When troubled times came, the first to be abandoned was the elderly——they had lost their mobility, their bodies overwhelmed by the long-distance migration. Then came the children——so long as the husband and wife were both alive, they could always have more children. Generally speaking, the mother would try every means to save her child, but in most cases she did not have the ability to save her child. And finally, it was the women.
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However, the ratio of women was originally very low. Poor families could not support so many children, so once they gave birth to a daughter, some of them would be discarded directly. If the family was too poor and only willing to raise sons, drowning girls was even more common.
So when Lin Yuan saw the statistics of the male to female ratio, he instantly got a headache.
There were still too few women.
Currently, among every 160 people there was only one woman, and this also included the elderly and girls under the age of twelve.
This was not a good situation.
If there were too many men, society would become unstable. Lin Yuan himself was a man, and of course he knew what men think.
In fact, men’s thinking was quite easy to understand. In society, they needed to find their own position and most men positioned themselves as the “protectors.”
They would only be at ease when there were targets in need of their protection. This target included parents, wives and children.
Most of these men now had no parents.
So if they couldn’t find a woman, if they don’t have a wife, it would not be long before they would become aggressive.
In short, nothing was pleasing to the eye, and even the smallest things could spark a fight.
Although there were not many incidents of fighting on the streets, there were definitely quite a lot of private incidents.
Even if Lin Yuan tried his best to cultivate their sense of community, have them do everything together.
But Lin Yuan also knew that this was just a temporary fix, like a time bomb it would explode without knowing when.
“There are a lot of people who have defected to you now, and there must be women among them.” Chen Baisong persuaded him in this way.
Lin Yuan shook his head: “No, it’s still too little.”
Most of the people who came seeking shelter died on the way. Think about it, a lot of adult men died on the road, not to mention women with weaker physical strength. Especially in a poor family that basically gave the best food at home to strong laborers. Because women had not had enough food and nutrition since they were young they were all malnourished more or less. Lin Yuan did not think that the probability of their survival would be higher than that of men.
When people encounter wild beasts on the road, women were often left behind. In this way, there were very few women who could safely reach Lin Yuan’s jurisdiction. If one managed to make their way then she could practically be considered a darling of fate.
“Buy.” Lin Yuan stood up, his brows furrowed. Originally, he wanted to crack down on human trafficking, but now it seemed that this was the only effective and efficient way.
The merchants quickly received this decree. Many merchants originally did not do this kind of business. After all, there were human traffickers before. Besides, for merchants this was not considered a huge profit, so it was better to sell salt and wine. Even gold and silver jewelry could be sold for a price that could buy a hundred people.
But the South Bodhisattva had spoken, and they must answer the call.
However, on this matter Xie Zicheng managed to steal the limelight from Zhou Fu. One of them was the chairman of the Merchants’ Guild and the other was the vice chairman. It seemed that the relationship between them was that of superior and subordinate but actually the relationship between the two men was that of competitors. When faced with danger, the merchants would team up and be closer to each other than their own blood brothers, but once peace arrived, they would start to fight each other again, wanting nothing more than to kill each other.
It was most popular to sell people in winter. Now, many poor families in other places had to sell their children for a living.
Girls did not sell at a very high price, only sons could be sold more expensively, so the merchants could buy girls at low prices.
The little girl who looked like a blooming jade flower covered in morning dew could be bought with just a handful of grain.
People now didn’t recognize money. They didn’t recognize copper coins and only accepted food.
Currency could only circulate when society was stable, so Lin Yuan did not push for a unified currency.
San Hua obediently followed behind the lord, pulling her younger sister along. The two of them were as skinny as skeletons. No one knew where they were going. Her eldest sister, second eldest sister, and elder brother had all been sold. Now at home there were only their parents and youngest brother left. Her youngest brother had not been weaned yet. After he was weaned, he might be sold as well.
They were gathered together. In addition to her and her younger sister, there were many other girls. They brought nothing as there was nothing for them to bring from home. Their parents sold them and told them that they would be living a good life.
But they didn’t even know what a good life entailed.
They wanted to stay with their parents, even if they didn’t have enough food or live the so-called good life.
They stayed in place for three days and girls were brought in one after another, and then they went on the road. San Hua had not traveled such a long way, but although the journey was long, they could eat enough, and they could have four bean curd cakes a day! Although it was just bean curd cakes, a tasty sauce was smeared on it. Back at home they didn’t even have bean curd cakes to eat.
But they still wanted to go home.
Although they didn’t have enough food to eat at home and they had to do a lot of work, at night the girls still missed home. The girls from the same place gathered together, crying and talking about their hometowns.
But they soon didn’t think about it anymore because they were too tired. Although they had clothing to keep warm and food to fill their stomachs, the journey was too long.
When they were brought into the city by the lords, they gaped open their mouths and looked at everything in front of them in disbelief——they were all from small villages. The most people they saw were the people in nearby towns. The most magnificent building they saw was the brick house of the village head. They had only heard of such a city in stories.
That was a place they would never go to in their entire lives. Maybe when they grow up, get married, and have children, they would also tell their children stories they had heard.
San Hua held her sister’s hand and poked her head out of the crowd. She didn’t know where to look at with her eyes. Her sister was asking her: “Sister, where are we going?”
San Hua: “I don’t know, wherever the lords take us we will go.”
She knew that she couldn’t go home, it was too far and she didn’t remember the way back.
They were led to a big house——very big. She had never seen such a big house in her life. Ten of them slept in a room. They had never seen the kind of beds in their new room. They had top and bottom bunks. No one dared to sleep on the top bunk, they felt that they would fall off it.
So the girls slept together two by two, and the upper bed was left empty.
San Hua and her sister slept together. Fortunately, they were both skinny. Not only could a single bed fit them, but there was plenty of space remaining. In fact it could even fit a third.
On the second day, they were called out. Those under ten years old stood on one side, those between ten and fifteen years old stood on another, and those over fifteen years old stood at a third.
San Hua saw her younger sister who was under ten years old being taken away. She cried and begged the lords not to separate her from her younger sister. Her younger sister was too young to work. She could do work for two people and only ask that they not separate them.
The lord smiled and said to her: “You are still sleeping in the same place at night. It’s just that you have different things to do during the day.”
San Hua didn’t believe it. Her parents used to coax her like this, only for her eldest sister to disappear, and then her second eldest sister disappeared not long after.
She knelt down and wanted to kowtow to the lord. She naively thought that so long as she kowtowed until her forehead bled, the lord would return her sister to her.
However, she was pulled up by a hand.
San Hua looked up and saw a handsome face. San Hua had never read a book and didn’t know many words, but she had heard the big brothers in the village who did read and study talking. She only remembered one word. Charming.
Although she didn’t know whether the word was used to describe a man or a woman, she was still willing to use the most beautiful vocabulary she possessed to describe the person in front of her.
He was very fair, his skin like jade. He was also tall, like a straight pine tree. Wherever he stood then that was the center of the world. When he raised his eyes, it would have people unconsciously hold their breath, and even not dare to stare directly at his face. Surrounding him was an imposing aura that couldn’t be described in words but was undoubtedly daunting.
San Hua didn’t dare to cry anymore. She gaped open her mouth and couldn’t make any sound.
Then she heard this good-looking person say to her: “Your sister is still young, and she is going to study. Don’t worry, you can see her every night.”
San Hua looked at him stupidly. She didn’t believe it just now no matter what but now she suddenly believed it. She nodded and said very obediently, “Then what am I going to do?”
The person smiled at her: “You just need to grow up safely. Maybe you will do something. Are you afraid of hard work?”
San Hua quickly said: “No, I’m not afraid, I can do everything! I can farm the land, take care of my brother and sister, feed chickens, and dig wild vegetables. I can do anything!”
The person was still smiling at her: “You are very amazing.”
San Hua blushed. Was she amazing? No one had praised her before, no matter how much she did, no one had praised her.
“My good girl, go and stand over there.” The man reminded her gently.
San Hua blushed and walked over, but her eyes followed him closely.
When Lin Yuan arrived, he saw a skinny little girl about to kowtow to a manager. He gave her a hand, said a few words, and then asked the manager: “Have you counted? How many people have come?”
The manager replied: “A total of 3,800 people.”
This was the first batch.
Lin Yuan’s brows finally loosen slightly from its furrow.
People would want to get married when their lives reached stability. Now, in the two most wealthy places, Gaoyou and Taizhou, the relationship between men and women was the most harmonious. Practically every day there were people getting married.
He didn’t worry about people choosing to be single.
In modern times, if there were few people getting married and fewer people giving birth, perhaps it would be a headache because newborns represent new strength. The decrease in new lives meant that society would age in the future, and then it would start to decline. For a country, this was almost fatal.
But now, marrying and starting a family was something deeply rooted in the people’s minds.
Once they had money and gained a foothold in their new surroundings, they would want to start a family, regardless of whether they were male or female.
The country was made up of small families, and these small families established social stability.
Between men and women feelings of love would inevitably sprout.
This was not something Lin Yuan could control.
Lin Yuan just tried his best to provide them with a fertile soil for love.
He hoped that people would unite because of love and give birth to new life because of love.
Lin Yuan smiled at the manager.
The manager was taken aback. Why was the South Bodhisattva looking at him like this? South Bodhisattva seemed to like men?
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
But he was already at this age and he even had two sons. How could he tactfully reject the South Bodhisattva without offending him?
Ai~ the manager sighed in his heart, it was really troublesome to be so talented and attractive.
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