We are 1/3 done with the novel.
Qiao Yuan tried it out and commented, “It’s very good.
The shreds are even in thickness, and the slices can be thin or thick.
Take it back tonight and let mother try it too.”
Yu Dameng also handed him the peeler.
Qiao Yuan peeled a potato smoothly.
Old Man Yu also tried it and couldn’t hide his joy.
“Then how much should we charge for it?”
He realized that he had to listen to his son-in-law for doing business!
Qiao Yuan had been staying in the iron shop for a while and knew the prices of various iron tools in the shop.
He thought for a while and said, “The shredder and the scissors are similar in practicality, so let’s charge the same as the scissors, one hundred wen each.
The peeling knife uses less iron, so it will be thirty wen each.”
Old Man Yu said: “Okay! Tomorrow I will introduce this thing to the customers who come to the door.”
Qiao Yuan asked a question.
“Father, how long do you think it will take for other iron shops to make exactly the same thing if they see these two things?”
“If they already have a model, it should take three or five days to figure it out.” Old Man Yu gradually understood what Qiao Yuan was worried about.
Qiao Yuan said, “Let’s make fifty shredders and a hundred peeling knives first.
Then we’ll sell them.
Let’s keep this a secret for now.”
Old Man Yu thought it was feasible.
As for Yu Dameng, he always followed what Qiao Yuan decided.
They planned to have dinner at the old house tonight.
Qiao Yuan bought two roasted chickens and cut two jin of meat.
He also gave Old Man Yu two jin of good wine.
In addition, he also bought three packs of chestnut cakes and some candied fruits for the little ones.
Lin Cuifen saw these big and small packages and felt distressed.
“Why did you buy so many things? You don’t make money easily either.”
Qiao Yuan acted cute.
“To honor our mother!” He also took out the shredder and peeling knife from his basket and showed them to Lin Cuifen with excitement.
“Mom, you should try them out.
These are kitchen tools that Father and Dameng created!”
Lin Cuifen tried the peeling knife first.
In a few strokes, the potato skin was peeled off, very clean.
Then she used the shredder.
In a moment, a potato as big as a fist turned into shreds, and they were even in thickness.
Lin Cuifen exclaimed: “This is so useful!”
Old Man Yu boasted, “It can also slice!”
Qiao Yuan also told Lin Cuifen about their plan for later.
Lin Cuifen was overjoyed.
If they sold them all, how much silver would they make? Ever since Yuan Ge’er married into their family, good things had been happening all the time.
Lin Cuifen said happily: “You rest, mother will make you something delicious to eat!”
That evening, they were lively again.
Qiao Yuan also asked Old Man Yu for a cup of wine.
According to his alcohol tolerance, even with the alcohol concentration of this era, he could drink another twenty or thirty glasses without getting drunk.
But after leaving the old house, he still pretended to say that he was drunk and asked Yu Dameng to carry him.
Yu Dameng hesitated for a moment, so he said: “I’m so dizzy from being drunk.”
In the end, Qiao Yuan got his way.
He lay on Yu Dameng’s back and mischievously pulled his ears.
“If you don’t listen to me in the future, I’ll pull your ears.”
Yu Dameng knew very well that he was faking it, but still, let him make trouble.
Qiao Yuan remembered his envy towards his classmates who were favored in the past, and his loneliness when he saw others happy with their families.
He felt that all this was like a dream.
Now he also had someone who spoiled him and indulged him.
Qiao Yuan leaned close to Yu Dameng’s ear and whispered: “Yu Dameng, I’m very happy.
I have a home now.”
When it was time for harvest, the iron shop was actually not busy because all the new farming tools had been delivered before harvest.
Now, it was all about repairing and patching up things, which didn’t take much effort.
Old Man Yu and Yu Dameng just had time to make shredders and peeling knives.
With their previous experience, their speed was much faster.
According to this progress, they could even exceed their original goal after the autumn harvest.
These days there were fewer people on the street.
Qiao Yuan also deliberately reduced the amount of vegetable pancakes and changed it to only making fifty portions a day.
Old Man Yu saw that the villagers were all busy with the autumn harvest and couldn’t help but envy them.
“Next year, when we have some spare money, we’ll also buy a few acres of land.
It’s more reassuring to grow crops and store food.”
Qiao Yuan agreed, “Father is right.
This way, we don’t have to always buy flour from others when we do business.
We can save a lot of money in a year.”
Although they didn’t have time to grind, they could exchange grains with others, which was still cheaper than buying.
“Your mother said that many families in the village have harvested their grains and vegetables.
We have to stock up on some grains and vegetables for winter.
There isn’t much work to do in the shop these days.
You and Dameng come back after finishing your work in the morning and help your mother with this.
You also have to stock up on the vegetable cellar.” Every household here had a vegetable cellar for storing winter vegetables.
Qiao Yuan agreed and went back home with Yu Dameng in the afternoon.
As soon as he got home, Lin Cuifen told him excitedly, “Yuan Ge’er, there’s a family from Wangjiawan who came to our house to order steamed cakes.
They said they’re getting married on the tenth of next month and ordered four hundred pieces.
It was Yu Ge’er who brought them.”
Lin Cuifen also showed him the two hundred wen deposit paid by the other party.
Qiao Yuan was also happy.
Recently, they had earned some extra money from selling steamed cakes.
The last time he went back to the old house, Lin Cuifen wanted to give him this money.
Qiao Yuan didn’t intend to take it, but he was afraid that if he said it at this time, Lin Cuifen wouldn’t agree.
So, he said that this money had to be used for turnover and he would settle the accounts with the iron shop at the end of the year.
Lin Cuifen thought so too and didn’t mention it again.
” Let’s buy a little bit of each of these vegetables – potatoes, radishes, cabbage, and dried eggplant – so that we can eat them together.
It’s just the two of us eating, so we won’t need much.
As for grains, we don’t have much silver in our hands, and we still need to turnover for business.
Let’s just buy five hundred jin of wheat and two hundred jin of sweet potatoes first.
We can store the wheat for now and save the sweet potatoes for eating.
When winter comes, we can hire a cart and go to town to buy more rice and flour to last us through the winter.”
After experiencing a long period of time in modern society where he often went without food, Qiao Yuan felt very insecure and only felt at ease when he had a stockpile of food.
And this was ancient times.
Although the current era was peaceful and prosperous, he knew the importance of hoarding food in times of war and famine.
If he had more money, he would have stocked up even more!
This year had been favorable with good weather and a good harvest.
The village was filled with joy and everyone had a smile on their face.
Qiao Yuan was also sincerely happy for them.
But even so, most families barely had enough food to fill their stomachs after paying their land tax, and they didn’t have any surplus grains to sell.
If they wanted to buy grains, they could only go to the richer families in the village.
These families had a lot of land, and after paying their land tax and leaving enough food for their families for a year, they sold the surplus grains for money.
Lin Cuifen always bought grains from the village chief’s family.
His family had thirty acres of land and only seven people.
Moreover, the village chief had an annual salary from the court, and his eldest son Zhao Shuisheng was also a shopkeeper in town.
His family was quite wealthy.
As soon as Aunt Zhao saw Lin Cuifen bringing Yu Dameng and Qiao Yuan to her door, she had a happy expression on her face.
“Cuifen, are you here to buy grain? I’ve saved some for you, just waiting for you!”
After speaking, he warmly took Qiao Yuan’s hand and said, “Yuan Ge’er, do you also need to buy grain this year? You can buy it from Auntie here.”
Qiao Yuan: “……”
How weird is this?
But he had learned to face it calmly.
“Yes, Dameng and I decided to buy five hundred jin of grain and two hundred jin of sweet potatoes.”
Aunt Zhao frowned: “Isn’t that a bit too little?”
“We don’t have much money.” Qiao Yuan smiled and explained.
Aunt Zhao quickly told Lin Cuifen, “It’s not good that your family doesn’t have any land.
You should hurry up and buy a few acres of land.”
Lin Cuifen also said that she had this plan.
Aunt Zhao said that she would let the village chief help them look out for it.
The village chief and Zhao Gensheng happened to come back from the field at this time.
Because Zhao Shuisheng and Yu Laoda were close, Zhao Gensheng and Yu Dameng also had a good relationship.
They were playmates when they were young.
As soon as he saw Yu Dameng, he gave him a punch with a big white smile and hugged Yu Dameng’s neck, and took him aside to chat.
This was the first time Qiao Yuan saw Yu Dameng interact with his friends, and he felt very happy.
Yu Ge’er also came to talk to Qiao Yuan.
He had heard that Qiao Yuan was selling food in the county town to earn money, and he admired him very much.
Qiao Yuan said, “I haven’t thanked you yet for introducing people to order steamed cakes from our house.”
Yu Ge’er blushed and shyly smiled, shaking his head.
“It’s not a big deal, no need to thank me.”
The two chatted about some other things, but Qiao Yuan was not very familiar with him, so they just exchanged some polite words.
It was only after Zhao Gensheng and Yu Dameng finished their private conversation that it ended.
In the end, Qiao Yuan also bought some dried eggplants and pickled cabbage from Aunt Zhao’s house on his way back.
This time, Qiao Yuan spent another one or two silver taels.
Before leaving, the village chief told Yu Dameng to come and drink with him after the village paid the land tax.
Qiao Yuan had not thought about the land tax before, so he asked Yu Dameng: “Do we have to pay it too? How much?”
Yu Dameng answered, “We just pay money directly.
But we have to pay twice as much as others.
The two of us will need about five qian.”
As they were talking, they heard a commotion not far away.
“That’s not fair!”
“How is it not fair? Who did your family rely on to work at the dock? You are so ungrateful!”
“What are you talking about? You only gave thirty wen after a whole day of carrying heavy loads.
I have already inquired and found out that the dock pays fifty wen per person! Where did the twenty wen go? They were all swallowed by your family!”
“You are talking nonsense!”
When Qiao Yuan heard Xu Xiuhua’s voice, he dragged Yu Dameng and Lin Cuifen to join the crowd and watch the excitement.
The two sides were arguing back and forth, and after hearing the people who came earlier explain to the ones who came later, Qiao Yuan understood what was going on.
It turned out that Qiao Guangzhi would take some men from a few families in the village to work at the dock every year, but the condition was that they had to come and work for him for free during the busy farming season.
These families endured it for the sake of earning some extra money.
In previous years, because the original Qiao Yuan had not married yet, he would take care of the meals during the busy farming season, and he could at least provide them with food.
This year, Qiao Yuan was not there, and Xu Xiuhua was too lazy to cook for so many people, so she did not even provide them with meals.
Originally, these people still put up with it, but they were too tired from working in the fields for days.
Today they rested a bit more at the edge of the field.
Xu Xiuhua came to the field twice and happened to see them resting both times.
She then started to mock them sarcastically, implying that they were lazy and not working hard.
Everyone has some temper, and they were already angry and exhausted.
So, someone talked back to her.
Xu Xiuhua was most arrogant during this period of time, having so many people working for her family.
She acted like she was some kind of landlord’s wife.
When she heard someone dare to talk back to her, she could not stand it.
Xu Xiuhua’s words became increasingly unpleasant as if they were her slaves.
The two sides then started to quarrel.
Anyway, they had already offended her, and they could not go to the dock to work in the future.
They simply revealed all the old grievances that had accumulated over the years, so that the whole village would know how much they had suffered.
Xu Xiuhua was the kind of person who would bring disaster upon herself by doing evil deeds.
Qiao Yuan understood what was going on and lost interest in watching the excitement.
He was about to go back home when he noticed a shy and timid gaze that kept falling on Yu Dameng.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
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