Chapter 29: Wife Quest
Cheng Dalei was completely crushed. Alright, perhaps literature and science otaku really are the same, neither needs women.
“Boss, it’s terrible! Linger’s poisoned!”
Just that moment, Xu Shenji hurriedly came over. Cheng Dalei also got quite a scare from that as he replied, “Show me, quick.”
Cheng Dalei asked as they moved, “What happened? How did she suddenly get poisoned?”
“She was picking mushrooms in the back slope. Then she found a red fruit growing from the ground and she ended up eating one. The result is that her mouth turned inflamed and she’s sweating all over… Sigh, this foolish daughter of mine really is just a glutton.” Xu Shenji helplessly gestured.
When they got to Xu Linger’s room, Huang Sanyuan as watching her while also being quite panicked. Cheng Dalei looked at Xu Linger as she lied down on her bed. Her cheeks were red and her eyes were leaking tears without end.
“Boss, I-I might be done for…”
“Linger, don’t worry. I’ll definitely find some way to heal you.”
Although he said that, Cheng Dalei was utterly ignorant of medicine. No one in the entire camp knew a thing about medicine, in fact. They don’t even know what kind of poison that Xu Linger’s afflicted with even now.
“What kind of poisonous fruit did she eat?”
“It’s this one. This foolish daughter of mine, oh my foolish daughter…” Xu Shenji held up a basket, “How could you just eat something you randomly find in the mountains!”
Cheng Dalei took the basket and looked inside. There were some wild vegetables, mushrooms, and… Chili peppers.
“She was poisoned from eating this?” Cheng Dailei raised a piece of chili up.
“Yes! It’s unbelievably poisonous!” Xu Shenji said.
Cheng Dalei didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that. He just looked at Xu Shenji, Huang Sanyuan, and then Xu Linger on her bed. Then, he suddenly had a though and he asked, “None of you know what this is, do you?”
All three of them shook their heads simultaneously. Xu Shenji spoke, “Does that mean Boss knows what this poisonous thing is?”
“That’s no poison. This is called chili. It’s a kind of vegetable. It can also be used as a seasoning.”
“But Linger ended up like this though?”
“It’s just too spicy, that’s all. She was also startled and terrified from it. She’ll be fine after she drinks lots of water.”
Cheng Dalei said that without much thought, but then he suddenly stopped as a thought flashed through his mind like a bolt of lightning, so stunning it was.
Cheng Dalei didn’t find the fact that neither Xu Linger nor Xu Shenji have seen chili before strange at all. The two of them aren’t exactly worldly after all. Huang Sanyuan however was the steward for Han Huju, so his ignorance was more strange. Doesn’t that mean then… That chili didn’t exist in the Empire?
When exactly did chili enter the country exactly in history? Around the end of the Ming Dynasty, beginning of the Qin Dynasty or so… Cheng Dalei furiously tried to think it through, but his own lacking understanding of history couldn’t give him any real accurate time. All he knew was that it was a fairly late period, relatively speaking. Before then, China didn’t have chili at all. People would generally use raw ginger, mustard, or dogwood berries as seasonings.
The history was rather chaotic in this current world he’s in, so Cheng Dalei didn’t actually know just what historical time period the Empire actually matched up to.
He didn’t really pay any mind to the system reward of an acre of mature chili. He was so disinterested that he didn’t even bother to look for it. However, if this world didn’t have chili at all in the first place, then this acre of chili takes on a completely different meaning.
It has to be said, but in Cheng Dalei’s previous life, chili was something that was all over the place, and there’s way too many people who loved spicy food. In this world however, only he has chili. In that case, it comes to that old saying… The rarer a good is, the more valuable it is.
Cheng Dalei started getting excited. He hurriedly took a chili pepper and headed over to Su Ying’s room. He needed to verify this matter.
“Do you know what this is?
Su Ying frowned, “Some wild mountain fruit?”
Cheng Dalei’s heart pounded in his chest. If not even Su Ying knows of chili peppers, then he could pretty much be certain that chili didn’t exist in this world. He remembers that historically, chili only entered China very late, but it ended up covering the nation very quickly. However, he now has this thousands of years earlier thanks to the system reward, and he’s the only one at that.
Him being the only one who has it means a monopoly, and a monopoly means riches.
Cheng Dalei had the faint idea that chili peppers may very well end up becoming his first real gold mine.
“Do you think this can sell for a decent price if we were to sell it?” Cheng Dalei asked Su Ying in the hopes of getting her opinions on it.
“How does it taste? Is it sweat?”
“No, it’s spicy.”
“I’ve never eaten it, so I have no idea.”
“In that case, I’ll leave some for you to taste. Later on, we can collaborate on this long term.” There are in fact some powerful bandit groups who maintain relationships with merchant groups in cities. Cheng Dalei thought that he might be able to cultivate Su Ying as a resource. She is after all the daughter of a major merchant family.
As he thought that, Cheng Dalei suddenly asked, “Right, you’ve already been abducted for several days now, but why hasn’t anyone come to ransom you? Do nobody want you anymore?”
The always calm Su Ying suddenly reacted alarmingly after hearing those words. Her gaze hid anger, but at the same time, it also hid a sense of resignation.
At that point, Cheng Dalei spoke lovingly, “Don’t worry. Even if the entire world betrays you, I’ll still be by your side, and we’ll betray the world together.”
Before Su Ying could respond to that, Cheng Dalei quickly left the house. He still needs to ask Xu Linger just where she picked the chili from.
After the false alarm from Xu Linger ended up worrying the entire camp for nothing, she was rather nervous when she saw Cheng Dalei.
She led Cheng Dalei, Xu Shenji, and Huang Sanyuan to a slope outside the camp. Cheng Dalei saw all the chili growing in the form of red and matured fruits hanging there.
An acre of chili produces far more that what an acre of wheat or beans. This single acre of chili totals up to several thousand pounds. Given that rarer good are more valuable, a single pound of chili could trade for over a dozen pounds of grains.
This makes chili a better business prospect than planting anything else for their camp.
Plus, chili take less time to grow and mature. They tend to mature within only two to three months. If they planted chili in all ten acres of the camp, then they’d be able get tens of thousand of pounds of harvest before winter. That in turn will end up trading for an unbelievable amount of grains.
Cheng Dalei started getting excited. He patted Xu Shenji’s shoulder as he spoke, “Strategist. Pick all these chili peppers. We’re planting chili exclusively this year.”
“Boss, are you joking? Why are we taking these poisonous stuff? What are we supposed to eat come winter then?”
Cheng Dalei had no words. There’s really no way to communicate with someone like that. He just heavily slapped down on Xu Shenji’s shoulder, “Get to work. This is an order.”
This world moves very slowly. Without more advanced technology, everything needs to be done by hand. Their entire camp only have six people in total as well.
Thus, the six of them picked the chili before dragging it all back to the camp to dry. Then they have to cut the seeds out to save for replanting.
Time passed, day by day. The individuals of the camp worked tirelessly, but even so, the word still progressed very slowly.
However, no matter how slow it went, Cheng Dalei still didn’t have Xu Ying join in. He didn’t want to ruin things after so much work finally accumulating some affection from her.
“Today is Shaoyu’s turn to work at the foot of the mountain huh?”
“Hn. Tomorrow should be my turn.” Qin Man said.
Chili peppers needs to be planted, but the camp’s fundamental work can’t be left undone. Thus, Cheng Dalei had set up himself, Qin Man, and Lin Shaoyu to take turns waiting to waylay and rob people at the foot of the mountain. His quest still needs grinding after all.
“Boss, let me go tomorrow as well. I can’t let only you guys do all the hard work now.”
“Shut up!” Cheng Dalei rebuked him, “Don’t think I don’t know that you just don’t want to pick chili.”
Just then, Lin Shaoyu slowly came in from outside. Cheng Dalei hurriedly asked, “Well? Any hauls today?”
No one passed by the foot of the mountain at all during all this time, so Cheng Dalei’s quest status is still at 1/10./
“I guess this kind of counts.” Lin Shaoyu revealed a little girl behind him, “She’s here to look for Miss Su.”