Back To The Beginning Of Ming To Do Charity CH 010 The Ways of the World

It was late winter but Lin Yuan still wore a cotton coat as the weather had yet to warm. He sneezed and rubbed his hands together. Si Niang was on the side burning the charcoal, it would take awhile before the room warmed. 

The price of charcoal was not cheap so Lin Yuan did not buy much. Once the last few pieces were burned then the only choice left was burning firewood. 

Poor families even had to save on the burning of firewood. 

There’s no help for it, the people going up the mountains to cut wood had decreased because if one was not careful one could come down with a cold very easily. 

A fever in the winter, death would not be far along. 

People would obviously choose their life over being comfortable. 

Before winter ended, Lin Yuan practically never left the house. Even with a cotton coat it was still not warm enough. Walking outside in this weather, before long one would not be able to take it. Er Liang was in a similar situation as Lin Yuan. The north might also be cold but the south was wet and cold. No matter how much one wore the cold wet air still seeped in. 

Lin Yuan hugged a tangpozi in his hands as he asked Er Liang: “Where are Si Niang and the others?” 

Er Liang rubbed his hands: “Si Niang is kneading dough, we will have noodles tonight.” 

No fresh vegetables, only some pickled vegetables. 

Although there were greenhouses, but Wu City had none, the entire winter was only pickled vegetables. 

Er Liang looked out the window, sighing: “Wonder where brother Chen is.” 

This topic was something Lin Yuan never spoke about with Er Liang. The two words brother Chen was like taboo words. 

That loyal and upright young man, perhaps had already lost his life. Only, Lin Yuan and Er Liang hoped he had survived instead. 

“Young master.” Er Liang said, “brother Chen knows we will come here. If next year he still doesn’t show up we should set up a cenotaph.” 

Lin Yuan did not refuse, nodding: “Alright.” 

Winter for people like Lin Yuan who had modest wealth could be considered comfortable. He didn’t have to go out and could stay indoors curled up in the warmth. Every three days he visited the oil plant, every week he checked the accounts but normally he hibernated. But for the common people, it was a bitter experience. During this winter a lot of beggars froze to death on the streets. Most of the beggars had long term ailments or illness, living day by day. Once winter came very few could make it pass. 

During the past few years the circumstances had not been good, even the city’s wealthy families no longer provided charity by setting up free porridge. The streets were empty and vendors also no longer showed up. 

Lin Yuan also did not dare to go out in the streets. He might not be a good person but he did have sympathy. He was afraid that once he went out he would not be able to resist in bringing those people who were close to freezing to death back to his home. 

But he currently had no money left, all of it used to hire people. 

Er Liang didn’t dare to go out either. Last time he went to buy meat he came back crying. 

Only Si Niang and Gou zi went out. These two fled here from famine back home and had seen all kinds of tragedies. They had already become numb. 

But they still had lingering fears because they knew, if not for Lin Yuan they would be no different from the people who froze to death. 

Gou zi was still young so Lin Yuan did not give him any heavy work. There’s actually not any heavy work to be done so Gou zi did some random chores such as sweeping the yard and watching the house. 

Er Liang did all the delicate work such as taking care of Lin Yuan’s needs. He never slacked in his work, a habit raised while living with the Lin family. 

His parents were family servants and had taught him from young to be diligent. 

Er Liang still remembered his dad’s words: “You must be capable! Otherwise, old Liu’s son will take your place. That you are able to serve young master, it is your good fortune accumulated over many lifetimes!” 

After serving at young master’s side, Er Liang finally understood his dad’s meaning. 

Serving young master meant he didn’t need to farm or do hard manual labor. He could even learn to read and write. 

Young master was also a good person and never hit or scolded the servants. He had a very good temperament. 

Even now that he had followed young master in his travel away from their hometown, Er Liang did not need to worry about anything. Young master was too capable, could take care of everything. He just needed to stay at young master’s side and look after his needs. 

Er Liang chatted with Gou zi. 

“Gou zi, when you were on your way here, did a lot of people die?” Er Liang asked. 

Gou zi chewed on a fried breadstick with an expression of contentment and says: “A lot. From starvation, their stomach bloated high but their arms and legs were like sticks. They said it was from being too hungry, only drinking water, drinking themselves to death.” 

Er Liang was both surprised and scared: “Then how did you two survive?” 

Gou zi swallowed the breadstick: “My mama had me eat the tree bark.” 

Er Liang asked curiously: “Does tree bark taste good?” 

Gou zi nodded: “It’s alright. I don’t know what kind of tree it was, it’s dry but still chewable. Taste better than dry tree bark.” 

“There was also a kind of grass root.” Gou zi said excitedly, “I haven’t seen it before in my hometown, once you pull it up on the bottom of the roots there is a tumor (TN: that is the literal translation. I didn’t know there are tumors on grass roots??? Can someone explain???) which is also edible. Roasting it makes it soft but not much flavor.” 

Er Liang listened seriously, but he knew that if he switched places with Gou zi he would have died long ago. He could not endure the hardship, so Er Liang pretended to be mature and patted Gou zi’s shoulder: “Gou zi, you don’t have it easy.” 

Gou zi smiled: “It’s all in the past. Now I have food and drink, a bed to sleep and a cotton blanket! I have never used a cotton blanket before!” 

Gou zi said quietly: “Young master also gave me eggs to eat. I haven’t eaten eggs this many times my whole life.” 

Er Liang looked shocked: “You didn’t raise chickens in your old home?” 

Gou zi: “We did but mama took them all to sell on market days. Then we can buy salt and other things home. How can we eat it ourselves.” 

Gou zi said excitedly: “When I grow older and have children, it would be great if young master can give my son eggs to eat as well.” 

Er Liang: “……” Young man, you might be getting a little ahead of yourself. 

Gou zi rubbed his nose, chuckling: “My mama no longer have cold hands and feet. Mama says this is because we are eating well.” 

Gou zi asked Er Liang: “Brother Er Liang, you have always served at young master’s side?” 

Er Liang proudly puffed up his chest: “My parents are both Lin family servants, I followed young master when I was eight.” 

Gou zi was a bit envious: “Then you must often eat eggs?” 

Er Liang said: “Young master always had me eat with him, whatever young master eats I will also eat. Everyday there is meat to eat!” 

Eat meat everyday, that was practically the life of gods and immortals. Gou zi was envious to the point he could only swallow profusely. 

“Brother Er Liang, you have such a good life.” Gou zi said, “I must work harder, then young master will also give me meat to eat.” 

Er Liang encouraged: “You can do it!” 

Gou zi grinned at Er Liang. 

Their chat was completely overheard by Lin Yuan who was sitting next to the window. 

The ways of the world currently was worse than he had thought. 

Then a few years later, when war broke out, what would the world turn into? 

Right now he had only started establishing his property. Once the field was ready to harvest next year and the farmstead was built, he will have someone send a message to original owner’s family to have them come over. He had received original owner’s body, even if it was after original owner’s death, but he was still in debt to the original owner. Moreover, it was thanks to the original owner’s legal mother’s money that he was able to survive. 

His consicence had yet to feed the dogs so he could not disregard original owner’s family. 

Lin Yuan took a sip of tea, letting out a soundless sigh.

TN1: Not much happening in this chapter but it does foreshadow how the situation will worsen in Yuan dynasty China and Lin Yuan is forced to finally make a decision.

*TN2 (edited b/c of the b*tching about spoilers): Reading some NU reviews and was kind of surprised that they thought this is a dark and serious story. It is definitely serious with a lot of characters and world building and plot but I wouldn’t consider it dark. The MC is also pretty relatable even if he comes into his role of leader. But isn’t it more satisfying this way where everything was bad before MC comes along and makes changes? Everyone must have had a hero dream before right? And this hero doesn’t need to self-sacrifice in order to save the world. It’s quite interesting reading about the backgrounds of side characters and how they have been victims of the times and how they face the ‘radical’ changes Lin Yuan brings. 

But it’s true that this is not a fluffy brainless story. If not for its BL characteristics I think guys would enjoy reading it more than gals who are looking for some romantic fluff. There’s a lot of wars and kingdom building and world dominating going on here. Just curious, are there any guy readers of this story?

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31 thoughts on “Back To The Beginning Of Ming To Do Charity CH 010 The Ways of the World”

  1. I like this novel very much, as if it renews the cortex of my brain. I hope this novel will repeat the history of the promotion of The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation. And more people will be interested in this novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments, likes and follows! That would be great if this got an anime and drama right? But i think it will be a small chance since Chinese censors hate time travel topics and especially changing Chinese history so yeah😭

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe it’s for the best. We will not be disappointed with the worst result.


        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think potatoes or sweet potatoes or even yam leave * new income and food supply lol* ( but there on of them that got poisonous leaf…just I don’t wich one got the edibles one 🤔)

      Thank for the translation !!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I have also read that birch tree bark is eatable. You remove the thin white outer bark, and take the first layer underneath. That’s the newest ring which is softer and sweater than older rings. You cut it into strips and cook it like noodles.


  2. I like this kind of story. The usual bl story burns my brain too much. I sometimes in need of bl story that is different from the usual one to fill my life. Whahaha ლ(^o^ლ)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be too disappointed! If you’ve read the reviews, a lot of people were disappointed that the bl in this was so pitiful to the extent it could even be ignored XD


      1. Hi! Commenting from 3 years later.

        Just throwing out my two cents but I finally found a gold gem!!
        I think this is actually a pretty wholesome, fluffy story as mc is gradually making the world a better place and improving everyone’s lives. Kind of like those heroes in history.

        Though I can see why some people would think this is dark. When I studied history it was very depressing I cried.

        I was looking for a story where the main characters just happen to be gay and it’s not the entire focus of the story, as if the world/characters revolves around their romance and the mc becoming the “favored best wife” and palace drama.
        I get it’s just a fantasy/wish fulfillment but I can’t invest in the story.

        Probably why I like shounen manga (where mc is focusing on a passion or hobby) then read fanfictions (because sadly there’s no way the gay ship will be canon).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kingdom building novels are right up my alley. This novel is so giving me so much serotonin! Thank you so much for the excellent translation!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “… eventually emperor…”

    Translator, is this spoiler?!
    Why would you give spoiler in the notes?

    Made me regret reading the notes. Most of translator would prevent any reader from giving spoiler in the comments, but you on the other hand, spill it freely.

    Ckckck 😳


  5. Translator wuwuwu… thought MC would have high authority but to be an emperor…

    Didn’t expect such a bomb to be dropped this early ;u;

    Regardless, thank you for translating this, it’s a good read so far.


  6. Just some days ago, I was telling my guy friend why I like danmeis so much and kinda doing my usual otaku promotions__its not always about fluff but most of the novels have such amazing, heart touching, and interesting plot wherein a lot gets said unknowingly and also has hidden dept. Literature at its best!!

    I am really grateful for your translations as well, its such hard work and your translations are beautiful. Hope you have a lot of success in life ahead.

    PS: When I read root tumor, the first thing that came to my mind was crown galls/club roots–but this is kinda harmful plant disease, so maybe the author was referring to those plants like potatoes where when you pull the plants there are like these big ugly fat chunk of roots__I cant really explain it, but my mum loves these sort of wild forest plants, it’s not that tasty but apparently it’s healthy, can’t really remember the name


  7. While still in the early chapters, I can see this story is “realistic”. Realistic in the sense that poor people always get the short end of the stick and they have to go through hell to survive. Also, this is a time when laws and rights are a privilege of the very few. Not to mention slaves, even poor peasants weren’t safe. So, it can get dark for those who forget that most folks were not kings and emperors and court officials playing at palace intrigue. Life was hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You see , I’m one of the girls that looks for the romance. It’s just one of the case’s where I lack in real life so I read and watch it instead. So sometimes I need fluffy story’s to ease my burned out brain from seeing real ‘relationship’ irl. So, when there is multiple warning about the lack of bl (romance)stuff kinda make me want to stop reading, but before this I read another one with ‘lack of romance’ and it is an amazing story, and I’m sorry but I have trust issues so I ‘look into the future’ and actually the romance started at the right time . For me. Even if I like fluffy thing’s, I’m a realistic person. Of course i think making sure I have a stable life is more important than finding love, so this kind of story is not lacking romance. Just some people who need serious fluff treatment wandering to wrong story, and making bad comment just because the story didn’t make them happy, so yeah…. Thank you for joining my Ted talk 🙏🤣


  9. Ofcourse there are roots that grow tumors, could be for water storage or whatever.

    Also, I wish you wouldn’t have dropped the ‘eventually emperor’ spoiler


  10. Oh no. I shouldn’t have read the comments. I usually don’t. Whyyyyyyyy? Now I know the spoiler. I juste wanted to say it isn’t fluffy but it isn’t a dark story either. More realist of the conditions people face at that time? Also, the tree with tumour might be bamboo tree.


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