Shao Yunan slapped his forehead. This was the ancient times, so the environment was not polluted by people and open to the public, so even ancient tea trees could grow so big! Then it should also be normal to have patches on ancient tea trees! Shao Yunan plucked a leaf into his mouth and chewed, his breath changed. This was definitely more than three hundred years! These tea trees, if transplanted to his space… no, there was no need to transplant them. Even if the branches were transplanted and he used his knowledge and experience, he would be able to make the best tea in this world!
Shao Yunan grabbed Wang Shijing and said excitedly, “I want all the tea trees here to be mine! Mine!” Even Wang Shijing’s blind eye bent under this smile. “Good, let’s buy this mountain so everything here will be yours in the future.”
“Buy! You must buy it!” Shao Yunan was worried again. “We can’t buy them now, but what if someone else comes over, I want all of them to be mine.”
Wang Shijing couldn’t resist patting Shao Yunan and telling him to not worry. “No one from the village will come to this mountain. We can buy our land and new house land just below the mountain and then buy a few acres of wildland into the mountain pass. That way, no one will be able to come over. When we can buy it, we will buy all of the mountain.”
“Brother Shijing, it’s great to have you!” Shao Yunan licked his lips. He couldn’t wait to taste what the tea tasted like thousands of years ago. Earning money was just his secondary goal! Wang Shijing liked this look on Shao Yunan, so he patted him trying to calm him down. “I’ll go pick tea for you.”
Shao Yunan regained his senses and ran back to his back basket, taking out several cloth bags before running back and stuffing four of them into Wang Shijing’s hands and saying, “I’ll see what leaves to pick first and then we’ll split up.” Wang Shijing disagreed. “This tree is high. I’ll pick it for you. Just tell me which leaves to pick. If we can’t finish picking them today, we will come back tomorrow.”
Shao Yunan wanted to pick all these ancient tea leaves right away, but he was really not good at climbing. These ancient tea trees were very tall, but it also meant that these tea leaves would be of very high quality! Shao Yunan took a deep breath to calm himself down and said, “Then, I will teach you how to pick them.”
Picked tea usually had one bud and one leaf, or one bud with two leaves, but even one bud with three or four leaves was okay. Sometimes only a bud was picked if needed. It was autumn now and the quality of the tea was not as good as that in the spring. That was also Shao Yunan’s greatest regret. If it was before the rainy season, the picked tea leaves would be much more fragrant. However, Shao Yunan was confident that the autumn tea leaves could also produce a high-quality flavor. Besides, here, even the autumn tea would certainly be sought after.
Wang Shijing listened carefully to Shao Yunan’s explanation on how to pick the tea properly and after watching Shao Yunan’s demonstration, he started to climb the tree. What made Shao Yunan even happier was that these all have accompanying crab feet. Crab feet were the spirit of ancient trees. Shao Yunan had only seen them on ancient Pu’er trees before. This ancient tea tree forest tends towards Longjing. Longjing ancient trees have long been extinct in modern times and he already considered himself lucky to see crab feet on such an ancient tree from thousands of years ago.
The crab foot looked a bit like a small coral and like a crab’s foot. This ancient tea tree forest had not been visited by anyone, so the crab feet on the branches of the trees were tender green and the older ones were dark yellow. They smelled strongly of bacteria, algae, and tea.
Wild crab feet were very valuable medicinal materials, which tasted refreshing and sweet. Some old tea farmers even thought that wild crab feet would grow together with ancient tea trees, absorbing the aura of the tea trees and becoming the essence themselves. It could also be used to make drinks to cure all kinds of poison. The only thing to pay attention to was that the crab feet were cold and should not be eaten excessively. Pregnant women should also be careful and not eat them. You could also stew chicken with crab feet… Shao Yunan drank the tea made with crab feet and Pu’er before, which tasted very special. This crab foot growing on the ancient tree of Longjing must have even more special flavor.
Wang Shijing picked the crab feet and then dropped it from the tree, while Shao Yunan picked it up and put it in the basket. There were twenty-one ancient trees that he could see in this area and it was hard to say if there were more deeper in the forest. Wang Shijing did not feel comfortable with Shao Yunan running far away by himself, so he didn’t let him search further. Shao Yunan told himself not to be greedy. In modern society, even if you were able to find one, it would already be big news. He already found 21, so even if there were still more deeper in the forest, even if they were not found there was nothing to regret.
Wang Shijing picked the tea leaves from tree to tree without complaining and if he was uncertain about something he asked Shao Yunan from the tree. It was not until Shao Yunan himself was hungry that he realized that Wang Shijing had been in the trees for a long time and had already picked half of the old trees, so he said a little guiltily, “Brother Shijing, come down and have a rest. Eat something and drink some water. I’ve lost track of the time.”
“I’m not tired, I’ll finish picking this tree and then come down.” When Wang Shijing said that, Shao Yunan felt even more guilty. He also realized that Wang Shijing only had one eye, so he would be even more tired than normal people after such intense tea picking.
The more he thought about it, the more guilty he felt. So he took out a kettle from his back basket and then went to a position behind Wang Shijing and quickly took out a bottle to pour a small drop of spirit milk into the kettle. The water in the kettle itself has been mixed with spiritual water and now it was even mixed with a drop of spiritual milk. Shao Yunan also did not care whether Wang Shijing would notice something strange.
After a long time, Wang Shijing’s with his sweating head finally finished picking the tea leaves and came down from the tree. Shao Yunan immediately came forward with a cloth towel in his hand and poured some water from the kettle on the cloth towel before handing it to him. “Wipe yourself quickly.”
Wang Shijing took it and wiped his face and eyes before cooling his forehead for a moment. A coolness instantly hit his brain, so that his original tiredness became almost cheerfulness. The burning left eye was also immediately soothed. “Let’s take a break and get something to eat and then we’ll go back and come back tomorrow.”
Wang Shijing, who wiped his face and eyes, said, “There is still half left, let’s pick it up before going back. I am not tired. I remember that there was also another place with many tea trees and it was probably around here. But if we want to go deeper, I am afraid that there would be some wild animals so it wouldn’t be safe. After finishing picking here, we don’t have to come here tomorrow and can only pick up the goat’s milk fruits and peaches.”
Shao Yunan felt both guilt and gratitude, so he hurriedly handed over the kettle. “Drink some water. I’ll go get the dry food.” Wang Shijing took the kettle and took a big sip, then his one eye went round. This water! Looking at Shao Yunan, who was bending over to get dry food, Wang Shijing slowly swallowed the unusually sweet water and took another big gulp before walking over.
The two people found some prominent tree roots to sit on. Each of them had a mouthful of water and dry food. In order to ease his inner guilt, Shao Yunan chose his words carefully. “When the tea is ready, I will go to the shopkeeper of the Butterfly Jewelry Pavilion. The owner behind him is from the capital, so he has many shops under his name including Yizhang Xuan. Tea must also be one of his interests and I dare to say that the tea I made is definitely unique to the Great State of Yan. It is precious because it is rare and it will certainly fetch a high price.”
“Well, it definitely can.” Wang Shijing’s unhesitating trust made Shao Yunan especially comfortable. If Wang Shijing always asked him why or chased after the reason he would be troubled. The fact that Wang Shijing didn’t ask many questions and supported him wholeheartedly was the biggest reason Shao Yunan could stay at ease.
“But if the village people know, I’m afraid this forest can’t be kept, so I still have to find a few small businesses that earn money first to cover it. In the future I may collect tea with the village people, but not right now. The method of picking tea is very particular, otherwise it would go to waste.”
Wang Shijing said, “We can wait until we buy this mountain forest before we use the village people to collect it. Before starting collection we can also teach the villagers how to pick the tea. You can also ask Li Zheng to help you with this matter.”
Shao Yunan nodded and said, “The small business I just mentioned is making sesame paste.”
“Sesame paste?” Wang Shijing had never heard of it before.
Shao Yunan said, “It’s a sauce made of black sesame or white sesame. It can be mixed with cold noodles in summer and in winter. It can be eaten with meat, vegetables, and other seasonings. When you make sesame sauce, you can also get sesame oil, which can be used in cooking and soups. We can do it ourselves at home and then sell it at the county town or see if Yizhang Xuan wants to buy it. If it sells well, we can also collect sesame seeds from the villagers.” After drinking a mouthful of water, Shao Yunan continued to express his idea. “In the future, I intend to focus our family’s main business on tea and wine. I can also think of other small businesses that we can hire people to do or directly give as favors to other people, which could also be considered a distraction. What do you think?”
Wang Shijing nodded repeatedly. “You have many ideas, so I will listen to you. It is good to sell a favor. Now there are a lot of people watching our family. If our family suddenly gets richer, it will only cause trouble and gossip in the village. But if there are more rich people in the village, it will attract less opposition. For example, the fourth uncle, Uncle Sun’s family, and Uncle Zhou’s family are good. If we can bring the patriarch and Li Zheng’s family together, our family will have less trouble in the future.”
Shao Yunan said, “When the time comes to sell to whom, it is up to you to decide. Tomorrow, we will not go to the mountains. We will need to spread the tea leaves to dry them. It is also too late to order an iron pot, so we will use the one we have at home first to fry the tea. I’ll draw a picture and mark the size so you can go to the county town tomorrow to order a pot, order two first. When the tea is ready, we will go into the mountains to pick the goat’s milk fruits.”
Wang Shijing said, “Teach me how to make tea. When there are more tea leaves in the future, you would be too busy to do it alone. You also have to teach Qing and Nizi how to write and read so you would become too tired.”
Shao Yunan couldn’t help but look at Wang Shijing who said this very seriously and just smiled. “I definitely want to teach you first. We cannot focus on the small workshop. We are going to open a big tea house in the future. If you don’t know how to talk business with people, how can you manage the people under you?”
Wang Shijing froze, he did not expect that Shao Yunan would be willing to let him intervene, let alone that Shao Yunan would say such words. The meaning of the words seemed to really treat him as the head of the house.
Shao Yunan looked at those ancient tea trees and said, “I’m not going to hide it from you. At first, I was reluctant. Not because you are blind in one eye or have two children, but because It’s impossible for me to like and get married to a person I don’t know.”
Wang Shijing’s mouth tightened. “But after you split up so cleanly, I don’t think it’s that bad to stay.” Shao Yunan said with a smile, looking at the silent Wang Shijing. “We’ve only been married for three or four days and we still have a long time ahead, right?”
Wang Shijing raised his eyes and said, “Well, there are long days ahead. In the past, I couldn’t protect Qing’s mother, but I won’t let you suffer like Qing and Nizi’s mother. In the future, you will be in charge of the family’s affairs.”
Shao Yunan snorted out a laugh, “You are the one in charge.” Wang Shijing said earnestly, “Whoever has an idea in our family is in charge. In the future, when the family earns money, you will take care of it.” Shao Yunan snickered again. This man that looked much older than his 26 years really reminded him of the word “cute” at this moment.
Edited by: Jaisland