Chapter 122.2 – Calculation
There was a saying that money will make the Devil turn millstones*.
[*T/N: 有钱能使鬼推磨 – (idiom) with money, you can do anything you like]
An Zi Ran may not have anything else, but he had plenty of money. Just Tian Long Gambling House alone earned him several times the amount of money that selling rice did. He has been saving that money for this very moment.
This was the so-called ‘you have a plan, and I have a ladder to climb over walls.’
[T/N: ‘你有张良计，我又过墙梯 ’ – the above phrase in quotation marks is saying that Xu Wei Ye may have been plotting against them, but AZR and them have a countermeasure, as in, ‘I have a ladder to climb over the obstacles you put before me’ kind of meaning.]
“Some people may not understand why your annual harvest is always so small when you have all worked very hard, going to the fields early and returning home late, and suffering from backaches and waist pains. Even getting enough food is becoming a problem. That is because you are planting something unsuitable on land that is best suited for growing other crops…”
An Zi Ran first introduced himself, and then he expounded on the pros and cons to them.
These villagers were doing everything that they could just to be able to provide the bare minimum for their families. They had no knowledge about crop and land compatibility, but many of them truly understood. It was just because of Xu Wei Ye that they did not dare to resist. Now that An Zi Ran had put forth the proposal, some echoing sentiments rippled through the crowd.
“Right now, I have a method to solve your current dilemma, but it depends on whether or not you are willing to try.”
At this time, there was a scoffing sound from the crowd.
“Your so-called solution is to have us dig out the rice seedlings in the fields and plant the weird crops that you brought, right? In the end, it’s all for your own benefit. You don’t really want to help us. We all know that you asked for a hundred acres of land to grow that kind of stuff, but it wasn’t enough, and that’s why you’re turning your attention onto us now.”
An Zi Ran looked in the direction of the voice and saw that it was a short but plump man. On his face was an expression of provocation. Just one look was enough to determine that this was someone Xu Wei Ye had planted in the crowd. He deliberately said those words to sway the crowd’s thoughts. And there were indeed some people in the crowd who were shook by his words.
“Excuse me, what is this method you speak of?”
Not long after, a man suddenly stepped out from the crowd to ask.
Xu Wei Ye narrowed his eyes and looked over at the man. With a glance, he recognized that this man was A-Qi. Xu Wei Ye had a deeper impression of him because the man’s wife had abandoned him and their children to leave Ali Xiang. A cold light flashed through his eyes.
A-Qi did not seem to notice Xu Wei Ye’s gaze. He looked at An Zi Ran without blinking.
An Zi Ran glanced at him and said, “What he said is not all wrong. I do want you to dig out the rice seedlings in the fields, but not for free. I know that some of your field contracts still have one or two more years before they expire. I want to terminate these contracts earlier, but I will return the contract money to you. Of course, I will not force you, this is all up to your will, however…”
“Haha, this person finally shows his true colors. He just wants to take back the land from our hands. Don’t be deceived by him. He doesn’t have any good intentions at all.”
The man interrupted his words with a loud laugh and started to sow dissension.
Because An Zi Ran had yet to get to the main point, some people were getting agitated. Their voices got louder and louder until A-Qi spoke again.
“Everyone, stay calm and listen to what else this young man wants to say. After all, the decision is in our hands. We won’t lose out just by listening.”
Some people felt that what he said made sense, so they calmed down.
Xu Wei Ye and the fat man immediately shot daggers at A-Qi with their eyes. This person has repeatedly sabotaged their plan. Could it be that An Zi Ran has bribed him?
An Zi Ran calmly said: “For those who accept, I will ask you to work for me. I will give you thirty catties of rice and twenty catties of flour every month. In addition, everyone can get two strings of coins. For those who work for me for three consecutive years, I will give them a piece of land. This piece of land will forever belong to that person. There is no need to contract the land. All business transactions will be up to you.”
There was dead silence all around.
Everyone looked at him in disbelief. How could there be such a good thing?
“Don’t be fooled by him. He must be trying to trick us into handing over our land.” At Xu Wei Ye’s signal, the short man finally reacted, and his sharp voice broke the silence in an instant.
“That’s right, how could there be such a good thing!”
The murmuring voices sounded one after another. This time, there was no need to instigate them at all. Not many people could believe that there was such a good thing in this world, so their first reaction was to believe that An Zi Ran was lying to them.
More and more echoes rose from the crowd and some people looked at An Zi Ran with unkind eyes.
Xu Wei Ye stopped looking sullen and he faced An Zi Ran triumphantly. Not to mention the villagers, even he could not believe it.