After two days of surfing the net diligently, Ren Baqian once again returned to the other world.
Ren Baqian did not bring anything along this time. He slept without worrying about leaving anything behind inadvertently on Earth, and when he woke up, it was already broad daylight.
He went outside to see how the two little chaps were doing but could not find them. Not far away on the ground, there were some scattered bamboo leaves and a puddle of water. It seemed that they had left only recently.
Ren Baqian looked all over and managed to find them outside a cage in the animal conservation area.
One of them was lying on top of the cage and looking inside. The other one was rolling all over the ground and hit his head against a rock a while later.
Seeing the little chap sitting up with a blank look after crashing against the rock almost made Ren Baqian laugh.
These two little chaps were getting familiar with the environment and with the morning being not too hot, began to explore the surrounding area.
The panda rolling around was Gungun. It shook its head and bumped into the buttocks of Tiantian and then banged into Tiantian, causing it to stumble and rolled into a ball. Soon after, the two chaps shakily scampered out to explore.
The extremely beautiful big bird in the cage ignored the two little chaps.
After a short distance, the two little chaps encountered another iron cage which aroused their interest.
Ren Baqian had the impression that he had seen the cage before. In the cage was a rabbit twice the size of a dog, with fangs in its mouth. As the two little chaps passed by, the rabbit rushed to the side of the cage and growled, frightening the two little chaps to roll together into a ball.
Ren Baqian moved forward and picked them up, one in each hand, and brought them back.
On reaching home, he tried to put the two little chaps outside, but Tiantian held on like glue to Ren Baqian's arm and refused to let go.
Gungun grabbed on to one of his legs and proceeded to climb up.
It wasn't easy for Ren Baqian to remove the two little chaps. He finished his breakfast and went to the field to look around: the two mu of land planted with spices were already ploughed. Some workers who had nothing better to do had again ploughed the land meant for planting sweet potato.
Seeing the situation, Ren Baqian asked for two men to follow him home to collect the pepper, Chinese anise, sesame, cumin, and Sichuan pepper. The ground was also prepared for planting the sprouted sweet potato plants.
Ren Baqian could not help much with the planting as he had never touched a hoe since a young age. He told a few people what he saw on the internet. The five workers listened and nodded their heads in agreement. They did not expect the planting of crops to consist of so many techniques and were full of admiration for him.
Planting red sweet potatos is relatively simple. It is very adaptable, and you simply bury them some distance apart. During the first week, you will need to water them diligently to prevent the seedlings from dying. After the second week, you will be able to relax till harvest time as you just need to prevent the sweet potato vines from taking root.
Having made things clear, Ren Baqian, along with Teng Hulu and Tie Dao went to the blacksmith shop in Baishi district to discover the outcome of the fan he had designed.
"Shop owner!" Ren Baqian greeted as he entered the doorway. The shop owner saw him and immediately took out a wooden box from behind. Inside the box was the fan custom-made for Ren Baqian.
"Take a look!" The shop owner handed the fan to him.
Ren Baqian did a detailed inspection. The fan blades were decorated with fine patterns, and anyone could tell that it was forged and was rather beautiful to behold. If the blades were removed, they could be used as weapons as well.
The bearing was smooth and appeared to work well.
He took a gasket from his clothes and attached it. He gave it a hard pull, and it rotated as expected.
Ren Baqian felt a little vibration as the bearing was not round enough. But for a handmade bearing, it was considered very satisfactory.
"Good handiwork," Ren Baqian said as he gave the thumbs-up.
"Naturally, my handiwork is rated among the top three in the whole Baishi district," the shop owner said with pride after receiving Ren Baqian's compliment.
Ren Baqian laughed heartily. "Follow the original instructions and make another twenty pieces. The price is still two taels of silver each. When will they be ready?"
The shop owner smiled after he heard Ren Baqian's request. He said after some considerations, "Ten days. The most important thing is to slowly polish that part."
Ren Baqian knew he was referring to the bearing and ten days was acceptable to him. He paid a deposit on the spot and wrapped the two fans in two different cloth bags. Teng Hulu and Tie Dao each carried one of the cloth bags.
They left the blacksmith store and went to Jingyuan Road to see the progress of their most important shaved ice shop.
They arrived at the place and saw the door wide open with two men working inside.
The bottom 1.2 meters of the wall was covered with wood and above it was white-colored ash. The earthen floor was covered by wooden planks, and the room contained chairs with a backrest and wooden tables. All of the items were made of solid wood.
All the wood was coated with a layer of extract from the lacquer tree, giving them a slightly pungent scent.
This stuff is very environmentally friendly, and the slightly pungent smell will fade in a few days. Any wood coated with a layer of lacquer will not easily decay or attract insects.
In this world people generally added color to the lacquer extract. But, Ren Baqian preserved the original wood color. It looked fresh and natural giving off a comfortable vibe.
Ren Baqian stood outside to take a look but did not go in. He then brought the two men back to the beast park.
He put his things down and approached Tong Jia, the carpenter from the beast park and whispered to him.
Tong Jia was a 1.8-meter-tall, bald headed man. Whenever he was free he would bare his upper arm, revealing his bronze colored muscles. He looked more like a thug than a carpenter.
However, Tong Jia was the carpenter for the beast park. His main duty was to repair the house and animal cages. His skill was not that good and could even be considered unsatisfactory. But from what Ren Baqian had seen of his works, it was not too shabby. At the very least, it was pretty good based on Earth's standards.
Ren Baqian pulled Tong Jia aside and whispered to him for a long time. Tong Jia was bewildered at first, but when he knew he had to make a large box, he immediately said, "This is simple."
He then proceeded to gather a pile of timber and made a large box.
The rest saw the two guys behaving furtively and did not know what they were doing.
The two spent the whole afternoon to build a large box; the front of it was grids made out of delicate wood strips.
Then they made a smaller box and drilled a row of holes at the base. Following which, they put strips of cloth through the holes and fastened them up.
Ren Baqian put the smaller box into the larger one and wiped at his perspiration. Tong Jia used his bronze colored muscles to do the manual work the whole afternoon. He was beside him pointing out what needed to be done, and in the end, he was exhausted.
Seeing the strange contraption, Caretaker Shi got curious and asked, "Brother Ren, what are you making?"
Ren Baqian was startled by the loud voice. He raised his head, and it was indeed Caretaker Shi with his innately loud voice. "Wait a while, I will let you all see some interesting stuff later."
After hearing what he said, Caretaker Shi eagerly waited to see what gadget Ren Baqian could come up with.
"You there—Teng Hulu—go to the ice cellar to get some ice. Tie Dao, go fetch a pail of water," Ren Baqian shouted.
After quite some time, the two guys returned. Ren Baqian grabbed a few pieces of ice and put them into the smaller box. Subsequently, he filled the box with water. Iced water then began to trickle down the cloth.
Ren Baqian estimated that it was about time and pulled Caretaker Shi to the front of the box, "Wait here, the demonstration is about to start."
He directed Tie Dao to place the box on a stool to raise its height. He then stood beside it, grabbed hold of the cord and pulled it upwards.
The wind went across the cloth that was wet with ice-water and directly blew cold air onto Caretaker Shi's body. His eyes widened with pleasure.