After Jiang Zhen came out of the Zheng house, he went to the docks again. The cargo on both ships had been almost completely unloaded, and he had to collect some of the subsequent payments and take care of some of the follow-up matters.

By the time the work was done, it was already dark, so Jiang Zhen was in no hurry to go home but slept on the ship for the night instead. He wasn’t the only one who chose to do so. In fact, except for a few people whose homes were in the county town, almost everyone else stayed behind. People didn’t like walking at night these days.

After going outside and doing business, Jiang Zhen was in a good mood, so he went to buy some chicken and set up a big iron pot on the shore to cook them. He actually wanted to buy pork, but it was too late, and there was no pork for sale.

The chicken was cut into small pieces and put into an iron pot to boil a large pot of soup, while in another pot the noodles were boiled. When the noodles were ready, two ladles of chicken soup were poured on them, and the hot chicken noodle soup was ready.

Jiang Zhen ate two bowls, put down his chopsticks, and found that the people in front of him were already talking.

These people were all men. They hadn’t been out before, but after following Jiang Zhen outside this time, they all yearned for the outside world and even felt that they had become different people.

The people around them had never left Hecheng County, but what about them? They’d been in Fucheng! Well, if an adjective should be used, it should be that they had become loyal.

“In another ten days, I’ll take you to the capital,” Jiang Zhen suddenly said.

“The capital?”

Wang Haisheng froze, and then he nearly jumped up. What did Jiang Zhen say? He was taking them to the capital? That was the capital city . . . They could go to the capital city?

“Boss?”

The others were completely stunned. They suspected they had heard wrong. The capital was the city where the emperor lived, and they heard that the palace was made of gold! How could they go to the capital?

“It is the capital city. Young Master Zheng asked me to escort him to the capital, and if you guys behave well, some of you will go. And if you don’t behave well, then forget about it,” Jiang Zhen said.

“Boss, we’ll do a good job!”

“I . . . Boss, I’ll listen to whatever you say!”

“Boss, I’ve always been very obedient!”

 

. . .

 

Those people gathered around Jiang Zhen excitedly, and even Liu Heitou started secretly glancing at Jiang Zhen. Was it too late for him to start being obedient now?

Liu Heitou used to be a bully in his village, so he thought he was already very powerful, but now . . . he suddenly realized that he was actually nothing compared to . . .

“Be quiet! If you make any more noise, you won’t be allowed to go.” Jiang Zhen laughed and instructed them with a few more words, “Also, don’t talk nonsense about this, or . . . be careful that I will skin you.”

The people around him stopped talking at once, but their eyes looked particularly bright in the light of the fire.

The next day, Jiang Zhen first went to return the two boats before heading to Hexi Village with Zhao Jinge, Wang Haisheng, and the others.

Jiang Zhen had already handed out the wages he had to give, and Wang Haisheng and the others were very happy with the silver. But Jiang Zhen himself had lost more than ten silver. Nevertheless, he did not take it seriously.  Zhao Jinge, however, was a little worried and distressed.

“Jinge, don’t worry too much. It’s just ten or so silver,” Jiang Zhen said.

Zhao Jinge opened his mouth and said nothing. It was more than ten silver! Their entire household used to be worth only a dozen or so silver in the past.

“In business, there will always be losses and gains, and no one can guarantee you a profit,” Jiang Zhen said. “What’s more, I’m sure, I will be able to earn money next time.”

Zhao Jinge was finally reassured. “Well, I believe you.”

Jiang Zhen was so powerful. He would definitely make a lot of money in the future!

After Jiang Zhen made such a remark, Zhao Jinge was appeased, but when another man said such a thing, the people in his family did not believe it.

 

. . .

 

“There are always losses and gains in business, and I haven’t lost any money yet! Why are you in a hurry? I am sure I can make money!” Jiang Chengwen said to his family.

“How will you make money? With a house full of seafood? Sell it quickly if you can!” Jiang Chengxiang looked at his brother sarcastically.

When Jiang Chengwen first came with a ship full of seafood, he was very proud. But he couldn’t stand seeing Jiang Chengxiang everywhere and wanted to squeeze him out of the house. However, he was only proud of himself for less than ten days.

In the first few days, under the publicity of old lady Jiang, people in Hexi, as well as some people from nearby villages, came to the Jiang family house to buy seafood, which sold quite well, and it didn’t take long to earn over three silver. But then, no one came to buy it anymore.

Kelp and salted fish could be kept for a long time, so people who were familiar with the Jiang family and saw that they were doing business, after buying some, didn’t need to buy sea goods again for months. So Jiang Chengwen’s goods were naturally not sold. But if things didn’t change, it would become a problem. They couldn’t keep this stuff and not sell it, right?

When the Jiang family saw that they could not sell any kelp for several consecutive days, they became anxious and thought about it over and over again, and followed the practice of those merchants in the county town and soaked the kelp before selling it for copper pennies. However, even after doing this, they still didn’t sell much . . . How many people were there in their village? Not to mention that many of them had already bought dried kelp.

Jiang Chengwen had no choice but to take it to the county town to sell. But going back and forth was very hard, not to mention that not much was sold . . . There was already someone else selling sea goods in the county town!

Jiang Chengwen was originally very lazy by nature. At first, he still worked diligently for a few days in order to make money, but after a couple of days, he became tired and unhappy. Anyway, these goods were kept at home and would not go bad soon. Even if they couldn’t sell them now, it was not a big deal to sell them slowly . . . Thinking like this, Jiang Chengwen did not bother going to the county town to sell them.

But it was only he who thought it was okay to keep these goods. The rest of the Jiang family knew that it couldn’t go on like this. The salted fish and the kelp could no longer be stored for a long time, nor could they be kept in a pile and left unsold!

That day, Jiang Chengxiang, who came home, could not stand the smell of fish in the house and talked about it with Jiang Chengwen. As a result, the two men quarreled.

“Alright, stop fighting!” Butcher Jiang shouted.

“Father, are you just going to indulge Second Brother like this? Aren’t you afraid he’ll squander all the money in the family?” Jiang Chengxiang asked.

“Where have I squandered the money? I took out twenty silver, and at least the goods are here? What about you? You also took twenty silver, but there is nothing to see.” Jiang Chengwen laughed coldly.

Jiang Chengxiang looked at his parents and said, “Mom, Dad, don’t worry. When I get paid, I will definitely hand over half of it to the family.”

“You have to hand it in first!” Jiang Chengwen argued with Jiang Chengxiang again.

“Stop it!” Butcher Jiang said. “Stop fighting! Chengwen, tomorrow we’ll pick the goods and go to other villages together to sell them.”

“On foot?” Jiang Chengwen’s brows furrowed.

“How else do you want to get there?” Butcher Jiang was already ready to whip his second son.

Before, they took advantage of the fact that Jiang Ping knew that the person who wanted to buy their land was Jiang Zhen but didn’t tell them. So they had borrowed a boat from Jiang Ping and let Jiang Chengwen come back with a pile of sea goods, but they couldn’t borrow Jiang Ping’s boat every day, right?

Jiang Chengwen was reluctant at the thought of having to carry goods so far, but Butcher Jiang was already angry, so he didn’t dare to disobey him after all.

Edited by : Faro

Proofreader: Taalia

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