Chapter 865: Sales of Rations
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
That afternoon in the palace, Ren Baqian met Qing Lian again.
She stepped forward and greeted, “Greetings, Your Highness.”
“Well, since we are acquaintances, just talk about why we are here.” He chuckled and nodded his head. “I heard that you entered the city with hundreds of carts. Are you here to pay back the money?”
“You are right, Your Highness. We are here to pay back the money. Duke Su has never forgotten about the agreement that he made with you,” Qing Lian replied. “However, apart from money, we require your help for one more thing. It’s something very easy for you.”
“Let’s hear it first!” Ren Baqian had already guessed it after he heard about her troops the night before.
Although he wasn’t entirely sure of Su Qing’s situation in the north, he could somewhat guess it.
During Su Qing’s uprising, the commoners of many prefectures in Great Xia weren’t able to make a living. (Great Xia was differentiated into many prefectures)
He roped in millions of refugees during the uprising. The tough fight between the two parties affected more than just millions of people.
Much of the population was displaced, either trapped in chaos or busy fleeing. One could totally imagine the behavior of the peasants during the uprising. The areas that they passed became like places with locust infestations.
Who would be farming in this situation?
If nobody was farming, they would definitely have to buy rations.
“Your Highness, in addition to the agreed remuneration, we also want to buy some rations,” Qing Lian requested respectfully.
“Hehe, hehe, hehe!” Ren Baqian laughed, and his inexplicable laughter echoed throughout the entire hall. “Coming to Dayao to buy rations… Didn’t expect you to think of that!”
Dayao had been facing a huge food shortage, and the amount of food imported each year had been a significant amount.
Of course, this was the situation two years ago.
“Your Highness, besides the fact that the Yun Nation is currently being occupied by Dayao, Dayao itself isn’t facing any food shortage at the moment and is in fact pretty wealthy. We will be very grateful if you can help us out at this time. You also don’t really stand to gain if we fail. What Your Highness wishes to see is that we continue to be deadlocked with the imperial family of Great Xia!” Qing Lian spoke confidently and unhurriedly as she stood up. She was confident in her understanding of the situation.
She believed that she had said everything Ren Baqian was thinking about.
“Great Xia… To be honest, Xia Baichong is dead, and I have no opinions about Great Xia. With that said, do you think I care about Great Xia?” Ren Baqian laughed. “I don’t care if you win or lose or whether you end up occupying your own territories.”
“I believe your words, Your Highness. You have obtained your lifeline after conquering the Yun Nation, and they have no means of withholding any resources from Dayao, regardless of whether it’s salt, rations, or weapons. Dayao’s strength is already in its fighting force itself. Coupled with Your Highness’s wisdom, Dayao has no shortcomings. Perhaps all this fighting was just to obtain sovereignty over the land for the next few decades,” Qing Lian said softly as she lifted her head and looked at Ren Baqian.
“I have no interest in that piece of land!” He shook his head. This was the truth. He really had no interest in that land. Winning a war, occupying, conquering, and governing a nation was no easy feat.
Those who had done it would know.
If Ren Baqian weren’t bald, he felt that he would already have a headful of gray hair just from handling the Yun Nation.
In fact, the land that Dayao owned at the moment was already sufficient for him to play around with.
Dayao, coupled with the Yun Nation, was already equivalent to three-fifths of China’s territory. It would already be considered a superpower in Earth’s context.
The endless treasures in the Sixty Thousand Mountains and the mineral resources in the Yun Nation were just waiting to be tapped into.
There was no need to forcibly occupy another piece of land, face a lot of hostility, and have a headache every other day in order to wipe out the rebels.
In fact, Ren Baqian would like to see high-rise buildings, cars, trains, ships, and planes in Dayao while feudal societies existed outside the borders. This sharp contrast would be very exciting.
Qing Lian could tell that his words were true, but she also understood that people would change. Even if he wasn’t interested now, this didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be interested in the future.
“In any case, there’s definitely no harm for a political power to have a friendly relationship with Dayao. There will also be less trouble for you in the future, Your Highness.” Qing Lian smiled, estimating that she was about 90 percent successful in accomplishing the objective of her trip.
Therefore, she wasn’t worried no matter what Ren Baqian said.
However, he didn’t intend to keep her in suspense and had already planned to give her an answer.
The output of those high-yield crops was too high, jumping from a production of about 200 kilograms of crops per mu to about 2,000 or even 3,000 kilograms per mu with two seasons a year.
It was estimated that the price of sweet potatoes would drop to ten copper coins per three kilograms two months after harvest.
Ren Baqian was currently preparing to promote the use of cellars and saltpeter ice to store these crops. At the same time, the processes of producing sweet potato wine, sweet potato starch, potato starch, and vermicelli were being sorted out as well.
If a portion of these crops could be sold, it could relieve a lot of the pressure that was on Dayao.
It would be the rainy reason after the harvest, and there would be slightly less than half a year to make preparations for the next season.
“Let’s talk proper business. How much money have you brought and how much rations do you plan to buy?” Ren Baqian asked.
Qing Lian wasn’t surprised to hear what he said and replied, “Your Highness, we brought a total of 15 million taels worth of gold, silver, and jewels. From this, ten million is ten percent of the agreement between you and Duke Su. The remaining five million will be used to buy sweet potatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins.”
According to the current market price, sweet potatoes cost six copper coins per kilogram, 60 copper coins for ten kilograms, and 600 copper coins for 100 kilograms. However, they mustn’t be sold at this market price, firstly because the market price would be affected. Also, a lot of it had to be transported over from various places. In addition to the transportation costs, they had to at least be sold at the price of 12 copper coins per kilogram.
After they purchased these high-yield crops in bulk, they would be able to grow and harvest them in the area occupied by Su Qing from the second half of this year until next year.
Also, these crops were brought back from Earth and patent fees weren’t included yet.
This was just for the sweet potatoes. Potatoes and pumpkins were more expensive.
Ren Baqian quietly calculated before lifting his head and saying, “I can sell you 100 million kilograms of sweet potatoes, 50 million kilograms of potatoes, 50 million kilograms of pumpkins, and 150,000 horned cows. Apart from that, I will also arrange for these rations to be delivered to Ping City over a period of five months. In return, you will have to pay an extra two million taels.”
He couldn’t sell them the rations based on the current market price, and the amount he offered was marked up sevenfold. 200 million kilograms was equivalent to 100 tons. In this era, it would require an insane amount of transportation.
Based on the current muddy roads, the load of a full cattle cart being about half a ton, and the estimate of about one month to make a round trip, it would require 40,000 cattle carts and 20,000 escorts for five round trips. The amount of grains used during the transportation also wouldn’t be a small figure.
“Thank you, Your Highness.” Qing Lian smiled with no intention of bargaining.
In fact, she had already considered it a success to be able to buy so much rations from Dayao. Price was a thing that didn’t matter much.
Many times, it wouldn’t be cheaper if they bought more—it would actually be more expensive the more they bought!
Not to mention, apart from Dayao, they had nowhere else to buy these rations. By selling these rations to them at this price and delivering the rations to Ping City, Ren Baqian was already being very kind.
Of course, the amount of profit that Dayao earned from this transaction wasn’t small either. Seven million taels was even higher than the state treasury’s revenue from the previous year.
Apart from plundering, this was the first time a large amount of money had come in.
Having settled this matter, Ren Baqian was finally able to ask Qing Lian what he wanted to ask.
In his opinion, it was more important than these rations!