"Why are you in Shencheng?" Ren Baqian curiously asked.
"I am working here now," Dong Haiqing smiled and continued, "I didn't expect to see you here though."
"Alright, we will talk later, let's go in first." Chen Qing placed his arm around Dong Haiqing's waist and used the other hand to pat Ren Baqian's back.
After they ordered dishes in a private room, Dong Haiqing asked Ren Baqian, "So where are you working now?"
"At home!" Ren Baqian replied casually.
"I really envy your carefree life." Dong Haiqing smiled at him.
If he could drive a good car and casually dine in a high-class restaurant while staying at home, that meant his family was quite wealthy, just like what she had expected.
"There are still a few classmates from our university in Shencheng, do you want to meet up with them in the future?"
"I'll think about that again in the future, I often go out of the province," Ren Baqian replied. Furthermore, he had no interest in such alumni gatherings.
He did not keep in contact with any classmates from his school.
"If there's a gathering, I'll let you know. You must come if you're free." Dong Haiqing pursed her lips and smiled.
Her attitude was amiable—completely different from how she was like when they were still in school.
If they were still students and he was treated like this by Dong Haiqing, he would be quite happy and might even fantasize about her. However, after stepping out into society for a year, he understood why was she treating him this way.
"Do you still remember Chen Bing?" Dong Haiqing asked again.
After thinking about it, Ren Baqian found this name to be rather familiar. Chen Bing was a petite girl that was rather good-looking. Her only weakness was her short legs.
When she sat on a chair, she looked as though she was 1.65 meters tall. In reality, she was only 1.58 meters tall.
Ren Baqian nodded his head.
"She liked you a lot in the past." Dong Haiqing chuckled.
Ren Baqian was slightly taken back by Dong Haiqing's words. This was the first time he heard about this.
"But at that time you did not make any moves, and she isn't someone that takes initiative. As a result, nothing developed between the two of you. She is still in Shencheng now though," Dong Haiqing explained. In reality, Chen Bing did try to make a move but after hearing what Dong Haiqing said, she ultimately gave up.
If she could matchmake Chen Qing and Ren Baqian together, it would benefit her as well. After all, she did not have much confidence in hooking up with the rich boy beside her now. However, his height, appearance and family background completely matched her ideal type.
Since she had no confidence, she might as well make use of Ren Baqian. This could be advantageous to her. Even if she could not reap any benefits in the end, if Chen Bing and Ren Baqian ended up together, they wouldn't forget her role in matchmaking them, right? Ren Baqian could be her stepping stone too.
If Ren Baqian knew what Dong Haiqing was plotting, he would be scared out of his skin. She was actually having designs on him now.
Furthermore, a dazzling individual like her, whom many people had an eye for in school, turned out like this after stepping into the society for only a year.
After taking Ren Baqian's phone number, she once again placed her attention on Chen Qing.
Ren Baqian heaved a sigh of relief. He did not have much of a lasting impression of Chen Bing anyway. If Dong Haiqing really wanted to matchmake him and Chen Bing, he would have a huge headache.
After all, Ren Baqian was not good at rejecting people.
Following which, Ren Baqian spent most of his time listening to the conversation between Chen Qing and Dong Haiqing. He would occasionally interrupt their conversation.
With Dong Haiqing around, there were many topics that they found inconvenient to talk about. As such, they could only go over some casual topics.
After they left the restaurant, Ren Baqian rejected Chen Qing's suggestion for a drink at a bar. He watched on as Chen Qing and Dong Haiqing got into the former's car. Following which, he drove his own car back to his home.
After reaching home, Ren Baqian put the silver, spices, and sweet potatoes into a bag and positioned the bag on his back. After surfing the web for a while, he hugged the bag and lay on his bed. Out of fear that he might loosen his arms and leave all the things here, he did not dare to close his eyes.
These things were very important to him when he returned to that world this time around. The silver was needed to rent the shops, the spices were needed to fulfil his bet with the imperial kitchen, and the sweet potatoes had an even more important purpose. After he returned to that world, he had to find someone to slice them into chunks to grow sprouts. He then had to find a plot of land to plant them.
After lying on his bed for quite some time, Ren Baqian could barely keep his eyes open. Dizzily, his surroundings began to transform. Soon after, he was back to the room in the beast park.
A squeaking sound came from outside his door along with a whiff of miserable smell.
Ren Baqian changed his clothes and pushed the door open. When the two pandas saw him, they immediately hugged his legs tightly without any intention of letting go.
And they kept on squeaking non-stop.
"What's the matter?" Ren Baqian was in a daze. When he saw there were no more bamboo leaves in the basket nearby and the floor that was covered with panda excrement, he knew these two chaps must be hungry and thirsty.
While he'd been gone for a day, no one took care of these two small chaps.
There were no more bamboo leaves and no one fed them water. No wonder they looked so pathetic.
When he thought of this, Ren Baqian quickly went and drew a pail of water from a well nearby. Before he even poured the water into their feeding bowl, they were already drinking straight from the pail.
The weather was so hot and no one looked after them. Clearly, these two small chaps were extremely thirsty.
Ren Baqian poured another pail of water for them and ran over to the fodder warehouse to get a huge basket of bamboo leaves for them.
When Ren Baqian saw the two small chaps plunge their heads into the basket of bamboo leaves and ignore him, he caressed their heads in satisfaction.
Fortunately, he was only away for a day. If he was away for three days, they would be in trouble.
It appeared that he had to find someone to take care of them.
Ren Baqian did not sleep the entire night. When he saw the sky had yet to brighten, he guessed that it was around two in the morning. He returned to his house, kept all his earthly things under his bed, lay on the bed and took a nap.
Early in the next morning, Ren Baqian was awakened by Caretaker Shi. His deafening voice rang across Ren Baqian's ear. "Where had you gone yesterday? I have been trying to find you for a day!"
"What's the matter?" Ren Baqian struggled to open his eyes. His face was still groggy.
"Her Majesty has instructed to clear a plot of land for you in the beast park. There's still the matter of renting the shops. I have gathered 70 taels of silver. We will go and sign the contract later, otherwise our 20 taels will come to naught." Caretaker Shi pulled Ren Baqian up from his bed.
Even though Ren Baqian was 1.75 meters tall, he was like a child in Caretaker Shi's hands.
This time around, Ren Baqian finally woke up fully. With a helpless tone, he said, "Give me a moment, I will be ready soon."
While Ren Baqian changed his clothes, Caretaker Shi asked curiously, "Are you still wearing that piece of loincloth these days?"
After thinking for a while, Ren Baqian realized Caretaker Shi was referring to his underpants.
Ren Baqian pulled his pants up smoothly and emotionlessly looked at Caretaker Shi. "Don't you wear a loincloth?"
"It's too hot to wear that, I'd rather keep it cool," Caretaker Shi replied casually.
Ren Baqian cupped his hands and remained speechless.
When they left the beast park, it was already quite late. It was at least eight.
The people in this world woke up early and slept early. They slept at eight in the evening and woke up at five in the morning.
They went to the kitchen to find something to eat. When the cook saw Ren Baqian, a wide grin appeared on his face. "Caretaker Ren, when are you going to teach me a thing or two?"
"Two days later." Ren Baqian waved his hands. He had no time these next two days. He took an unknown food ration, scooped a bowl of vegetable soup, finished them, took the silver from his room, and followed Caretaker Shi to the shop at Jingyuan Road.
"I have put up all my assets and even borrowed money for this venture," Caretaker Shi sighed along the way, feeling heartbroken.
"Actually, I can fork out my own money for this venture," Ren Baqian replied.
"It's alright, you have already helped me a lot, I can't possibly let you take on such a huge risk. At the very least, I can use the profits earned from the other two shops to pay for this one, I don't think I will suffer too much of a loss."
Ren Baqian smiled. Caretaker Shi was indeed a good man.
However, good people would beget good fortune. This shop would definitely make a profit.
When two of them reached the shop, they heard a voice coming from beside them, "Brother, you have come."
He turned around to see who it was. It was that mustached, middle-aged man.
Ren Baqian cupped his hands and said, "We have to come since we have given the money."
"It seems like you have made your decision, we shall leave then," the middle-aged man laughed bitterly.
After cupping his hands to bid farewell, the middle-aged man left with his two guards. Before he left, he sighed softly. When he saw that Ren Baqian came today, he knew Ren Baqian had already made his decision. Thus, there was no point for him to stay any longer.