By morning, the Village Head came and woke me up. He was impressed with the stuff I had made. Soon but his arrival was to announce something.
The fact that I gave Wu Fan a coin yesterday was enough to entice the people into coming over wishing to work. Perhaps I didn’t count correctly but it appears that a lot of the people in this village are poor. The amount of money I had in my pouch was staggering to them. But if I were to pay everyone it will soon end. Especially before I could begin my real plans.
"I’ll only hire ten people, their wage will be one bronze Jin a day, are you satisfied with that?" I asked.
"How are you going to pick us?" one of the men asked.
"I won’t, you will. Discuss it between yourselves, by noon I only want to see ten people, I don’t have the time or effort to survey you all, and I don’t even know your abilities, I only need the strongest of men too." I declared
The men outside agreed, and after having debated amongst them who should work and who should not, they finally chose the ones who were the most desperate and in need of money and had enough strength to work hard. Those are my favorite people, as they will work and apply all their effort for survival, and those kinds of people are always honest I their jobs.
I began assigning jobs, three to cut wood, three to get clay out, two more to saw through the wood and make planks and logs for building. And two more to build the stuff I was about to draw for them.
The first thing to build was a mill, right on the river. A mill will generate power enough that I could make a saw mil that will cut wood, and manning it will be easier for the workers and they will produce more wood.
I got a sheep skin and drew on it the building diagram, the plan of work. A mill was not too hard to build, and the advantages it generated were huge. After giving them the diagram, they followed it impeccably, one would not believe that these people were new to this, and after all they had probably built their own houses and had a good idea of what they were doing.
Soon came the shop owner, he drew me to the side and offered me a deal.
"I don’t know how you’re doing it, but you’re producing a lot of material that can be sold. Do you mind if I bought them, off of you and sell them? This way we’ll both make a profit."
’CATCHING!’ this is what I was waiting for.
"Yes, but we’ll have to talk to the Village Head, I want something off of him."
Soon the word reached the village head and he asked me inside his home.
Once I was inside, the old man was sitting and in front of him was a table with tea poured in.
The man signaled both me and the shop owner to sit and once we did, he took a sip from his tea and said
"For a young kid, you sure do have a lot of ingenious ideas, I have never seen anyone coming up with so much in so few a days."
"It must be the teachings of the Xuan Fu sect, they have been known by their ingenious ways of cultivation." Said the shop owner trying to make small talks.
I didn’t answer but waited for the man to speak.
"So, it comes to my listening that you wish something of me."
"Yes, I want to privatize my work, if anyone in the village wishes to make the same things I do, you’ll have to stop them."
"Why would I, men are free to do what they want, some even started making your clay furnaces, though most of them broke once they set them on fire."
’obviously, that will happen, the base of the furnace and the heat it should contain needs to be perfect, otherwise the whole structure will be weak. But I’m not gonna tell him that now am I.’
"Because I’ll be paying tax, to have my work protected. Every silver I make I’ll hand over 5 bronze coins to you," I said.
’Understandable, but five is not enough to appease the masses," he said, it was more like he said that it was not enough for his pockets.
"Then ten, and I won’t go a coin over." I said.
"Fifteen and we have a deal, I’ll even give you a good piece of land where you can place your materials. It’s close to the river and the forest."
"Deal," I said.
"As for me?" said the merchant.
"For you, once the messenger arrives, show him the materials I have. And I’ll give him ways he can use them and how he can make better, stronger buildings and more powerful tools and weapons."
"You have all that already set up?" asked the Merchant.
"Since day one, now, I’ll be selling you the items at a fixed price and you’ll sell them over to the people coming to this place. You’ll act as a liaison and find more markets to buy from us."
"I can do that, I have a lot of connections that could resell these." Said the man
"Then we have a deal," I handed my hand for him to shake, but he didn’t understand.
"You shake it, like this," I grabbed his hand and shook it. it was awkward but he understood eventually.
Once I was done, I went back to my shed and ate my fill once again.
Life in this world is turning for the better, now I’ll have a good financial stability, and after some time I should be able to afford elixirs to cure my body.
I went back to watch over the workers.
After a few months, the village had completely changed. Most of the people were working under me. I had finished the Saw-watermill, the grinding watermill, and was able to afford even more labors.
I got more and more materials to craft others things. I made steel, replaced carriage wheels with reinforced steel wheels, made weapons and sold them to the messenger. Crafted goods, improved textile craft.
Used the furnace to make pipes, used steel to make tools to dig the ground. Made pipelines and toilets. innovated an irrigating system that could constantly feed the crops water without having to manually do it. All thanks to the power of the mills.
Electricity turned out to be a huge problem to deal with. There was not enough copper to make wires that could span the entirety of the village. But I made sure to purchase wires whenever possible. The coating of the copper wires was going to be a hassle on its own, just coating them was going to be a problem. I could use tar for now, but I’ll need a more permanent solution later, since I don’t have plastic.
Months upon months, the seasons turned, and I generated enough money that I was the richest man in the village. More people had heard that there was always work in Lucid Spring village thanks to the messenger and had come in droves. The village turned to a city, and the wooden shakes and houses turned to stone and brick houses.
After a couple of years, Wu Fan got married, he chose me as his best man.
Since he was my right-handed man, he made a good fortune for himself and got himself the prettiest girl in town, not that I ever cared, but he was an honest man. So far, my view on the cruel world of cultivation began to change, the people here were the same as back on earth. The strong eat weak mentality was not ingrained into them. They helped and aided each other.
I have been offered the daughters of many of the people in this town, but I had chosen not to get married yet. I have more and many things to do still.
Today will be my fifth year on this new world, I am in either my late teens or my early twenties, not sure of the exact age of this body. But this would make me forty five years old counting the years I lived on earth.
I find it strange that I am being offered girls not even half my age. But it’s never been my goal to sit down and make a family, I needed to pursue the path of cultivation. Though I have been informed that the later one starts down this path in life, the lesser their achievements that didn’t not stop me from pursuing it. and today is the day that a man will be arriving with an elixir that I have paid a literal fortune to order.
He said that it was made by some powerful immortal cultivator, an elixir that could repair meridians and rejuvenate them. I waited patiently at the village’s entrance waiting for the person to arrive.
Soon a man wearing a black hooded robe appeared right in front of me. I didn’t see him or hear him, he just materialized in front of me as if he was invisible.
"You’re Shen Bao?" he asked.
"Yes, I nodded."
The man looked me up and down and said, "Your meridians have been broken for a long time. This elixir might help, but I doubt it would be of any great use. Are you sure you want it? I can’t promise great results."
’At least he is honest, and I don’t care, as long as there is hope. I will try it.’
"Yes, hand it over." I said.
"Payment." The man said.
I snapped my fingers and two men carrying a large chest came running toward me, they placed the chest in front of the robed man and backed away.
I opened the box for the cultivator, and glittering gold assaulted his eyes.
"Good enough," he said and waved a hand, making the whole box with its content disappear somewhere.
He then handed me a bottle, a small vial with a red glistening liquid inside it.
"Bath yourself in these herbs, burn incense and clear your mind before you drink this." He said and threw a small box full of strong scented herbs at me.
The moment I picked them up, he was nowhere to be seen.
I went back to my house, yes house now, a pretty big one, It took eight months for it to be built. And walked inside. I had a few maids, woman who offered their services to take care of the house in exchange for a few coins a month and food.
They prepared my bath with the herbs and I did as the man said.
Once I felt myself relaxed and refreshed, I drank the potion. The material inside it melted in my body, it coiled around my stomach like a burning sun then spread all over my body. The heat it generated was enough to boil the water I was in, but surprisingly it didn’t boil me with it.
I felt my joints cracking, and deep, almost within the bones and flesh, I felt tingling, these were the same spots that pained me when I first came to this world, these were the meridians.
They vibrated, more and more. I began breathing heavily, my body temperature rose exceptionally high, but there was hope, this elixir felt like it was the nectar of life, that energy began assaulting my body aiding in reconstructing it.
However, it didn’t last for long, as the power behind said energy dissipated, faded and was no more.
I couldn’t feel any change and the tingling faded.
The current village doctor was a cultivator, he arrived here due to hearing that it was a cheap and nice place to stay, I went to him asking him to see if the elixir had worked. All I received was a shake of the head.
"You should give up, Shen Bao, it is too late, you have a good deal of money, you can live your life free, you can live as a king, and you have a good heart and a solid mind. You don’t need to go down the solitary path of cultivation," the doctor advised, but I declined to answer.
Yet another hope crushed.
Years had passed, and I tried more elixirs, some were so expensive one could literally buy cities over with. But it was not enough, it was never enough.
Year after year, I was assaulted with a deep depression, I even took a spouse and had two kids. Both boys, they brightened my life a bit, and made me forget about my obsession for a while. However, old age was a constant reminder to me. That this life I am leading was finite, and the dream of cultivation was soon going to be forgotten.
I became the next City Head, Lucid Spring had already turned to a large city by now. And with this power I was able to move more men to get even more money flowing into the city. And with it, my pockets grew heftier.
Many of the people in the city were blessed with kids that were able to cultivate. They had lived a good life, ate good food, and were able to raise healthy children that were attuned with nature and could harness the energies of the world.
Unlike my children who were unable to, I even spent more money on them to gain the ability to harness the Spiritual Energy but it was futile. I even heard rumors that it was my fault, and due to my shattered meridians, that my children were cripples.
My wife, Yu Ming passed away giving birth to our third child, she was a girl, but she also didn’t make it through childbirth.
My two other kids, Lu Bao, and Xiao Bao grew up fast they didn’t have the same mindset as I did. They did not pursue knowledge and didn’t ask me or didn’t wish to learn of what I knew; it seems that physics theory was going to die with me.
Time passed on, and I was in my seventies. My children had children of their own, but I could feel it in their hearts that they did not enjoy my company, perhaps because I was too engrossed in my obsession that I never gave them time. They rarely came to visit as they had parted to other cities.
But as it happened today was the day I heard of an even better elixir, made by a nascent soul cultivator, thought I don’t know what rank of cultivation that is, the doctor confirmed that the owner had an ungodly and steep cultivation level.
After I gathered my belongings, as I knew I should be the one to go there and present him the money I have gathered, my two son’s Lu Bao and Xiao Bao came along with me. I felt glad that they wished to accompany me this time, that they finally saw what I was attempting to do and are supporting me.
Oh, how blind have I been, I should have seen it coming.
Lu Bao chose to lead the carriage while Xiao Bao rode inside with me. The conversation was dry, and besides telling me on how his own kids and wife were doing, he replied with nothing else.
After ten days travel, we had to take the carriage along a steep mountain, the road was tough but it could still fit a carriage as ours. And once we were halfway through the mountain, Lu Bao stopped the carriage. They wanted to rest they said.
I left the cabin and went to check out the scenery, the sun was coming down, and the world looked at peace. Greenery spanning distances unknown a place where beasts roamed free and no sane man would move through. This forest has always been the bane of hunters and only those in desperate need would ever wander it.
Unbeknownst to me, Lu Bao was behind me. He didn’t speak, he only shoved me with all he could down the mountain slop.
Surprised, shocked and unable to understand, the last I saw was the spiteful look on Lu Bao and Xiao Bai as I fell down the steep mountain, betrayed by my own children.
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