Chapter 31 – Rollers, Mills
Zhao Hai’s figure disappeared as he entered the space again. He still didn’t like other people watching when inside the space, but in order to placate Maylin and the others, he had no choice but to bring them in for a look. Right now, the family still needed them.
The reason why Zhao Hai had let Maylin and Meg know about the situation was in order to make them more confident. Right now, the crises in the Black Wastelands were coming one after one another. If Maylin and the others lost their confidence, then everything would be finished.
Zhao Hai sold the radishes immediately. There were 3 seasons of them, so the total was 1500 gold coins. With the 50 gold coins in his possession, he now had 1550 gold coins. If they were used to plant radishes, up to 10 seasons of them could be planted.
It wasn’t that Zhao Hai didn’t want the radishes to bear seeds. However, radishes were different from corn. People eat radishes for their tube roots, and it wasn’t known if the space would let them bear seeds. Even if the radishes would bear seeds, the quantity would be few, and they would not yield as much as corn. That was why Zhao Hai didn’t let the radishes bear seeds.
Since he earned quite a bit of money from selling the radishes anyway, he would earn more if they were sold outside. The family would be able to sell the radishes outside if Greene returned. Then, he could buy some books about the continent’s plants. That way, he would be able to decide what to plant. He knew too little about the continent’s plants right now, so he couldn’t develop, even when he wanted to.
Zhao Hai was out of options. After selling the radishes today, he would harvest another season of them the next day. He only told Greene that he had 80000 kilos of radishes, so a single season of them was enough for time being.
Yet even though he had 1550 gold coins, they weren’t nearly enough. Radishes could be harvested 3 times a day. In other words, the money in his hand would last for 3 days. He would have to sell the radishes again after 3 days.
Zhao Hai was bummed out about all this. His level was too low right now. He couldn’t buy seeds of a higher level, even though he wanted to, so he could only wait. He didn’t know when he could let the space level up at this rate.
It didn’t take long for Zhao Hai to fall asleep after coming out of the space. He also discovered that he seemed to sleep very well recently. He slept in the afternoon, and yet he could still sleep at night. It was unbelievable.
Zhao Hai was woken up by the notification of the radishes’ maturity next morning. He entered the space and saw that not only were the radishes ready, the corn was also about to mature as well.
He collected the radishes immediately and bought another sack of seeds to plant again. Since the corn was about to mature in a few minutes, he just washed his face with water in the space and waited for it.
Zhao Hai was seriously having an urge to bite when he looked at the corn. He was from the north. Although no one made corn their main breakfast, an occasional meal of it was quite nice. However, the corn was the mass-produced type, instead of the specifically grown ones of the past. Its taste was inferior to village corn, as it was mostly planted with chemical fertilizers, so Zhao Hai had only eaten it several times on occasion.
But one day, he went to a relative’s place in a farming village, and ate something good. It was fried corn flour dough, made with a large iron wok. Truly delicious.
The flat corn dough was completely different from the ones in the cities. Although the corn flour was coarse, the dough itself was fragrant. Its underside was dipped in vegetable soup while the other side was fried to a bright reddish brown. It not only had the fragrance of corn when bitten, but also the abstract taste of the wok-fried vegetables, made all the more better by the soup.
Zhao Hai couldn’t help himself from drooling when he thought of this. He regained his senses, gulped down his saliva, and smiled bitterly.
Even though he had eaten corn ballast porridge and corn dough before, he didn’t know exactly how to make them. He only knew that corn ballast was comparatively easier to process, while corn dough was much more troublesome. For the latter, the corn kernels had to be ground into corn flour first.
If it were on Earth, the process of doing so would be very trivial. Just find a food processing factory, start up a machine, and voila.
But not here. There wasn’t a shredding machine here, so there was absolutely no way to process the corn.
Right after Zhao Hai sighed, the notification voice said that the corn had matured. He immediately put the corn into the storage, and replanted the 2 acres of soil with corn. He then looked at the planted soil idly. The yield of corn was high, but the processing itself was an issue.
Suddenly, he had an idea. He discovered a problem. Corn had surely existed longer than shredding and grounding machines. Could it be that people cooked corn this way and ate them in those years without the machines? They weren’t that silly, right? How did they process the corn?
He paced around in the space and rubbed his own forehead out of habit. He tried to figure out what humans used to make flour.
Suddenly, he smacked his own forehead as he finally thought about 2 things. He had only seen these 2 things on television before, so he had never used them himself. He hadn’t thought about them at the time because he had never seen villagers use those things in recent days either.
Rollers and mills!
Yep. Those were the things. When Zhao Hai went to his relative’s place, he saw a millstone, but one that had already been taken out. No one used those in farming villages these days. However, he asked what those things were used for out of curiosity. He then knew that the millstone and the mill itself were meant to grind rice into flour.
Most importantly, these 2 things were mostly made of rock and wood. Rock was doable. Although the amount of rocks they could excavate wasn’t a lot, they should be able to get enough to make a roller and a mill. The rocks used wouldn’t be a lot as well, and the materials needed wouldn’t be too good. Just the small trees from the mountain would do.
Zhao Hai couldn’t stay still after thinking to this point. He immediately left his space. Checking the sky, he knew that Meg and the others should be waking up by now. He pushed the door of his room open and walked out.
Once he came out, he saw Meg and Ju bringing a bronze washing basin towards his room. Meg was startled when she saw him, and said, “Why have you come out, young master? You haven’t washed your face and mouth yet.”
Zhao Hai laughed, “It’s nothing. I have already woken up and cleaned myself. Ju, how’s your younger brother? Has he woken up yet?”
Ju was standing behind Meg with a lowered head. When she heard Zhao Hai’s words, she replied in a hurry, “Thank you for your concern, young master. An has recovered. He’s waiting to pay his respects outside.”
Zhao Hai smiled, “Then why so polite? What respects? Come. Let’s go to the living room. You tell An to come here. I have something to ask him.”
Meg and Ju were both taken aback, but they obeyed without saying anything. They followed Zhao Hai to the living room.
Meg put the basin down when they reached the living room. She stood behind Zhao Hai as Ju went out to call for An.
In the castle, there was the main castle and the servants’ quarters. Zhao Hai and the others were living in the main castle, while the servants’ quarters were behind the main castle, and was made up of little houses. Ju and An were currently living in the servants’ quarters. Although it was said that they had become commoners and were given a surname by Zhao Hai, their status was still very distant from Meg and the others. Meg and the others were confidants, while Ju and An were just normal servants.
Ju and An entered soon after. Now, An no longer had a dying look, but he lowered his head and didn’t look brave enough to speak.
Ju lowered her head in front of Zhao Hai and said, “Young master, An has arrived.”
Zhao Hai nodded and looked at An who stood not too far away from Ju. He smiled, “Tell him to come over. No need for such serious formalities. I have something to ask him.”
Ju immediately called An over, who then prostrated himself in front of Zhao Hai with a ‘thump’, “An greets young master. Thank you, young master, for saving my life.”
It seemed that Ju had told An about it before, to call Zhao Hai ‘young master’ instead of ‘master’. Zhao Hai nodded, “No need for such manners. You are now a member of the family. It’s only proper for me to save you. Stand up and speak.”
An put his forehead to the ground again and replied, “Thank you, young master.” He stood up, but in a half-bowed-down way. He didn’t dare to look at Zhao Hai.
Zhao Hai couldn’t hold back his frown when he looked at An. He didn’t like other people treating him this way. This whole slave look, he disliked it. Zhao Hai growled, “An, raise your head. Remember that you are now a part of the family. A commoner. Whatever you are going to do, it represents the family’s face. Don’t just bend your waist all the time and put on a slave’s look. That will only make others look down on our family.”
Ju and An both kneeled down when they saw how angry Zhao Hai seemed to be. They both kowtowed, “Please punish us, young master.”
Zhao Hai was bummed out, and only said, “Fine, stand up. Don’t just kneel down for no reason.” Both Ju and An stood up. An was standing straighter now. Zhao Hai continued, “I’m asking you, An. Do you happen to know some masonry techniques?”
An replied immediately, “Yes, young master. My father was a stonemason, so I learned some techniques as well. Although I’m not very skilled, I can still make some common things.”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Very well then. I will draw up a couple of plans. See if you can make them out. If you can, then organize people to get some rocks and make what I want immediately.”
An’s heart skipped a beat, but he bowed and replied, “Yes, young master.”