Chapter 240: The Bricks Are Fired
Translator: YHHH Editor: Book_Hoarder
After his day of training had ended, Ren Baqian dragged his exhausted body while carrying the treasure saber back to Pingle Park.
“I shall give you a name.” Ren Baqian pondered for a while. Compliant Golden-Hooped Saber? Otherwise, Elongation Saber?
Ren Baqian grinned. This name sounded pretty good as the Elongation Saber could grow as well. It would be called Elongation Saber.
Ren Baqian felt that he needed a physics laboratory as this saber mustn’t be sent to the medical laboratory. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the money, so he need not think about a physics laboratory. It wasn’t something that he could build with 20 million yuan. Even if he could, he didn’t plan on spending all his money on it as well. It would be good enough if he knew how to use this saber for the time being. He would consider researching this saber, only when he earned money from the rest of the items after they hit the market.
The next morning, Ren Baqian headed for the imperial kitchen in high spirits, to look for Caretaker Gou. After which, he went to the lower hall in the imperial kitchen.
The imperial kitchen was divided into two portions. One portion was the upper hall which he went on a daily basis. The upper hall was also in-charge of the empress’s meals. Nowadays, the cooks over there were also in charge of Ren Baqian’s meals.
And the other portion was in charge of the palace maids’, female officials’, as well as the imperial bodyguards’ meals.
The livestock which the palace needed to slaughter everyday was also located there.
When he got there, he saw two giant sheep, one wild boar as well as one curve-horned cow that were waiting to be slaughtered. In this world, the wild boar was called the black-faced ruler. As for the curve-horned cow, it was similar to the water buffalo and slightly smaller than the fork-horned cow. Also, the curve-horned cow wasn’t as good at running as the fork-horned cow.
“Use this saber to slaughter them.” Ren Baqian handed the broken saber to the person preparing to kill the livestock. The other party gave Deputy Ren a look are-you-trying-to-tease-me? This saber didn’t even have its tip, moreover, it was so short…
In the end, he still used the specialized knife for slaughtering livestock while Ren Baqian completely submerged the broken saber into the basin of blood.
Within two hours, every single drop of blood from the four livestock was absorbed by the Elongation Saber. It made everyone else that was present greatly astonished. In the past, the blood of the slaughtered livestock could fill up an entire basin. But at this moment, all the blood had disappeared.
Ren Baqian didn’t give an explanation, carried his saber away and returned to Pingle Park. As he thought of “grow, grow, grow” in his heart, he saw that the length of the saber grew from 15 centimeters to almost 2 meters long.
Ren Baqian held onto the long saber and pointed it diagonally upwards. Immediately, he felt that he was like Sephiroth—with the exception of long hair fluttering in the sky as well as a leather trench coat.
[Sephiroth – a fictional character in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII]
When this saber was short, it looked a little thick and broad. But, when it grew to a long sword, it actually looked somewhat liked a zanbato.
[Zanbato an especially large, single-edged sword dating to the Heian period of historical Japan. The name zanbatō translates to “horse-slaying sword” or “horse-chopping saber”. Original examples came from Song Dynasty China.]
However, Ren Baqian also discovered a problem this time. Even after absorbing the blood of four livestock, the length of the sword wasn’t satisfactory.
One had to know that the blood he spilled on the saber at that time, made it grow to about a meter long.
And the blood of the four livestock absorbed by the sword, only made it grew to about two meters long. If that was the case, the results weren’t as effective as he expected them to be,
Could it be possible that only human’s blood was effective? Could it be that only his own blood was effective? Ren Baqian got a shock after thinking for a while.
After thinking about it carefully, this saber had a dubious worth that made him reluctant to give it up. Killing four livestock in the palace only allowed it to grow to 2 meters. At the very least, he had to retain at least 30 centimeters of the saber for him to continue using it again. Ren Baqian weighed the 1.6 meters saber in his hand, it weighed about 10 catties and that would be about 3000 catties worth of iron in a year. It was better than nothing.
Unless he sent this sword to a slaughter factory. But, there wasn’t a slaughter factory in this world as all the livestock were slaughtered privately. Was it necessary for him to build a slaughter factory outside the city?
If he really wanted to bring out the potential of the Elongated Saber, this could be the only way.
Another question was, if the saber stopped getting chopped off and shrank after a period of time, was it due to the blood absorbed by the blade disappearing with the passage of time? Or did it actually strengthen the other aspects of the saber? For example, the hardness of the saber.
Ren Baqian felt that he could give it a try.
As the saber shortened and the blade returned to 15 centimeters long, the weight was also reduced. The weight was almost the same prior to the saber being cut off. It was simply magical as it completely didn’t comply with the law of conservation of mass.
However, the blade of the saber seemed to be slightly longer than before it had absorbed the blood.
Ren Baqian used his fingers to roughly measure, and indeed, it seemed that it was approximately one centimeter longer.
It seemed like following the absorption of blood by the saber, even if the broken portion wasn’t attached back, it was still able to grow. He even wondered if the saber was had a “kidney deficiency” as it grew and got chopped off repeatedly.
[In Chinese, the term “kidney deficiency” is used to describe someone that is fatigued due to their weak kidneys. In this case, Ren Baqian wondered if the saber was tired from growing and getting chopped off repeatedly.]
After experimenting with the saber, Ren Baqian carefully placed it aside and he received news that the bricks were done baking. As such, Her Majesty summoned him to Yangxin Palace Hall.
Upon reaching Yangxin Palace Hall, there were already two people waiting over there. One was Tong Zhenye and the other was someone whom he had never met before. He only afterwards found out that he was the Junior Official of Department of Construction. Initially, the Department of Ordnance was supposed to be in charge of firing bricks and burning of cement. After all, Jingtian Furnaces was managed by the Department of Ordnance. Now, the responsibility of firing clay bricks and burning of cement was switched to the Department of Construction.
And in front of Tong Zhenye were a few pieces of fine weapons for a street brawl—wall bricks.
“Deputy, could you please check if this is correct?” Tong Zhenye asked after Ren Baqian gave his greetings.
Ren Baqian lifted his head and looked at the empress before looking at the bricks happily. These were pure clay bricks. They had a good feel to them, a smooth surface, as well as a substantial weight. They weren’t as rough as the modern red bricks because soot wasn’t added inside. Even though this method was more troublesome, it ensured the quality of the bricks and wouldn’t spoil over hundreds of years.
By smashing the bricks into pieces, they could see that it was very dense inside. It wasn’t black like the inner portion of red bricks, which had soot mixed into it.
Ren Baqian grinned after carefully inspecting the bricks, “That’s the way, it’s so much easier to fire bricks and use cement to construct infrastructure when compared to extracting and polishing rocks. ”
The other people nodded as well as it was indeed the case.
“We’ll follow your plan then. Ministry of Works, seize the time to fire such bricks and cement so that we can construct the glass factory. If there’s anything that anyone of you doesn’t understand, you can look for Deputy Ren.” The empress nodded.
The few of them accepted the order.
Ren Baqian made a trip to Pingle Park once again, retrieved the blueprint of the earthen kiln and handed it to Tong Zhenye. At present, the speed at which those clay furnaces were firing bricks and cement was too slow. Also, there were also too few of the clay furnaces.
If at present Dayao didn’t completely rely on firewood to burn things, Ren Baqian hoped to make a rotary kiln. That way, the speed of firing bricks and burning cement would greatly increase.
“It would be best to shift the earthen kiln further away. Somewhere in the vicinity of the location to retrieve clay is a good place,” Ren Baqian exhorted.
“Why?” Tong Zhenye asked curiously. It was much easier to transport clay than to transport bricks. Furthermore, most of the craftsmen would have to stay there and the transportation of food and other materials would also require more manpower.
Doing things this way, the consumption of materials and manpower would be much greater.
“Or else, when the particles caused by years of heavy combustion are suspended in the air, you will not even be able to see the stars when you look up.” Ren Baqian said as he spread out his hands. He only lacked saying the slogan, “It’s everyone’s responsibility to protect the environment and leave an azure blue sky for our future generations.”
He most definitely wouldn’t want to see a sky full of haze which resembled a fairyland whenever he opened his eyes in the next one or two decades.
However, it was very difficult for Tong Zhenye to understand what Ren Baqian was talking about. After all, the people in this world had never experienced air pollution before.
“Act in accordance with Deputy Ren’s words.” The empress made her decision. Ren Baqian had more knowledge in this aspect compared to the others.
Only then, did Tong Zhenye nod his head in acknowledgment.
Moments later, Tong Zhenye looked at Ren Baqian in an extremely weird manner, causing Ren Baqian to have goosebumps all over his body.
“What happened?” Ren Baqian was baffled.
“I have heard a little from Tong Lan, about the things Deputy Ren has done. Ren Baqian’s shamelessness made me gasp in amazement,” Tong Zhenye said as if he was praising him. But, even fools could see that Tong Zhenye was looking at Ren Baqian with total contempt.
Tong Zhenye didn’t think much of it when it was said to be a training practice. Even though Tong Lan was still very young, she would have no problem defeating several Ren Baqian’s single-handedly.
He casually asked about it when he was having his meal, and when he heard Tong Lan talk about what happened in the afternoon, he sprayed out his food.
Not to mention him, even the other people in the Tong residence were astonished.
Ren Baqian could actually be so shameless in the presence of Her Majesty as well as his ten-year-old opponent. He not only raised the issue about the brothel but, he even spoke about not returning money as a threat. It was practically an eye-opener for everyone.
“How can it be, my standards are so far off when compared to Sir Tong,” Ren Baqian immediately replied in a modest manner.