Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Fangzheng said, “It’s nothing. They had too much to eat and have nothing better to do. By the way, are there many such lands in the village?”
Dog Song was taken aback. Why was Fangzheng asking about this?
At that moment, Wang Yougui slapped his thigh and jumped up, laughing. “Haha! Dog Song, you sure helped out this time. The water hole you mentioned was a former river path. It’s about a meter tall, and machines can’t enter. But that paddy isn’t small. If I recall correctly, our villages have quite a few lands that are like that, right?”
Dog Song scratched his head. “Ah, Yeah… Why? Holy sh*t! Isn’t this a job!?”
Fangzheng and Wang Yougui laughed at the same time.
One Finger villagers were definitely not lazy. These jobs would usually be done by themselves, but the times had changed. The entire village, from young to old, male or female, would practice bamboo carving whenever they were free. At the very least, at least one member of each family was learning the techniques. After all, there was a lot of Frost Bamboo, an inexhaustible supply in fact. Hence the bamboo carving trade didn’t bring about any unsustainable destruction to the environment while still being a lucrative trade. There was nothing better than this.
Now, One Finger Village had turned rather famous with Monkey, Fatty, as well as Jing Yulong’s help. Even without tourists, businessmen would come to purchase their goods. Prices depended on the quality of the carvings. Regardless, even trinkets which had been made during practice would be sold or thrown in. Therefore, everyone was more willing to spend their time carving. It was profitable and also a way to hone their craft.
As a result, compared to using the time to harvest the paddies in the river flood lands, they would rather carve more trinkets and sell them.
As for the wheat hands they knew, they were all from the neighboring villages. Now, everyone’s days were becoming better, so few people were willing to work in tough circumstances. Most of the time, help was provided as a token of friendship, just to earn some side income while spreading joy.
So, Wang Yougui immediately got up and chased after Zhou Zishan and company. He explained the situation to them, and the wandering wheat hands were instantly moved. They thanked him profusely.
“Don’t be in a rush to thank us. Take a look at the place first. The old river path is quite mired, so it won’t be easy,” said Wang Yougui.
Zhou Zishan and company didn’t mind. “It doesn’t matter. As long as there’s work.”
Fangzheng felt mixed emotions when he saw Zhou Zishan and company. Last year, Fangzheng was so poor that he nearly starved. This year, he was no longer worried for his meals. Fangzheng suddenly had a thought. What if he could help the entire world one day? How meritorious would that be? However, that was just a thought. To save the world? How hard would that be? It was not something that could be accomplished with just money and power. People were poor and miserable to a small extent because of reality, disasters, and illness. But most of the time, it was because they were mentally poor. A lot of people were lazy or gambling addicts, etc. To try to help them was akin to wasting both water and soap when washing a pig. No amount of money given to them could help. On the contrary, rather than help, it would only make things worse.
By the time these thoughts went through Fangzheng’s head, everyone was already out of the village, having come to the old riverbed. Indeed, as Wang Yougui had said, the river was thickly mired. Everyone left deep mud imprints with each step, with the muddy water reaching all the way to their ankles. With their feet sinking to varying depths, it was extremely tiring to walk in the mud.
However, Zhou Zishan and company didn’t mind it at all. On the contrary, their eyes lit up like the eyes of a young man seeing his bride.
Zhou Zishan said, “Village Chief, we can do this!”
Wang Yougui said, “As long as you are willing to. I’ll tell the owners of this land. There’s absolutely no problem with leaving this job to you. As for the price, I’ll have to negotiate with the owners.”
“Village Chief, you are a good man. We can talk about money later. We’ll start working first,” said Zhou Zishan with a smile.
Zhou Ziyuan smiled as well. “We haven’t worked for so long. I can finally let loose! Brother, let me test it out first.”
As he spoke, Zhou Zishan put down the huge luggage on his back and carried a sickle into the riverbed. The moment he stepped in, his foot sank straight to the ankle. Not only did Zhou Zishan not seem to mind, he even laughed. “Hehe, the mud is quite deep!”
When Wang Yougui heard that, he was stunned. They didn’t care for the price and chose to start work first. While Wang Yougui was being dazed, Zhou Ziheng also jumped into the mud. Following that, Zhou Zishan charged into the paddy field with sickle in hand. As he walked, he laughed. “Second Brother, let’s see who’s faster! I’ll do this area!”
“Punk, are you competing with me? I’ll give you an acre’s handicap!” Zhou Ziyuan said with a laugh.
“Bring it on! I’m not afraid of you!” As Zhou Ziheng spoke, he had already bent his back and begun to work.
When Wang Yougui saw this, he didn’t say a word. He rushed back to the village to discuss the price with the owner.
Before he left, Fangzheng asked, “Patron Wang, how much do you intend to pay them?”
Wang Yougui thought for a moment. “In the past, it was 70 yuan an acre. There’s been inflation recently, so it should be a hundred at most. Now that our village isn’t lacking money, those people who have started rural tourism businesses have made quite a bit too. These people are quite pitiful, so we’ll give them more. A hundred per person per acre.”
Fangzheng wasn’t aware of the industry prices, but he believed in Wang Yougui’s character. He also believed in Wang Yougui’s capabilities. If he could quote that price, there was definitely no problems with that. He had quite some standing after all.
The moment Wang Yougui left, Fangzheng turned to look. He saw that Shen Aijia and Ma Jingru didn’t mind the dirt as they quickly removed the messy weeds away. They cleared an empty spot and opened up a simple tent before flattening out blankets inside. Pots and pans were readied while the two children stayed inside to rest or sleep.
Fangzheng walked over and asked, “Patrons, what is this?”
Shen Aijia blushed slightly as she said, somewhat embarrassed, “It’s not early, and this huge riverbed is mired and difficult to traverse. We probably won’t be able to harvest all of it today. We will stay here for the night and continue at daybreak tomorrow. It will take about two days to harvest it completely.”
Fangzheng was taken aback. Stay here? They were going to stay out in the wilderness?
It was already Cold Dew. The northeast was unlike North China which had just started to cool. In northeastern China, a gust of cold wind after Cold Dew would leave the ground frosting up. That level of coldness was not something a mere tent could withstand.
Fangzheng pressed his palms together. “Amitabha. Patron, there’s no need to do so. There’s plenty of places to stay in One Finger Village.”
“Venerable One, there’s no need. We are all dirty, so we shouldn’t be living there. Staying here will be quite nice. We’ve been doing this our entire trip. It’s convenient for us to do our job.” Ma Jingru shook her head rapidly. Although she yearned for a bungalow in the depths of her heart, she ultimately said those words when she caught a glance at the sickles tearing through the air in the fields nearby.
At that moment, the little girl tugged at Ma Jingru’s clothes. “Second Aunt, I wish to live in a clean house… It’s cold here.”
By the side, Shen Aijia raised her hand and slapped the little girl.