Chapter 131 – Rogue Scholar (7)
When the original owner was a child, he cooked, and Yan Jing Ze has his memories, so he can… cook things.
But the color and flavor and so on, he doesn’t think about it.
He is best at cooking rice and steaming various dishes while it is cooking.
Donggu County is the land of fish and rice. The land is fertile, and basically every family grows rice twice a year, and the staple food is usually rice. But it’s hard for ordinary farmers to eat only plain cooked rice so other things are put in and cooked together. For example, when there are sweet potatoes and pumpkins, they eat sweet potato rice and pumpkin rice every day, and when fava beans and other things are ripe, they eat beans and rice, and when there are only vegetables, they can eat vegetable rice.
Every family has only one pot… Either simply eat without vegetables, or use a steamer rack to steam vegetables on it.
This evening, Yan Jing Ze steamed the lean meat he had salted the day before and steamed some wild vegetables pulled from the front of the house.
The wild vegetables were steamed and became dirty yellow, Wei Lingxiu did not move it and only ate two bowls of rice with the salted meat.
Yan Jing Ze is so smart… He is in a good mood, his appetite is also good.
Yan Jing Ze looked at him and somewhat worried, afraid that he cannot afford to feed Wei Lingxiu.
Pork is not cheap! The good thing is that Wei Lingxiu likes to eat lean meat, lean meat is only 15 or 16 wen per catty.
“Lingxiu, let’s go to the county tomorrow and sell the book?” Yan Jing Ze proposed, making sure that this could really earn money so that he would be motivated to do it.
Wei Lingxiu was stunned.
Honestly, he is a little afraid to go to the county, for fear of what others say about him. But if he doesn’t go, should he let Yan Jing Ze go alone?
Yan Jing Ze has just recognized characters. He never talked to people from the bookstore before. And those people are used to look down on people. What if they cheat Yan Jing Ze?
He can’t actually not go to the county seat for the rest of his life.
“Okay, we’ll go to the county seat tomorrow,” Wei Lingxiu said.
After eating, it was dark, and Yan Jing Ze urged Wei Lingxiu to go to bed, yawning all the time.
“You go to bed early,” Wei Lingxiu said and then asked, “Your bed…”
He went to the room that Yan Jing Ze used to sleep in during the day to see. There was also a door panel but it was so broken that it didn’t even look like he could get a sleep lying on it.
But should he let Yan Jing Ze sleep with himself?
First of all, not to mention that the door panel is very narrow, two people simply cannot lie down on it. He is also afraid that Yan Jing Ze does not want to sleep with him… Previously, Yan Jing Ze also said he wanted to marry a wife.
“I’ll go tidy it up right away.” Yan Jing Ze immediately went to clean up.
The door panel over there is more broken, but you can just put something on top of it, and it can still be used for sleeping!
Wei Lingxiu also gave him a bedsheet!
Yan Jing Ze first laid a few boards in the broken door panel, plus some old clothes and old quilts, and then laid on the bedsheet from Wei Lingxiu. Now, the bed is comfortable enough!
Yan Jing Ze did not sleep last night, today he fell asleep as soon as he lied down. But the next morning, before dawn, he woke up.
He first cooked himself a pot of stale rice, ate half of it, put the remaining half in a jar in his house, and cooked another pot of white rice, waiting to give Wei Lingxiu to eat later.
Yesterday at noon and at night, because Wei Lingxiu was there, he cooked only white rice and ate it together with Wei Lingxiu.
But he actually cooked less at that time, and then ate as much as Wei Lingxiu, he was only one third full.
The original owner’s appetite is too big!
Today, he simply cooked some stale rice in advance and ate his fill, and the rest could be eaten when he was hungry later.
Although copy books can make money, but he is not the original owner, there is no “eat up all the money” idea, he has begun to think about things decades later!
He and Wei Lingxiu are a man, there will be no children in the future, the money must be saved!
They need to have a few good houses, need to have a few dozen acres of land, and then have enough savings so that when they are old, they can live their old age in peace.
No, this is not even enough.
Wei Lingxiu loves to eat meat and he eats too much himself…
Yan Jing Ze did not dare to spend money indiscriminately.
While thinking, he also sat in front of Wei Lingxiu’s desk and continued to copy books.
The Three Character Classic, he had already copied it once yesterday, and now he copied it even faster, in addition, the book is very thin…
Before getting ready to leave the house, he actually copied another book.
Wei Lingxiu, who got up late, already didn’t know what to say.
Looking at Yan Jing Ze, a large man holding a pen, quickly writing accurate small characters, he always felt a little bit of inconsistency.
“Brother Yan, you write really fast!” Wei Lingxiu couldn’t help but exclaim.
“After knowing how much force to use to write the text, it’s easy to write,” Yan Jing Ze said. He never held a pen before, and does not know how much force is appropriate to use, that’s why his handwriting was ugly. After getting used to it, he found it too easy to write.
He has such a good physical strength, let him write all day and he will not be tired!
Wei Lingxiu: “……” If other people heard this from Yan Jing Ze, they would definitely want to hit him!
No, not to mention others, he wanted to hit Yan Jing Ze.
Yan Jing Ze took Wei Lingxiu with him and walked to the county seat, also let him recognize the road.
Wei Lingxiu’s physical strength is not good. But he is not carrying things this time so just walking will not make him too tired. He followed Yan Jing Ze and walked for half an hour before they came to the county seat.
There is no city wall in Donggu County, but it is surrounded by a river, there are several stone high bridges on the river.
When Yan Jing Ze took Wei Lingxiu across the bridge, there were many people looking over.
Wei Lingxiu remembers that when he and Yan Jing Ze were caught by a large group of people. His family did not cover him completely, it was obvious that they wanted to make it a big deal…
They don’t want to see him doing well, now he’s afraid that the whole county knows about him and Yan Jing Ze.
He doesn’t know what others will think of him.
Wei Lingxiu is a little worried, he’s afraid to see people’s disgusted expressions. He was afraid to look up at first, and then later he lifted his head…
Wei Lingxiu was a bit confused.
However, the most important thing now is the business of selling books.
Wei Lingxiu took Yan Jing Ze into the bookstore.
The ordinary people outside were a little afraid when they looked at Yan Jing Ze, but when a few literati in the bookstore saw Yan Jing Ze, they looked disgusted, and someone else said, “What a degenerate!”
However, just as the man exited, he was pulled away by the people around him.
Those of them who have to come to the bookstore to buy books are mostly those who have just started studying, and most of them have not even passed the child exam.
Although the status of the literati is high, but they are also made of flesh and blood, and also afraid of Yan Da, this thug, to find them trouble.
So… it’s better not to offend people!
Yan Jing Ze: “……” He felt that his body shape is really particularly tall.
Take a look, everyone is afraid of him!
Wei Lingxiu, however, had a bit of a hard time because of other people’s contempt for Yan Jing Ze, but when he saw the bookstore owner, he gathered himself again, “Boss, I want to sell books.”
The bookstore owner is an old man with a long beard, he looked at Wei Lingxiu and said, “There are many people who sell their fields and land to buy books, there are not many who sell books… What books are you selling?”
Wei Lingxiu was a little embarrassed: “I’m not trying to sell my collection, I copied some books to sell.”
With that, Wei Lingxiu took out the Buddhist scriptures he had copied at Wei’s house and the three copies of the Three Character Classic that he had just copied.
These can’t really be considered books, they’re not even bound.
“You copied them?” the shopkeeper asked.
“Mm.” Wei Lingxiu nodded.
“Young Master Wei, you have a good handwriting, how come you didn’t take the exam?” The shopkeeper was a little surprised. He basically knew the literati in Donggu County, there are several xiucai, but Wei Lingxiu has not taken the exam yet.
But he had always heard that the young master of the Wei family was stubborn and did not like to study…
In fact, like a tongsheng, as long as you memorize the book to be tested, let a person explain it to you a little, and then have a good handwriting, you can basically take the test. It’s okay to be a little worse at doing essays or poetry or whatever.
Wei Lingxiu was born in the Wei family, so it is logical that he can pass the exam.
Wei Lingxiu did not answer.
In fact, as a child, who would like to study at the beginning? His two younger brothers were forced to go to school by their family members, and as for him… they all said he does not love to study, they said it more and more and so he believed it himself.
Wei Lingxiu does not want to say more: “Boss, these books…”
“I’ll take a look first.” The shopkeeper looked carefully page by page.
He looked at them for a while before he finished reading all the papers: “The characters are all correct. I’ll sell the Three Character Classic for 300 wen, 250 wen for you, and as for these Buddhist scriptures, 400 wen for one.”
The Buddhist scriptures are thicker than the Three Character Classic.
And such a book, although it can’t sell a lot, but there are always some rich ladies or old ladies who will come to buy. After buying it, they can either read it, or take it in front of Buddha, or even simply burn it.
Wei Lingxiu previously copied six Buddhist scriptures, directly sold for 2,400 wen, plus the money for the Three Character Classic, adding up to more than 3000, approximately equal to three taels of silver.
Although the Wei family gave Yan Jing Ze a few hundred silver taels just to frame Wei Lingxiu, but for ordinary families, the two or three taels of silver are not small.
Yan Jing Ze was a little excited immediately.
But when he asked the price of ink and paper…
The books here are expensive, a large part of the reason is because the paper is expensive!
The paper needed to copy a copy of the Three Character Classic… Even if every character is correct, it will cost 70 to 80 wen!
No wonder only rich people read!
But after reading and recognizing words, you can earn a lot of money. Writing a copy of “Three Character Classic” can earn about 150 wen, ten books is 1,500 wen, one hundred books is 15,000 wen, one thousand books is 150,000 wen.
He can write ten or twenty copies a day!
Yan Jing Ze has already settled an ambition.
That bookstore owner looked at the Three Character Classic that seemed to have just been copied and said to Wei Lingxiu: “Young Master Wei, don’t get too tired…”
Wei Lingxiu left the Wei family for only one day and already copied three books, which is…
“I’m not tired,” Wei Lingxiu said. Two of the books were copied by Yan Jing Ze.
The bookstore owner didn’t believe it at all.
Yan Jing Ze and Wei Lingxiu earned some money, bought some more things, and then went home.
They ate in town at noon and Yan Jing Ze ate as much as Wei Lingxiu, but he did not eat enough. When he arrived home, he went into the house and ate the rest of the half pot of stale rice, and then started copying the book.
“Brother Yan, I’ll teach you to learn something else?” Wei Lingxiu proposed.
Yan Jing Ze, on the other hand, did not hesitate to refuse: “Wait, I’ll copy a few more books first!”
Wei Lingxiu: “…how many books do you want to copy first, Brother Yan? I’ll copy with you.”
“First copy a thousand books, so that before the winter, we can build a house!”
“……” Wei Lingxiu was speechless: “Brother Yan, the bookstore does not sell a thousand copies of the Three Character Classic a year… “
Yan Jing Ze stopped the pen and looked at Wei Lingxiu: “I think I can learn another book… I’ll copy them instead!”
A book copied more than sold may depreciate in value. He might as well copy from several books!
No matter what, he has to make money for his and Wei Lingxiu’s old age!
Wei Lingxiu: “……” Yan Jing Ze has such a talent, but he only thinks about copying books?
Tongsheng – (童生, lit. “child student”), an entry-level examinee who had passed the county/prefecture exams.
Xiucai (秀才, lit. “distinguished talent”), an entry-level licentiate who had passed the college exam.