Chapter sponsored on Ko-fi by TetsuJin
Currently, the pace of the whole society was very slow. For example, a letter would take more than a month before it was delivered to its recipient.
After Zheng Yi got the cards, he was bent on making it big, but he couldn’t prepare that quickly. Half a month had passed, and although many of the lowest grade cards had been printed, the higher grade cards couldn’t be printed and needed to be painted individually. The drawing needed to be exquisite, so the speed was slow.
Under such circumstances, Zheng Yi couldn’t open the gambling house that he had promised to Jiang Zhen, and he couldn’t let the gambling house be opened in advance, so he simply asked Manager Zhang to send fifty silver to Jiang Zhen and let Jiang Zhen take it easy and wait for a bit longer. He already knew that Jiang Zhen was training people and was eager to do something.
Jiang Zhen accepted the fifty silver, but he didn’t intend to wait while doing nothing. Instead, he asked Manager Zhang if he had a big boat he could rent.
In the south of the Yangtze River, goods were transported by ships. The Zheng family had dozens of ships, large and small. Some of these ships were currently in use, but some were available. After Manager Zhang asked around, he rented a large ship to Jiang Zhen.
When Jiang Zhen rented the ship, he contacted Yang Jing and asked him to help him contact some merchants who needed their goods to be transported. Jiang Zhen’s way of making money was nothing else but logistics.
Nowadays, businessmen did business on their own, each doing their own transport, and occasionally, they would share ships with others merchants, but for safety reasons and in order to avoid being killed, only businessmen who were very close to each other would do so. In this way, it inevitably led to wasted resources and increased costs.
But since Jiang Zhen had rented the big ship, merchants could bring their goods on board of his ship, as long as they paid a small fee . . .
As soon as Yang Jing mentioned it, many businessmen were interested. However, they had to wait until they met Jiang Zhen before making their decision.
Jiang Zhen went down to Hecheng county town in order to meet the merchants contacted by Yang Jing. Jiang Zhen had rented a courtyard near Hecheng county town where he would meet the merchants.
Before the appointed time, the businessmen of Hecheng county town went there one after another. The owner of the porcelain shop, who had done business with Jiang Zhen before, wanted to go out of town to buy a batch of porcelain this time. It was easy to encounter danger if he went there by a hired boat, so as soon as he heard Yang Jing’s words, he was immediately tempted and arrived early.
As soon as he arrived, he saw a lot of familiar faces. There were also some shop owners among them. One who was familiar with him was a silk trader named Li Mingzhe. All the people around Hecheng county grew mulberry and raised silkworms. This man bought cocoons and sold them every year. He also sold cloth woven by gers and women. Although he never opened a shop, he was very rich.
“Brother Li, you are also here?” When the owner of the porcelain shop saw him, he immediately greeted him with a smile.
“Boss Zhou, long time no see.” Li Mingzhe greeted the owner of the porcelain shop with a smile.
“I heard that Brother Li is going to have another addition to his family. Congratulations.”
“Together we rejoice.” Li Mingzhe couldn’t help smiling at the thought that he was going to have another child.
The two men exchanged pleasantries, and Li Mingzhe inquired about Jiang Zhen from the owner of the porcelain shop.
He had boats on his hands, but they all had boats. It was very troublesome to send deliveries, not only because of the boats but also because they had to select trustworthy people. So when he heard that someone could deliver the goods on his behalf this time, he immediately came to have a look.
The owner of the porcelain shop had always been living in the county town, and he knew a thing or two about Jiang Zhen, so he immediately told Li Mingzhe what he knew. For example, Jiang Zhen was working for the Zheng family’s young master now, he was a fierce fighter, and he had collected a number of people under his command.
When Li Mingzhe heard this, he immediately felt that, if the price was right, he would let Jiang Zhen deliver the goods for him.
At this time, other merchants had also gathered around the owner of the porcelain shop to listen to him. Among these people, many were already excited. Of course, they still had to see Jiang Zhen and check his qualifications before making a decision.
“They are coming,” said Yang Jing, who had also come to wait early, so at the moment he saw Jiang Zhen and the others coming over, he immediately told the others.
Jiang Zhen had made a promise to him that he would get a commission from this business deal, meaning he would get five silver for every one hundred silver of business earned . . . Under such circumstances, he was very active in promoting this business.
When the merchants heard Yang Jing’s words, they looked over and saw a group of people coming from afar. These people were all tanned and thin, dressed in uniforms, looking very energetic, but what attracted them the most was the neatness of their movements! Each of them was only carrying a bamboo pole in his hands, but they all looked more imposing than the yamen officers who occasionally went out together on the streets of the county town, wearing swords. Although they had never seen them fight, at a single glance at them, these merchants knew that these people were definitely good at fighting!
If they encountered such a group of bandits when they went out to do business, they could only immediately beg for mercy, but if these people had come to protect them . . . What bandits would dare to come to steal their goods?
When those businessmen saw such a group of people, they had already made a decision in their hearts. Then Jiang Zhen also reassured them.
“These people under my command are all local people from Hecheng county. They all have families in Hecheng county, so it is impossible for them to leave everything behind and run away. I can guarantee that your people will arrive at their destination safely.”
Jiang Zhen didn’t beat around the bush either. He spoke directly to the businessmen and then came up with a contract.
“By the way, this is the contract I have drawn up. You can take a look at it,” Jiang Zhen said again.
Jiang Zhen’s contract was very detailed, it also stated that if there were any accidents on the way, he would give them a certain amount as compensation. Of course, if there was an accident caused by a natural disaster, the compensation would be lost. If these merchants caused their own troubles, they would have to ask for compensation from those who had caused the troubles.
These days, it was not uncommon for merchants to hire people to protect them; it was also not uncommon for these people to run away when they were in danger. So it was not uncommon for merchants to die or lose their goods, to the extent that small merchants could only think of themselves as unlucky. So seeing Jiang Zhen claim that he would give compensation should they encounter bandits who would seize their goods, the merchants were both shocked and delighted and couldn’t believe it.
“This contract, I’m signing it!” Li Mingzhe immediately said, and asked, “Regarding the delivery of goods, can I not go?”
“Of course. You can send someone to follow us. If you trust me enough to pay the handling fee over there, I will help you deliver your goods,” Jiang Zhen said.
“Good!” Li Mingzhe was very satisfied. He himself did not like running outside. After all, there would always be some element of danger outside. Now that he didn’t need to go, it was better for him than ever.
Li Mingzhe was the first one to decide to sign, so Jiang Zhen paid a little more personal attention to him. Seeing the name written by Li Mingzhe and the address of Lijia Village, he was surprised to see the thirty-something-year-old businessman. This person . . . seemed to be the one who had stolen Xue, the wife of Zhao Jinge’s former fiance, Li Zugan . . .
Jiang Zhen knew about Li Mingzhe, but Li Mingzhe didn’t know about him. To him, it was just a concubine who came to have a baby. He didn’t care about what happened before that concubine walked through his door, much less what his concubine’s former man had done.
After discussing with Jiang Zhen, he left a deposit of ten silver and asked Jiang Zhen to pick up the goods from Lijia Village the next day and then left.
With Li Mingzhe taking the lead, more and more people came to sign the contract and negotiate the terms.
Edited by : Faro