Ren Baqian held the box in his hands and walked into the main hall of the palace. The empress was dressed in red, wore a white undergarment underneath and her hair was pinned up at the back of head into a bun. She was concentrating on her dinner. With regards to Ren Baqian's arrival, it was as if she did not see him at all.
Ren Baqian had no choice but to hold the box and continue to wait.
After the incident in the afternoon, Ren Baqian's impression of the empress changed drastically upon seeing her again.
Previously, he only thought that she was of a respectable status. Although she was able to send a polar bear flying in just one slap, Ren Baqian had been rather startled at that time but after seeing Dayao people's brutal force, he was actually accustomed to it.
However, after the challenge with that so-called expert who came from god knows where, the position of the empress in his heart had risen to a level of the Tyrannosaurus. She was second only to Super Saiyan. Even if she did not turn yellow, she could also become powerful.
[Super Saiyan - A reference to the Japanese anime Dragon Ball. Super Saiyan is an advanced transformation assumed by members and hybrids of the Saiyan race.]
Ren Baqian conscientiously bowed his head and stood in place. He did not even lift his head once and both of his eyes were glued onto the box. After entering the Empress Hall, the box appeared even more beautiful under the illumination of the lights. The starry trail on the box displayed bits and pieces of magnificence.
After consuming her dinner, the empress then said, "The dishes for today's dinner were pretty good, tomorrow's meal should be prepared likewise."
Her voice was cold.
"Yes." Caretaker Gou bowed. Soon after, he removed the dishes from the table.
"Come up. Why are you so well-behaved today?" The empress's cold voice sounded.
Previously, although he knew that the person in front of him was the empress, although he knew that accompanying one's sovereign was tantamount to living with a tiger, but coming from the modern world, Ren Baqian had many habits which were difficult to change. For example, glancing around and so on.
Usually when Ren Baqian told a story, he would have all kinds of hands gesture frequently appearing along with the development of the story. It was rather interesting for the empress. Dayao itself did not value etiquette, and therefore, she did not feel that he was lacking in manners.
As a result, seeing that Ren Baqian's was silently looking downwards and well-behaved, the empress found it, as a matter of fact, a little weird.
Ren Baqian immediately said, "I was just thinking, Your Majesty is well-versed in martial arts and well-known for your power in this world. Today, this kind of small fry actually had the guts to challenge you. He indeed overestimated his own capabilities. He travelled from afar to Dayao. just to make Your Majesty display your exceptional skills. By using your power to deal with that small fry, Your Majesty was also able decompress from the exhaustion of handling affairs of the state daily. From this point, he actually succeeded and also could be considered to have contributed towards Dayao. I'm not sure if we should actually record his merit and achievement down in the annals."
"Ahahaha." Qing Yuan and Hong Luan, who were at the back of the empress covered their mouths and laughed softly. They looked at Ren Baqian with interest. Not only did this guy knew how to tell stories, but he was also entertaining when he spoke.
The corner of the empress's mouth curved, but she immediately retracted it. Ren Baqian guessed that she was currently in a pretty good mood. It seemed that because the previous time he tried to flatter her and failed terribly, he had painstakingly delved into this issue and finally manage to see some results this time round.
Ren Baqian was rather pleased with himself. He actually had some potential with regards to bootlicking someone. After which, he walked towards the bottom of the stone step with the box. The empress lifted her head and saw the deep blue box with galaxies of stars decorated on top and was very interested. "Is this the thing that you plan to present to me? What is it?"
Speaking of the box in his hands, Ren Baqian was finally more energetic. He raised his head and said, "This is an air cooler. The weather is blistering hot these days."
Soon after, Ren Baqian took two steps forward and placed the box somewhere near the front of the empress. He said, "Your Majesty, pardon my rudeness, I still require a few pieces of ice as well as half a basin of water."
"Qing Yuan! Hong Luan!" The empress called out to them softly. Immediately, the palace maid which Ren Baqian met previously nodded her head at him. Afterwards, she went to the side to collect water while the other palace maid passed the basin of iced water to Ren Baqian.
Ren Baqian opened the lid of the box and placed the ice and water inside. Following which, he placed the lid back. After a short while, he estimated that the iced water should already have moistened the strips of cloth. Ren Baqian then directly tugged the cord at the top of the "electric fan". Along with the wind, a sudden cold air blew towards the empress who was lying down not far away.
"Eh?" The empress said softly and took two steps forward as she was quite intrigued. Feeling the cool breeze blowing onto her body, she faintly squinted her eyes making them appear slightly long and narrow. A satisfied look was shown on the empress's face, and her current expression made her seem not so heroic anymore. Her long and narrow eyes when squinted made her appear gentle and lovely. She looked beautiful and alluring from top to toe.
However, this lasted only for a split second. The empress took a few steps forward, and the only thing separating Ren Baqian and her was the air cooler. Ren Baqian could even smell her fragrance causing him to sway. He immediately forced his thoughts to vanish and lowered his head in embarrassment. Ren Baqian felt that he almost became a monk that was sitting upright in a meditative state without any distracting thoughts.
The empress opened the lid and took a look at the composition of the air cooler. Then, she turned around and returned to the couch with a rare gentle smile on her face. "Bring this thing a little forward, it is actually cool and refreshing. You are so considerate."
"Thank you, Your Majesty." Ren Baqian bowed his head.
"Okay, continue with that story of yours," The empress lay on the couch and ordered.
"Yes." Ren Baqian began to continue from where he left off. The empress was lying on the couch and listening attentively to his story.
Along with Ren Baqian's narration, the empress did not have any expression. Qing Yuan and Hong Luan's gaze displayed extraordinary splendor. It was evident that the two of them were absorbed in the story. Ren Baqian's mood fluctuated according to the fate of the characters in the story.
After listening for quite some time, the empress waved her hand and said, "Is there any other story?"
After all from her opinion, those multiple conspiracies and strategies were rather insignificant. The standard of the so-called valiant generals, were equivalent to the average soldiers in Dayao. It was as if she was listening to a story about a group of ants fighting. At the beginning, the empress found the story refreshing but after listening on for a few more days, she started to find it boring.
The two palace maids were slightly disappointed after hearing the empress's words. Both of them felt that the story was pretty interesting.
During today's storytelling session, Ren Baqian was not at all engrossed in it. He only paid attention to the empress right from the beginning. Seeing that she waved her hand, he immediately stopped and nodded.
"This being the case, I will tell Your Majesty another story. It is the Investiture of The Gods." Ren Baqian replied. Initially, he wanted to tell the story Journey to the West but, there were too many things which he would need to explain. Investiture of The Gods would be a better choice to story tell first before he continued with Journey to the West.
"What is the story about?" The empress asked.
"It is about gods and demons during ancient times," Ren Baqian responded. He thought to himself, the fighting capabilities in Investiture of The Gods would certainly be up to Her Majesty's standard.
The empress was slightly interested, "Oh, let's choose this story. Please start."
"Yes." Ren Baqian started to speak. He began the story by talking about Pangu, who was the creator of heaven followed by the three sovereigns and five emperors, which was the earliest system in the Chinese history. This gave the empress somewhat of a concept of China's history.
When Ren Baqian talked about one of the characters Su Hu, who offered his daughter in order to rebel against the Shang Dynasty, the empress indistinctly sighed. "Exactly the case. When the first emperor founded Dayao, it was also a similar situation."
The empress's words distracted Ren Baqian a little. As far as how Dayao was built as a nation was concerned, he wasn't very clear about it. He only learned about that stuff when Caretaker Shi blurted out a word or two during that time he was drunk. Originally, Dayao consisted of indigenous peoples and was founded seventy years ago. As for the specific details, Ren Baqian was unclear.
It was unknown whether the empress was fondly recalling the past as she actually listened to the story more attentively.
The empress was much more interested in Investiture of The Gods than in Romance of Three Kingdoms.
In particular towards the end of the story, two light rays emitted from Zheng Lun's orifices and absorbed other people's souls. Just when Chong Heihu heard the noise, his vision got blurry and fell off the horse, and he got captured by Zheng Lun. The empress found this type of story extremely interesting and said, "These things that China have are actually more or less similar to Great Xia. It is said that there are also aliens in Great Xia just that they are rarely sighted. Moreover, China and Great Xia sounds similar."
[In Chinese - The old name for China is Hua Xia, which sounds similar to Great Xia.]
Ren Baqian promptly said, "China is ten thousands of miles away from Dayao. It's just a coincidence of the names."
The empress nodded her head in agreement and continued to listen to the story. In the end, after hearing that Su Hu agreed to deliver her daughter under Ji Chang's [a.k.a King Wen of Zhou during Shang Dynasty] persuasion, she slapped the back of the couch. Immediately, wood shavings splattered. The entire back of the couch shattered due to her slap.
"This Ji Chang, speaks as if his words meant nothing. Su Hu first rebelled and then sacrificed her daughter. Neither was he considered as a loyal official nor was he a father to his daughter. His thoughts were fickle and filled with hesitation."
Ren Baqian's neck shrank. This Investiture of The Gods was not written by him and he could not blame himself.
He never expected the empress to have such a big reaction when she heard this segment of the story. Combined with what the empress said when she heard that Su Hu rebelled against the Shang Dynasty, Ren Baqian felt that there was a possibility there might be a link between the two issues. It may be assumed it was related to reason why the first ruler of Dayao revolted.
It was possible that even though the empress was a ruler of the nation, she was still, without a doubt, a female. It was natural for her to be disgusted by such affairs.