The Glory After Rebirth Chapter 93
Chapter 93 Appeasing Herb Farmers
Chapter 93: Appeasing Herb Farmers
Fortunately, the reaction of Wu Er’niu didn’t arouse suspicions of the butler of Jia family, but in the realization that Wu Er’niu was so useless, he angrily snatched the pouch from Wu Er’niu’s hands, took eighty taels of silver out of it and then tossed it back to Wu Er’niu. “Bah! You expect me to pay you a hundred taels for this? Stop dreaming!”
Wu Er’niu also got angry. In order to get this money, he had suffered so much, and there were probably severer punishments to come after he returned to Ling family, yet this guy went back on his word halfway through the deal?
He abruptly rose to his feet, grabbed his stool and swung it at the butler of Jia family with great force.
The butler failed to dodge in time and was heavily hit on the back. “Ouch!”
“Wha…What are you doing! Ouch!” The butler made an attempt to snatch the stool from Wu Er’niu’s hands but was hit by another blow. Seeing that he was unable to snatch the stool from the opponent, he raised his own stool and fought back. During the fight, the table was overturned with bowls smashed to pieces and chopsticks scattered all over the ground. Customers sitting beside nearby tables also suffered.
The owner of the noodle cursed angrily. “What are you doing! You broke so many bowls and scared my customers away! I’ll report this to Yamen and sue you!”
On hearing the owner’s threat to sue, both Wu Er’niu and the butler of Jia family stopped. Neither of them could afford to let the authority get involved in this matter.
Wu Er’niu hurtled over, snatched the eighty taels of silver from the butler, turned around and quickly ran away.
Consumed with rage, the butler of Jia family tried to pursue him but was stopped by the owner of the noodle stand.
Watching this farce from the distance, Ling Zhang was utterly speechless.
‘Never mind. At least they wouldn’t be able to find out about the existence of Yuwen Tong and his men any time soon. People of Jia family have no reason to suspect. Anyway, just like Yuwen Tong said, it would never come to their knowledge that it is him who has been crossing them in Tanyang, no matter how hard and for how long they rack their brains.”
Immediately after Wu Er’niu left the noodle stand, two security guards suddenly materialized and took him back to Ling family.
Ling Zhang was just about to leave when he heard some people talking.
“…I wonder if the Prefecture Guards has won.”
“It is said that the battle is still ongoing. Lord Tao and Lord Ling stayed up on the gate tower all night, but there’s been no news of victory from the Prefecture Guards so far.”
“You don’t say so. Surely, they’re not on the losing side? How are we supposed to defend ourselves if by any chance those bandits intrude into the city? This is bad. I’m going back home right now.”
“I’d better return home as well. If worse comes to worst, I can at least take my wife and kids and run for our lives.”
With unnoticeably slight movements of his ears, Ling Zhang quietly listened to the conversation between nearby residents about the battle between the Prefecture Guards and bandits.
The fight had already lasted a day and a night but the stalemate between the two sides on the Lee Mountain continued. A lot of residents were beginning to panic.
“Young Master, should we go out of the city and check?” Wang Dashan made a suggestion.
Ling Zhang nodded. In fact, the reason why he had brought Wang Dashan and Liu Yi on this trip in the first place was that he intended to leave the city to take a look. Though there was a long distance between the herb farm and the Lee Mountain, herb farmers in there must be terrified, so he had to go and appease them.
“We’re going to the herb farm. Elder Brother Wang, rent three horses and meet me at the southern city gate.”
“Yes, Young Master.”
Ling Zhang and Liu Yi walked straight to the southern city gate. The gate was heavily guarded and all people going in or out of the city through it had to go through rigid security check.
“Childe Ling, the area to the south of the city is very dangerous at the moment. You shouldn’t go south if you don’t have any urgent business there,” a gate guard advised.
“Thank you for reminding me, but there are many herb farmers and a supervisor in my herb farm in the southern suburb. They must have been in panic after such a major battle broke out. I have to go and check on them. If things go south, I’ve got to help them evacuate from the farm as soon as possible.”
Everybody in Tanyang knew that Ling family owned an herb farm in the southern suburb. Seeing that Ling Zhang insisted on going out of the city, the guard had no choice but to let him through.
However, after Ling Zhang and his two men left the city, the guard immediately sent someone to report it to Ling Zhaowen.
On hearing that Ling Zhang had gone to the herb farm taking only two security guards with him, Ling Zhaowen was taken aback. ‘What is Zhang’er trying to do? It’s so risky to go out of the city at this time,’ he wondered in concern.
“Don’t inform Old Master of this unless I tell you to.”
Followed by Wang Dashan and Liu Yi, Ling Zhang was heading directly for the herb farm. When they passed by the Prefecture Encampment, they distantly saw that the whole station was shrouded in tension with guards on duty all around. And their usual path to the herb farm had also been barricaded.
“Young Master, there are roadblocks in the path.”
Having made a resolution to go to the herb farm, Ling Zhang said, “Dismount. We take the alternative path beside the stream and detour to the farm.”
Seeing that Ling Zhang’s determination to go to the herb farm didn’t waver, Wang Dashan and Liu Yi exchanged glances, and, along with Ling Zhang, dismounted and then led the horses into the dense wood.
There was a small stream in the wood, which started from a col to the east of the herb farm and would lead them to the herb farm. It was just that there was thick undergrowth sparsely mixed with thistles and thorns beside the stream.
Therefore, ordinarily, only wild animals would come here. Hardly anybody would choose to take this path, since it was too difficult to proceed along the stream.
Lucky for them, Wang Dashan and Liu Yi carried sabers on them. They slashed their way through the undergrowth with the sabers and found that the progress speed turned out to be acceptable.
The moment they reached the herb farm, Ling Zhang observed that no farmer was working in herb fields. He looked around and there was no one in sight. Since the estate had high perimeter walls around it, he couldn’t see the situation inside.
“Young Master, there might be something at work here. You and Liu Yi may stay here and wait. Let me go and check,” said Wang Dashan alertly.
After some brief thinking, Ling Zhang agreed, “Be careful, Elder Brother Wang.”
Wang Dashan nodded and then detoured around those herb fields. He progressed very quick and soon arrived at the perimeter of the estate.
First he pricked up his ears and listened. When he heard normal conversation between herb farmers, he gave a gasp of relief but, to be on the safe side, didn’t make any sounds.
It was not until he approached the front gate of the estate and saw four people guarding it with weapons in their hands that he fully relaxed. “Yang Liuzi!”
At first the guard was startled, but as he sighted the face of the visitor, he exclaimed delightedly in astonishment, “Elder Brother Wang!”
“Who is it? Elder Brother Wang?”
Another three men quickly ran outside, all of whom rejoiced at the sight of Wang Dashan. “Elder Brother Wang, it’s really you. I’m so glad to see you!”
“You came here alone?”
Wang Dashan didn’t answer but asked them, “What’s going on here? Why isn’t anybody working outside?”
“The battle on the Lee Mountain has lasted a day and a night. Supervisor Zhou had herb farmers to stay inside for fear that the battle might spread here. If by any chance the fight does spread over, we can defend ourselves for some time with these high perimeter walls around the estate.”
“Let me go inside and take a look.”
Wang Dashan followed them into the estate. After verifying their account of the situation, he told them, “Young Master came here as well. He’s waiting outside. I’ll go and lead him here.”
On hearing that Ling Zhang had also come, Supervisor Zhou and the others were first amazed and then overjoyed. “Young Master has come!”
Herb farmers also rejoiced on hearing the exclamation of Supervisor Zhou.
“Young Master is here.”
“Great. Young Master came to see us.”
The gloom and tension in the atmosphere dissolved considerably and smile finally found its way back to people’s faces.
It seemed that though the battle on the Lee Mountain didn’t spread to the herb farm, people living here had been in fear all along.
Wang Dashan walked outside the estate and waved in the direction of the spot where the two people had been waiting.
Ling Zhang saw the signal and, along with Liu Yi, walked towards the estate.
They had just arrived at the gateway when a group of herb farmers flooded outside.
“Young Master, good to see you!”
Surrounded by enthusiastic herb farmers, Ling Zhang was somewhat surprised at first, but soon he realized what this was about.
“Uncles and aunts, don’t be afraid. The battle on the Lee Mountain will not spread here. Just calm down. There’s no need to panic.”
Nothing could have reassured these herb farmers more effectively than Ling Zhang’s remarks did. Soon, everybody regained their composure.
“Young Master, are you sure the fight won’t spread here?”
“Rest assured. You’re safe here.”
After Ling Zhang gave an affirmative answer, the burden that had been weighing herb farmers down instantly dissolved and they naturally cheered up.
“Young Master, we didn’t go to work this morning…”
“It’s okay. Everybody take a day off and have a good rest. There’s plenty of time to finish the farming work in the fields. Supervisor Zhou, would you be so kind as to make arrangements for uncles and aunts to have a rest? After that, I’d like to have a word with you.”
Supervisor Zhou hurriedly answered “Yes” and told the crowd to clear off. There was also plenty of work to be done inside the estate, so he assigned some tasks to them. Soon, herb farmers dispersed and the gateway became quiet again.
“Supervisor Zhou, I’d appreciate it if you would appease them. It’s been over a day and a night and all of you have suffered a lot from panic and fright.”
“That’s part of my job and I’ll see it done. Fortunately, the battle never did spread over. How come they came to blows without any warning?”
“Those bandits has been entrenched on the Lee Mountain and nearby areas for so many years. The Prefecture Guards should have taken action and eliminated them some time ago. They’re merely performing their sworn duty which they probably just recalled yesterday.”
On hearing this, Supervisor Zhou gave a smile. A local Tanyang citizen as well as a supervisor of Ling family, he had dealt with numerous people from all walks of life, so naturally, he was well aware of the illegal deals between the Prefecture Guards and those bandits, and he disbelieved the reason why the Prefecture Guards were fighting bandits being that they just had recalled their duties.
But since Ling Zhang said so, Supervisor Zhou felt that he might as well accept it as the truth.
“Young Master, it’s too risky for you to come here with only two security guards. Yesterday, Yang Liuzi and some others tried to go back to the city to report to you, but it turned out that the road was barricaded. How did you manage to get here?”
“We came here along that stream.”
Light dawned on Supervisor Zhou the moment he heard this answer. He knew that path was fairly difficult to walk on. Ling Zhang had taken that path to come here to check on them at the risk of being spotted by the Prefecture Guards, which touched Supervisor Zhou.
Though he was working for Ling family, he risked life and limb to serve his master the day before. For a day and a night, he had been trying to comfort those herb farmers when he himself was also in scare, but since Ling Zhang came here to check on them early in the morning, he felt that his service had been well rewarded.
“Young Master, now that this farm is safe, you’d better go back to the city as soon as possible. I fear that the Prefecture Guards might take some unexpected action, and things would get tricky if you cannot return.” Supervisor Zhou advised Ling Zhang with heartfelt concern.
“Since I’ve already taken the risk and come here, why don’t you tell me how everything’s going in the farm these days?”
Ling Zhang could tell that Supervisor Zhou was sincere in his words, and he also understood what Supervisor Zhou meant, but he felt that since he had already come to the farm, how could he leave so soon? He should at least stay until noon so that the herb farmers would be more composed.
Besides, if his guess was right, those bandits on the Lee Mountain would be wiped out by the end of this day.
Supervisor Zhou made a couple of further remarks to convince Ling Zhang but Ling Zhang insisted on staying, so he gave up trying to persuade him, fished out an account book and began to report to Ling Zhang on a couple of small deals of herbs, the growth of all kinds of herbs in the fields as well as some minor difficulties they had encountered during the breeding of herbs.
Wang Dashan and Liu Yi were standing outside acting as lookouts on the two sides of the door. Seeing this, Yang Liuzi ran up to them.
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