When strangers showed up, everyone in the wilderness became nervous and stayed inside their shacks. Someone in their shack hollered: “We don’t have food! We don’t have any valuables either! This hero, please leave us a chance for survival!”
More people just stayed silent, trembling inside their shacks.
Lin Yuan had thought that there would be more people in the wilderness. The truth was it was extremely desolate. Because it was winter the trees were all bare, on the ground though there were human faeces and Lin Yuan must be careful so that he wouldn’t step on these ‘surprises’.
The people in the farmstead at least knew to dig a hole and bury their wastes and then use it as fertilizer later.
The people here didn’t even bury it.
Lin Yuan shouted towards the people in the wilderness: “I require people to carry heavy objects. Everyday there will be mixed grain buns and bean curd cakes. There will be houses for shelter too. Those who want to come step out from the shacks.”
Lin Yuan repeated it again but still no one appeared.
They hid inside their shacks and examined the new arrivals.
After waiting nearly 2 hours and as Lin Yuan was about to give up, a woman who was carrying someone on her back came out. Her hair oily and knotted, she timidly walked forward, looking up at Lin Yuan: “Are women acceptable? I can carry things.”
She also said: “I won’t waste food, I can do two people’s work for just one person’s food ration.”
She looked at Lin Yuan with desperate hope: “Is that alright?” Lin Yuan looked at the person she was carrying.
The woman immediately said: “This is my young lady, my young lady……my young lady knows how to read and write!”
Lin Yuan: “What is your name?”
The woman said immediately: “I am called Yun Niu!”
Lin Yuan nodded, “Yun Niu, wait behind me.”
Yun Niu carried her young lady and walked to the back behind Lin Yuan. She stood in the middle of tall and big men, appearing even smaller and pitiful. Her face still showed anxiousness, she didn’t know what the future held but she knew that with the winter on them she wouldn’t be able to even use her body to exchange for food anymore.
In fact, she herself could become food.
“No more people?” Lin Yuan asked a final time.
This time he did not wait long, finally someone left their shack as well.
Most who lived in the wilderness wrre men, there were some women but other then the women who had the protection of their husbands, most single women were like Yun Niu and sold their bodies for food. They wrre barely covered in rags and walked out barefoot, their bodies even sported wounds——some men relied on hitting women to vent their emotions.
The people who came out were about 1/3 of all the people in the wilderness.
In Lin Yuan’s eyes this was not a lot but those unwilling to come out he couldn’t help it either. It’l was not like he could force them to come work for him?
So he said to the people who came out: “Follow me.”
On the way back, Yun Niu carried her young lady, gritting her teeth in order to not fall behind. On the side one of the men who came out with Lin Yuan from the farmstead offered: “I can carry her, don’t end up falling.”
Yun Niu said alertly: “I can still carry, there is no need.”
The man did not insist: “That’s fine, when you can’t anymore just let me know.”
Yun Niu did not reply, she also could not reply, following the others without falling behind was already taking up all her strength.
When they finally arrived at the farmstead, this group of people with timid and numb eyes finally seem to have some light in them.
They saw farm fields, even with bok choi planted in the soil. They were all of farmer origins so seeing the farm fields they could barely move their eyes.
The land was the source of the people’s livelihood, the people’s roots.
“First bring them to go wash up.” Lin Yuan said to the women waiting on the side, “one set of clothes per person.”
The women smiled: “Understood, Boss.”
With smiles on their faces, they lead them to wash up and shave their hair so that they didn’t bring lice into the dormitories.
Yun Niu was also pulled away by a woman. The woman wore clothes that looked thick, not shivering at all in the winter winds. She was also very clean, no dirt at all on her face. Her hair was also pulled up with a wooden hairpin, and looked very respectable.
“I am called San Hua, what are you called?” The woman asked Yun Niu.
Yun Niu said quietly: “I am called Yun Niu, this is my young lady.”
San Hua brought them to a crowd of shacks. The shacks were much more sturdier than the ones seen in the wilderness. At least it did not have cracks to let in the wind. Inside the shack were a few buckets of water. This world did not have the conditions for showering, using warm water to wipe at was already very good.
“You…..have always stayed here?” Yun Niu asked San Hua carefully.
San Hua smiled: “No, we were bought and brought here. They bought my dad and my dad took me and my mom along.”
San Hua shaved Yun Niu’s hair and said: “Don’t be afraid, after coming here everything will be alright. As long as you work there will be food to eat. Boss does not hit people.”
Yun Niu asked curiously: “What kind of person is Boss?”
San Hua’s eyes had hope and yearning in them: “Boss is a good person, it is the first time I’ve ever seen such a good person like Boss in my whole life.”
On the other side another woman shaved the hair of Yun Niu’s young lady, she teased: “San Hua wants to be Boss’s servant girl.”
San Hua blushed: “Who said that? Don’t say nonsense.”
Yun Niu slowly relaxed, she said to her young lady when the women left to pour out the water: “Young lady, the Boss seems to be truly a good person, there are so many women here.”
The young lady coughed twice, her face smiling.
Even a cripple like herself he was willing to bring back, who but a good person would do that.
“In total we brought back 30 people.” Lin Yuan sighed, “men 22, women 8. And it’s a whole number, not even one more.”
Yang Zi’an said: “Not bad, I had thought not even one would be brought back.”
Lin Yuan thought that strange: “What do you mean?”
Logically speaking, with a chance for survival those people should not be so unmoved?
Before there had even been a brave horse caretaker who sneaked into the people belonging to the human trafficker, just to have a chance at surviving.
Yang Zi’an: “I hear that there are some bandits who have already started killing people and cutting their flesh.”
Lin Yuan: “…….Cannibalism?”
Yang Zi’an nodded: “That’s right.”
Lin Yuan fell silent, after a while he stood up: “I’m afraid we must speed up the work this winter.”
“Strive to finish building the wall by next summer.”
He wanted to have more people stay alive. Perhaps the heavens brought him to this era so that he could do this very thing.
Lin Yuan looked at Yang Zi’an: “Second brother, the bandits have weapons right?”
Yang Zi’an paused, and immediately understood Lin Yuan’s meaning, smiling: “Of course.”
Lin Yuan: “And we lack weapons.”
Yang Zi’an and Lin Yuan made eye contact, both blinking their eyes at each other and then letting out loud laughs.
Lin Yuan: “In the winter, they lack food and don’t have much warm clothes. We can take advantage of winter and rob the bandits in the area.”
“But before that, we need an important object.”
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