At this moment, the chief was very busy. He was only fourteen years old, and no one in the Immortal Sect had ever laid eyes on this Celestial Court. After all, those who pursued the path of immortality and enlightenment would hardly willingly devote themselves to the court, becoming its loyal hounds.
However, Di Yiqiu quickly divided the Celestial Court into four bureaus.
The Azure Dragon Bureau was responsible for handling the correspondence with the court, managing the accounts of the entire Celestial Court, and overseeing the details of incoming and outgoing items.
The White Tiger Bureau was the bureau of justice, specifically tasked with interrogating and detaining prisoners from the immortal sect.
The Vermilion Bird Bureau was for artisans responsible for alchemy, crafting, and other manual crafts.
The Black Tortoise Bureau was an academy that cultivated disciples seeking knowledge.
Afterwards, he searched for talent everywhere and found Zhu Xiang and Tan Qi as deputy chiefs of the Vermilion Bird and White Tiger Bureaus, respectively.
Bai Qingyun, who came from a noble background, was appointed as the deputy chief of the Azure Dragon Bureau.
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Gde vbl Jzynj Msavskpl Jwalyw nsdvkdwle vs cl shlaplld cu Hsdt Hktwk, vbl blye sq vbl callekdt kdpvkvwvl.
Rd vbl rypv qlo xsdvbp, Pk Zkikw byp clld kdnalekczu cwpu yde byp byaezu bye vkxl qsa alpv.
Twydt Sydt nswzed’v lhld qkde bkx.
Jwv qsavwdyvlzu, elprkvl vbl oakvvld saela vs rlapwyel bla vs xshl swv, ds sdl ynvwyzzu eashl Twydt Sydt yoyu. Vlabyrp vblal oyp pvkzz psxl qynl zlqv sd Tl Dkfkd’p pkel.
Ohlausdl bsrle pbl oswze qllz ypbyxle, cwv Twydt Sydt oyp dsv ps plzq-yoyal.
Fbl oykvle lhlau eyu kd vbl dlo ynyelxu sq vbl Jzynj Msavskpl Jwalyw, bsrkdt vs pll Pk Zkikw.
Jwv Pk Zkikw eke dsv alvwad.
Xwvpkel vbl nyrkvyz nkvu, Pk Zkikw oyp oykvkdt qsa psxlsdl, yde kv bye clld plhlayz eyup.
There was an ancient residence here, reportedly bought by a mysterious breeding master.
This mysterious breeding master goes by the name “Third Dream” in public.
His origins are shrouded in mystery; it is said that he was born of earth spirits, but his lineage and mentorship remain unknown.
Ten years ago, when he first arrived in the capital, he cultivated a type of millet that was not only drought-resistant but also had remarkably high yields. What made it even more valuable was that he sold these excellent seeds to poor farmers and commoners at prices far below the official rates.
Millet is a widely planted crop among common people, so while this particular millet variety may not have been uniquely outstanding compared to other good strains, it was highly sought after by the general populace.
Word of this spread quickly, and more and more commoners came to buy these seeds.
Third Dream himself did not appear; instead, the household servants in this residence, after confirming the location and quantity of the farmland, would distribute the millet seeds.
The young chief of the Celestial Court longed to meet this esteemed figure but had been waiting in vain.
“Lord Chief, it seems we won’t be able to meet Third Dream today. Should we return?” advised Li Lu.
Di Yiqiu had been extremely busy in recent days, and the fourteen-year-old had not had a moment’s rest for quite some time. His eyes were bloodshot from exhaustion.
However, Third Dream’s whereabouts remained uncertain, and it was unknown when they might meet.
Upon hearing this, Di Yiqiu merely replied, “Let’s wait a little longer. He’s worth it.”
Li Lu sighed, but at that moment, someone else entered the courtyard.
The newcomer was dressed plainly, had dark skin, and had rough, calloused hands, giving the appearance of a farmer.
The guard of the estate did not stop him but instead pointed towards the inner courtyard, saying, “Go inside and wait in line. Do you have your land deed with you?”
The old farmer nodded and held up the land deed, looking unsure of what to do. He stuttered, “May I ask, sir, where do I pay the silver?”
The estate guard responded, “No rush. After the steward verifies your land, it will be given to you. Do you see that table inside? Go there first!”
The old farmer had no choice but to enter. In a short while, he emerged with a piece of paper in hand. He still seemed somewhat bewildered, wearing an expression of disbelief.
Di Yiqiu approached and asked, “Old man, did you get the quality seeds?”
The old farmer, seeing Di Yiqiu’s luxurious attire, panicked and quickly bowed, saying, “Could it be that you are Mr. Third Dream, sir?”
Di Yiqiu hurriedly helped him up and replied, “No, I am not. There’s no need for excessive courtesy. Have you received the quality seeds?”
The old farmer quickly glanced at the slip of paper in his hand and said, “The steward inside told me that as long as I have this slip, I can wait here to receive the quality seeds.”
He didn’t have to wait long. In a short while, a man who appeared to be a steward came out from inside.
Although he was dressed in fine clothing, his demeanor remained relatively humble.
“Is Li Rengui here?” He called out, his tone neither servile nor overbearing and not unpleasant to the ear.
The old farmer hastily replied, “It’s me; it’s me, sir. It’s me.”
The steward inspected the slip of paper in the old farmer’s hand and then took out a bag of quality seeds.
He said, “Our master has specified two types of fertilizers. If your family can afford it, you should use the first method for fertilizing. Even if it’s a bit difficult, you must follow the second method for fertilizing precisely. You mustn’t do it carelessly. If the harvest isn’t good, you won’t receive as many quality seeds next year, understand?”
He crouched down and pointed to the explanatory notes on the sealed bag, reading them out carefully for the old farmer.
All the farmers knew that quality seeds depended heavily on the condition of the soil and the use of fertilizers since they were cultivated after birth.
Therefore, the old farmer listened attentively.
After listening, he nodded repeatedly and said, “Don’t worry, sir. My family will use the best fertilizers as instructed.”
The steward nodded in response and, knowing that the old farmer couldn’t read, repeated the fertilizing process to him once more.
The old farmer, holding the seeds, was overjoyed and kept expressing his gratitude.
Di Yiqiu watched as he hurriedly left with the seeds and couldn’t help but sigh, “Third Dream is indeed an exceptional person.”
Seeing the admiration in the chief’s eyes, Li Lu had no choice but to step forward and ask, “Sir, may I ask when your master will return?”
The steward assessed Li Lu, then glanced at Di Yiqiu and said, “Gentlemen, it’s hard to say. Our master doesn’t often come to this residence.” He pointed to the farmers who had come to buy quality seeds and added, “As you can see, there’s a lot of activity here, and our master prefers peace and quiet.”
Li Lu was about to ask more questions when Di Yiqiu stepped forward and inquired, “Does your master have another place of residence?”
“That’s not clear,” the steward replied, sounding a bit unsure. “After all, we are just here to serve the master’s household. We wouldn’t dare inquire about his personal matters. But I would advise you, young sir, not to wait any longer. If our master hasn’t come by now, waiting longer won’t change anything.”
Di Yiqiu let out a long sigh and said, “I genuinely admire Mr. Third Dream.”
The steward chuckled at their words and said, “Sir, you may not be aware, but there are quite a few people here in the capital who hold grudges against our master. He’s probably not inclined to show himself.”
He didn’t elaborate further, but both Di Yiqiu and Li Lu quickly understood.
By selling high-quality seeds to commoners and smallholders, Third Dream was breaking the rules. While it elevated his own status, did that mean all other breeding masters were despicable? Furthermore, if these top-quality seeds were being sold at this price, how would other breeding masters price their seeds? This not only caused discomfort to others but also blocked their potential income. Because of his actions, even the black market for quality seeds had been disrupted. Over the years, there were plenty of people who wanted to harm him.
Di Yiqiu remarked, “It seems the steward has also faced quite a bit of trouble.”
The steward sighed and said, “Indeed, quite a bit. While people here shower us with gratitude, we’ve also had our fair share of anxiety and fear. I suspect it’s because of this that our master has been keeping a low profile.”
He shook his head and advised, “So, I would suggest, sir, not to look for him any longer. If you do find him, it might bring unforeseen consequences.”
Though his words were unconventional, they were sincere.
Di Yiqiu, disappointed, said, “We understand the difficulties the master faces. Please rest assured that, from now on, Mr. Third Dream’s affairs will be my concern. If you ever encounter any trouble, you’re welcome to come to the Celestial Court.”
“The Celestial Court?” The steward had been casual with his words earlier and didn’t realize that the refined young man before him was the newly appointed chief of the Celestial Court.
He hastily bowed and said, “This humble one spoke thoughtlessly. I hope the Lord Chief can forgive my impertinence.”
How could Di Yiqiu hold a grudge? He admired Mr. Third Dream and, by extension, found this steward agreeable. He replied immediately, “There is no need for such formalities. Mr. Third Dream cares for the well-being of the world and is a person of great virtue. Your willingness to serve him suggests that you are also a kind-hearted individual.”
The steward said, “Lord Chief’s words are truly humbling. How about this, my lord? Please leave your business card, and if our master happens to return, I’ll pass it on in your stead. What do you think?”
“That sounds excellent.” Di Yiqiu nodded, and Li Lu understood the cue. He promptly took out his own card and said, “Thank you for your assistance, steward.”
The steward reiterated, “It’s just a small effort, and you both don’t need to be polite.”
Seeing that he had accepted their business cards, Di Yiqiu and Li Lu had no choice but to leave the residence.
During this brief moment, several more farmers entered the residence. However, each of them emerged carrying a bag of quality seeds, wearing cheerful expressions.
Their plots of land were not extensive, so they required only a small amount of quality seeds. Yet, this small bag of quality seeds guaranteed their livelihood for the year, at least ensuring they wouldn’t go hungry.
Di Yiqiu watched for a while at the entrance, and Li Lu couldn’t hold back any longer. He said, “From what the steward mentioned earlier, it seems Mr. Third Dream’s situation here in the capital is quite challenging. In my opinion, Chief, as long as you provide ample protection and he recognizes your genuine intentions, he will eventually show himself.”
“True… that’s true,” the chief promptly agreed.
“Instruct the White Tiger Bureau to secretly protect this residence. If any ruffians cause trouble, arrest them all.”
Li Lu acknowledged the order, and after thinking for a while, Di Yiqiu suddenly asked, “Although I haven’t met Mr. Third Dream in person, we have a long-standing bond of friendship. I wish to send him a token of goodwill, but I’m concerned that common gifts may not appeal to him. Li Lu, what do you think I should send?”
Li Lu, who was well aware of the situation, immediately put his mind to work. After a moment of thought, he said, “In my opinion, Mr. Third Dream is devoted to helping the people and is very humble. Gifts of gold and silver may indeed seem too worldly. However, breeding high-quality seeds must incur considerable expenses, and while the selling price is low, his resources may not be abundant. If you wish to give a gift, perhaps something practical would be more appreciated.”
The chief nodded in strong agreement.
As a result, the next day, the Celestial Court sent a shipment of… fertilizer to Mr. Third Dream’s ancient residence.
Meanwhile, at the Black Tortoise Bureau,
Huang Rang was still anxiously waiting for Di Yiqiu. Finally, after a long wait, Di Yiqiu returned.
He was still dressed in a purple robe, with a jade belt around his waist and black official boots. Due to his young age and high position, he always had to maintain a stern demeanor.
“Di Yiqiu!” Huang Rang rushed up to him and exclaimed, “Why did you take so long? I’ve been waiting for you for so many days!”
Seeing this, Li Lu couldn’t help but clear his throat and avert his gaze.
The chief furrowed his brow. He had known Huang Rang since childhood, and he was so familiar with her that he didn’t even find her particularly attractive anymore, no matter how pretty she was.
even though everyone around her was saying the same thing.
“Why are you still here?” The chief frowned.
“Haven’t you received my order?”
“I did receive it,” Huang Rang replied shamelessly, “but I told my uncle and aunt that I haven’t learned enough about breeding yet and need to study for a few more years at the Black Tortoise Bureau.”
The chief was growing increasingly impatient. “I won’t allow it.”
Huang Rang moved closer and said, “Okay, okay, the courses at the Breeding Institute are just too easy. I’ve learned everything, really!”
Upon hearing this, Di Yiqiu’s eyebrows practically knitted together in consternation.
He used his hand to keep Huang Rang at bay, as if afraid of being touched. “Stay away from me.”
Seeing this, Li Lu quickly stepped forward and advised, “Miss Rang, the chief has been away for many days without rest. He’s tired, so perhaps you should go back first.”
“Well… fine.” Huang Rang still cared for him after all.
Seeing the bloodshot eyes in his gaze, she softened her tone. “I’ll make soup for you later.”
Di Yiqiu paid little attention to what kind of soup she intended to make and quickened his pace to distance himself from her as if she were a plague.
Back in his study, Di Yiqiu immediately wrote a letter to He Xijin, requesting that he take his niece away.
To his surprise, as soon as the letter reached the Ruyi Sword Sect, He Xijin immediately crushed a transmission talisman and rushed to the capital.
He personally met with the chief and wrote a self-critique of several thousand words.
The chief had to endure this from evening until noon the next day.
Afterward, he suddenly understood why Huang Rang had been able to idle away her time at the Breeding Institute for over a decade.
By the afternoon, when the chief bid farewell to Sect Leader He, his scalp felt numb. Though he was reluctant, he would never dare mention anything about Huang Rang leaving the institute again.
As long as this “salted fish” didn’t come to bother him, she could stay if she wanted.
The chief put aside the matter of Huang Rang and suddenly noticed a farmer at the door, joyfully hurrying home with a bag of quality seeds. The seal on the bag’s mouth bore the mark of Third Dream.
The chief contemplated, his thoughts wandering—how fortunate it would be if he could establish a connection with this person!