After waiting a short while, the tall and husky man appeared at the front of the door. He took a glimpse and saw the both of them, nodded his head in their direction, and turned around to open the door.
Ren Baqian handed over the bundle that he was carrying to the man. Inside was the 130 taels of silver which he and Caretaker Shi had pooled together. It was indeed tiring to carry more than 10 catties worth of silver for almost an hour.
After inspecting the silver, the husky man dashed towards the both of them and nodded his head. At long last, he revealed a smile.
Caretaker Shi then took out a slip of paper and red clay which he had prepared earlier on. After taking a quick look, the man pressed his thumbprint on it. From now onwards, the shop belonged to Ren Baqian and Caretaker Shi for the following year.
"How should we address brother? If there's any problem, how can we locate you?" Seeing that he sealed the contract, Ren Baqian was full of smiles.
"Conqueror of theEast's residence. Look for Caretaker Xi if there's any issues," that tall and husky man said to Ren Baqian, raised his hand, and threw the key over.
After the tall and husky man left, Caretaker Shi said, "It turns out that the property belongs to Conqueror of the East."
Ren Baqian was clueless about the court officials in Dayao. But, there was something which he remembered. Those who qualified as a general had the ability to fight. If one wanted to make it to the position that was similar to that of the Conqueror of the East, they had to be considerably good at fighting.
"What are the ranks of those officials from Conqueror of the East?" Ren Baqian curiously asked.
"Zheng Er Pin." Caretaker Shi extended his fingers to gesture.
(Zheng Er Pin - Standard, Rank 2. The nine-rank system is used to classify officials in Imperial China. It is a way to organize state bureaucracy and recruit men in accordance to their merits. The Nine ranks were separated into Upper, Middle, and Lower classes, each composed of three ranks, making nine in total. Each rank is also further classified into standard and secondary ranks, so that the entire system contained 18 ranks. Zheng Er Pin is part of a standard class, and it's ranked as 2 because of the "Er" which means 2 in Chinese.)
"Brother Shi, what rank are you? "
"Cong Jiu Pin."
(Cong Jiu Pin - Secondary, Rank 9)
"Then me, as a caretaker, is not even regarded as a Secondary, Rank 9?"
"Dayao and Great Xia are the same. We are both controlled by the nine-rank system, and there is a total of 18 ranks. You are in the wei ru liu." Caretaker Shi explained.
(Wei ru liu refers to an official that has yet to enter the nine-rank system.)
Ren Baqian snapped his mouth. In the past, he had never even had the chance to be a class monitor. Whatever the case was, he had ten men under him now.
Moreover, he had many good stuff on his hands. He was sure that he would be able to muddle along and get an official post.
Dayao prided themselves on their military capabilities. If he brought military books from ancient times, wouldn't he be able to get into others' good books?
"How? What should we do next?" Caretaker Shi asked.
"We should hire people and set up this shop first. Brother Shi, don't you loathe those people from Yun Nation? In the future, people from Dayao and the Yun Nation will be charged at a different price."
"Heh, let's go according to what you say." Caretaker Shi was elated after hearing what Ren Baqian said.
"Other things are easy to deal with, and it's actually quite simple to make the shaved ice. You can also create more flavors and use any kinds of fruits. As long as possible, do not divulge the process to using saltpeter to manufacture ice," Ren Baqian warned repeatedly. Moreover, the longer we can keep it from others—the more we can earn throughout this period of time.
When the entire street was filled with ice, it would no longer be profitable.
"Understood! I will definitely not make a mistake on this issue." Caretaker Shi vouched for himself.
The both of them walked around the room. Ren Baqian came up with an idea to set up a bar counter in the corner and to add a row of benches right beside it. Tables and chairs could fill up the remaining empty spaces.
This way, those who came to buy shaved ice could not only sit down and eat, but they could also have a rest and wait for their takeaway.
There was nothing much left for them to do.
"Brother Shi, we could also sell ice. One bowl of shaved ice would be sold at 5 coins. Those huge ice chunks that we store in the ice cellar, we could sell them at 30 coins."
"People from the Yun Nation would be charged double!"
After everything was settled, they went straight to the Chen Medicinal Shop which he'd seen previously.
The shop wasn't big, but there were many people. He could see several indigenous people entering and leaving through the doorway of the shop. Some of them were injured while some seemed like they were ill.
Inside, a middle-aged person examined the patients. There were an additional three to four helpers assisting.
"Are you the boss?" Ren Baqian stood at the side and waited for him to finish prescribing the medicine before he asked.
"What's the matter?" That person raised his head, took a quick look at Ren Baqian and then ignored him. He shouted, "Next person."
"I have a business transaction to discuss with you."
"I only see patients over here and do not meddle in other businesses."
"It's a business related to seeing patients." Ren Baqian was not in the slightest bit worried.
After the middle-aged person man finished seeing two other patients and saw that there was no else in the queue, he then looked up at Ren Baqian and said, "What's going on? Please speak."
"I would like to use the formula for my medicine to exchange for yours. My formula can cure a great amount of tetanus, that is, the patients who are suffering from qirefeng."
After hearing Ren Baiqian's words, the expression on the middle aged man became more solemn. He said to the both of them, "Follow me in, let's talk inside."
There were two chairs and a table inside the house. The middle-aged man indicated to the both of them to have a seat on the two chairs. After which, he settled down on his own seat.
"How should I address you?" The middle-aged man asked casually.
"My surname is Ren, Ren Baqian. The person beside me is my partner. How should I address your Sir?" Ren Baqian replied. Up till now, he still did not know Caretaker Shi's name as he only addressed him as Brother Shi.
"My surname is Chen. Chen Zisheng. Please speak, what kind of formula would you like to exchange?" Chen Zisheng asked.
"Black mud cream's formula!" Ren Baqian looked at Chen Zisheng attentively after saying that. As long as the other party was willing to exchange the formula, he would definitely take out something that would satisfy him. He was just afraid that the other party wouldn't be willing to exchange with him, and that would be troublesome.
Chen Zisheng muttered to himself and finally spoke, "The black mud cream's formula is passed down from my Chen family's ancestors. Although the output isn't high, the result is amazing. However, medicines are used for curing people. It's not that I am not willing to exchange the formula with you, but what you are going to take out has to be something of equal value. In addition, it must not be a common formula which is circulated everywhere."
After hearing what Chen Zisheng said, he was suddenly overjoyed.
As long he was willing to exchange, anything flowed.
In modern times, there were many kinds of medicines ranging from traditional medicine to Western medicine. Furthermore, there were also different kinds of medical treatment methods which would far exceed Chen Zisheng's imagination. He was certain that there was definitely something which he would exchange for.
In any case, Ren Baqian did not feel any heartache as it was the other generations' effort in manufacturing such a medicine, not his.
"Let me explain what I can take out, Penicillin, which can be used as an antibiotic. It can be used to treat many different kinds of diseases which includes qirefeng. Whenever people are ill, it is mostly caused by bacterial invasion which leads to inflammation. The symptoms are mainly red, swelling, hot, pain as well as hindrance to one's abilities.
The most direct observation would be an inflamed wound.
Next, it was also effective for tonsillitis, sore throat, cough, pneumonia, and bronchitis.
The main idea was still to treat wounds as well as utilizing it during a woman's labor. It could greatly reduce the probability of inflammation and catching qirefeng.
"This type of medicine is not difficult to manufacture. Its manufacturing time is short and can be disseminated in bulk. Apart from myself, there is no one else who is aware of it. I believe that its value matches up to the black mud cream."
After Ren Baqian finished speaking, Chen Zisheng inquired on the few diseases which Ren Baqian had mentioned. After all, he couldn't understand most of the terminologies which Ren Baqian used. But, after combining his many years of experience with asking Ren Baqian questions on those areas which were difficult to comprehend, he understood everything.
There was no need for doubt towards the medicine Ren Baqian had mentioned. The effect of the black mud cream was indeed good. But, the greatest value lay within its extreme ability to heal wounds quickly, and the so-called qirifeng was unlikely to occur. As for the duration it would take for one to recuperate fully, it was secondary in his eyes.
After all, he was a doctor and not a merchant.
The disadvantage of the black mud cream was that the raw material was rare and it was expensive. It was impossible to distribute extensively. The majority of the patients who were unable to afford the black mud cream ended up losing their lives or amputating their limbs due to infection and qirifeng.
This medicine which Ren Baqian introduced already replaced the black mud cream as the most important factor in Chen Zisheng's eyes. Moreover, it was simple to manufacture, its raw materials were cheap and could be distributed on a large scale.
Chen Zisheng pondered for a long time and finally replied, "What is the difficulty of manufacturing this type of medicine?"
"Not at all difficult. I can hand over the complete set of penicillin cultivation, separation, and production methods to you."
"If what you said turns out to be true, I will exchange the formula with you." At last, Chen Zisheng nodded his head.
Seeing that he nodded his head in agreement, Ren Baqian was immediately delighted.