Even though it was called stewed chicken with mushroom, the dish was actually cooked with a chaffinch. Its meat tasted better than ordinary chicken meat. Before it was even taken out of the pot, its overwhelming fragrance hit everyone in the imperial kitchen, causing them to start drooling.
Fried pork in scoop was cooked using an animal named yingzhong. The texture of its meat was very similar to pork's. The red braised meat that they made last time used its meat as well.
There were many cows in Dayao, especially water buffalos. They could be found on plains and low-lying forests. Many Dayao people reared them as well. They were considered one of Dayao's main food sources.
After stewing the vegetables, Ren Baqian found a spot and sat down. Many cooks ran over to ask him the details of the dishes he was making. For example, how to use the spices on these dishes. Ren Baqian answered their questions one by one.
"Brother… Ren, Caretaker Gou wants you to deliver the dishes today," a cook told Ren Baqian after the dishes were ready.
"Oh?" Ren Baqian raised his head to look for Caretaker Gou. Usually, he was the one who sent the dishes to the empress.
"It's Her Majesty's order. She wants you to send them over personally."
Ren Baqian nodded his head upon hearing that. He carefully picked up a huge metal plate that held a few dishes and a bowl of rice and covered it with a lid.
After he cautiously exited the imperial kitchen, he saw a soldier waiting outside for him. Then, he followed the soldier all the way to the palace hall.
When he had arrived at the palace hall with the food, someone took the food to one side, tested it for poison, and then served it to the empress.
Meanwhile, Ren Baqian silently observed the process from beneath the flight of stairs that led up to the empress.
"Continue your story!" The empress sat up from her couch and began to taste the food.
Just like what Ren Baqian expected, other than the fried pork in scoop, the empress also loved the stir-fried corn and peas. Even though she was the ruler of a nation, she was still a female that preferred sweet dishes like this after all.
Ren Baqian recalled that the last chapter he stopped at was "Sun Ce Cuts Short the White Tiger King", so the next chapter should be "In the Camp Gate, Lu Bu Shoots the Halberd".
After hearing the story for a while, the empress said, "It's just one hundred and fifty steps and they are already making a big fuss over it. There are countless commoners in Dayao that can shoot and hit a target from such a distance. From what you have told me so far, I'm surprised that such a weak country like them has yet to be annihilated."
[In this chapter, Lu Bu hit a halberd with an arrow from a distance of one hundred and fifty steps.]
Upon hearing the empress's words, Ren Baqian was speechless.
The disparity in strength level between Earth's humans and this world's was extremely wide— simply incomparable.
Dayao people liked to send each other flying with a kick anyhow. Even if one hit the wall so hard that it created a hole in the wall, he or she could still stand up and continue fighting as though nothing had happened.
This was considered extremely normal in Dayao.
If a human on Earth received such a kick, he or she would die on the spot.
One did not need to doubt their ability to tear down a city gate with bare hands as well.
Perhaps only Li Yuanba of Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasties could contend against them.
[Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasties - A 2012 Chinese historical television series]
Ren Baqian was dismissed after telling the story, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, for six hours.
After Ren Baqian had left, the empress held up a piece of paper in her hand and read. The paper described what Ren Baqian did at Chen Medicinal Shop in full detail.
"He is rather kind-hearted," the empress said faintly, "But we can actually promote his method first…"
There was another thing on the report that greatly piqued the empress's interest. It was the three books which Ren Baqian had taken out. When Ren Baqian appeared, he had absolutely nothing with him. The appearance of the three books was definitely related to the fact that he disappeared once every few days.
Even though the empress did not know where he went, she knew it was decidedly related to the scenario in which he first appeared. He was able to appear and disappear without leaving any traces.
She was puzzled by this matter, but she could investigate it in the future.
There was another matter that she cared about.
Even though Dayao garnered respect and power through strength, its ruler could not be short-sighted. Having studied about Great Xia and the Yun Nation in the past, she naturally knew the usefulness of scholars, smiths, cultures, and technologies.
Furthermore, Dayao's predicament had always been the same. Almost all of its technologies were brought in by foreign merchants.
The past rulers of Dayao had been sending people to other countries to learn from them but to no avail.
First, Ren Baqian taught the art of ice-making to the beast park. Then, he taught the unique method of stopping the bleeding of a woman who had just given birth just so that he could save more lives.
These showed that Ren Baqian was capable and generous enough to share his technologies and knowledge with the Dayao Nation, unlike other countries.
She saw the possibility of obtaining various technologies and knowledge from Ren Baqian.
If Ren Baqian was an evil individual, she could use various methods to make him spit out his secrets.
However, she could tell that Ren Baqian was a kind-hearted individual from the way he handled things. He was willing to share his knowledge with others and wasn't selfish at all.
This made her felt that this man could be trusted and used. Right now, the Dayao Nation needed people like him the most.
Naturally, Ren Baqian did not know what the empress thought of him. The next morning, he brought Teng Hulu and Tie Dao to continue washing the animal hides.
The two of them used knives to scrap the flesh and oily membranes off the animal hides. Their movements were extremely sharp and swift. Every swipe they made would cause a piece of oily membrane to drop off. Thinking that the process looked fun, Ren Baqian decided to give it a try. He stretched out his hand and said, "Let me try."
With a straight look on his face, Tie Dao passed the knife to Ren Baqian.
Ren Baqian cut a hole in the hide with one swipe.
After thinking about it, Ren Baqian felt that he should not continue to ruin the materials.
He passed the knife back to Tie Dao and went to play with Gungun and Tiantian.
Gungun and Tiantian spent most of their time eating and sleeping. Occasionally, they would play with each other or with Ren Baqian, resembling two rolling balls. Their movements were so cute that it made one gasp in endearment.
When the people in the beast park saw Ren Baqian raising these two chaps as pets, all of them shook their heads. Not only could they not be eaten, they could not be used for hunting either. They only knew how to eat every day, and they were utterly stupid as well. No one could understand why Caretaker Ren liked them.
However, Ren Baqian did not care at all.
These were pandas after all. On Earth, he could only look at them from afar. At most, he could take out his phone and snap a few photos of them. He would not even have the chance to get close to them and touch them, let alone kept them as pets.
Ren Baqian sat at the doorstep while watching the two small chaps climbing up and down his knees, feeling extremely happy.
He felt that next time he should bring his phone along to take a few photos of these two small chaps and post them online.
That evening Ren Baqian entered the palace yet again. This time around, he made twice-cooked meat, fried pork in scoop, and stir-fried pine nuts with corn and peas.
Last time around, fried pork in scoop was the empress's favorite dish. She finished more than half the plate of fried pork in scoop by herself.
This time around, she specially asked for fried pork in scoop.
Ren Baqian had to admit that this empress was far more frugal than those ancient emperors he knew of. Each of her meals consisted of only a bowl of rice and four dishes, even simpler than some village heads' meals.
Of course, this had something to do with Dayao's financial status. Dayao wasn't really considered wealthy. Additionally, the empress did not have many extravagant habits.
When Ren Baqian reached the chapter "In A Plum Garden, Cao Cao Discusses Heroes", the empress said, "Cao Cao is indeed somebody, but it's a pity he is too weak…"
After thinking for quite some time, Ren Baqian felt that the empress was definitely referring to Cao Cao's physical strength.
Whether it was Lu Bu or the other valiant generals, the empress would be somewhat disdainful towards them. The empress said that countless Dayao people could do what the valiant generals did in the story. She was surprised how these characters were considered "valiant generals". To her, it showed how weak Earthlings were.
This made Ren Baqian speechless. The strength of Earthlings indeed paled in comparison to Dayao people's.
He felt that the Earthlings were truly humiliated by the empress's arrogant contempt. Deep down, he was thinking about what stories should he tell after Romance of Three Kingdoms. No matter what, he would not tell the story Heroes of Sui and Tang Dynasties. Next time around, he would tell her about Journey to the West or Investiture of the Gods.
Or he could also talk about Fight Break Spheres or Biography of Han Paopao's Immortalization. He would show her what a high-level fighting world was all about.