Chapter 345

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Chapter 345: The Difference Between Individuals are even Greater than the Difference Between Humans and Dogs

Sun Er didn’t know where he found a piece of wild grass and held it in his mouth, saying, “Listen to my accent, you should know I’m from Southern Jiang! I was a farmer there, working for the landlord as a laborer!”

“The grains we toiled to grow for a whole year, after handing over 30% of the grains to the landlord and 50% to the government, we were left with only 20%, barely enough to survive on. We lived hungry, barely surviving, leading a wretched life like dogs!”

“At the time, I cursed the court too, for not giving us commoners a way to survive! Later, I found out that the court only took 10% of the grains. The rest of the grains were greedily seized by Southern Jiang’s Prince to fund his rebellion!”

“That would have been acceptable, at least we had our lives. But last year, around this time, there was a flood over there. All the grains were submerged, a year’s harvest gone! Yet that cursed Southern Jiang’s Prince, after taking so much of our grains, didn’t provide any relief for the flood victims. Instead, he drove us out of Southern Jiang, watching us starve!”

“Spit! Even animals have more humanity than him!” Sun Er spat out the wild grass, his teeth itching with resentment.

Although Zhao Kuo already knew the outcome, he couldn’t help but ask, “What happened later?”

“Later, in order to survive, we ate whatever we could find! I ate roots, tree bark, even soil. I sustained myself for a few days, but eventually, I couldn’t hold on. At that point, I had one crazy idea: since they didn’t give me a way to live, I might as well rebel! What’s a wretched life worth? Take it! 18 years later, I’ve become a hero!”

“There were quite a few people who had the same idea as me at the time! But just as we were about to take action, Prime Minister Lin arrived with food just in time. He prevented us from starving to death and saved us from going down that path! After that, we followed Prime Minister Lin and spent half a month traveling over 800 miles to get here!”

“You know, I’ve never traveled far from home in my entire life. I was busy farming every day! But then I traveled over 800 miles and ended up in the capital city. Scary, isn’t it?”

“Indeed, it’s quite frightening,” Zhao Kuo nodded slightly.

From what he knew, due to the need to farm and support their families, and the difficulties of travel, around 90% of the farmers never left their fields. Traveling 100 miles alone would take two to three days, which was already considered a long journey!

“After arriving here, we began making cement and building houses and the city! Prime Minister Lin promised that once it’s built, everyone will have a home to live in! With sufficient food supply and Prime Minister Lin’s assurance, everyone worked tirelessly. In just over two months, we finished constructing all the houses and built a city!”

“Hey! Let me tell you!” Sun Er slapped Zhao Kuo’s shoulder and pointed to the thriving Minxin City behind them, proudly declaring, “This city was built brick by brick by me and my brothers. We’ve never worked so hard when we were farming! After building the city, I have my own house inside. It’s big and sturdy, even better than the landlord’s! Haha…”

“Indeed, big and sturdy!” Zhao Kuo nodded once more.

His own Zhao family had also purchased a lot of cement and built many new houses, achieving good results.

“After that, our days started getting better and better!” Sun Er leaned back comfortably on his two legs, saying, “We have big houses, tables, chairs, bowls, and chopsticks. Clothes and blankets are increasing too! Except for not having wives, we have everything! Most importantly, the work is good. We work for about five or six hours a day and get paid, and we have food to eat! We even have time to come out at night, take a walk, enjoy the breeze. It’s comfortable!”

Zhao Kuo was taken aback, “Is this considered good? Doing so much work every day, it’s not even enough for a bottle of wine!”

“Be content! Do you think we’re those high-ranking officials, eating fancy food every day?!” Sun Er mocked, “First, people need to recognize their place. We’re just ordinary folks; being able to eat and drink our fill is already good! People can’t be compared, the differences between individuals are even greater than between humans and dogs!”

“As long as it’s better than before, it’s fine! I used to live in a thatched hut, leaking in the rain during summer and in the wind during winter. When floods came, everything was washed away! Now I live in a cement house, I’m not afraid of wind or rain, and even floods won’t be a problem!”

“Before, I toiled year-round just to save a bit of grain. Couldn’t eat enough, couldn’t survive properly, hardly ever saw money! But now, although you work hard, you not only have grain, but you also have money!”

“Before, I didn’t even have time for myself, busy with my three mu of farmland! Now, I have more time, and I can chat and boast with you. Isn’t life comfortable?”

Zhao Kuo seemed to realize something, “Indeed, it’s not bad!”

“That’s why I’m satisfied with my current life! Now, I want to save up some money, find a wife, and live the life of a family man. That life… must be beautiful!” Sun Er daydreamed leisurely.

Zhao Kuo didn’t know when Sun Er left, and he didn’t know when he fell asleep.

But when he woke up the next day, Zhao Kuo felt a bit different.

He still worked hard every day, didn’t squander the money he earned, saving it all up.

Through Sun Er, he got to know other coworkers, sat together for meals, and shared laughter and conversations. Although Zhao Kuo remained reserved and quiet, people noticed he was a good person.

During work, they would often tease each other, and when others faced difficulties, he would generously help them out. He became someone worth befriending.

Zhao Kuo also found that life here was pleasant and comfortable.

No longer burdened by his family’s ancestral responsibilities, he could live freely and lightly.

Surrounded by co-workers, they worked together, ate together, and chatted together, laughing and joking, without much conflict over interests. Nobody remembered him here; they only considered him an introverted worker. Due to his silence, everyone called him “Zhao Mute.”

Although life was tough, they found ways to enjoy themselves. Zhao Kuo gradually forgot the pain of the past, and his smile became more frequent. Sometimes he thought, perhaps he could continue living like this his whole life.

But then something happened that disrupted the tranquility. Sun Er suddenly experienced unbearable stomach pain, suffering for several days, his face turning pale. Several doctors were called, but none of their efforts helped.

One day, a renowned doctor from the capital was summoned. After examining Sun Er, he shook his head and sighed.

Anxious, Zhao Kuo asked, “Doctor Wang, how is his condition?”

“It’s beyond saving; prepare for the worst.”

Zhao Kuo was struck by the news, his body trembling, his face turning pale as well.

“Zhao Mute, am I beyond saving?” Sun Er, lying in bed, asked with a face full of despair.

Looking at the dying Sun Er on the bed, Zhao Kuo’s heart ached. Remembering the little moments they spent together, working, eating, laughing, and joking, even discussing their future plans.

Unknowingly, Sun Er had become his best friend.

“There’s still hope, wait for me! You must wait for me to come back!”

Zhao Kuo dashed out like a madman, finding his uncle Zhao Hai, and urgently said, “Uncle, my good friend Sun Er is seriously ill. He’s on the brink of death. Please bring the best doctor to save him!”

Zhao Hai’s expression remained cold, “You’re still undergoing your training. Until you’ve fully awakened, you cannot utilize family resources.”

“But my friend is dying!” Zhao Kuo pleaded desperately.

Zhao Hai’s coldness persisted, “If he dies, he dies. What does it have to do with our Zhao family?”

Fuming with anger, Zhao Kuo trembled all over and shouted, “Uncle, how can you be so heartless?”

“For a commander, one must be ruthless.”

“Uncle! I’m begging you!” Zhao Kuo knelt down, begging, “I have such a good friend, I can’t just watch him die! I’m begging you, I’m really begging you…”

Bang! Bang! Bang!

He knocked his head repeatedly.

Zhao Hai was greatly shocked. This nephew of his used to be so proud, yet he was now willing to implore for the life of an ordinary person.

He seemed to have changed, becoming different.

With a touch of compassion, Zhao Hai said, “Kuo’er, this is a family order that must not be violated. Go seek the Prime Minister. If he agrees, then we won’t have any issues.”

“Find the Prime Minister! I’m going to find the Prime Minister right now!” Zhao Kuo rushed towards the Lin mansion.

On his way, he encountered Lin Beifan’s carriage and stopped him.

“Prime Minister, please save someone!”

“Save who?” Lin Beifan asked.

“Sun Er!”

“Sun Er?” Lin Beifan laughed. “Just hearing the name, it’s clear he’s an ordinary commoner! How can someone like you, the illustrious Zhao family’s young master, have such an ordinary friend?”

Zhao Kuo anxiously said, “He’s my good friend from the cement workshop! He’s seriously ill now and needs a skilled doctor to save him. But I’m currently restricted by my family, unable to use family resources. Prime Minister, please help me out with this, I’m begging you!”

“For me, this favor isn’t difficult. I can help you,” Lin Beifan smiled.

Zhao Kuo was overjoyed, “Thank you, Prime Minister!”

“But have you thought this through? Once you use family resources, your training will end. You’ll return to being the shame-bearing Zhao family young master, carrying the indelible shame, becoming a useless person in everyone’s eyes.”

Struggling emotions appeared on Zhao Kuo’s face. However, within a few seconds, he nodded and said, “I’ve thought it through. Prime Minister, please assist me.”

“Why?” Lin Beifan was surprised.

Zhao Kuo roared, “Because compared to Sun Er’s life, my shame is worth nothing!”

Lin Beifan burst into laughter. “It seems you’ve indeed thought it through. Your shame truly is worth nothing! As long as you feel ashamed and then become brave, strive for improvement, you’re still a respectable man! Let me give you a piece of advice: ‘With a straight brow, face the scorn of a thousand others, bow your head to willingly serve as a boy!'”

Zhao Kuo trembled and respectfully said, “Thank you for your guidance, Prime Minister.”

With Lin Beifan’s agreement, the Zhao family immediately mobilized their resources, bringing the best doctor to treat Sun Er. The doctor didn’t disappoint and managed to save Sun Er’s life.

Zhao Kuo changed his dirty clothes, wearing the general’s attire provided by the Zhao family, looking impressive and dignified.

“So, you’re Zhao Kuo…” Sun Er, lying on the bed, was shocked and despondent.

Their identities were different, and they no longer had the opportunity to work and eat together as before. Shocked, he was amazed at the other’s identity, and his sense of loss was because he had lost a good friend.

“Sun Er, I’m going back!” Zhao Kuo’s tone carried a hint of heaviness and reluctance. “I want to thank you for taking care of me these days. I’ve earned this money from working with cement; it’s all for you. Carry on living with my hopes. I’m very happy to have known you. You’re my best friend!”

With tears in his eyes, Sun Er spun in circles inside his kennel, unable to utter words of retention. He quietly accepted the money and said, “Take care, and come back often!”

“Take care!” Zhao Kuo patted Sun Er’s shoulder and left with a reluctant heart.

On the way, people pointed and whispered about him.

“Isn’t he that useless paper tiger?”

“Truly useless! More failure than success.”

“If I were him, I’d rather die by running into a wall.”

Zhao Kuo’s gaze flickered. In the past, these words felt like a knife piercing his heart. But now, he realized he wasn’t as hurt by them.

Ignoring the criticisms of others, he walked with his head held high towards the Lin Mansion.

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