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Three days later, messengers from Blackstone City delivered the ransom payment, including ten thousand guan in copper coins and some salt, iron, and food. Surprisingly, the person in charge of delivering the ransom was Lu Heng. The handover process went smoothly, and after receiving Shouli as payment, Lu Heng did not return to Blackstone City but went straight to Youzhou City with Shouli. This showed how anxious Xue Banchuan was.
During the handover process, Cheng Dalei could hear Lu Heng grinding his teeth. There was no doubt that if he had the chance, Lu Heng would take care of the Toad Camp first.
This time gap was an opportunity for Toad Camp to develop.
Perhaps it was the last opportunity.
That afternoon, Cheng Dalei erected a notice board made of wooden boards at the foot of Toad Camp. The contract, signed and sealed by Xue Banchuan, was pasted on it, which stated that anyone passing through Toad Camp must pay Toad Camp a 20% interest, and in return, Toad Camp would ensure their safe passage out of Black Bull Mountains.
On the same day, Cheng Dalei had Xu Shenji and Lin Shaoyu ride horses around Black Bull Mountains, banging drums to make sure that every mountain stronghold could hear the news.
When this sound came from the foot of the mountain, Gao Feihu was driving a donkey to grind grains. He was startled and dropped the winnowing basket to the ground.
“There is good news again!”
After experiencing several such incidents in a row, Gao Feihu had developed a psychological shadow. What kind of trick was Toad Camp playing this time?
“What did they post this time?” Gao Feihu asked his younger brother.
“They didn’t post anything this time… they said they all posted it outside of Toad Camp. If you want to know, you have to go there to see,” Gao Feibao had just returned from outside.
“Send a brother to take a look, or better yet, go yourself. Go quickly and come back quickly.” Gao Feihu knew it wasn’t something good, but he still wanted to know what the Toad Gang was up to.
These past few days, Gao Feihu had been eyeing the Toad Gang’s wealth with envy. But there was nothing he could do about it. He knew he couldn’t rob Luheng, let alone win against him. But Cheng Dalei did it, not only that, but he did it without any casualties.
No matter what, Gao Feihu had to give Cheng Dalei credit. He couldn’t do what Cheng Dalei did. He had heard that Cheng’s son wasn’t capable of anything, that he was just a drunkard who wasted food and drink. But when Cheng’s father died, he came out and proved everyone wrong. He fought two battles in a row and did a great job…
Gao Feihu was also envious of Cheng Dalei’s gains. Sometimes he thought about robbing the Toad Gang, but he still remembered the miserable fate of Luheng. He didn’t think Luheng deserved such a fate, but he said it himself. Could the Flying Tiger Gang escape this fate if they attacked the Toad Gang?
So now he just thought about it and looked for opportunities in the future.
When he was thinking about these things, a long time had passed. Gao Feihu frowned: Why hasn’t he come back yet?
When Gao Feibao arrived at the Toad Mountain, he saw a lot of people gathered under a wooden board, all bandits from various mountains and gangs, discussing something.
“Chili… What is chili? Is it the same as Sichuan peppercorn?”
“After harvest, every kilogram of chili can be exchanged for one kilogram of grain. How much chili can be produced…”
“They say it’s at least over a thousand kilograms per mu, and one kilogram of chili can be exchanged for one kilogram of grain. That’s a yield of over a thousand kilograms per mu. It’s impossible!”
Gao Feibao listened for a while and glanced at the wooden board. He could barely read, so he could understand what was written on it.
It meant that anyone who wanted to grow chili could come to the Toad Gang to get chili seedlings. When the chili was harvested, the Toad Gang would buy them at the price of one kilogram of chili for one kilogram of grain.
This… sounds a bit far-fetched!
Normally, the bandits only grew crops like wheat, soybeans, and millet in the fields. If they planted sorghum, they could get a yield of 300 kilograms per mu at most. If what the Toad Gang said was true, wouldn’t they be able to harvest over a thousand kilograms of grain per mu?
“High school sophomore, what do you think of this matter? Is it reliable?”
“It’s reliable. Why wouldn’t it be? I think everyone should trust the people of the Toad Camp. They can yield thousands of pounds of crops per acre. With a few acres, a village can feed themselves.”
“Then I’ll listen to the second in command and go get some chili seedlings.”
“Come back! Can’t you tell that the high school sophomore is joking with you?”
“Haha, this kid is so innocent.” Gao Feibao laughed happily.
“He’s from the Wild Boar Forest.” Someone said. “I don’t think it’s true. I’ve dreamed about this kind of thing before, but I’ve never seen it happen for real.”
“By the way, does anyone believe them?” Gao Feibao asked.
“Yeah, why not? Little White Wolf from Xinghua Ridge took some, and so did the Bald Hill… actually, if it wasn’t for the second in command’s words, we would also want to try it.”
“Go then, why not? A pie has fallen from the sky, why not take advantage of it?”
“Second in command, stop joking around. While it’s not too cold, we still want to plant soybeans. We can’t delay working on our good fields.”
“Understood. We’re just a small group, we can’t blindly follow the Toad Camp’s lead. As for Xinghua Ridge and Bald Hill, let’s just wish them good luck.”
Everyone burst out laughing and gradually dispersed. Only a few families took some chili seedlings, and Gao Feibao himself took some, not for planting but just to see what they were.
Back at the Feihu Gang, he told Gao Feihu what had happened.
“Big brother, I got half an acre of seedlings. Do you want me to find a place to plant them?”
Gao Feihu shook his head. “Isn’t this just nonsense? We can only plant one crop of beans this year. We don’t have any land to spare for you to mess around with.”
“How about you give me a small piece of land, and I’ll see what grows from it?” Gao Feibao suggested.
Gao Feihu glared at him and impatiently said, “There’s an empty piece of land in front of the hall. You can clean it up and plant them there.”
Cheng Dalei didn’t expect what happened today. He thought that with the purchase price of one pound of grain for one pound of chili, the chili seedlings would be in high demand. But only a few people came to take chili powder from him, leaving him disappointed.
Although there was no news from the city, Cheng Dalei believed that the chili peppers were effective. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have swept the country in such a short time.
The problem was, why hadn’t he received any news from Su Ying yet? Cheng Dalei thought that he should go to the city to check things out. First, to see Su Ying’s situation, second, now that the gang had money, he could buy some slaves and expand their population, and the third reason…
He had been in this world for some time now, and had never stepped out of this poor mountain valley. What did the city look like? He wanted to see it with his own eyes.
On a sunny morning, Cheng Dalei put on the scholar’s robe that he received as a reward from the system, brought a waist knife, and rode on a thin horse with Xu Shenji.
He went up to the city!
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