Chapter 123.2 – Development
A-Qi returned to the crowd with two large sacks of grain and four strings of genuine copper coins. Half of that money was for the few acres of land he had contracted before. Originally, it was supposed to be one string of coins for one year, but An Zi Ran paid him twice over.
Everyone immediately surrounded him and asked him about the contents of the agreement. Most people were illiterate, so they could only ask the literate A-Qi.
A-Qi answered them truthfully.
After listening to him, the fat man who kept opposing An Zi Ran said in a peculiar way: “A-Qi, you’ve been speaking up for them all along, just now too. Could it be that you received some benefit from them beforehand?”
A-Qi glanced at him calmly, “I only know that with this rice and flour, I can feed my three children. With this amount of money, I can also buy them a lot of new clothes. They will be well fed and well clothed. I can also send them off to school, so that they don’t have to suffer like their dad.”
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At first, the other villagers thought that what the man said was not without reason, A-Qi’s attitude was indeed somewhat unusual, but in the blink of an eye, A-Qi’s words moved them and changed their opinions.
It didn’t matter if young and strong people like them didn’t have enough food to eat, but it wasn’t right for the children and the elderly in their families to go hungry.
If the children and elderly could have just a slightly better life, then these people wouldn’t hesitate even if it cost them their lives.
“Hey, don’t be fooled by him, he is just putting on an act.”
The short man noticed that many people looked moved by A-Qi’s words, and he was immediately anxious, but his words were no longer working. Several people walked over to Guan Su to sign the contract and then went to Shao Fei to receive food and money.
Some people burst into tears of joy and knelt down on the spot. They hadn’t seen so much rice in the rice barrel of their house for a long time, never mind twenty catties of flour.
Before long, all the families of Magou River signed an agreement with An Zi Ran, except for the short man who had tried to sow dissent. The villagers did not know that he was working for Xu Wei Ye, but no one tried to persuade him, because his family consisted of only himself, and there was never a day when he had gone hungry.
Seeing how the situation had settled, Xu Wei Ye’s mood was overcast by black clouds.
The one thing that he failed to calculate was that An Zi Ran would be willing to put down capital and rather sustain monetary loss than to lose Magou River.
The conditions he offered were actually not particularly high. At most, the income level was the same as that of the people in An Yuan County, but for the villagers of Ali Xiang, it was already very good, especially since they would each own a piece of land after three years.
“That goddamn A-Qi, he actually dared to ruin my plans!”
Xu Wei Ye’s teeth itched with hatred. His plan was clearly about to succeed, but then this A-Qi burst out of no where and completely ruined his plan.
As if feeling a malicious gaze on him, A-Qi suddenly turned his head and looked over. He happened to meet Xu Wei Ye’s sinister gaze and was taken aback. He did not expect that their mayor would show such a creepy expression. But after a bit of thought, he was once again relieved. Even if Mayor Xu hated him, he did not have a single regret ever since he made a promise with that man.
That day when A-Qi left his house, he met a man.
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The man claimed to be the subordinate of the real master of Ali Xiang, and had came to him because he wanted to discuss something with him.
A-Qi was different from most of the villagers in Ali Xiang. He has attended school before and knew more than the others. So when he heard the man talking about the real owner of Ali Xiang, he immediately thought of a topic that was banned by the mayor ten years ago.
A-Qi remembered that the emperor of Da Ya had personally granted the territory of Ali Xiang to the Imperial Fu Palace. It has been thirty years or so, but because the Imperial Fu Palace never sent anyone to claim the land, Ali Xiang was pressed under the thumb of the Xu father and son pair for decades. Gradually, many people forgot about the Imperial Fu Palace, and some never even knew that the territory belonged to the Imperial Fu Palace.
Despite his education, A-Qi was still just an ordinary person, and at that moment he was a bit dazed.
“My master said that he is willing to help your family, provide you and your children with meat for meals three times a day, and give you new clothes to wear every day, as long as you are willing to do us a little favor.”