Chapter 32 – Sowing Seeds
Zhao Hai arrived at the study upstairs which Greene prepared. There were a collection of books, but not a lot. There were also some writing memos, and no shortage of writing papers and pens.
What surprised him was that there were several kinds of pens. Some were made from feathers, some were made from bones, and some were made from metal and shaped like signature pens. Writing brushes, charcoal pens, pencils, eastern and western blends, ancient and new, they all opened Zhao Hai’s eyes.
But Zhao Hai wasn’t impressed by the papers. They weren’t white papers as he had expected. They were yellow, like cow skin, which he had seen before when he was little. These papers were very hard, and much coarser than even cow skin.
Zhao Hai went speechless. In Adam’s memories, there were sights of falling flowers, snowfalls and moon phases, as well as sounds of dogs and horses. However, there wasn’t a single memory about papers and pens. That much should tell what sort of character Adam was.
Zhao Hai used a charcoal pen to draw a millstone and a roller on a paper, and then brought it over to An.
An looked at the paper and replied, “I can make these things, young master. We usually use similar things to grind rice. Not the same, but close.”
Zhao Hai relaxed at this and nodded, “Good. Meg, arrange 40 men and have them learn how to make these 2 things from An. Make some more. These are for making flour. We have many people here, and it might not be enough if fewer are made.”
Meg heeded with a sound, and Zhao Hai continued, “The remaining 10 will go up the mountain to cut grass, and we’ll have the women learn how to weave grass from Ju. We have to hang grass mats on all of the houses in the shortest time. If people who know some handicrafts come to you, you must tell me. Also, tell the slaves that if sleeping on the floor is too cold, they can cover it up using corn stalks. We have too few resources right now, so we can’t let them sleep on beds, but constantly sleeping on the floor will cause sickness. Putting some corn stalks down will be enough to serve as beds for now.”
Meg heeded with a sound. She knew that there wasn’t a lot the slaves could do. The land of the fief hadn’t been improved, and there wasn’t much cleaning left to be done at the mineshafts.
After he gave out the instructions, Zhao Hai and the others left the study. They met Maylin in the living room, who came to let them know that breakfast was ready.
At the dining table, Zhao Hai relayed what he had arranged to Maylin, who didn’t object. Processing flour was quite useful, so Zhao Hai’s arrangement couldn’t be better.
After breakfast, Meg immediately arranged the people according to Zhao Hai’s instructions. She let Rockhead lead An and the others to find suitable rocks to make rollers and mills, while she was in charge of the women, who then sat on the ground and began grass-weaving.
The whole castle was bustling, but Zhao Hai and Maylin weren’t in the castle. This time, they were in the valley after travelling by the lake, just the 2 of them. There wasn’t any danger after all, and it would be easier on Maylin if one less person needed to be carried.
Upon arriving at the valley, Zhao Hai looked at the 10 acres of soil which he improved. After noticing that there were no changes, he improved another plot of land. 10 acres, like before.
Once Zhao Hai finished with the soil improvement, Maylin said, “Young master, how about we let the slaves come here and rake the soil and plant something on it first?”
Zhao Hai shook his head, as he still wanted to conduct an experiment with this plot of soil. He would never forget that the shovel inside the space could be taken out for use and turn up to 10 acres of soil every day. Meanwhile, he wanted to know whether the things inside the space could be controlled after coming out of it. If they could, then he could plant 10 acres of crops on his own every day.
Maylin knew that Zhao Hai must be trying to do something when he shook his head, so she didn’t say anything further.
With a thought, the shovel came out of the space, which immediately started digging up the soil. When Zhao Hai thought about sowing the seeds, corn seeds appeared from the space and fell into the flipped soil. He relaxed once he confirmed that the seeds had been properly planted.
But Zhao Hai discovered a problem as well, which was that none of the objects from the space could leave the 10 acres of soil. They could only move within its perimeter, and unable to perform complex tasks. For example, the shovel could only flip the soil, and was unable to do much else, while the seeds could not be used for anything else other than planting. He also wanted to test what the space’s water could do, but he couldn’t use it again after improving the soil for the day.
Zhao Hai wasn’t satisfied. If the space’s water could be changed as he saw fit, then perhaps he could use it as a weapon. However, it could only be used to water the soil.
Compared to his dissatisfaction, Maylin was extremely shocked. She didn’t expect that Zhao Hai could plant seeds in the soil the same way he did in the space.
After more than 2 hours, the 10 acres of soil were planted. The shovel flew back into the space on its own and the seeds no longer appeared. Even though it was just 10 acres, he was content that he could keep at this pace.
Zhao Hai asked, “Granny Maylin, can you use water magic to water this spot?”
Maylin returned to her senses and nodded. She walked over to the puddle and chanted an incantation in a low tone, which took a little longer than usual. After a while, a body of water floated from the puddle, which increased in size in mid-air before turning into raindrops that fell down.
Zhao Hai felt the wonders of magic once again. This was a bona fide artificial rain.
Actually, he didn’t know that not every mage could do this. Only high class mages like Maylin could, and this was just a supportive magic, not an offensive one. It was much simpler than offensive magics.
There was nothing worth criticizing about Maylin’s control over magic. It didn’t take long for the ground to become moist, and she immediately cancelled the magic after that.
Zhao Hai spoke to Maylin, “Granny Maylin, although plants here can’t mature as quickly as they do inside the space, this place is the foundation of our survival. I’m afraid that the space will disappear one day. That’s why I’m in a hurry to improve the soil.”
Maylin’s face changed color when she heard what Zhao Hai said, “Gods bless us. I hope young master’s space will never disappear.”
Zhao Hai smiled, “Alright, granny Maylin. I can only improve 10 acres for today, so let’s head back.” Maylin nodded and followed Zhao Hai to the cave.
Although it was very exhilarating to ride on the waves, Zhao Hai hoped that he could ride a boat soon. It’s just that they not only had no materials to build one, but also that no one that knew how, so he could only imagine.
Just when the 2 of them came out of the cave, they heard a whistling sound coming from a mine shaft not too far away. They looked in that direction and discovered that Rockhead was leading An and the others to bring the dug-up rocks out of the cave.
Zhao Hai walked over hurriedly, as he wanted to take a look at the rocks. Of course, he couldn’t tell if a rock was good or bad. He just wanted to see if the rocks were large enough.
One rock caught his eye, whose shape was uneven. It was around 1.5 meters in height, and was about 3 meters wide at its narrowest point and about 5 meters wide at its widest. Rockhead and the others brought a lot of ropes, which they used to tie the rock and drag it out of the cave, little by little.
Zhao Hai spoke immediately, “Alright. Put it down. I’ll take it back, so you go and get busy with something else.”
An and the other slaves looked at Zhao Hai in confusion, while Rockhead knew that Zhao Hai was going to take the rock using the space. Without further explanation, Rockhead told An and the others, “Alright, everyone put the rock down and go get another one from the cave. We don’t need to worry about this one.”
An and the others didn’t dare to disobey Zhao Hai and Rockhead’s words. They put the rock down in front of Rockhead and untied the ropes around it.
Once there were no ropes around it, Zhao Hai moved his hand and put the rock into the space’s storage. An and the others watched with wide eyes. They had never seen the various amazing powers that only powerful nobles would have, instead of small time ones. Slaves like An and the others had never even heard of spatial equipment, let alone ever seen one being used.
Yet they too knew about the wonders of magic. They assumed that Zhao Hai had used magic, which got them all worked up and thinking, (So master is a capable mage….) in their hearts.
Zhao Hai didn’t pay any attention to them, and followed Maylin back to the castle. On the way back, they saw several male slaves cutting the dried grasses on the mountain.
Zhao Hai didn’t help them take the grasses back. They were light, so he just let them deal with it.
The 2 of them saw that there were many women sitting on the ground, who were being led by Meg and Ju to engage in grass-weaving. Some women were bringing corn stalks from outside the castle towards the slaves’ houses.