“Where are all the villagers?” Zhu Xiucai looked left and right, puzzled.
“I don’t know.” Zhu Shufen was also puzzled. At this time, the village should be making fire. Was everyone eating breakfast? Why is there no one out at this moment?
“This matter will not run away, will it? Uncle, let’s go and see the Jiang family’s house!” someone said.
The group of people quickly ran towards the Jiang family’s house and then blocked them all in.
The other day, the Jiang family was blocked by Jiang Zhen, and this day, they were blocked by the Zhu family. The chair that Jiang Zhen sat on yesterday was also brought out for his father-in-law by Jiang Chengxiang at his own initiative.
A one-sided negotiation began.
The people in Hexi village knew nothing about the Jiang family situation. They were still in shock. However, they could at least speak at the moment . . .
“This Jiang Zhen is really something!”
“Yeah, he’s only been out for a few months, but he’s brought back ships this big.”
“He’s definitely blessed.”
“It’s true that old lady Jiang had been treating him unfairly. If the Jiang family had treated him better, they might have become rich a long time ago.”
. . .
The second uncle of the Jiang family was also there and was furious when he heard these words. He became angry. He felt that Jiang Zhen was not ambitious enough. If he were so capable, why would he lower himself to marry into someone else’s family? Wasn’t it good enough to start your own household? He could marry a wife and have four concubines and open branches and scatter leaves for the Jiang family . . .
The second uncle of the Jiang family thought like this and wanted to talk to Jiang Zhen again, but his son, seeing this, quickly grabbed him.
Jiang Zhen was so powerful now; it would be stupid to offend him again!
Meanwhile, Zhao Fugui had boarded the ship to help Jiang Zhen move things.
As a matter of fact, Jiang Zhen had no shortage of people to do this, but Zhao Fugui was so happy, he insisted on moving them, so Jiang Zhen let him. However, he asked him to only move what he had brought back for him and Zhao Liu and not carry too much.
Like so, Zhao Fugui moved a little each time, back and forth.
“Mother, ask Dad to come back.” When Zhao Jinge saw his father running back and forth. He felt a little distressed.
“Your father is showing off. Don’t mind him,” Zhao Liu said. In fact, she also wanted to go down there and move things! But the plank was too narrow, so she didn’t dare to go there.
Zhao Liu’s eyes turned to look at the people from the village not far away.
A few people who often spoke with Zhao Liu and had a good relationship with her immediately came over to her and boasted, “I told you that Jinge has been blessed since childhood! I was sure he could marry well!”
“Zhao Liu, you have been waiting for good days!”
“You have the best life in our village.”
. . .
Zhao Liu was praised without having to take the initiative to show off, so she was very happy.
At this time these people began to inquire, “How was Jiang Zhen suddenly able to have such a ship?”
Zhao Liu froze when she heard this question. She also didn’t know!
Zhao Liu immediately looked at Zhao Jinge.
Zhao Jinge coughed twice. “Jiang Zhen . . . He’s very good . . . Well . . .”
He wanted to show off like his mother, but he didn’t know what to say. If he praised Jiang Zhen too much, wouldn’t other people want to rob him?
“This child mouth is really clumsy!” Zhao Liu said. He didn’t know where Jiang Zhen’s ship had came from, but it did not affect her boasting. “Jiang Zhen has always been a capable man. What are a few ships for him?”
“The master of the Zheng family appreciates him!”
“But he’s not always good at everything—No, he’s too clingy. When going out to do business, he always takes Jinge with him. Jinge is pregnant, but he still travels outside.”
“Of course, he has such a big ship, so Jinge won’t be tired.”
“They are such a sticky couple, so sticky . . .”
If his mother said so, and people knew that Jiang Zhen liked him very much, then they wouldn’t think of stealing Jiang Zhen from him. That’s great!
“Madam, Old Madam.” At this time, Cook Li came with Ruo-er; their accent was a little different from the Hexi one. However, because they learned from Zhao Jinge, their accent was not too difficult for Zhao Liu to understand.
“This is . . .” Zhao Liu didn’t know who these two people were, and . . . This was the first time someone called her Old Madam . . . It was really strange. Even Zhao Dahu’s mother wasn’t called that.
“Jiang Zhen asked them to take care of me,” Zhao Jinge said.
“Oh, you see, this Jiang Zhen is really good at spending money. My Jinge is so sturdy. Why would he need someone to take care of him?” Zhao Liu immediately said, “But I don’t have to worry about how to take care of the child. Someone can help!”
The people of Hexi who failed to get a word in: “. . .”
Suddenly, they all wanted to smack Zhao Liu . . .
Zhao Jinge smiled reservedly and suddenly understood why his mother liked to show off to people like this.
Zhao Fugui ran back and forth more than a dozen times before he finished unloading all of the things. Then Jiang Zhen found a man and asked him to help deliver the things to Zhao house.
The man took a load and picked up all the things Zhao Fugui had carried for so long, leaving only a few small baggage for Zhao Liu and Zhao Fugui to take.
As a matter of fact, this baggage was originally intended to be carried by Ruo-er, but Zhao Liu wanted to take it.
“Such good material, but it’s used to wrap baggage.” Zhao Liu’s expression was a bit tangled as she stroked the baggage in her hand.
Because Jiang Zhen came over, all the people around scattered. Seeing the situation, Zhao Liu pulled Zhao Jinge over quietly and said, “Mother just said some words you should not listen to.”
“What?” Zhao Jinge was puzzled.
“That is to say, it is too sticky for you to follow Jiang Zhen out . . . Mother thought about it. You’d better go with him in the future so that Jiang Zhen won’t be taken away!”
When the Zhao family was still doing well, even the honest Zhao Fugui was targeted by a widow who wanted to get money from Zhao Fugui and let him help with the work. Now that Jiang Zhen was rich . . . She thought it would be better if her son followed Jinag Zhen all the time so that even if some goblins wanted to stick to him, her son could beat them away!
Zhao Jinge solemnly nodded. He also felt that, as long as he could follow, he must follow.
With Jiang Zhen walking in the front, he brought the people of Hexi back. Everyone was so dizzy that no one noticed the movements within the Jiang family. Especially after Jiang Zhen put down his things and went to the river again. Everyone yelled, and then followed after him again.
Jiang Zhen had calculated to himself that he should have more than two hundred thousand silver in cash, which included all the real estate, like his ship.
If he really wanted to talk about silver . . . after he bought a lot of goods in the capital, there was only about twenty thousand silver left. This twenty thousand silver was what he planned to hide at home as emergency funds.
Twenty thousand taels of silver weighed two thousand jin (1,000 kg), which was one ton in modern times. It looked like quite a lot, but if you put it together, it wasn’t much.
This ten thousand silver, when put into the box, would fill only four boxes, and it was only because the shape of the silver was not regular.
These boxes were previously locked on the ship by Jiang Zhen, but Jiang Zhen had personally led people to carry them back to the Zhao family. After that, he would arrange some of his own men to serve as guards.
At the same time, there was also another urgent matter. That was to build a house.
Jiang Zhen hadn’t been in a hurry to build a house before, mainly because he didn’t have the money on hand, but now that he was rich, he must build a good house. Even so, he did not want to build just any house.
Jiang Zhen remembered that Li Mingzhe, who was engaged in the silk business in Lijia Village, not only built his house by the river, but also built a small dock to make it convenient for people from various region of the country to dock their boats and sell their cocoons to him.
Should he also buy a piece of land and then build docks as well as a house?
Speaking of which, although there were all kinds of difficulties in ancient times, there were also some aspects that Jiang Zhen liked very much. For example, when you buy a piece of land these days, you can do anything you like with it. Unlike in the modern times where you needed to build it according to the higher-up’s approval.
If a person wanted to build a dock for personal use, it would be even more troublesome, and he may not even be able to get approval at all. If he could, he would build a big dock in Hexi Village and build the house next to it.
Jiang Zhen took out a piece of paper and drew the topography of Hexi, and then he began to pick the place.
At this time, Zhao Fugui and his wife opened the boxes that Jiang Zhen brought back. As soon as they opened the box, they were surprised. There was so much silver in this box!
Zhao Liu covered her chest and felt that she could not breathe.
“Fuck! You can’t talk about this outside.” Zhao Fugui gulped and said, “I’ll go kill a chicken.”
“Don’t just kill a chicken, kill a duck too . . . Jiang Zhen likes to eat braised duck meat,” Zhao Liu said.
So much silver, ah . . . All the chickens and ducks they raised could indeed be eaten by themselves . . .
Zhao Liu and Zhao Fugui went to cook, but Zhao Jinge came to Jiang Zhen’s side.
He now had a little knowledge, so when he saw Jiang Zhen drawing, he could guess it at a glance, “Are you mapping out Hexi Village?”
“Mm-hmm,” Jiang Zhen said to Zhao Jinge and then pointed to the drawing to show it to Zhao Jinge. “What do you say we build a house here?”
“Good!” Zhao Jinge immediately said. He was worried that his house was too small for all these people to live in!
After all, he might have two children in three years, right? Maybe after five years, there would even be three children!
Jiang Zhen didn’t know that Zhao Jinge’s thoughts were not about building a house.
“Although using mud walls to build a house saves time, it has many defects, and it is still damp. I want to change it and build a brick house, but the layout of the house cannot be like this. Every house should be well planned. I will design a house first . . . Better to build a building . . .”
“Building?” Zhao Jinge looked at Jiang Zhen in surprise.
“Yes, building. Even if the floor could be paved with bricks and tiles, the ground floor would be too humid, so it’s better to build a building and live upstairs,” Jiang Zhen said. “Do you think I should get a brick kiln and bake bricks first?”
Jiang Zhen didn’t know how to burn glass, but he roughly knew how to bake bricks. After all, burning bricks was simple . . . Wasn’t it just to make some molds with clay and bake them? In addition, there were already brick kilns in ancient times. He might as well recruit some brick-baking master and solve this matter.
Jiang Zhen quickly made a decision, and Zhao Jinge, after he made this decision, immediately agreed.
They would go to buy the land tomorrow.
While Jiang Zhen was thinking about how to buy land, the Jiang family was taken by the Zhu family to the country town to sell land. Then they went to pay the debt and separate the family along the way.
The Jiang family still had eleven acres of paddy fields left, ten acres of mulberry land, and ten acres of dry land. This time, in order to pay off the debt, they sold three acres of paddy fields, two acres of dry land, and two acres of mulberry land.
After Zhu Xiucai came forward, Jiang Chengwen owed all the debts, so after the separation of family, Jiang Chengxiang rightfully got more things. He got five acres of paddy field, five acres of mulberry land, and five acres of dry land. However, even so, Jiang Chengxiang’s share had become much less than he had expected.
At present, if he worked hard in the field for a year, he would only be able to get enough for food and clothing. It would be difficult to have a surplus.
Jiang Chengwen was even worse; he only got a total of three acres of paddy field, three acres of dry land, and three acres of mulberry land. Even if each piece of land was used well, he would hardly have enough to eat . . . After all, he would be having another child soon.
Moreover, he and Jiang Chengxiang made a deal that old lady Jiang would follow him and Butcher Jiang would follow Jiang Chengxiang. That meant his family had three adults . . . It was a good thing that old lady Jiang could raise silkworms to help support the family.
As a matter of fact, the amount of land that the Jiang brothers had was not small. There were still many people in Hexi who were poorer, but transferring from extravagance to frugality was always a bit hard to swallow.
And only when the land was planted would they have a harvest! However, they didn’t know how to farm. The Jiang family looked at each other in disagreement as they hung their heads low when they returned to Hexi dejectedly and only to find out that . . . Jiang Zhen had unexpectedly earned a lot of money!
Edited by: Faro