Chapter 13: Unquestioning Filial Piety 13
During that half-month trade fair, Jiang Liu harvested more than 20 copies of eight different countries’ orders. This achievement was not considered as top-notch in the entire trade fair. However, for the team, it was already a surprise equivalent to digging a gold mine.
Yet, due to many orders, the skilled workers on the team can no longer meet the deadline needed to complete the product. Simultaneously, the raw materials such as thatch and reed straw had gradually depleted and were not enough to cover the demand for it. Knowing this, Jiang Liu had already prepared the solution.
He proposed a solution to Big Guan by asking him to contact other leaders and assign the base of the slippers to several other production teams of the Red Star Commune.
The technique needed to make the slipper was relatively simple. In the countryside, as long as it was a woman, many of them already familiar with the making of thatch slippers. The slippers made by Jiang Liu required a special technique, but it was still a relatively easy technique to be taught to others. Hence, they could contract out the task of making the base of the slipper. The people on the team only needed to focus on the design, which required a much difficult technique. This will temporarily conceal the team’s secret know-how from others while shortening the construction period.
Secondly, the raw material available in their team started to wane despite being an alkaline-saline land. Therefore, if they were to give a little bit of benefit to the other teams, they might easily purchase the raw material from others. Furthermore, even if the policy had changed for the moment; however, for the next few years, the communes and brigade leaders still held a relatively high right over the team. Therefore it was important for their own team to make a small sacrifice to ensure a bigger gain in the future. This will also promote a harmonious relationship with the other teams. A good mutual relationship between the teams will ensure the wellbeing of the third team as well.
Jiang Liu’s heart was clear in regards to this matter. So it was not a big problem for him. Therefore, when Big Guan sent the proposal to the commune, he was well received by the commune’s leaders.
A pair of slipper’s sole could be sold for 50 cents. For the woman in the country, they can at least produce one each day. Therefore, in a month, they will be able to net around 30 yuan. It should be noted that the average salary of the best-paid workers was about 30 yuan per year. Therefore, the leaders of the commune could not help but be happy with such a proposal.
For the villagers, a pair of shoes could be sold for about 12.7 yuan. Apart from the tuition fee of 1.27 yuan for Jiang Liu, they also decided to give him an additional 2 yuan from the overall price as thanks to him. After they removed 50 cents from the insole expenditure and the cost of the raw material, they will be able to earn more than 7 yuan per slippers.
Although this slipper-making was relatively time-consuming work due to the unique pattern, the technique let them produce at least a pair per day. For skilled workers, they will be able to earn up to three or four hundred yuan a month. For this kind of money, such an obstacle was not a big problem.
As for Jiang Liu, the people on the team were truly speechless. The people on the team were also not stupid. They listened to the radio every day. They also know that the country had now encouraged private business. If Jiang Liu is a selfish person, he could arbitrarily hide the real price and paid others 2 yuans per slippers. He could still give money to others will earning more for himself. Even if the shoes cost two yuans each, they believed that everyone will still be happy.
However, he did not. Even the previously set tuition fees were proposed by the captain. He was like a saint in the mythical story, changing the lives of all of them.
The people on the team did not know how to express their gratitude. They could only silently took the best things in their house and sent them to Jiang Liu’s house.
The biggest cock; the smoked bacon made from the last year’s slaughtered pig; the dried mushrooms and fungus; the goose egg produced by the biggest goose…
Jiang Liu actually earned so much money. However, when he wanted to buy the cock, the villagers sent everything to him without him spending a cent.
In fact, for Jiang Liu, he did not feel like he was doing a losing business.
In the beginning, he intended to pay for the points that everyone had given to him. After all, in the current world, he was not pressed for money at all. He also felt that, with his ability, he could relatively live a comfortable and easy life. Therefore he did not feel an urgent need to earn money. Yet, the same things could not be applied to the system points. After he left this world, these points might become the key to his survival. Therefore, his original intention in participating in the trade fair was to return to those who had given him points.
Even though he had no other intention, Big Guan still directly offered to pay him two yuan for each pair of sandals. After all, according to Big Guan, without him, the team will not be able to make this much money.
The team felt that this incident seemed like a loss to Jiang Liu. Still, in fact, Jiang Liu thinks that he had been too cheap instead.
After all, it was a matter of moving his mouth. Even if he was lying still, he could make at least 3 pairs of slippers each day with his skill. But this time, he has received more than 24,000 orders pairs of straw shoes. Even if he removes himself from the calculation, he already earned more than 70,000 “hardships.”
In this era, even the 10k household was considered rare. However, Jiang Liu had gone beyond it, and now he was half a step away from the 100k yuan household. As long as he properly operated his business and properly invested the money, he will have nothing to worry about for the rest of his life.
Jiang Liu could not help but think: Is this the strange combination of circumstances known as “blessing”?
Time soon passed. Although the orders were yet to finish, the team’s people left their work for a little bit as they prepared for the New Year.
Speaking of this, because of the low standard of living, the people in the team did not excessively celebrate the New Year in the past few years. However, this time, because of the order of the slippers they had received, most of the team has become a “small-rich family”. They could not help but spend more on this year’s celebration.
Because more people wished to go to the county town to make purchases for the New Year, Big Guan had generously rent a truck for the people in the commune. As for the members who want to go to the market, they were sent by car.
Miao Caifeng was also one of them. In the first half of the month, she had earned 400 yuan for making the slippers and thatch handicraft. This time, it was natural for her to spend some more on her New Year purchases.
She already heard several tailor shops in the county that let you buy the clothes without using a ticket. She and the old man had not made any new clothes for so many years. This time she had earned some money and wanted to give herself and the old man a new dress each.
There were also her precious baby son and daughter, as well as her two baby grandsons. These people are those who will pass on the family and pray for the ancestor in the future. So she was thinking of getting everyone a set of cloth each.
As for her daughter-in-law, Wang Xuemei, Miao Caifeng could care less about her. These days, whenever she looked at that clumsy daughter-in-law of hers, she could not help but gasp for breath. She had taught her for so long, yet she couldn’t even make one slipper. When she thought of other people on the team who earned up to a thousand yuan, Miao Caifeng could not help but sigh. Miao Caifeng could only give up on Wang Xuemei.
“Miao Sister, how come you never told us that child, Liu-zi was so smart? He was not only able to understand those foreign radio stations, but he also able to read a book in that language. From what my son told me, he could even communicate with those foreigners directly. Those high intellectual kids who went to the college might not even be able to rival that Liu-zi.”
Several women sitting opposite Miao Caifeng gave each other a look before they asked Miao Caifeng.
They could not imagine how she could treat her oldest son like a weed while treating the second son like a treasure. The eldest son halted his schooling when he reached the fifth grade of elementary education. His excuse was that the family needed a labor force and wanted to make his younger brother live comfortably. In their opinion, if Jiang Liu managed to enter high school, even if the family condition was not good, and the school was suspended, he will still be able to succeed.
In fact, in their eyes, that talent of that younger son of Miao Caifeng was not that good. Apart from the Jiang old couple who felt that their younger son was smart, no one else ever thought that Jiang Hai was really suitable for intellectual pursuit.
When the college entrance examination resumed last year, Jiang Hai also went to test his luck. Everyone else had been forced to hear Miao Caifeng bragging, saying that the village will finally have someone capable of entering the college. However, when the result came out, even with the four subjects were added together, Jiang Hai could not even score a hundred points. They really don’t know what he had been studying at school previously.
In contrast, Jiang Liu’s child was truly pitiful. He was someone who can communicate with the foreigners on his own. This kind of intelligent child, if the Jiang’s family had let him learn, won’t the other party already become a college student? He will naturally bring the Jiang family’s name with him.
What’s more, comparing the two of them, Jiang Liu is obviously simple and honest. All of them knew how good Jiang Liu had been to the Jiang’s old couple before. If not for the Jiang’s old couple being too forceful with the separation, with Jiang Liu finally developed himself, won’t it finally be the time for the Jiang’s old couple to bask in the glory?
But unlike now, although they lived under the same roof, the two basically no longer communicate with each other. There are no differences between them and strangers.
“It’s just a little clever.”
Miao Caifeng squinted her eyes and looked at those women opposite her. She knew that those people were watching her like a joke, but Miao Caifeng was a strong-minded person. No matter what, her face never betrayed her own thought.
“Hey, even this much was considered as little to you. According to your comparison, the wisdom of your heart could really send you to heaven ah.”
The few women across her began to laugh.
“If I can have such an honest and intelligent son, I am willing to sacrifice ten years of my life.”
“Yes, with the blessing of such a son, I will finally be able to buy a shoe means for an old lady. I heard that those shoes are especially soft. You would not feel tired even if you wore it for a long time. You can also move faster comparable to running. I really don’t know how it could be like that.”
Since they only had heard of the description, yet never tried it personally, in the heart of these simple farmers, the existence of leather shoes have already been sublimated to legendary items.
Looking at Miao Caifeng’s cheek being too thick, those women no longer had any mood to tease her. They turned around and started to talk about what they wanted to purchase for the New Year’s goods.
The country life in this era was really bitter. Many people don’t know what the shoes were really like. They only knew of its existence from the stories that they had heard. They usually used thatch or any other material to make something akin to shoes. The countryman even kept walking barefoot, which later led to hard calluses developed at the bottom of their feet. The calluses were so hard that their feet no longer feel any pain even when walking on the gravel road.
Due to this, there was a growth of pedicure treatment personnel who had come and helped these villagers healed their feet. However, these people were later beaten up by the officers, and soon this type of service ceased to exist.
When they thought they would finally experience wearing shoes like those in the city, all the people in the car could not help but grin.
“You told me, aren’t those foreigners strange? Such good leather shoes available, and yet they like to wear the thatch shoes instead?”
“What do you know? This was all due to Liu-zi ability. Among us, who has the brain to think of selling that kind of shoes to the foreigners?”
“Hey, I don’t care about it. What I know is that now I can buy a pair of sneakers for my son. I also wanted to let my children go to school.”
Miao Caifeng was sitting at the corner. No one was talking to her. She was completely excluded from the lively atmosphere around her.
Since her son Jiang Liu rose to prominence, she had become accustomed to such an environment.
Miao Caifeng built a wall inside her heart. No matter how stiff she was with her eldest son, this does not prevent her from earning money anyway. As long as the days were good, why should she pay attention to what people around her talked behind her back? The people that they had been praising was someone who came out from her own stomach. Even if their relationship was currently stiff, that person was still someone that comes from her own blood no matter what. He was also her own legacy. Therefore she did not need to be unhappy.
As for the real thoughts in her heart, only she knew it.
Due to the gratitude of the people around him, Jiang Liu did not have any need to go to the market to purchase the material for the New Year.
Today, he wanted to eat chicken and mushrooms soup. He began to stew the soup in the morning. When noon arrived, the soup was finally cooked. Even with the lid covered the pot, the scent of the chicken soup constantly emanating through the gap, attacking his sense.
Although the family now has money, Xu Xiuxiu still maintained a thrifty lifestyle. These days, along with the other team members, she had continued making the slippers non-stop, wishing to earn as much as possible.
In contrast, Jiang Liu was getting lazier by days. While his wife was working hard making the slippers, he simply took the mantel of being a house-husband and cooked their every day’s three meals. He liked to stroll around the yard every day to see which chicken or duck is big enough to be eaten and choosing the biggest of them each time. The increase in the portion of food had turned the original yellow and sallow wife into a plump white wife. Jiang Liu simply felt gratified from this situation.
These days, Xu Xiuxiu’s appetite was getting a lot bigger. Perhaps because the chicken and mushroom soup was very appetizing, even after Jiang Liu put down his chopstick, she continued to finish off the remaining half of the chicken and the big pot of soup. Even then, it seemed that she did not have enough as she continued to stuff down a half-pack of peach cake before she took the job of washing the dishes.
Although it was a good thing that his wife’s appetite was getting better, however, it seemed that his wife was not aware of her current condition.
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