They bumped and swayed all the way to the farmstead. Lin Yuan threw up twice. Finally, before he could throw up a third time, they arrived. The once unfarmed land was already opened and sowed with seeds. Although Lin Yuan didn’t know what kind of seeds——based on his friend’s words while at college he was a typical city guy who couldn’t distinguish the five crops (TN: millet, soybeans, sesame, barley, rice or other types – basically a phrase that encompasses all grains) from each other, if left in a farm field he would not even recognize what was rice and what was wheat.
This was a bit of an exaggeration, after all Lin Yuan felt he could definitely tell the difference between rice and wheat, but his friend’s words could be considered a straightforward portrayal.
“Boss.” The driver jumpex down and placed a mounting stool for Lin Yuan. Lin Yuan stepped down using the mounting stool and stood on the land he owned ——from now on he could be considered a small-time landowner.
If in the future he had a son, he could say to his son: “Son, look, this is the empire dad conquered.” (TN: LOL can’t even describe how ironic this is. ML: what am I, chopped liver? Even the author thinks so.)
This was obviously not possible.
The sky had already darkened now, only by the moonlight could the grass huts not too far away could be seen. Outside the settlement of grass huts was a firepit. Here there was plenty of wood, being next to the mountain and all. At this time, most have already slept. The people wake at sunrise and sleep at sunset. Without the worry of starvation life seemed much simpler.
Lin Yuan did not want to wake them when they had already rested just to inform them their boss had arrived. So, their small group arrived silently to where Lin Yuan would be living.
The house did not have a complex design but it was very large, fit for living quite a few people.
This was likely the least luxurious house of a landowner, but very practical. Lin Yuan was very satisfied.
Si Niang and the rest began to unpack but the time was limited so they only cleaned up the bedrooms and set up the beds.
“This bed is constructed well.” Si Niang touched the wood. Although she was not an artisan but life gave her experience.
Lin Yuan couldn’t tell whether it was good or bad so he pretended by nodding.
When walking over he did not see a well, the front had a river but river water was turbid. In order to use river water you have to wait until the sand settled before cooking it to a boil. That was too troublesome, so that night Lin Yuan gave up on washing his face and brushing his teeth. Without washing his feet either he climbed onto the bed for sleep.
The others were of similar situations.
After a day riding in an ox cart, his whole person felt sore. Lin Yuan lay on the bed and asked Er Liang: “Er Liang, before at home did I have a time where I went to sleep without washing my feet?”
Er Liang said quietly: “Yes, when young master was tired you just took off your shoes before crawling into bed.”
Lin sniffed at the air: “It’s a good thing my feet don’t smell.”
Er Liang: “Of course, young master doesn’t need to farm so your feet doesn’t sweat. Of course there would be no smell.”
Lin Yuan looked at him with disdain: “As if you farm.”
Er Liang said, pleased with himself: “My dad said being able to serve young master is the fortune accumulated in my past life.”
“Sleep quickly.” Lin Yuan had Er Liang blow out the light.
The next morning, Lin Yuan was awoken by Er Liang. He slept too deeply that he didn’t even notice it began to rain in the middle of the night. Waking up in the morning it was quite chilly. He rubbed his arms and had Er Liang bring out a cotton coat to wear.
Er Liang: “Earlier I went to find Li da ye and Yang er ye (TN: ye is a term of respect for older men and here Er Liang calls them based on their sworn brotherhood order). They are waiting outside.”
Lin Yuan thought as he put on his socks, who was “your da ye“? The original owner’s da ye (TN: da ye is also a term to address an older uncle. And used colloquially as a curse word btw) arrived? Over such a long distance and only being a step later than them, was this person a fortune teller who could calculate that he would build a farmstead here?
“What do you mean your da ye, Yang da ye.” Lin Yuan, “say their names.”
Er Liang: “Ai, it’s brother Dao and Yang Zi’an.”
Lin Yuan: “…..Then call them as I would, big brother Li and second brother Yang. Don’t da ye er ye, it’s weird.”
Er Liang rubbed the back of his head, not understanding what was weird.
Lin Yuan walked out his room and seessaw brother Dao and Yang Zi’an sitting on the chairs. These two looked more weather-beaten than before, after all they must go out into the fields everyday to supervise. Lin Yuan first cupped his hand in greeting, before saying: “Third brother said that the people in the north are beginning to flee elsewhere and that we should prepare early.”
Brother Dao: “That fast?”
Yang Zi’an: “Nothing to be afraid of, here we are surrounded by mountains. If there are truly refugees coming in they wouldn’t flee in our direction.”
Brother Dao obviously did not feel the same, he rubbed at his chin and said: “We can’t be sure, refugees may not come here but what about mountain bandits?”
Mountain bandits, as the name implied, were bandits that wondered the mountains. Mostly made up of young or middle-aged men with nimble bodies that would not be too tall or bulky so that they could move through the forest easily.
These bandits had long been a source of trouble for this area’s landowners.
Nobody wanted to be robbed. Although giving them their food supply would gain them peace, but handing over their food would cause their heart to be in pain.
“We are here.” Yang Zi’an squat down onto the floor. Dipping his finger in water he casually drew a map that showed their location, “On this side is the official road. Only a small path leads here and there is no merchant road either.”
“Mountain bandits rob passing merchants and wealthy landowners, but they never stay in one place too long. Our location resembles a valley, moreover there is no important road or any well-known wealthy landowners around. Mountain bandits will not come here even if they have nothing better to do.”
“Refugees will also not flee towards the mountains. They head to places where there are people such as cities. If refugees truly come over here then that means Wu City…..”
Yang Zi’an sighed: “Take them in, Wu City will be finished, don’t take them in, Wu City will also be finished.”
His meaning both Lin Yuan and brother Dao understood.
By taking in refugees, Wu City’s food supply would not be enough to support the increase in population. The city’s residents themselves did not have enough to eat let alone share with outsiders. When the time came, the conflict in Wu City would escalate. They didn’t believe that Wu City could still maintain order in such a conflict.
But if the city didn’t take in the refugees, eventually once refugee numbers increased in crowds, they would have the guts to commit desperate acts in order to survive.
So long as refugees arrived, no matter what Wu City did it would always be wrong.
Lin Yuan sighed: “I will have the driver go to Wu City in three days to bring a message to third brother to warn him once he discovers refugees to immediately come over.”
Yang Zi’an nodded: “Fine.”
Brother Dao sat on the side not saying anything. He looked out the window and sighed lightly. He had a heroic spirit and a sense of justice but this kind of situation was not something they could take part of as heroes.
In the face of famine and suffering, it was difficult to resist, everyone could only go with the flow.
“Also have third brother spread rumors, so that others can be more aware.” Lin Yuan said, “and call the guys at the oil plant to come over as well with their weapons.”
Once the refugees moved south, they must hide themselves and pass a duration of time of being self sufficient.
Until the refugees spread elsewhere, or……
If you like the content (or want more ;p) then please consider supporting this translator! ლ(⌒εー)ლPrevious