Lin Yuan discovered that since the arrival of a new group of women, the men in the farmstead acted as if they had taken steroids. The new women usually work with the previous women, but because most of them were pregnant as well as having weak health, Lin Yuan didn’t dare to ask them to do heavy work. Instead he just had them rub the grass to use for padding clothes and blankets, sew garments, and if they were not pregnant, they could go to the kitchens to do some work.
Every time the men would pretend to pass by the place where the women worked.
In order to draw attention to themselves, they only wore simple shirts that exposed their chests and showed off their strong physique.
After all, in this era, a good body is also capital.
And due to this two of them even came down with a cold, but fortunately, their physical fitness was not bad so there weren’t any major problems.
Although these women were locked up by bandits and suffered both physical and psychological torture, some of them managed to find a suitable partner among the farmstead men.
For example, Li Da, he was probably the only one in this group of bachelors who was somewhat romantic. Every day he would show up in front of his crush and treat her solicitously, patting his chest in promise: “When your baby is born, I will be his father. I will definitely treat him as my own son, if I lie, let me be hit by lightning.”
The women of this era have not received education on the equality of men and women, nor have they heard the slogan that women can hold up half the sky.
Because women could not own private property, their only way out was to find a man to marry, as their parents could not always support them. In the past, Lin Yuan had read some books about the living conditions of ancient women. Different dynasties have different systems, but without exception, in a patriarchal society, women do not have any rights and are more like property than people.
And except for the legal wife, a man’s concubines could even be given away as they didn’t have any control of their own destiny.
The jobs that women can find were also very limited. For example, the cook which is a profession that was passed down in the family. The mother passes her skills to her daughter who will then pass it down to her daughter, and continue passing down generation to generation. Because it was due to the mother’s reputation and standing can the daughter continue to work and even inherit her mother’s position as the head cook in the kitchens at the master’s house.
Generally speaking, they had no means of surviving without getting married.
So some of these women have actually begun to consider accepting the pursuit of these bachelors.
After all, traditional thinking had already taken root in their minds, just like a woman who had been taught of the equality of men and women since she was young suddenly someone said to her: “Men are superior to women, women should just serve men.”
She would definitely sneer at this, thinking that the person who said this was a lunatic.
The common knowledge that people have received since childhood will affect their whole lives.
And the reason why these women dare not act rashly in their choice was because of the child in their bellies.
Although these children were products of rape by the bandits, they were now growing in their bellies. They were evidently descendants of their enemies, but now they are connected to them by blood.
Now the enemy was dead, but the meat in their belly was still there, and as the months have passed, the fetus have even begun to move.
Lin Yuan had thought that if they didn’t want to have the child, they could abort it, but he also thought about the current conditions——there was no medicine, even the most basic medicine was lacking. There was simply no guarantee that the woman will survive the abortion.
The only choice was to have them give birth to the child as the risk of abortion was too great.
So Li Da’s words truly touched the woman’s heart. Because they were in the farmstead where there was not much etiquette to speak of, and adding to the fact that they were people of the lower class, Li Da quickly got together with the woman.
Every day, he would say that it was not convenient for a woman to go to the cafeteria pregnant so he would send her the meals three times a day. Seeing that the cotton-padded clothes worn by the woman were too worn, he personally took up the needle and thread to help with sewing, who knew where he learned the needle and thread skills.
It was probably because of the successful example of Li Da, the bachelors finally knew which direction to work hard towards. However, there weren’t many successful couples as most women were still observing.
Some women however, were already discouraged about having a normal husband and wife relationship and instead go to work every day thinking this was already quite good, not wanting to live with a man.
After learning about Li Da, brother Dao once again went to confess to the girl he liked, saying that he didn’t mind about the child in her belly.
The girl almost cried from anger, hands on her hips she scolded brother Dao: “Look at my stomach, does it seem to be pregnant?!”
Brother Dao was scolded so badly, but he wasn’t ashamed at all, and said to Lin Yuan, “Look, she finally talked to me!”
Lin Yuan: “……”
Brother Dao rubbed his chin proudly: “She even hit me!”
Lin Yuan: “……”
Brother Dao continued rubbing his chin triumphantly: “She has really small hands.”
Lin Yuan turned around and walked outside. Men who fall into unrequited love have no IQ, he has finally discovered.
Brother Dao had never come into contact with unmarried girls before, hanging out with a bunch of rough men every day. Men in their twenties was just the time when they fantasize about girls.
Lin Yuan can also understand, when he was in college, his crush was Anne Hathaway.
He had saved all her movies on his cell phone, so whenever he was bored or something irritating happened he would play her movies.
But he also knew that even if he worked hard for a lifetime, he would still never be able to marry her.
So brother Dao began his days of being scolded every day, and even seemed to be enjoying it. Lin Yuan originally wanted to console him, but after thinking about it, this kind of matter between men and women, only the person involved in the matter knew about the truth of the situation. As for him he should just avoid it so as not to be disdained. So long as brother Dao isn’t harassing her then it was fine.
As the bachelors in the farmstead began their passionate pursuit of the women, the bandits’ days however were not very good.
They have to get up every day before dawn to build the wall, and under the eyes of supervisors. The supervisors each have a small wooden board in their hands, whoever did a good job gets a circle, while those who did a bad job gets a cross. At night after work has ended, they would go to find Qiu Niang who will write down the names and their performance accordingly. Whoever got a circle for seven consecutive days, they could move into the worker dormitory.
Not only that, but also be rewarded a small piece of smoked meat. And when he go to the cafeteria, the women who served food would give him an encouraging smile.
So the bandits discovered that even though their companions are saying, “It’s only because I don’t have a weapon, otheriwse I would definitely fight them to death.” But as soon as it was time to work, everyone competed for performance, each working harder than the other.
Before when they were still in the bandit residence, they had never worked even that hard. At that time whenever there was work everyone avoided it if they could.
“Liang Da, come out.” The supervisor called out a name. The person who was called hurriedly put down the brick in his hand and quickly walked over with a smile on his face: “Please speak, what are your orders?”
There was a smile on the supervisor’s mouth: “You have performed well in the past seven days, all are circles. Clean up and follow me to the dormitory.”
Liang Da widened his eyes in disbelief, standing there at a loss for a while, then rubbed his hands like a fly and sniffled his nose: “Really, really? I’m not dreaming?”
The supervisor patted him on the shoulder: “Since you have come to the farmstead, you are now the farmstead’s people. No matter what you were before, as long as you change, you will still be a good person. You can’t do bad things in the future, otherwise life will be difficult. Follow me.”
Liang Da looked back at his companions. They all looked at him with jealous or envious eyes. Liang Da puffed out his chest and jumped twice with excitement before he left the wall behind following after the supervisor, stopping by his grass hut to pick up his things.
These bandits actually didn’t have much, what he took was just a ragged undershirt.
“You will live in this room.” The supervisor took him to the room on the third floor. There was a room number outside, but because there were no literate people, on the side was drawn a few vertical lines that match with the number.
Liang Da nodded and bowed in a flattering way before walking in. As soon as he entered, he saw an old acquaintance.
It’s impossible for the bandits to live in the same room. They were spread out among the people in the farmstead. It was almost impossible to meet an acquaintanc, but Liang Da ran into Wu Sansi and San zi.
“Liang Da!” San zi was very excited. He was now familiar with the people here, and he had become bolder. Here, no one would make him do more things, and no one would beat him. As long as he did his own job, he would have food to eat so his personality became a lot more lively. He hopped down from the bed and even gave Liang Da a hug.
Liang Da was also very happy, the corners of his grinning mouth seem to be unable to flatten. He patted San zi on the back and smiled, “We can work together in the future now.”
San zi nodded fiercely: “Recently new land has been farmed. Although it’s a little tiring but we get to eat a lot. I can eat five multi-grain buns at one meal.”
Liang Da swallowed heavily. When he was building the wall, he only had two bean curd cakes at one meal and this was because of his good performance. If his performance was not good, he would only get one.
“I still have half a bun left from today.” San zi took out half of a multi-grain bun from his clothes and handed it to Liang Da, “You can have it.”
Liang Da said, “How could I possibly” but meanwhile he quickly took the half bun with quick hands, and ate it in a few mouthfuls, sighing with satisfaction.
Looking at Liang Da’s appearance, San zi also knew that he must have not eaten well for a long time, and increasingly felt that he was right in submitting to the circumstances so early.
Otherwise, he would be like the bandit leaders, who now have their heads chopped off.
The ones who used to tyranize and domineer in the bandit residence, having now gone to the underworld, wonder what kind of life they are now living, or whether Lord Yanwang (TN: Yama, king of the underworld) have sent them to hell or not.
Recently, because of the “cheap labor” provided by the bandits as well as the effort from the farmstead people, the progress had been much faster than before. Originally, it was only half finished, but after only two months of work, it was almost finished.
Lin Yuan was also very excited at the news. On the day of completion, he waved his hand: “Take out the smoked meat tonight, and kill some bamboo rats and chickens. Although there is not much meat, but you can have as much multi-grain buns as you want.”
The people in the farmstead were also very happy, with the city wall, they have increased protection. They all smiled widely, and even shouted a few times in excitement. Looking at the completed city wall, their faces were full of accomplishment and honor.
Although the city wall was neither magnificent nor beautiful, but so what? It was built by themselves personally, taking almost a year to complete, so it didn’t even need mentioning how good it felt in their hearts.
Lin Yuan also became drunk that night, his current body hadn’t drink alcohol much, naturally he didn’t have his previous life’s ability to not get drunk even after a thousand cups.
In the previous life, he had often accompanied his boss to attend business meetings outside. He must not only drink what he was supposed to drink, he must also drink in his boss’ place when needed. One year when he had to wrap up a big project, he drank until his stomach bled and had to stay in the hospital for a few days. Returning to his rented house and looking at the cold residence, he finally couldn’t hold back and ended up crying at home alone.
Work like a dog, be diligent in front of the boss, and try to get benefits for the employees under his command. He had climbed up from the lowest ladder. Countless people envy him on achieving the leadership position at such a young age, and with a salary that was many times more than the lower workers. But no one knew how much he suffered as a fresh college graduate with no work experience and no backing. Several times his position had been taken by the relatives of his superiors and when asked by others, he could only say, “Oh, maybe there is still something I haven’t done well enough. I’ll keep fighting next year.”
A phone call from the boss, and he had to run over even after work hours. One year the boss found a little mistress. The little mistress became pregnant and so his boss had the little mistress live in Lin Yuan’s house.
She was a young, beautiful and exceptionally proud girl. She felt that with her youth and beauty it would be no problem to defeat the boss’s yellow face old wife.
As a result, the boss’s wife came over and beat up the girl until she miscarried in Lin Yuan’s rented house.
Because the commotion alarmed the neighbor, the neighbor called the police, and with the little mistress having been beaten very hard, everybody was taken to the police station.
That time Lin Yuan took the blame, saying that he and the girl were young lovers but because of a verbal conflict, he accidentally used violence.
The girl said that she won’t pursue the matter so the entire situation just passed over inexplicably. But the neighbors now believe that Lin Yuan was a domestically violent man so every time they see Lin Yuan, they have contempt in their eyes.
He couldn’t lose his job at the time as he didn’t have a beautiful degree, and was just an ordinary undergraduate with no reliable relatives or friends. If he were to leave that company, other companies in the industry would only pay him even lower wages in comparison.
At that time, Lin Yuan’s only dream was to save some money and buy a house of his own, and then find a girl that he liked and who liked him in return, get married and build a family.
Every time he heard some new employees say: “If I am not happy in this company, I will just leave. There will always be a place that will have me.” Lin Yuan would privately feel envious in his heart.
He didn’t have the boldness to do the same. Those people have parents, relatives, and retreat plans, but he didn’t.
People who have no place to retreat always think more.
After Lin Yuan became drunk, he grabbed brother Dao by the hand and said, “Brother Dao, tell me, why is it so difficult to live a good life?”
Brother Dao patted Lin Yuan on the shoulder: “Fourth brother, you have to think like this, we are pretty good now, at least we are able to eat fully. Look outside, there are so many people who can’t eat enough, you must learn to be satisfied with what you have.”
“Did I use the phrase correctly?”
Lin Yuan’s sentimental and melancholy feelings disappeared immediately, he laughed out loud: “Brother Dao, only after knowing you all do I understand what it means to have brothers.”
He also had brothers when he was studying, high school buddies and college buddies. After graduation, everyone was busy with work and life and couldn’t see each other for more than a handful of times in a year, so gradually the friendships faded.
Sometimes when picking up the phone to chat with each other, the other would just start complaining about life after graduation. Complain about salary, complain about their superiors, complain about daily trivialities, complain about their wife’s growing temper after giving birth, complain about their children’s disobedience. The world was just gloomy in their eyes.
As time passed, Lin Yuan stopped chatting with them. He had already accumulated a lot of negative emotions himself, and he really didn’t want to listen to others’ spill out their garbage.
Brother Dao said excitedly: “People have only always praised me for being good. Let me tell you, swearing brotherhood with me is your fortune. Your brother Dao, I, am a person who is yi bo — what’s it again?”
Lin Yuan answered: “Yi Bo Yun tian (TN: idiom that refers to one being extremely loyal and just).”
Brother Dao slapped his thigh: “That’s it, that’s right!”
Brother Dao was also conpletely drunk, leaning on Lin Yuan’s shoulder and saying: “Fourth brother, you are not too young anymore, you should also consider marrying a wife and having children.”
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “No hurry.”
“Why are you not in a hurry?” Brother Dao retorted, “Only when you marry a wife, will you have someone to care and love you! I used to hear old Dong Tou say that when he was thirsty or hungry, his wife took care of him. When he was feeling uncomfortable, his wife watched over him all night. It’s good to have your own family!”
Brother Dao’s tone was full of envy.
Lin Yuan was still smiling drunkenly: “No hurry.”
Lin Yuan still had a modern concept of choosing a spouse, hoping that his lover was someone he loves, otherwise he would have been in love and married already back in the modern times, how could he have been single up until now.
Brother Dao saw that he couldn’t convince the othrt, he could only say: “Ai, you are still too young, you don’t understand.”
Every morning when he got up, he felt that his little brother (TN: Chinese euphemism for a man’s lower half) would poke a hole in the bed. Young men have high internal heat, it was quite normal.
The two fell asleep in the middle of their chat, laying on the same bed. When they got up in the morning, Lin Yuan discovered that he was sleeping at the foot of the bed last night, pitifully curled up in the cramped space. Brother Dao was again sleeping with arms and legs outstretched, still as overbearing as before.
Lin Yuan rubbed his stiff neck from sleep.
“Boss! Boss!” A hurried shout came from outside. Lin Yuan, who had just gotten up and was still a little confused, instantly became alert. It happened that he slept all night without taking off his clothes, so he walked straight out the house.
“What’s the matter?” Because spring had just begun, so even though it’s time to wake up, the sky was still dark and foggy.
Li Da hurriedly said: “A merchant has arrived outside.”
Lin Yuan’s eyes widened: “Merchant?”
Li Da nodded his head: “They said that they met bandits and had stepped off the road when escaping and got lost in the mountains. Finally seeing us, they came over and wanted something to eat.”
“Really a merchant?” Lin Yuan didn’t believe it.
“Forget it.” Lin Yuan said, “I’ll go over and take a look.”
After all, this was his own territory, no matter what the other party wanted to do, they have to first weigh whose fist was bigger. Compared with the small bandits nearby, their fist was as big as a sandbag.
As soon as Lin Yuan walked out of the city wall, his eyes immediately settled on the unfamiliar man sitting on a rock. He was about forty and wearing a cotton-padded jacket, but the cotton-padded jacket had been torn, and a lot of cotton had fallen out, likely not warm any longer. In addition, there were a few grown men with him, likely hired to escort his merchant carriage. Merchants were all afraid of encountering bandits because it would mean a year’s business earnings will be lost, but it wouldn’t be possible if they don’t go out to travel either.
Although it was chaotic now, but quite a lot of merchants make money by taking advantage of the chaotic state.
“Is it Young Master Lin?” The man was a little fat, with stubby fingers. He looked at Lin Yuan with a smile, like a smiling Buddha. He was dressed plainly. If he hadn’t said it himself, Lin Yuan would not have believed him to be a merchant.
“Young master Lin is not very old but is quite a talent.” The man first praised him, and then said, “I am a traveling trader, my surname is Jiang, Jiang Guang.”
Lin Yuan almost reached out to shake hands, but quickly reacted and said with a smile: “Jiang……”
Jiang Guang said quickly: “Young master Lin just call me brother Jiang, to be affectionate. I’m older by a few years allow me to take some verbal advantage.”
Lin Yuan actually felt that the other’s over familiarity was very familiar and dear, indeed, businessmen are similar whether they are from the ancient or modern times. The key is to have thick skin.
Lin Yuan also smiled and said, “Brother Jiang.”
Jiang Guang nodded: “Young master Lin, I met bandits on my way, and nearly met the unpredictable. I have a batch of herbs here, all processed by old and experienced workers. If you want, we can also do business, but the money……how about paying with foodstuff?”
Herbs! And even already processed! The preparation of Chinese herbal medicine was very troublesome. If one was not careful, mold could develop. To prepare a batch of medicinal herbs rely on many masters doing it together. The manufacturing cost was very high.
Although the current processing technology was not as modern, but it was already very rare.
Lin Yuan immediately became affectionate and familiar with Jiang Guang and grabbed Jiang Guang’s wrist with his hands: “If you have no complaints why not come to the house with me and sit for awhile?”
“How can you say that I would have any complaints?” Jiang Guang batted his other hand rapidly, walking into the city wall with Lin Yuan in a close and brotherly manner.
Lin Yuan finally realized at this time and turned his head and said, “Brother Jiang, the people you brought can also come in to rest a bit. If nothing else, there will be a cup of hot water.”
The people who followed Jiang Guang let out a relieved sigh. They had followed Jiang Guang all over the mountain, so their physical strength had already been exhausted. If Jiang Guang hadn’t promised that once he was safe, he would definitely give them a lot of money, they would have already abandoned a burden like Jiang Guang and ran off.
The mountain roads was dangerous but they were all physically strong and healthy. If it weren’t for Jiang Guang, they would be able to find their way out themselves. But it is precisely because of Jiang Guang and Jiang Guang’s several carts of medicinal herbs that they can only walk slowly. When they saw this farmstead, they were actually a little bit wary, although it looked like a landowner’s farmstead, but they were still a little uncertain.
What’s more, if they were to encounter a greedy and cruel landowner who would confiscate their goods, they wouldn’t even have any place to go to find justice.
In the end Jiang Guang finally made up his mind, insisting on trying his luck. Otherwise, they would have been wandering in the mountains like before without any food. Just relying on the wild spring vegetables was not enough to fill their stomachs. When the time came, and all the strong men around him have left, Jiang Guang felt that he would not be able to survive so his only choice was to take a gamble.
Lin Yuan was about to turn his head around, when suddenly his attention focused on one of the men quite intently.
In the cold wind of early spring, the man only wore a short shirt while his long, slightly disheveled hair was loosely tied up. But even so, it would not give people a sloppy image, on the contrary, he appeared like a wanton and unrestrained knight-errant.
His eyes were very dark and very sharp, like an eagle or a tiger, a tall and strong physique with firm chest muscles, wide shoulders and narrow waist. He was also examining Lin Yuan.
Their eyes met over the air.
Lin Yuan felt that this person was a bit familiar from the beginning, but he really didn’t expect him to be brother Chen, he was practically completely changed!
In the memory of the original owner, brother Chen was a simple and honest boy, but now seeing him in person, Lin Yuan felt that this person was a bit too outstanding and attracted one’s attention.
He looked like the hero in martial arts dramas. He had the wild aura of bandits, but also appeared straightforward and magnanimous, making people involuntarily give him several looks.
Jiang Guang was quite happy: ”Hey, so we are acquaintances!”
TN: OMG! It was truly not easy, the gong/seme has finally shown up *wipes at tears*
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