Lin Yuan didn’t know how to make sugar so he first squeezed the juice out of the berries and then simmered it in a pot. When it became viscous he put the fire out and waited for it to cool——the result appearing more like honey, very viscous and sweet, but it was far from either dark brown sugar or fine white sugar. This kind of liquid sugar was not convenient for carrying around and couldn’t be stored long either. But in an era lacking in sugar intake it was enough.
The charcoal was also put into use, however the temperature was still not high enough to melt metal.
Everyone was disappointed; in the end the most important thing was to find coal.
But there wad also good news, Yang Zi’an found the soil that could be used to make bricks, and the charcoal conveniently could be used. From the kiln the bricks came out a dark yellow, although the sizes weren’t uniform, they were indeed usable.
The newly bought people had been put into the farming team and accompanied the farmstead people in farming the fields. Some who were very weak and malnourished followed the women into the mountains to gather berries. They adapted extremely well.
It caused the people who had originally followed brother Dao and Yang Zi’an to feel rather puzzled.
Someone asked them: “You aren’t afraid?”
The people replied: “Why would we be afraid? There is Boss for everything!”
The worst would be being sold again. They would only hope their next master was also a good master.
It had been very, very long since they had eaten fully.
Now there were grains to eat, no matter if it was just bean curd cakes, so long as they could fill their bellies then they would be very happy.
“Just before being bought, the human trafficker told us that if no one will buy us he will have to throw us away.” Someone said sorrowfully, “otherwise we would just be wasting his food.”
“On the way, there were people who sold their sons and daughters, as long as there was a sack of beans they would sell.”
“They even sell their old wives. I saw someone, no one wanted to buy his old wife so he just abandoned her in the market without even looking back.”
“She was still conerned over her husband and children when she was took away.”
Someone said fearfully: “Next to us there was another human trafficker, in his group there was a person who suffocated several of his fellow slave-servants.”
“A lot of people does it, with less people then your own chance of being bought would be greater.”
The listeners all had goosebumps from hearing.
“Our days now are very good.” One of the new arrivals sighed with feeling, “Boss says there are a lot of charcoal which can be used in the winter and are better than firewood.”
“And the clothes, I saw it, it looks very thick and warm.”
“A bed to sleep in! I haven’t slept in a bed before!”
The others asked: “Where do you normally sleep in if not a bed?”
The person chuckled: “Before at my old master’s place I looked after the horses so I sleep in the stables with them. In the winter, sleeping with the horses is very warm.”
“You even raised horses?”
“That’s amazing, I only ever saw big officials riding horses, their wives and daughters sitting in horse carriages. I haven’t even touched a horse’s butt before.”
The person smiled, rather pleased with himself: “I am very good at raising horses, whatever they like to eat I know. I can even help mares birth colts.”
“Then how come you were sold away?”
The person’s expression became desolate: “When my masters fled they abandoned me.”
“Then how did you fall into the hands of human traffickers?”
The person became high spirited again: “I saw a group of people passing by, and after finding out it was a human trafficker making his trips I sneaked into the group of slave-servants.”
This was actually something that happened?
“You all don’t know, even human traffickers won’t accept anymore people.” The person said quietly, “now that sells are difficult the wilds are full of people. No one wants to buy more mouths to feed.”
The person let out a relieved sigh: “If not for Boss, we would definitely be abandoned in the wilds as well.”
“Where would there be any of the good days here?”
The other new arrivals all nodded in ardent agreement.
“I truly hope Boss lives a 100 years.”
“Yes, Boss is a living Buddha.”
“In the future when I have a son, the sons of my sons, they will all work for Boss!”
These people already made plans for their grandchildren and later generations.
The building of a city wall soon began and almost everyone was mobilized. When the fields required less work everyone began to build the wall. The replacement for cement was a mixture of mud and when dried it was also rather sturdy, just not as smooth as cement. Lin Yuan had people make some push carts from wood. Compared to metal push carts they weren’t as convenient and rather clumsy but it was still better than manually carrying the bricks.
Sometimes they were pushed by people and other times they were pulled by the ox and donkey.
By winter only 1/3 of the wall was finished but in brother Dao and the others’ eyes the speed was already rather quick.
On the first day of winter Lin Yuan had people kill and cook 20 or so bamboo mice and everyone got a share of some meat. Bamboo mice meat with tofu and pickled vegetables stewed together with enough salt and oil. In the eyes of the people on the farmstead this was something only normal families could have during the new year holidays.
Also on this day Zhu Zhongba had a talk with Lin Yuan. He was now like brother Dao and the others, building the wall together. His young age combined with the recent better diet had him growing muscle mass, his forearm being as thick as Lin Yuan’s thigh——Lin Yuan consoled himself that his body was still only 16 while Zhu Zhongba was almost 20.
Besides, boys developed and matured slowly, they could still grow in their 20’s.
“You want to go search for coal and iron?” Lin Yuan looked in disbelief at Zhu Zhongba, “do you know what the situation is like outside?”
Searching single-handed and unaccompanied, even if he found it how could he bring it back by himself?
Zhu Zhongba said seriously: “I discussed with brother Dao, he will come with me and we’ll bring some people as well.”
Lin Yuan thought it over but did not immediately agree: “Let me think for a bit. Without weapons what would you all do if you come across danger?”
He truly did not want to hear anymore news about death.
Even if this was Zhu Zhongba, even if he was Ming dynasty’s founding emperor, Lin Yuan did not think he would have some kind of special halo.
After all, historically Zhu Zhongba should now be on his way to Huang Jue temple.
Zhu Zhongba appeared to have already decided: “Even if we are always in the farmstead we are also without weapons. The wall is just an obstacle, if someone truly wants to charge in, without any weapons we would just be like a turtle in a jar.”
Lin Yuan fell silent. After awhile he said with a hoarse voice: “I know.”
He was very clear on this point, but he was also clear that there was an 80% chance someone would die.
Lin Yuan thought silently for almost an hour before saying with difficulty: “Go, you and brother Dao select some men. Don’t force yourselves, run if you meet danger.”
Zhu Zhongba smiled, showing white teeth which set off against his tan skin: “I know.”
They were not soldiers and going outside was also not for fighting in a war. So long as they could protect their lives they would.
Lin Yuan said: “Money and food I will have it all prepared, you all must come back safely.”
Zhu Zhongba: “Boss, you truly are a living Buddha.”
Lin Yuan jumped up and gave Zhu Zhongba’s head a forehead knuckle: “Have you seen such a young Buddha before?”
Zhu Zhongba laughed, he actually forgot, Boss had yet to be considered an adult, younger than himself by a few years.
Although his person was still small, but his heart was not small at all.
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