As a 21st century successful person who was deeply appreciated by his boss, from a regular worker promoted to department head with an annual salary raised from ¥60,000 to ¥200,000 in just two years, Lin Yuan might not be able to guarantee anything else but in swaying people in his favor, he was a professional.
He began his analysis starting with the market.
Then analyzed the public’s purchasing power, examining the past and imagining the future.
“As long as soybean oil can be extracted, then we don’t need to worry about sales.” Lin Yuan spoke excitedly.
Jiang Gui and brother Dao also listened excitedly. At certain times, the atmosphere could infect a person, otherwise why would so many multi-level marketing oranizations sound like they have eaten jinsangzihoupian (TN: literally ‘golden voice throat tablet’ a type of medicine for the sore and dry throat)?
To tell the truth, brother Dao didn’t fully understand but he got the gist of it, that the soybean oil could make money, and quite a lot. When Lin Yuan was analyzing, he also conveniently laid on the flattery. Brother Dao took a gulp of wine to soothe hi shock.
“Is it really possible?” Jiang Gui couldn’t help feeling apprehension along with the excitement.
Lin Yuan smiled at him: “Brother Jiang, I am not lying to you, if I say even one fake word then I shall be hit with heaven’s lightening.”
Lin Yuan thought with a serious face: Sorry, I’m an atheist.
“Excellent!” Jiang Gui hollered, “pour the wine!”
Brother Dao suddenly asked: “20 people must not be enough.”
Lin Yuan replied quickly: “Brother Dao, little brother currently has very little funds. I originally thought to have brother Dao’s guys come be managers, as for the workers underneath, little brother was thinking of finding the city’s manual laborers to come work.”
Brother Dao looked at Lin Yuan, not the least bit angry: “200 coins per month. As for the workers underneath I can point you to a direction. Last year, a group of people came from the southwest and are currently living outside the city’s eastern gate. They are mostly whole families who don’t mind manual labor, even begging is feasible for them. I am familiar with their leader, we are sworn brothers and follow the code of brotherhood. All you need to guarantee are meals.”
Only guarantee meals?
Lin Yuan: “Of course I trust brother Dao, but I am a stranger to them, what if…..”
Brother Dao waved his hand, giving off the feeling of jianghu heroes: “Don’t worry over this and that, if you agree then I will go speak for you. If they are lazy or commut crimes, there’s no need for you to do anything, I will be the first to chop them up.”
Lin Yuan outwardly remained expressionless but inside was like the roaring sea.
An underworld gang leader talking about punishing others for committing crimes?
Brother Dao’s large hand patted Lin Yuan’s shoulder, looking at him with an expression that conveyed: I have high expectations of you.
With a sigh, brother Dao said: “Nowadays business is hard, the times are in upheaval, my guys are nearly starving. As their leader I am guilty, I am guilty!”
This guy was already drunk.
Jiang Gui’s face was flushed completely red, ans he also started crying: “Brother Dao, you are a good man, unlike me. Nowadays the government is in a turmoil, the prison is full of the common people. I have a guilty conscience, a guilty conscience!”
Lin Yuan: “How about…..we go back?”
Jiang Gui immediately pounced and grabbed Lin Yuan’s hand, excitedly saying to brother Dao: “Brother Dao, little brother Lin is the number one good person I have ever met all these years, concerned with the welfare of the common people. Truly the heart of a Buddha, this kind of person, if we don’t help him my conscience will hurt.”
Lin Yuan looked on with a dead fish face, brother, the fellow who accepted my 10 tael 1 guan bribery, was it you, or was it you?
Brother Dao also looked towards Lin Yuan, asking absentmindedly: “Little brother Lin, you have yet to reach 20?”
Lin Yuan immediately replied: “I am fifteen at xusui (TN: one’s age, according to the traditional Chinese method of reckoning where a person’s age is one year at birth, and increases by one year at the beginning of the first solar term each year, rather than on one’s birthday).”
Brother Dao: “No wonder you are this smooth-skinned, I had thought you to be some family’s lady.”
Brother Dao: “Hahahahaha!”
Lin Yuan: “…..” This joke was not funny at all.
Brother Dao laughed carefreely: “When does work start?”
Lin Yuan: “As soon as possible. Everything is ready, we just need workers.”
Actually, the production cost of the oil extraction method was low for the amount of oil that was produced. The skills needed was also low, even complete newcomers could quickly get the hang of it. The only disadvantage was that it required a lot of manpower as well as steam and high temperatures.
Brother Dao: “Tomorrow I will have my people go over. The eastern gate people, how many do you want?”
Lin Yuan: “Also 20, as long as the result is good then we can increase.”
Brother Dao slapped the table, full of heroic spirit: “Good! Come, drink!”
Brother Jiang and brother Dao were sent home by Lin Yuan. Only brother Dao posed a bit of a problem as he didn’t know where he lived, the only choice left was to bring him back to his place.
Looking at the drunk that was brother Dao who was still hollering about having more wine, Lin Yuan asked Er Liang with a headache: “If in the morning he discovers we left him to sleep on the floor, would he chop us up?”
Er Liang looked at his muscles, his arm wider than his own thigh, and replied seriously: “No need to use a knife, one fist and we are gone.”
Lin Yuan sighed, reality was too cruel. He made fun of Er Liang: “Then we will sleep on the bed and you can sleep on the floor.”
Er Liang didn’t fall for it: “I will just curl up at the foot of the bed, the night is cold.”
Lin Yuan: “Fine, did you buy tangpozi?”
Er Liang paused: “Forgot.”
Lin Yuan: “Then you must curl up tight, don’t get a cold.”
In actuality, both Lin Yuan and Er Liang didn’t take up much space. When they normally share the bed there was still a very large space left, enough for another person. But, this brother Dao fellow had a rather tyrannical sleeping posture, arms and legs outstretched and taking up more than half the bed. Lin Yuan and Er Liang could only grievously curl up in the space left.
Er Liang whispered: “In the future I shall also grow big like him.”
“Look at this physique, this is what’s called a man.”
Soon afterwards, Er Liang pinched his nose: “Only, the feet is too smelly.”
Lin Yuan opened the windows, saying with difficulty: “It must be difficult for you, how is this simply smelly? This is goddamn smelly, smelly as hell.”
Er Liang waved his hand: “You don’t have to air the place, originally I smelled it for this long that I nearly can’t make it out anymore. The wind blows in and I can now smell it again.”
Lin Yuan held his breath: “Don’t say anymore. Go fill a basin of water and help this fellow wash his feet. Put some vinegar in the water.”
Er Liang went to put on his coat and left with a basin.
Lin Yuan sat at the edge of the bed and looked at the other’s feet——the socks were already black in color, but from the edges he could still make out that it was originally white. Lin Yuan sighed, not only did he have to let him stay for a night, they even had to wash his feet for him. How lamentable.
Neither Lin Yuan or Er Liang had any desire to actually manually wash his feet so they just left his feet to soak in the water.
“Does it still smell?” Lin Yuan asked, he felt that his nose was already numb.
Er Liang sniffed carefully, not too sure: “I think so.”
They looked at each other but in the end they let it soak for another candle length of time. The water had already cooled before they lifted and dried his feet. Lin Yuan let out a sigh of relief: “Sleep quickly, we must wake early tomorrow.”
Er Liang nodded. That night Lin Yuan could not sleep well, his dreams were filled with a giant pair of smelly feet chasing after him to have him sniff at the stinky smell. Lin Yuan shouted loudly in refusal but still could not outrun the other.
After waking up, Lin Yuan felt like he got a new lease on life.
Both in this life, and last life, he had never had such a scary nightmare.
“Young master.” Er Liang woke up long before. He brought in a basin of water for Lin Yuan to clean up with.
Lin Yuan was a modern person and knew how much harm coarse salt could do to your teeth if applied directly. So he used water to disperse the salt before rinsing his mouth with it.
Brother Dao was shaken awake by Lin Yuan.
“Who?!” The moment he opened his eyes, brother Dao was alert and aware. He even unconsciously made for his knife. Turning his head to see Lin Yuan, he let out a sigh of relief: “Little brother Lin.”
Brother Dao looked around.
Lin Yuan: “This is the place I rented. Yesterday brother Dao and brother Jiang became drunk and as I don’t know where you live I brought you over to stay for the night.”
Brother Dao: “I have troubled you.”
Just as brother Dao prepared to put on his outer clothes and get up, he discovered he could not find his socks.
He looked towards Lin Yuan.
Lin Yuan: “……”
Brother, if I were to steal anything it would be your knife. Who in their right mind would steal a pair of stinky socks?
“Last night was in a rush, little brother prepared a new pair of socks, don’t know whether it will fit.” Lin Yuan handed over a new pair of socks.
Brother Dao coughed, his slightly tanned face blushed a red that wasn’t too obvious: “No problem.”
Even he himself thought his feet were smelly, never taking off his shoes when sleeping during the winter.
Once brother Dao was ready they went to eat breakfast together.
Breakfast was meat buns, cabbages, and white porridge.
In these times, this was considered rather rich and sumptuous. Poor families could not afford meat let alone white flour.
A bun that took Lin Yuan two bites to finish but for brother Dao could swallow them whole. After blowing on the porridge twice he directly spilled it down his throat. Lin Yuan watched and felt afraid he might burn his throat.
After eating and drinking his fill, brother Dao let out a loud shout: “Feels great!”
It looked like the daily life of this gang leader was not as good as he thought.
Si Niang and Gou zi also sat at the table.
They did not take any of the meat buns, drinking the white porridge in small cherishing bites, and only taking some cabbages. It was only with a look from Lin Yuan to Er Liang that had two meat buns added to their plate.
Si Niang took a small bite of the meat bun, warm and steamy, the white bun soft and tasty, the meat slightly oily in a good way.
She discreetly wiped the tear from her eye and focused on eating.
“Brother Dao, we can rest a bit before going to look for workers.”
Brother Dao nodded, taking a drink from a tea cup, the tea leaves were not fine or expensive but even so the common people could not afford tea.
The reason Lin Yuan was willing to collaborate with brother Dao was because he was a gang leader. Having both powers from the legal and illegal world participating gave him more confidence in the safety of his business.
Otherwise, a youngster from another region like himself, with no background or connections would only lose his business if someone wanted to take a bite out of him.
The illegal side had brother Dao and the legal side had brother Jiang.
Lin Yuan rubbed his chin, thinking that one Jiang Gui was not enough, if only he could have the support of an official with a higher status.
Brother Dao: “Little brother Lin, why did you think of doing business at your young age?”
Lin Yuan said truthfully: “The times are in upheaval so my dad had me come over here to buy some property. If something does happen then the whole family has somewhere to retreat to.”
Brother Dao sighed: “That’s true, if not for the tumultuous times who is willing to leave their home village for an unfamiliar place and be treated as outsiders and discriminated against.”
Lin Yuan heard this and thought that this was a person with a story.
Brother Dao said: “Last year, my guys and I were porters but we could no longer make a living in our old hometown so we arrived at Wu City. As outsiders we were often bullied and looked down upon, and must stick together in order to survive. My village mates trust me so they had me be the leader. I must not fail them.”
Lin Yuan agreed.
Brother Dao patted Lin Yuan’s shoulder: “Little brother Lin, if you can have my guys eat their full and have warm clothes to wear, even if it is to pierce a hole in the heavens then your brother I, will risk my life to help you.”
Lin Yuan began to feel the pressure, straightening his spine: “Definitely, definitely.”
Ai~ the pressure of reality, it truly had him feeling pain along with happiness.
AN: Lin Yuan: “Please tell me your story.”
Si Niang: “My man died, my two oldest sons died, my life is bitter.”
Gou zi: “Dad died, older brothers died, my life is bitter.”
Jiang Gui: “I alone must support six people, my life is bitter.”
Brother Dao: “My feet smells, my life is bitter.”
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