Vol.1 – Chapter 35 – Open transport line


"Shouzhe, where did you get fifty to sixty thousand dan of grain?" Gongsun Qiang took a deep breath, almost unable to believe it.


The Gongsun Clan of Shanyang was considered powerful, owning tens of thousands of acres of good farmland. But even so, the grain yield for one season could not reach fifty to sixty thousand dan! Moreover, the output from the aristocratic farmland had to be shared with the tenant farmers, pay taxes per acre each year, and reserve grain for seed and insecticide consumption.


It can be seen that this fifty to sixty thousand dan of grain was an astronomical number. Even in normal times, it would be extremely difficult to obtain so much grain at once, let alone in the current situation.


"I bought it from Qian's Trading House through a friend's connection," Wang Shouzhe said. "Uncle, we can't delay any longer. Let's go to the Gathering Wealth Manor first, and the carriage will follow."


Bought through a friend's connection?


Gongsun Qiang's eyelids twitched. Where did this friend come from? Can someone bring me a whole bunch of them? He carried envy, jealousy, and a hint of disbelief, and followed Wang Shouzhe to the Gathering Wealth Manor.


The Gathering Wealth Manor was one of Qian's industries, specializing in stocking various bulk goods. Many bulk goods were worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dan, and there was no need to transport them into the Changning Wei city.


As for being afraid of being attacked and robbed, that was a joke.


Not to mention that the armed forces inside the Gathering Wealth Manor were not weak, just the name of the Qian Clan of Longzhou was enough to deter anyone.


After requesting an audience through the gate of the Gathering Wealth Manor, Qian Xue'an came out with a black face, looking displeased with Wang Shouzhe.


Then, he represented the Qian Clan and went through a handover process. The two sides re-drafted a contract, and the Qian Clan repurchased the contract for the insecticide.


The price was very reasonable, ten thousand gold coins in cash, and sixty thousand dan of aged grain in stock. After repurchasing the five thousand bags of insecticide, the Qian Clan could sell at least fifteen to twenty thousand gold coins and would not lose money.


Regarding this "embarrassing" matter, the head of the Qian Clan's Changning branch did not even want to show his face and delegated everything to Qian Xue'an. The unseen head had obviously planned to push all the blame for any mistakes onto Qian Xue'an.


Therefore, when Qian Xue'an assisted Wang Shouzhe in handling the procedures, his face was already "dark" to the point of dripping water, and he didn't want to say a word to Wang Shouzhe from beginning to end.


After everything was done properly, he threw a large stack of gold bills and a road guide for sixty thousand dan of grain to Wang Shouzhe and left angrily.


Wang Shouzhe was stunned by this fake performance. He had a feeling that once Qian Xue'an successfully advanced to the Lingtai Realm, he would be a remarkable figure in the future.


After completing the procedures, Wang Shouzhe found Gongsun Qiang, who was waiting outside. "Uncle, the procedures for receiving sixty thousand dan of aged grain have been completed. When your people arrive, we can start transporting the grain."


Gongsun Qiang was shocked and speechless. It was really true, they had "bought" sixty thousand dan of grain. This great nephew was truly unbelievable.


Soon, Gongsun Qiang's caravan of twenty horse-drawn carriages arrived, along with eighty sturdy mine slaves.In the grain warehouse piled up like a mountain, the grain was packed in rice bags, with one bag of rice weighing exactly one hundred catties, or one dan. However, the mining slaves were able to easily carry three or four bags and start loading them onto the carts.


"Uncle, how much can one cart hold?" Wang Shouzhe had lived two lifetimes, but had never seen so much grain. Although he had already estimated in his mind, the volume and quantity still exceeded his imagination.


"Load as much as you can, aim for one hundred dan. Our horse-drawn carts are specially reinforced, and the heavy-duty horses from the northern region are not weak. They can pull it." Gongsun Qiang's eyes had turned red. He had lived his whole life and had never seen so much grain stacked together.


With the strength of the Gongsun Clan in Shanyang, storing twenty thousand dan of grain was already enough to feed thousands of strong laborers for a year. The tenants and miners of Shanyang, along with their family members, amounted to at most a few thousand people.


Hundreds of dan? That's tens of thousands of catties of grain…


Wang Shouzhe was slightly surprised. This was truly a fantasy world. Not only were people's strength much greater, but even the heavy-duty horses from the northern region were so powerful. If they were spirit-level warhorses, they would be even more powerful.


The mining slaves were obviously used to heavy work. Four of them were assigned to one cart, and after six or seven trips back and forth, the carts were loaded. The special mining carts were overloaded with grain.


But even so, it was only two thousand dan.


Following this pattern, wouldn't they need to make thirty trips? Well, they could take their time. They didn't expect to transport this batch of grain in a short time.


Fortunately, Qian Xue'an appeared at this time. He still had a cold face and said, "Our Qian's commercial firm values reputation the most and will not make things difficult for customers. You can rent our heavy-duty cargo carts, including the driver, for twenty big coppers a day, which includes the driver and heavy-duty horses' rations. You will be responsible for loading and unloading."


It was very clear that Qian Xue'an had taken a risk to help.


But Gongsun Qiang almost coughed up blood. Although the price the other party gave was reasonable, it also weakened his hard work, didn't it?


Originally, Gongsun Qiang wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to help and ask his nephew to distribute some grain to him.


"Thank you, Mr. Qian." Wang Shouzhe said happily, "Then let's rent another thirty carts."


The number of carts owned by the Qian's commercial firm far exceeded that of the Gongsun Clan, and their business was spread throughout Longzhou. Their carts' cargo capacity was naturally very high, and they were not inferior to the Gongsun Clan's carts.


When all fifty carts were loaded, they left Jucailou.


Jucailou was only ten li away from Changning Ferry. Under normal circumstances, the carts could arrive in less than an hour. However, Changning Ferry was crowded and chaotic. Wang Shouzhe didn't want to draw attention to themselves and avoid unnecessary trouble.


After passing the three-way intersection, they took the road to Shanyang and turned towards An River after two or three li, arriving at a dense forest. From here, the carts could no longer go any further. But after walking more than a hundred steps in the dense forest, there was a vertical cliff that was five or six zhang high, and below the cliff was a natural bay that was twenty or thirty zhang wide.


At this time, Sixth Uncle Wang Dinghai had already received a letter from his family's messenger, leading a fleet of boats to wait here and setting up a slanted temporary plank road. There were fishing boats and ferries, and all the boats that could be used at home were brought here.


Although it was laborious, this method of transportation was very concealed.From the carriage to the dense forest, then to the cliff and onto the boat, it took about two hundred and fifty steps. Wang Shouzhe had the mine slaves and household servants stand in their positions, with three people per step, passing the grain along in a relay.


After a brief adjustment period, they discovered the benefits of this simple human-powered transportation line. It was stable, orderly, and gradually became more efficient. The speed of loading the boat eventually reached one dou in just one or two breaths, and it was very economical in terms of time and energy for running back and forth.


In just over an hour, they miraculously finished unloading all the grain from fifty carts. Afterwards, the cart team returned to Jucai Manor to bring in another batch, while Wang Shouzhe followed the boat team across the An River all the way to Fenggu Lock.


There were even more people at Fenggu Farm, with two hundred tenant farmers who easily provided one hundred and fifty strong laborers. Using the same method, they transported the rice and grain across the Fenggu Lock by manual labor and temporarily stored it in the Fenggu Farm.


There were only five or six boats on this last line, and it was difficult to transport the goods. While the successful opening of the transportation line relaxed Wang Shouzhe, it also made him strongly dissatisfied with his own transportation line.


Firstly, he was overly dependent on public ferries and lacked privately opened concealed small docks.


Secondly, it was inconvenient to travel from the An River to the internal river due to the different water levels on both sides. A single lock could not be opened for a long time, otherwise it would cause flooding. They must find a way to build a ship lock that can be used for ship passage.


Furthermore, the clan had obvious shortcomings in ship and cart transportation. Perhaps with the current size of the Wang's Clan, these shortcomings were not significant, but as the clan continued to grow and expand, these shortcomings would seriously hinder the development of the clan.


It seemed that establishing their own and perfecting their transportation channels was an urgent matter.

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