Lin Yuan didn’t expect to see brother Chen again. After all, he still remembered the night when the original owner and brother Chen were separated. The moonlight was dim and the refugees came upon them like the tide. Brother Chen stopped the carriage, and the original owner couldn’t see him clearly, only just hearing the other telling him to run away immediately.
Whenever he thought of brother Chen, Lin Yuan would sigh involuntarily.
But seeing him now, both joy and surprise took him. He let go of brother Jiang’s hand and walked straight towards brother Chen. His expression was not able to remain composed for a while, joy and lament conflicting with each other.
“You are still alive.” Lin Yuan took a deep breath, not expecting that there was still an opportunity for the both of them to meet again in this life.
When he first transmigrated into this world, brother chen blocking the refugees on his own gave him a great shock.
Brother Chen didn’t seem to have any reaction on the surface, he just looked focusedly at Lin Yuan, expression appearing as if in a trance.
They haven’t seen each other for almost three years, and the young master had become different from before.
“Boss?” One of the brawny man who came with him called in bewilderment. How did Boss take an escort job and even end up reuniting with long lost friends?
Brother Chen raised his hand, and the man shut up immediately.
He looked at Lin Yuan with complicated eyes, and finally moved slowly. When a servant see his master, he always had to kneel down.
After three years of not kneeling, he was a little unused to the motion. However, before he got down on his knees, Lin Yuan had already grabbed his shoulders——on tiptoe, with a smile on his face: “I really didn’t expect it. Let me take you in to have a look around. This is the property I purchased.”
After finishing speaking, he half dragged and half hugged brother Chen inside. His expression was so natural that brother Chen was in a daze for a moment.
The people behind also followed in. Meeting their eyes were fertile fields, men and women working in them. In the spring the land needed to be planted with seeds. Everyone was very busy during this period, but the people had smiles on their faces even as they wipe at their sweat. Occasionally they would take a rest, filling a cup with water.
Looking around, besides the huts and a house with a courtyard attached, there was an amazingly large coffin-like house, three stories high, no fancy decorations, just flat and symmetrical, shocking brother Chen and his men.
“Not bad?” Lin Yuan finally revealed a little bit of proudness. He said, “It has been a long time of separation, I will take you to meet Er Liang and the others. They are all in the farmstead, and your mother is also here too.”
Then Lin Yuan turned around and said to Brother Jiang, “Brother Jiang has been walking through the mountains for so long, and must be tired too. We will talk about business tomorrow. I will have someone to take you down to rest and wash up.”
Brother Jiang was not a person without tact, and nodded repeatedly: “Don’t mind me, delaying for a few days is not a big deal.”
Brother Chen’s mother was Lin Yuan’s wet nurse. Now she was helping with things in the back kitchen, as well as helping to deliver babies for pregnant women.
Everyone couldn’t believe it when they saw brother Chen. After all, they didn’t expect Niu Dan to survive. When Er Liang saw brother Chen, he even dropped a few tears from the corner of his eyes and sniffed his nose vigorously, wiping the tears with the back of his hands.
The servants of the Lin family also surrounded brother Chen excitedly and asked him what he had gone through in the past few years, especially brother Chen’s mother. Seeing her son okay in front of her, the tears seemed unable to stop. Brother Chen held his mother’s shoulders helplessly, and let her cry on his shoulders.
Then brother Chen briefly talked about his experience over the past few years.
It turned out that the group of refugees did not want to kill them, but just wanted to find food. But it turned out, there was no food in the car except for the dry food packed for eating on the way. But that bit of food was only enough for an adult man to eat for two or three days.
Finding that there was nothing to eat, the refugees dispersed, and brother Chen survived.
He had no money, and he didn’t know where Lin Yuan and Er Liang had escaped to, so he had no choice but to find a place of shelter first. In the end he stopped at a section of the wilderness, supporting himself with hunting. Probably because of his good hunting skills, a lot of people gathered around gradually.
After having followers, they settled in no fixed place, living like refugees, relying on robbing mountain bandits for livlihood.
To sum up, Brother Chen now had a group of people left behind in the wilderness. He himself took the job of escorting the merchants this time, and brought out the most tough men under his hand. But they met a several groups of bandits and had to escape. After getting lost in the mountains, they accompanied Jiang Guang to here.
Lin Yuan rubbed his chin: “I always feel that there is providence in everything. It was the heavens that had us reunite.”
Mother Chen nodded: “Exactly!”
Old father Lin also said, “Since you are here, then you must stay here in the future. We are after all a family!”
Brother Chen said: “I still have many brothers out there.”
He was also now a small boss, and he must consider the care and livelihood of his brothers.
At this time, Lin Yuan did not respond. His senses had not yet been dazzled by the joy of reuniting. What’s more, the source of his feelings for brother Chen only came from the memory of the original owner. He had not seen him in three years, what kind of person was brother Chen now? He was unsure.
And listening to his tone, the people under his command were all tough men, since daring to rob the bandits your fighting power would certainly not be weak. If he rashly allowed brother Chen to bring those people in, and if something goes wrong……
Even if he wins, the small fighting power he had managed to cultivate now will definitely pay a high price, and he simply can’t afford that now.
Brother Chen stood up. Three years ago, he was only a little taller than Lin Yuan. Now standing next to Lin Yuan, he was almost a head taller than Lin Yuan, at least 1.8 meters tall.
“I won’t have you be troubled, I naturally have my way.” His expression was serious, even revealing a slight imposing aura.
That aura came from the many times he had gone up against the bandits. Old father Lin swallowed, knowing that the Niu Dan in front of him was no longer the same Niu Dan from before. So he said, “Since you’re back, you must still stay for a few days. Besides, you and Yuan’er haven’t seen each other for a few years. There must be a lot to say.”
Mother Chen took her son by the arm. After so many events, she did not look like someone in her forties. Originally, as a wet nurse in the Lin family, her food and clothing were better than ordinary people, so her ageing was not so fast. But she now looked no different from someone in her fifties. Her hair graying, wrinkles on the face and neck, and age spots on the back of her hands.
Since knowing that her son was missing, her energy had long since disappeared. If it weren’t for serving her masters keeping her going, she might have died long ago.
Mother Chen was a widow. After she became pregnant, her husband died in a fight in the field. The fight originated from the people on both sides feeling that the other side had occupied more of their own land. From the verbal fighting in the beginning it gradually escalated into a physical fight, and she lost her husband.
Her father-in-law and mother-in-law could not stand the shock of losing their only son, and passed away within a month one after another. She was pregnant and had nowhere to go, until Yang shi heard about her situation and had her come to the Lin family residence giving her a place to peacefully give birth to her baby. It happened that a servant girl in the Lin family was pregnant as well. When the child was born, and the girl did not have enough milk, she could help out as a wet nurse.
In this way Mother Chen stayed at Lin family’s residence, and she stayed for more than ten years.
“Niu Dan.” Mother Chen called her son’s nickname, and reached out to touch her son’s face. With tears falling, she touched her son’s facial features and arms over and over again.
Brother Chen’s sleeves were pushed up, revealing his arms to be covered in scars. There were knife wounds and scars left by blunt objects, looking very frightning.
Mother Chen bit her lip: “Just how much suffering is this……”
Brother Chen smiled at Mother Chen: “Mother, it’s just some small injuries, it doesn’t endanger my life, so it can’t be considered suffering.”
Mother Chen carefully touched the scars: “Does it still hurt?”
Brother Chen: “It doesn’t hurt anymore.”
That night, everyone in the Lin family gathered together and had a family dinner, while brother Chen’s men went to the cafeteria with the people in the farmstead.
The family banquet was quite rich and sumptuous. Lin Yuan specially asked the kitchen to kill two chickens and three bamboo rats. He also had egg custard soup made, along with fried wild vegetables that were only available in spring. He even took out the rice wine seized from the bandits last time.
Old father Lin sat at the head of the dining table. Currently he doesn’t need to care about anything. He can live a good life just by relying on his son. Daily, he would sigh happily about having given birth to a good son and that his situation was much better than his friends’.
As for his old friends, don’t know where they were now.
Did they find their sons that had been sent out, or had they become refugees, he didn’t know.
Old fathet Lin had thought about it before, but after thinking about it for a couple of days, he put it aside.
In any case, other people’s family affairs have nothing to do with him. Ask him to go find them? That would certainly be impossible.
“Yuan’er is also big now.” Old father Lin took a sip of rice wine and sighed comfortably, “I can now enjoy Yuan’er’s blessing (TN: expression for children supporting their parents’ retirement).”
The servants below flattered: “Master, this is the blessing accumulated from the previous life, and this life is for enjoying the blessing.”
Old father Lin laughed: “I feel the same way!”
There was a lot of happiness and harmony at the banquet, but Lin Yuan turned his head from time to time to look in the direction of brother Chen. He hadn’t seen him for three years. This man had matured and was now unpredictable.
Brother Chen was currently comforting the Mother Chen: “Mother, if you miss me, then come with me, I will definitely not let you suffer and have a hard time.”
Mother Chen asked dazedly: “Go? Go where?”
Brother Chen: “Naturally go to my villa……my place.”
Mother Chen shook her head quickly: “I’m not going anywhere, Niu Dan, you stay too. Did you forget, you have been with the young master since you were young, us mother and son were rescued by the master and the mistress. We must know to be grateful and pay back this benevolence.”
She had lived in the Lin family for more than ten years and had long regarded the Lin family as her home. The master was not very temperamental, and the mistress was a kind person. The young master was also capable. This farmstead also had a city wall. Because of her age, she had received quite a lot of care and had not done any heavy work. Now her son had also come back, so even more she didn’t want to go anywhere.
Brother Chen couldn’t convince Mother Chen, turning around he found that Lin Yuan was looking at him.
He looked at Lin Yuan and didn’t know what he felt.
He had a responsibility to his brothers and loyalty to the young master who grew up with him.
But it was sometimes difficult to be both loyal and righteous.
After the banquet was over and everyone was full, Lin Yuan stood up and walked up to brother Chen and patted his shoulder: “Let’s go out and talk.”
Brother Chen didn’t refuse, and walked outside with Lin Yuan. Now it was dark and the cold wind was still blowing in early spring. Lin Yuan tightened the cotton-padded coat on his body, but found that brother Chen was not afraid of the cold wind at all in his thin shirt.
“Don’t you feel cold?” Lin Yuan asked curiously. They were all made of flesh. How can he be so different as to not be afraid of the cold?
Brother Chen smiled: “I’m used to it.”
“Young master, how have you been in the past few years?” Brother Chen suddenly asked, “At that time I wanted to catch up with you, but I didn’t know where you were going.”
Lin Yuan felt that he really needed a lonely cigarette at this time, and then pretend to say a few words full of life philosophy, but unfortunately there was no condition for him to act cool, and he could only say: “At that time, Er Liang and I fled to Wu city and lived in the ruined temple on the outskirts. We were penniless until we found the two hundred taels banknote that my mother had hidden on me.”
“Let’s stop talking about me, how about you? Are you now the boss of a villa?” Lin Yuan’s ears were sharp, having heard brother Chen’s unfinished word, and he immediately thought of a mountain residence like the one the bandits lived in. Since he had a group of brothers under him, he must have settled down somewhere, relying on looting the surrounding bandits to make a living. It was actually not a good way to live, it could only be said desperate times call for desperate measures.
Brother Chen looked at the night sky: “Actually, at that time, I thought I wouldn’t make it, young master, but people always want to live. Stealing a day is a day.”
“That’s right.” Brother Chen said suddenly, “There is a gentleman in the villa who gave me a new name. I can’t keep using Niu Dan as a formal name.”
Lin Yuan couldn’t help but laugh. Think about it, every time the villa boss goes out, a bunch of underlings say: “Brother Niu Dan! Come back safely!” It was quite an amusing picture. Just not imposing at all.
Lin Yuan asked: “What’s the name?”
Brother Chen said: “Chen Baisong.”
Lin Yuan: “This name is good, Bai Song both have good meaning (TN: literally bai=cypress and song=pine, both trees have good meanings in Chinese).”
Chen Baisong smiled.
“Are you still thinking about leaving here?” Lin Yuan said suddenly, “Nanny will not leave.”
Chen Baisong was currently having a headache about this: “My mother, she……”
Lin Yuan in truth hoped that Chen Baisong would stay. After all, he was the original owner’s playmate since childhood, and he had family here. To the original owner, Chen Baisong may not be his blood brother but they were closer than blood brothers. If he really did leave, Lin Yuan would have some regrets in his heart.
“You don’t have enough food in your villa?” Lin Yuan asked.
Chen Baisong did not lie to save face, he nodded and said: “Otherwise, we won’t come out to take up the escort job, usually we don’t take them.”
Merchants have money, and they want to do business even when the world was in chaos. Furthermore the more chaotic, the higher the prices, especially for food and medicinal materials, both of which were hugely profitable.
After all, they haven’t seen each other for three years so there was a sense of unfamiliarity.
Especially Lin Yuan, although he had memories of brother Chen, this memory belonged to the original owner, and he had not inherited the original owner’s feelings.
Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan: “Young master, you are grown up.”
Lin Yuan was taken aback: “You speak as if you are much older than me.”
Chen Baisong was just a few months older than Lin Yuan.
Chen Baisong didn’t speak, but the corners of his mouth lifted in a smile. The young master in his memory had never grown up. He possessed a kind heart, and was gentle with everyone, unable to see any suffering in front of him.
If everyone in this world was like this, there won’t be so many bad things, there won’t be wars, and there won’t be people who were displaced.
Young master had changed.
Chen Baisong stretched out his arm and patted Lin Yuan on the shoulder.
Nothing in this world was static, everyone was changing.
It’s just that some people were fast and some were slow.
Lin Yuan said, “Since you still have brothers out there, I won’t force you to stay. I will take care of Nanny. If anything happens, just come to me, and I will help so long as it’s within my ability.”
He will repay brother Chen’s life-saving grace to the original owner, although it seems that he hadn’t been able to save the original owner in the end.
“Young master……” Chen Baisong looked at Lin Yuan, with a smile in his eyes.
Sure enough, no matter when, the young master will always be the young master.
After the excitement of the reunion subsided, Lin Yuan had a rare good sleep. In his dream, he seemed to see the original owner smiling at him.
The next morning, when the sun was shining brightly, Lin Yuan crawled out of the bed. Er Liang walked into the room with a basin of water and waited on Lin Yuan as he freshened up. Lin Yuan’s hair was very long. Although in ancient times the hair was considered part of the body gifted to you by your parents, they can still actually cut the hair, but usually just a small trim.
In the Tang Dynasty, there was already the word haircut.
“Er Liang, cut my hair a bit.” Although Lin Yuan’s hair volume was not too much, it tend to grow too fast. It was already very long before and plus three years of no trimming, it now reached his thighs.
Er Liang brushed Lin Yuan’s hair, and said, “Young master’s hair is this good why should it be cut. It’s dark and smooth, no need to cut it.”
Lin Yuan: “It’s too much trouble, it takes too much time to freshen up every day.” Because of the long hair, the ancient people actually seldom wash their hair as there was no hair dryer. Generally, they do not wash their hair when the weather grows cold. It was common not to wash their hair in autumn and winter. Even if he wanted to wash it, there were no soaps in the farmstead at this time. Even Lin Yuan just washed his hair with plant ash mixed with water.
Lin Yuan found that many people in the farmstead who did not wash their hair for a long time, the oil blocked the hair follicles, resulting in them being half bald.——The troubles of hair loss, as expected, exist in any era.
Er Liang combed Lin Yuan’s hair, and said, “I see Brother Chen is very different from three years ago.”
Thinking of the current brother Chen, he said excitedly: “He is even more manly! I will grow up like brother Chen in the future!”
Er Liang, this fickle little boy, the one who he had looked up to before was Brother Dao.
Even though he had experienced the smell of brother Dao’s feet, he hadn’t changed his mind.
Now that someone who was more in line with his aesthetics appeared, he immediately abandoned Brother Dao.
Lin Yuan smiled and said, “Then you have to work hard, eat more, and work more.”
Er Liang: “I also have strength now.”
After finishing the hair and changing clothes, it had been almost half an hour since he got up.
Sure enough, long hair was inconvenient, but Lin Yuan dare not cut it too short. After all, people with short hair now were either monks returning to the secular world or criminals who have been punished.
Lin Yuan went to see Jiang Guang first.
Jiang Guang was a merchant trader, he had no fixed place and no family, but he had a lot of contacts, therefore daring to travel in this state of upheaval.
“I sell everything.” Jiang Guang said smiling as he sat cross legged, his breakfast on the table, “In addition to medicinal materials, I also sell food. If there is a shortage of people, people can also be sold.”
Lin Yuan asked: “What about weapons and horses?”
Jiang Guang’s smile changed in an instant, his eyes narrowed slightly, and he looked honest and clever equally: “Although I can also sell it, but the price……”
Lin Yuan knew that the price would be scary without even thinking about it.
“Money is not accepted.” Jiang Guang said, “The times now, only silver and gold are accepted.” What he called money were the paper currency issued by the Yuan Dynasty. It had now become waste paper and was only useful in relatively stable towns. However, the amount was getting larger and larger. Ordinary people holding several hundred taels of paper currency may not even be able to buy much food.
Lin Yuan can also understand that, after all, in a modern African country, inflation can reach to heights where hundreds of millions were needed to buy a pair of slippers.
But he doesn’t have much gold and silver anymore. Yang Zi’an took most of the silver away, and the gold was only Yang shi’s jewelry. If not for a last resort, Lin Yuan really didn’t want to use Yang shi’s things.
But the good thing was that the Lin family used to have a big business, and the jewelry that old father Lin bought for Yang shi was all made of real gold and silver. It was not gilded gold or fake gold, each piece was weighty and valuable.
“Brother Jiang.” Lin Yuan said suddenly, “Although there is no gold or silver, I have something else here.”
Jiang Guang looked up bewildered. Without gold and silver, what business can be talked about? Merchants chase profits, that had always been the case.
Lin Yuan: “What do you think of this thing?”
Jiang Guang heard this and looked over, seeing Lin Yuan take out something. It was a huge jade annulus, larger than Jiang Guang had ever seen in his life. The whole body was pure white and very transparent. It was not only on the surface, under the sun it gave a feeling that light could travel through this jade. Such jade was priceless, rarely seen among the people. Jiang Guang swallowed and his eyes glowed.
Lin Yuan was relieved to find that Jiang Guang hadn’t seen through it.
Of course, this jade was not real. It was made by Chen Half-Immortal and his fellows. He didn’t know how they had somehow gone from studying gunpowder formula to making fake gems. The texture of artificially-made jade was of course not comparable to real jade, but it was made meticulously. In this era without professional equipment, it was almost impossible based on the naked eye and hand to distinguish its fakeness. The stone used was also found deep in the mountains, and it took them a month to create this piece.
Originally, Lin Yuan was worried that jade had lost its value in these times, but looking at Jiang Guang’s eyes, he knew that there was still a market for this thing. No matter how chaotic the world was, the royals and nobles at the top will still enjoy themselves. If the sword was not placed on their necks, they will not be afraid.
“This thing……” Jiang Guang, “How priceless!”
Lin Yuan: “This thing fell into my hands because of a coincidence. I want to exchange it for one cart of brother Jiang’s medicinal herbs, it should be more than enough?”
Jiang Guang looked at Lin Yuan: “I will not tell lies with young master Lin, it is worth more than one cart.”
“I want to buy some horses.” Lin Yuan said.
Jiang Guang touched his chin: “If it was a few years ago, it would be enough to buy ten horses, but now, I can only give three horses.”
Lin Yuan didn’t mind about this. It was a pure profit in exchange. After all, as soon as this piece of “fake jade” came out, Chen Half-Immortal and the others had experience and could make more counterfeit jade easily enough.
Of course, using the fake jade to trade, the more the better.
“Brother Jiang is an honest man.” Lin Yuan raised his teacup, “I will use tea instead of wine to toast to brother Jiang.”
Jiang Guang also raised his teacup. He had already thought about whom he would sell to after he got that piece of jade. The people below can barely survive, but the people above were still living extravagantly and enjoying luxuries. Compared to gold and silver those people would prefer jade, and he can surely sell it for a good price.
Lin Yuan and Jiang Guang were both feeling delighted in their hearts.
Chen Half-Immortal and the others, they don’t know it yet it, but their workload will increase once again.
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