Many landlords were unwilling to have too many people around. The black-hearted ones would even want to give each person they owned doing the work of two or even three people. Thus, Jiang Hong’s question was probing whether Su Tang wanted to keep the number of farmers to the absolute minimum or it was okay to have a few “extra”.
If she was concerned about the cost she would want to buy the least amount, but if the price wasn’t an object then having a few more would probably be better for the farm overall.
Su Tang didn’t really intend to overly exploit her people, so she responded: “It’s fine to have enough to keep things running well, but I don’t want to raise idle people.”
Jiang Hong understood Su Tang’s meaning and saluted once again, “The miss is merciful.”
Hearing such a compliment, Su Tang was ambivalent. Kind or unkind, those labels didn’t mean much to her. Anyway, having a few more could help her make more money in the long run, so it didn’t matter if she needed to spend a few extra taels right now. After all, if she tried to exploit her workers too brutally it would be easy for an accident to happen and cause losses.
Since Jiang Hong understood what Su Tang wanted now, he quickly pledged: “Alright, then this small one will go over to the other farmers now and start asking around.”
It seemed he was quite enthusiastic, and it wasn’t even dark yet, so Su Tang thought it was fine and was about to let him go. However, she suddenly thought of one last thing and stopped him, “Also, your family of three won’t count toward the number of farmers, I have other plans for you guys.”
These three had become enemies of Second Young Master Luo in a strange way, but now that they were in her hands she felt that it would be a loss if she didn’t get some benefits from that girl.
For a dark loli, it was impossible not to be calculative. Even scheming against her closest friends, a dark loli felt no psychological burden at all.
Like that, Jiang Hong ran off to talk to the other farmers and the orange cat followed behind him. Much later that night, he finally returned and ate the food Madam Zhang had specially saved aside for him. Afterward, the couple climbed into a warm kang bed for the first time in a long time and talked until deep into the night. The next day, they got up early and went out again.
Time passed, and a little before noon Jiang Hong finally brought six families over to see Su Tang.
Seeing this group of people, Su Tang didn’t bother to ask anything, she just directly looked over at the orange cat behind them. A text bubble floated up over the head of the lazy Divine Beast bearing two words: ‘No problems.’
The families had an average of three or four workers each. One family even had four adult laborers as well as a few half-grown boys who could all work the fields immediately. Of course, this family also had a few small children and elderlies who didn’t have much worth as laborers, and there was even an elderly 60-year-old man who could no longer work at all.
Originally, when this family brought over everyone, including their very young and their very old, they were afraid that Su Tang wouldn’t be willing to buy them but, unexpectedly, Su Tang just told Mrs. Zhou to process their deeds without saying a word. After that, she even let them go and arrange their own place to live.
The handful of large tile houses that were already built were quickly filling up since there were so many people and Su Tang realized that they were running out of places for these farmers to live.
However, this wasn’t an urgent issue. There was no shortage of land on the farm, and there was even a large courtyard in front of the main house. These farmers would all be receiving monthly stipends from now on, so they would soon be able to build their own houses.
Although these hard laborers and family servants that worked in their master’s households both sold themselves as slaves, they were actually a bit different. Although they both had to work, one needed to directly serve their master, while the other was left outside to manage their master’s land. Therefore, despite how they both received monthly stipends, these hard laborers were relatively freer and more self-sufficient.
Slowly, as they accumulated their money, they could build houses for themselves on their master’s land. In the cases of the really big landlord’s farms, these “houses for the farmers” could grow to be the size of a small village.
Mrs. Zhou finally made a lot of money all at once, so she was very happy. Meanwhile, Su Tang quickly realized that with so many people coming to live in and around the main house it wasn’t really convenient for her to stay anymore. Thus, that afternoon she directly asked Jiang Hong to hire another carriage for himself and took Mrs. Zhou, as well as Jiang Hong and his family, to the next farm.
Originally, Su Tang had mostly bought Jiang Hong and his wife to show to Luo Xingchen for her to deal with, but she was surprised to find that Madam Zhang was a very diligent worker and also that Jiang Hong was actually quite good at handling miscellaneous matters. For instance, at the second farm they visited, although he wasn’t a local farmer he was still able to go out and look for reliable families and, in the end, the people he chose were all pretty good.
tl begging corner: