TOFUH – Chapter 161 – Transporting Military Rations

What else could Jiang Zhen mean?

Naturally, he was dealing with him in his own way.

These people bribed his men, made a move on his property, and even tried to harm his family. Why shouldn’t he do the same?

He also has more people under his command than they do!

Jiang Zhen has always repaid revenge with revenge and favor with favor. Splashing chicken blood and beating someone was just the beginning.

Liu Baitong had a shipyard under his hands and supported a lot of craftsmen. Although the craftsmanship of these men was not as good as those of the Wen family, they were still very good. Relying on this shipyard he was able to become one of the most powerful sea merchants in Wexing Province.

As a result, during just one day, dozens of the shipbuilding craftsmen under him went missing overnight! Even the families of these craftsmen were missing too!

Liu Baitong was very angry with the Jinzhen Escort Agency for beating his son, so when he heard the news, he could no longer sit still.

It was the Jinzhen Escort Agency! It was definitely the Jinzhen Escort Agency!

Without so many workers, how could his ships be built?

“Someone, prepare the carriage!” Liu Baitong didn’t act alone against Jiang Zhen. Not to mention, nothing happened to Jiang Zhen so why was he so persistent?

Liu Baitong intended to see Jiang Zhen and at the same time, other people also intended to see Jiang Zhen.

A number of sea merchants and salt merchants went to the Jinzhen Escort Agency together, looking for Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge.

However, Jiang Zhen didn’t meet any of them.

These people made his wife unhappy so why should he see them?

Jiang Zhen did not meet them but let his people go out and make trouble for them.

He didn’t kill or blatantly injure anyone to avoid his men getting arrested for crimes, but even so he was able to make a few families unable to sleep in peace.

When these families’ servants went out to buy food, they would always encounter some bad situation. People throwing rotten vegetables, leaves or rotten eggs at them were many of the most common things!

Throwing rats and smelly fish into their houses was also already nothing special. Even good lotus ponds would somehow turn into a fecal pit, which was just the worst.

Some homes even seemed to be haunted, with mysterious shadows appearing in the middle on night.

Liu Baitong has not slept well for a long time, and his eyes were red but he couldn’t do anything in the face of such a situation.

Many people saw all of this with their own eyes.

“That Boss Jiang is really strong!” Luo Tianzhi, who came to the south of the Yangze river to do business, was overwhelmed with emotion. He had long known that the Jinzhen Escort Agency was developing well, but it was not until this moment that he realized how well it had developed.

In Wexing Province there were people from the escort agency everywhere.

Luo Tianzhi was quite happy, while the middle-aged man who came here with him also looked a little satisfied. “This Jiang Zhen isn’t another Cheng Yongzhen!”

“If it weren’t for the short-sightedness of those old men in the imperial court, why would they have forced him into such a state?” Luo Tianzhi said. “If they had treated Cheng Yongzhen well, maybe at this moment Daqi would have a strong navy!”

“You can’t say that.” The middle-aged man said. “Cheng Yongzhen openly claimed the title of king, which is like slapping the face of the imperial court and not treating the imperial court seriously.”

Luo Tianzhi knew that his good friend had always been loyal and patriotic, so he didn’t say more, only asked: “Are you going to see Jiang Zhen?”

The middle-aged man pondered for a moment and then nodded: “Yes.”

When Jiang Zhen received Luo Tianzhi’s invitation, he was a little surprised.

This Luo Tianzhi has been in Wexing Province for some time already, selling goods and buying other goods. He only unexpectedly came to see him at this time.

Jiang Zhen and Luo Tianzhi were still friendly with each other so Jiang Zhen agreed to meet with him.

Luo Tianzhi, who had been starved by pirates before and became thin, had become fat again. So fat in fact, that when Jiang Zhen saw him he only thought of high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

Along with Luo Tianzhi there was also another middle-aged man who glanced at Jiang Zhen with inquiring eyes.

“Boss Jiang, we come here because we want to cooperate with you!” Seeing Jiang Zhen, Luo Tianzhi immediately smiled and said, “No, it’s not a cooperation, we want to hire the Jinzhen Escort Agency to transport goods for us.”

“What do you want to transport?” Jiang Zhen asked.

“Food and grain.” Luo Tianzhi uttered words that really surprised Jiang Zhen.

In Daqi, the imperial court controlled things like salt, so naturally they also had control over things like grain. For example, they had always forbidden large-scale grain trading among the people.

“Who exactly is Master Luo?” Jiang Zhen asked.

“I’m just a merchant, this is the real lord.” Luo Tianzhi pointed to the middle-aged man beside him.

As a matter of fact, Luo Tianchi also had some status. He was a son from an official family, but later, when his father was convicted, he also became a sinner himself.

Fortunately, he had a good friend, the one next to him, who tried his best to protect him and introduced him to a prince who was eager for wisdom.

He followed that prince and started to do business. Since he was capable, it eventually grew bigger and bigger, making him win the prince’s attention.

Of course, he was still just an ordinary merchant. He couldn’t interfere in such matters as grain trading, but his good friend was different.

Luo Tianzhi briefly introduced them, careful not to say the exact identity of the middle-aged man beside him, but he still more or less revealed some clues. Their purpose of coming to the south of the Yangzhe river also became clearer the longer he was speaking.

This time, they came to buy military rations for the Liaodong Iron Riders.

In the previous dynasty, the court tax collection has always been the collection of grain. However, when it was first implemented, it was exploited so it was changed in Daqi.

Now Daqi collected taxes in silver.

In this way it became much more convenient in many areas but also became troublesome in others.

For example, military rations became very difficult to handle.

The Liaodong Iron Riders, which was one of the most elite troops in Daqi, was paid one or two million silver every year by military court and sometimes even more. Their ranks always had problems due to food shortage.

The middle-aged man in front of him came to the south of the Yangtze River to buy food and grain for the Liaodong Iron Riders.

“It costs a lot of money to transport food by rivers so we hope to be able to go by sea.” Luo Tianzhi said.

“Sea transport?” Jiang Zhen raised his eyebrows in surprise. There was a sea ban ordered by the imperial court.

“Boss Jiang, this sea ban actually only exists on paper. You should also be aware of this.” Luo Tianzhi said. Of course he didn’t dare to say the other reasons.

Liaodong Iron Riders were very strong, thus, they didn’t actually care about some of the regulations in the dynasty.

“I have to think about this.” Jiang Zhen said.

After Jiang Zhen sent Luo Tianzhi away, he approached Zheng Yi to ask about the Liaodong Iron Riders and finally agreed.

Now, the Rong country in the north were eyeing Daqi covetously and everyone depended on the Liaodong Iron Riders to hold them back. Since the Liaodong Iron Riders were short of food and grain, he should help them as much as he could.

What’s more, after acquiring some shipbuilding craftsmen, without a doubt, he would only have more and more ships.

That’s right, those shipbuilding craftsmen were all directly taken away by Jiang Zhen.

He has been trying to poach shipbuilding craftsmen from all around, but without much luck. When he became angry, he directly captured them!

All the craftsmen were sent to the seaside by him.

At first, the craftsmen were afraid, but soon, they got used to living under Jiang Zhen’s hands. This had a lot to do with the low status of craftsmen and the good treatment given to them by Jiang Zhen.

In other places, craftsmen were no different from servants, and many of them needed to sign a deed of sale but under Jiang Zhen it was different.

Technicians needed to be treated well, Jiang Zhen had always thought like this, so he was naturally very good to these craftsmen. After these craftsmen found that life under Jiang Zhen’s hands was very good, they started to work for him at ease.

Also, after Jiang Zhen give them some bonuses, they became even more energetic in building ships.

This year, Cheng Yongzhen, a sea merchant, became King of Ryukyu.

This year, Jiang Zhen encountered some trouble, but it was all quickly solved.

In this year, Jiang Zhen took the job of transporting grain and food ration for the Liaodong Iron Riders.

Jiang Zhen no longer went to sea with his ships and paid more attention to the management of his subordinates.

In the blink of an eye, three years passed.

During those three years, a lot of things happened. What made Jiang Zhen most upset was the sea merchant Cheng Yongzhen incident.

Although Cheng Yongzhen became King of Ryukyu, he was not rebellious. In the beginning, he left Daqi because local officials wanted to take away his fleet, and even sent some people to assassinate him.

He still yearned for the court, and this weakness of his was soon used by the imperial court.

The Empress Dowager sent officials to Minnan Province to discuss matters with Cheng Yongzhen personally, while sending Cheng Yongzhen’s captured family members, as well as his friends and relatives to Ryukyu. Then they officially invited Cheng Yongzhen to meet with them, agreeing to Cheng Yongzhen’s many demands.

Cheng Yongzhen agreed to the meeting and then with dozens of his men, he followed the official to the Minnan Province. However, after getting off the ship and sitting on the sedan chair, he was carried directly to the prison.

Jiang Zhen’s brow furrowed when he heard this news.

Ever since he had once encountered merchants from Europa, these European merchants appeared more and more often in the vicinity of Daqi.

There was no doubt that some places have already entered the era of Great Voyages.

Daqi could be part of it but instead they arrested Cheng Yongzhen.

Not only did they arrest Cheng Yongzhen, but they failed to recruit Cheng Yongzhen’s men, and caused some trouble.

Japanese invaders.

Japanese invaders appeared in the coastal area, but these so-called Japanese invaders were in fact Cheng Yongzhen’s old forces.

In the beginning, Cheng Yongzhen broke up a lot of pirate groups, making his own fleet bigger and more powerful. At one point he had more than 100,000 people working under him. Yet now, since he was gone, his men naturally were in disarray and old pirates went back to being pirates.

Also among them were a lot of ronins who used to be employed by sea merchants in Daqi, but now we’re just roaming around.

 

Edited by: Antiope1

 

Support translation:

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