Chapter 197: Whose
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Qi Haoran looked at her suspiciously. “Don’t tell me you made it up?”
Mu Yangling grabbed his arm and said, “If you don’t believe me, then put on makeup and come down with me to listen. They’re so very generous with those kind words.” Speaking of this, Mu Yangling was also curious. “Why does it sound like the relationship between the military and the civilians isn’t very harmonious? Otherwise, why would everyone be so grateful simply because of this one good act by the army?”
The smile on Qi Haoran’s face froze. Smiling, Fan Zijin said, “Other than the Yuan Family’s army, which is well-loved by the commoners, the other soldiers are indeed not very popular with the commoners.”
Although the soldiers defended their people against the Hus, there were also cases of soldiers snatching the wealth of the civilians and forcefully enlisting strong men. In Great Zhou, ordinary civilians did not like to interact with the soldiers.
Because the Great Zhou Emperor valued literary talent over martial arts, the local government controlled the rations and supply lifeline of the army. There had always been conflicts between the two sides, so their relationship was not very harmonious.
Qi Xiuyuan could be considered to have restrained himself. His relationship with Wu Shancai was not good either. Because he rarely appeared locally, the citizens of Xingzhou Prefecture were not familiar with him. Although they did not hate him, they did not have a good impression of him either. Instead, they felt some fear and aversion towards him because he had taken over the military households previously.
Qi Haoran did not know that he had helped Qi Xiuyuan win the favor of the civilians of Mingshui County by releasing the water to them this time. However, what really made everyone feel grateful towards Qi Xiuyuan and Qi Haoran was that the latter had asked the soldiers to help the old, weak, women, and children fetch water.
Looking at the dense crowd below, Qi Haoran felt a sense of accomplishment. “I’ve saved a lot of people today, right?”
Mu Yangling and Fan Zijin nodded as they suppressed their laughter.
“Haven’t you watered your fields? Why are you still fetching water?”
“The vegetables in my vegetable fields are about to die from the scorching sun. I had no choice but to come fetch two buckets of water. Anyway, since you’ve already walked so far, why don’t you go eat at my house?”
Qi Haoran asked as he walked, “What delicious food do you have at home?”
“I’ve been so busy these past few days that I haven’t had time to enter the mountains. How can there be anything delicious?” Mu Yangling carried two buckets of water as she walked to Qi Haoran’s left. Coincidentally, she saw the corn standing tall in her field. Her eyes lit up and she said, “Let’s go take a look at the corn. It might be edible already.”
Fan Zijin circled the corn twice and said thoughtfully, “I now understand why you planted two seeds so far away from each other. The corn stalks are so tall and big. If two seeds can grow to become so dense despite being so far apart, what will happen if you plant them like wheat?”
Qi Haoran frowned. “Won’t there be even more corn then?”
Fan Zijin smacked him on the head. “Stupid, can the produced corn stalk grow corn? Even if I don’t know how to farm, I know that it requires sunlight. If it’s so densely planted, the corn will either suffocate or won’t germinate.”
Mu Yangling put down the bucket and went into the cornfield to pick a few to peel. The peeled corn was tender and yellow, and the corn kernels were supple. With a pinch of her fingertips, the slurry flowed onto her fingers. Mu Yangling broke it off and threw it to Qi Haoran. “It’s edible. I’ll take it back and cook it.”
Qi Haoran sniffed and said, “There’s a refreshing fragrance. Didn’t you say that corn kernels aren’t delicious?”
“That’s what the book said.” Fan Zijin pushed the responsibility away. He also pried open two of them and asked Mu Yangling thoughtfully, “Can we harvest this corn?”
“Not yet. It’s still tender and won’t be easy to peel it off. We have to let it stay in the ground for another 20 days.”
“That happens to be when the filler stage ends for the wheat.”
Mu Yangling nodded.
“In other words, corn can be planted with wheat. When the time comes, be it planting or harvesting, the timing can be staggered. This is low-grade land, right? The base fertilizer is not good either. Considering just one corn cob alone is so big and heavy, how many catties of corn do you think one acre can produce?” Looking at the large cornfield, a fire burned in Fan Zijin’s heart. He vaguely understood why Emperor Shizong said that by planting corn, the people would no longer have to endure hunger in the desolate years.
It wasn’t that Emperor Shizong was wrong, but that they didn’t use the right planting method previously.
Fan Zijin turned around and looked at Mu Yangling with bright eyes. This was a great contribution that would go down in history. In order to obtain the seeds, Emperor Shizong had specially sent a ship to the west. No one in the Great Zhou Dynasty had been able to grow a good harvest of corn for hundreds of years, but Mu Yangling had achieved it.
Mu Yangling did not know what Fan Zijin was thinking. She only felt goosebumps all over her body from his gaze on top of an inexplicable chill. She moved lightly and got behind Qi Haoran in order to block Fan Zijin’s gaze.
Fan Zijin’s gaze landed on Qi Haoran. The corners of his lips curled up slightly in joy.
“Since you want to treat us to corn, you can’t just pick a few, right? Yanmo, Fei Bai, go in and pick more. Pick the big ones. We’ll bring the rest back to the military camp to eat.”
Yanmo and Fei Bai agreed happily. They took off their coats and used that to wrap the corn.
Fan Zijin walked along the edge of the field and observed the cornfield carefully and seriously.
Mu Yangling leaned close to Qi Haoran’s ear and asked, “Is he up to no good again?”
Qi Haoran nodded. Then, feeling that he had let his brother down, he quickly shook his head.
Mu Yangling touched her chin and said, “I think he must be targeting me.”
Fan Zijin returned after walking one round. Satisfied, he asked, “Ah Ling, does anyone usually come to your cornfield?”
Mu Yangling shook her head. “This is our family’s land and it’s close to the foot of the mountain. Who would come here?”
“But only your family is planting corn. Looking around, only your family’s corn is standing tall amid the low wheat fields and rice fields. Won’t others be curious? Won’t they come and steal it?”
Mu Yangling replied with a smile, “Based on my observation, no one has stolen my corn before. Most of the people here have no idea what it is. When they heard that it’s called ‘corn’, they weren’t very interested. They’ve heard that the older generations had suffered losses in an attempt to plant this thing before. In addition, no one in Chenggu Garrison really dares to provoke my Mu family.”
Fan Zijin nodded as he stroked the corn stalks. “This corn is good stuff. You have to watch it carefully. Before we confirm its production rate, it’s best not to let others find out.”
Mu Yangling blinked and looked at Qi Haoran. They asked in unison, “Didn’t you lack confidence in it?”
“That was before, but now I feel that what Emperor Shizong said might be true. Ah Ling, I’ll leave our cornfield to you. This is an important task. If you’re not confident, get Haoran to send a few people to help you later.”
Mu Yangling opened her mouth slightly and asked, “When did this cornfield become ‘ours’?”
Fan Zijin looked at her strangely and said, “Isn’t this cornfield ours? Have you forgotten that Haoran bought the corn seeds? When the seeds were planted, not only did Haoran and I personally go to the fields, but we also sent soldiers to help out. Although this land belongs to your family, you can’t take our share, right?”
This time, even Qi Haoran widened his eyes and pointed at the cornfield. Then, he pointed at himself and asked, “1, too, have a share of this cornfield?”
Fan Zijin nodded matter-of-factly. “Of course.. What do you think?”