed, these merchants seemed to forget about the pain after their wounds had healed, and they became worse.
Currently, Caretaker Shi's biggest wish was to be the first one to take up arms and invade those countries when Her Majesty gave the order to wage war against them.
When Ren Baqian heard these words, he roughly knew what he had to do.
Frankly speaking, the only strength of the Dayao Nation was its military capabilities. Its weakness was that it had no other strengths. A country that was founded by a group of indigenous people did not seem to know anything other than fighting.
Almost all of its daily necessities were bought from merchants from other countries.
Considering the fiery temper of every citizen in the Dayao Nation, the other countries did not want to push it to the brink of desperation.
We can sell you things but they will be of the lowest quality. That's because we will keep the best for ourselves. As for technologies, you can stop dreaming of us selling them to you.
Ren Baqian sniggered when he heard Caretaker Shi say these things.
So it appeared that Dayao Nation was lacking in almost everything? It just so happened that he knew almost everything. Even if there were things that he did not know, he could go back to Earth and learn about them. If he did not use the knowledge of Earth to make a living in this world, it would be too much of a waste.
The best thing for him to do now was to compile a list of resources that were needed. That way, he could go back to Earth and study the technologies needed to produce them. He could not do the same thing as what he did before with the potassium nitrate: going back to Earth and bringing it here.
He could do this once or twice, but if he did it a few more times, he would be in deep trouble. Moreover, alcohol was a product that would be in high demand. This method would not work. Fortunately, the empress did not intend to look into the issues of his clothes and quilt.
As for why a kirin was used to pull a carriage and whether or not there were omnipotent experts in this world, Caretaker Shi did not know the exact answers either. However, he did know that there were experts in this world. It would be an exaggeration to say that they could destroy an entire city with a single punch, but they could definitely destroy a city gate with a single punch.
However, to Ren Baqian, destroying a city gate with a single punch did sound like an exaggeration. If he could learn a thing or two from these experts, he could dominate Earth when he returned there.
Caretaker Shi looked like he seldom drank hard liquor. He drank only 250 milliliters of the liquor, and he was already lying on the table.
At this point in time, Ren Baqian was only half-drunk. He sat down there deep in thought. Every now and then, he would chuckle softly.
The Dayao Nation was lacking in food supply, and it, consequently, could not produce alcohols now.
The Dayao Nation had very few plains but many mountains and forests. As such, its food productivity was lacking. Earth happened to have crops that could be produced in abundance with little amount of land. They were rather good-tasting as well. These crops could completely solve Dayao Nation's food production problem. They subsequently could be used to brew alcohols as well.
For edible salt, he could think of some ways to obtain it. He would go back to Earth, do some research, and see if he could obtain them from the mountains or not.
As for toothbrushes and soaps, these items were easily obtainable.
He could easily produce them if he had the right opportunity to do so.
And cotton cloth too.
He had to make everything himself.
When Ren Baqian thought of this, he was overjoyed. It felt extremely good to be able to arrive in such a world, such a country.
It was too easy to make money in this world.
This world had some unique local products as well. For instance, the black mud cream. If he could bring it back to Earth, he would not need to worry about money anymore.
When Ren Baqian thought of this, he became even more excited.
After daydreaming for some time, he took a look at Caretaker Shi who had slipped to floor beneath the table.
He had to take it one step at a time. He had to establish a foothold in this world first before thinking about other things. As he thought of this, he stood up and walked to the cellar to check on the cleaning progress.
His men were now rinsing the place with water.
When Ren Baqian saw the ten men working so hard, he felt extremely satisfied. Even though he went drinking with Caretaker Shi not too long after he took up the position, these ten men were still working hard without attempting to slack off. Having such subordinates really made his life carefree.