“Those people are here again.” Yang Sanmei rolled her eyes. She and her brother were doing business at the gate of the city. They sold food to passersby. The price was cheap, but they could still make a lot of money, and they paid less taxes, so life was getting better and better for them.
But since those Japanese pirates came, the number of peddlers and passersby had gradually decreased. They didn’t enter and exit through the main gate of the city wall. The other entrances and exits have long been occupied by other hawkers, so they would find no spots left even if they moved their stall over.
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To set up a stall, you have to pay a stall fee. If they forcibly took over another’s stall the other party could ask the bailiffs to drive them away.
Nowadays, those who manage hawkers were not called bailiffs, they were called city management officers. They only dealt with hawkers and road traffic, while the bailiffs dealt with fights.
Yang Sanmei was indignant: “We can’t do business because they are here!”
“They should just catch them, throw them all in prison, and don’t let them come out in this life!”
Her brother Yang Da also said, “Yes! Catch them all!”
Cutting off someone’s road to fortune was like killing one’s parents, so it was no wonder they gnashed their teeth in hatred.
Yang Sanmei looked at her eldest brother: “Big brother, it seems that the day of your marriage will have to be delayed.”
They were just a bit short from making enough money to repair the house again, and then add two more rooms. In the future, one room would be given to Yang Da and his wife, and the other room would be given to Yang Sanmei.
If a man married into her family Yang Sanmei would have a place to live after marriage, and if she married into another family she could also have a place to stay during visits at her natal home.
Yang Da sighed.
There weren’t many young women in their hometown. He finally set a wedding date with a Japanese girl, and he had to postpone it.
Yang Da was almost thirty, and he had not been able to marry a wife despite such an old age. It was because of the chaos and unrest in the past years, and then poverty in these current years.
Ai, and he had finally found a way to earn a livelihood.
“Yang Da, Yang Sanmei, why are you two standing here stupidly?” Qian Da who lived next door held a slab of meat in his hand. He had seen them standing still at the door, and asked strangely, “You two have always ever seen money in your eyes. Yet I actually see you two looking idle for once?”
Yang Sanmei glared at him: “That requires if there is any money to be seen. After those Japanese pirates came, our business went downhill.”
Qian Da: “Then you still have to endure. I heard that the lords want the Japanese pirates to build a village outside the city.”
Yang Sanmei was taken aback: “Qian Da! Who are you scaring!”
Qian Da chuckled and said, “Why would I scare you? Go to the city wall and see for yourself, they are all cutting down trees to build houses!”
Yang Sanmei and Yang Da looked at each other and their faces turned pale.
“The lords…..” Yang Sanmei opened her mouth to speak, wanting to ask if there was something wrong with the lords’ brains, but she didn’t dare to say it, so she could only hold it back. Her face turned red, and she was so angry that steam could have shot out of her ears.
Seeing that they were so frightened, Qian Da stopped teasing them and said, “You fools, after they built a village outside the city, where would they get salt and grain from? Of course they must come to us, and they have to buy it with money. Where does the money come from?”
Yang Sanmei and Yang Da asked dumbly, “That’s right, where does the money come from?”
Qian Da was amused by the two of them: “By earning, how could it be so easy for them to go back to robbing and pillaging? Could they break in through the city walls? If they wanted to rob passing caravans, the soldiers guarding the city wall are not straw bags that will stand aside, they have all stepped on the battlefield before, they are this.”
Qian Da showed a thumbs up.
“Those Japanese pirates don’t even enter the eyes of the soldiers! No matter how powerful they are, could they be as powerful as our Ming soldiers?”
Yang Sanmei was still grimacing: “But if they will still be outside the city gates, and the caravans don’t come in from there. Won’t we still have no money to make?”
“Are you dumb?” Qian Da rolled his eyes, “I say you are stupid yet you don’t admit it, just wait and see, keep your stall, and you will earn more than anyone else in the future.”
“I’m going now, come to my house for dinner tonight.” Qian Da smiled at Yang Sanmei, “I have meat.”
Yang Sanmei swallowed her saliva and said sternly, “Who wants to eat your meat! It’s not like my family can’t afford it!”
Qian Da: “Aiyo, you have money, how amazing. I thought you have been saving money for building new rooms, I didn’t expect you to buy meat.”
Yang Sanmei looked left and right, picked up a broom from the door and ran over, saying, “Stop if you have the balls!”
Qian Da ran fast with the meat in his hands, turned his head and laughed: “I won’t stop! I’m not married yet! No need to use my balls!”
After chasing the other down a street, Yang Sanmei slowed down and stopped chasing.
Qian Da was still yelling, “Come to my house for dinner tonight!”
Yang Sanmei laughed angrily: “Just you wait, I will eat you out of your house!”
Qian Da: “Okay!”
The Japanese pirates built a village outside the city, and the people in the city were panic-stricken at first, but after a long time, they found that the Japanese pirates were not so scary. The soldiers were keeping a watch on them and there were even cannons on the city walls. If they really did do something bad, one cannon would send them back home.
The Japanese pirates also knew the danger, but there was no other way.
They couldn’t rush into the city with just knives and swords, but they still have to fill their stomachs.
Komatsubara was the village head of this village. He was originally a samurai, but the lords above were fighting openly and underhandedly and he almost died. He could only bring his comrades and flee to Great Ming because Great Ming was prosperous. They heard that all Ming people could have enough to eat, they didn’t have to drown their newborn infants after birth, and old people didn’t have to go up the mountains to feed themselves to wild animals.
After they arrived, the only way they could think of to survive was to rob.
Just like in their home country, so long as they robbed it, it was theirs.
But while the idea was good, it was very difficult to implement. These city walls were so high that it dashed all their hopes. They also tried to rob the caravans that were about to enter the city, but the caravans brought many good armed escorts, and they did not manage to take much advantage the few times they tried. Instead, more and more of them died.
If they were not really desperate, they would not agree to build a village.
Komatsubara still remembered what that woman told them, so long as they didn’t cause trouble for three years, they could enter the city.
He didn’t believe it, but he had to believe it, because there was no other choice.
“You will be the village head.” When the woman said that, Komatsubara had to believe it even if he didn’t.
Village head! It was almost like being a lord!
Komatsubara never thought that though he had not managed to become a city lord in his own country, he could manage to become one in Great Ming.
So when his subordinates persuaded him against it, he in turn persuaded them for it.
“We don’t have weapons.” Komatsubara said, “There aren’t many people among us. If we really fight them, do we have a chance of winning?”
The subordinates were indignant: “We are samurai! A samurai cannot survive by begging for mercy!”
Komatsubara sneered: “Then why did we escape?”
The crowd suddenly fell silent.
Komatsubara said again: “After we have built a village, we can recruit warriors like us in the future. When we become stronger and stronger, this city will be ours for the picking! Don’t be shortsighted!”
The subordinates looked at Komatsubara and asked, “But those Ming soldiers are right on the city wall, if we make any movements…..”
Komatsubara: “Then we will endure for three years. When we can enter the city freely, we don’t even need to break through the city wall.”
No matter how they thought about it, what Komatsubara said made sense. The Japanese pirates agreed, and they all felt that this was a solution. Those Ming people were all fools, and they would wait for the Ming people to drop a rock on their own foot three years later.
The village of the Japanese pirates was built very quickly. After all, the houses were just grass huts, and some merchants asked them if they needed some furniture, which were quite cheap.
The Japanese pirates were very surprised that there was a merchant who dared to do business with them. Were they not afraid that they would rob him?
The merchant laughed: “Go ahead, those things are not worth a lot of money, if you rob me, there will be no more merchants coming.”
The merchant also brought a Japanese woman with him, who could speak both the Great Ming language and Japanese language.
Nowadays, Japanese women could find translation jobs so long as they were good at the official language of the Great Ming.
After all, merchants have to keep buying people from Japan.
It was Komatsubara who said, “We have no money.”
He said it very naturally.
Merchant: “I know you have no money, so I came to do business with you. I can give you all this furniture, as well as quilts and clothes, but I can’t give it for free.”
Furniture was nothing, but quilts and clothes were indeed what they needed. The winter was coming, but food and warm clothes were still not guaranteed.
Since they had a grass hut over their heads, Komatsubara found that his subordinates seemed to be more relaxed, and they were no longer as anxious as stray dogs as before.
Komatsubara: “What do you want us to do?”
Merchant: “It’s simple! When I travel for business, there are also Japanese pirates on the road. You escort me all the way, and I will give you food, furniture, and clothing.”
Komatsubara squinted his eyes: “Aren’t you afraid we’ll kill you on the road?”
The merchant smiled and said, “After you kill me, don’t you still have to fight other Japanese pirates? You may not win if you fight, and you may not be able to keep your things if you win, but as long as you escort me over, you will be able to get the things you need.”
Komatsubara looked at his subordinates, all with excitement on their faces.
“Besides, if you really killed me, you won’t be able to come back.” The merchant also said, “It’s not easy to live in this grass hut, don’t you think? But if we can keep working together, I can build a brick house for you.”
Komatsubara: “I promise you.”
The merchant stood up: “Then tomorrow morning, I will bring someone to bring goods to your village, and we shall set off together.”
Komatsubara nodded solemnly.
After the merchant left, his subordinates said, “When we’re far away, we’ll kill him! Grab his stuff!”
Komatsubara glared at them: “Then what?”
Komatsubara: “Then we continue to live the days before, and we won’t be able to come back here. When the things we robbed are all used up, will we continue to live the days of sleeping in the open air?”
That was true.
After the merchant left, Momoyo, who was following him, asked cautiously, “Lord, I’m afraid they will hurt you.”
The merchant smiled and said, “Wealth is accompanied with risk, Momoyo, don’t learn from them, live a good life, and marry a good man in the future. Maybe you can even go back and have a look when there is no war in your homeland.”
Momoyo lowered her head, she didn’t want to go back.
Although she also missed her hometown, her hometown had not been her childhood hometown for a long time.
Here, she could earn money by herself, choose a man by herself, without being beaten, without being forced to do heavy work, and without worrying about being bought or sold.
The merchant squinted his eyes.
The lords above asked him to hire these Japanese pirates, and promised him that so long as he hired them, he would have a place in the city’s chamber of commerce in the future.
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At that time, his caravan would be followed by the soldiers of the imperial court. So long as the Japanese pirates tried to make a move, none of them would escape.
What was more, the armed escorts he hired were all retired veterans from the military.
If the Japanese pirates dared to make a move against him, they would be as good as asking for death themselves.
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