The Empress's Gigolo 857 So Poor That Only Meat Is Affordable
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This was why the ancient emperors would go and travel when they had nothing to do!
Unfortunately, they had to do many things every day. Furthermore, since the status of the emperor was important, every trip was a complicated affair that was extremely expensive.
This gave rise to a different kind of trip: private visits!
They would disguise themselves and go to the brothels for entertainment.
They would talk about the people who were there.
Many of these favorite tales were repeated through the generations.
For example, Zhao Feiyan[1.Zhao Feiyan: Empress during the Han Dynasty] and Li s.h.i.+s.h.i.+[2.Li s.h.i.+s.h.i.+: Courtesan during the Northern Song Dynasty.]
However, there were misadventures. Emperor Tongzhi, for example, died from venereal disease…
This matter explained…
Cough, cough, straying too far…
The topic should be about traveling.
It was troublesome for ordinary emperors to travel, but in a world with high martial arts standards, a powerful emperor didn't have to consider these problems.
For example, when the empress embarked on a trip, she would be escorted by guards, but these guards were there to emphasize her status more than anything else.
If something were to happen, it wasn't certain who would be doing the protecting.
Therefore, in their free time, they usually liked traveling light.
For example, on this current trip, the empress rode on Qishui, Ren Baqian rode on the crow general, and they were followed by Tong Zhenye and officials from his ministry. In addition, there were 20 to 30 guards that were more for show than anything else.
"The crops planted here do not seem the same." The empress was riding on Qishui and looking at the lush fields.
Although the empress didn't know farming and didn't know how to raise pigs, she had at least seen pigs running. The farms she had seen before were mainly ten to 100 mu and planted with the same crop.
She saw a farm that planted two different crops and was curious to know why.
"They are sugarcane and sweet potato! The growth period for sugar cane is more than ten months long, so it's a waste to leave most of the land empty during the seedling stage. Other crops can be planted during this period." Ren Baqian took a glance and knew the reason because it was he who had told the Ministry of Works to do it this way.
He had planned to plant sugar cane a long time ago.
In this world, sugar was mainly extracted from beets, which was inefficient and expensive. After swapping to sugarcane… Ren Baqian felt that he was ready to build a sugar factory.
This product could make money just as quickly as gla.s.swares and spices. At the very least, he could empty Lin Qiaole's coffers.
Lin Qiaole had stayed in Qingxin Palace Hall for so many years and hadn't had many avenues to spend money. Hence, she should have acc.u.mulated some a.s.sets…
"Sugarcane. Is it the crop that you said can produce sugar?" The empress was obviously very interested in the seedlings that looked like wild gra.s.s.
In other words, she had a great interest in sugar.
"The value of this crop isn't only in producing sugar." Ren Baqian laughed. "Your Majesty has seen the cars on Earth, but there isn't crude oil here. As a result, we need to develop technologies to make alternative products such as biodiesel. There is another product that is easy to produce, which is ethanol. Both sugar cane and sweet potato can produce vast amount of ethanol."
Although Ren Baqian had decided to produce biodiesel, ethanol was equally important.
The main thing was that each product had a different ignition temperature and density and that their development processes were different.
It was like the difference between gasoline and diesel.
Currently, Dayao was attempting a technological leap, yet even the steam engine wasn't widely used. Although they were only seen in some factories, Ren Baqian already had plans to develop the internal combustion engine.
With the internal combustion engine, transportation time and manpower would be reduced tremendously. Even the farms would need much less manpower. With the addition of the cement roads that were now under construction, Dayao would develop rapidly.
"Can ethanol be made into wine?" the empress asked. Although she was ignorant… rather… not versed on the subject, she paid attention to things that interested her and knew that ethanol was alcohol.
"If the concentration is high enough, it can be used as fuel." Ren Baqian brought up the "water of life" as an example.
The empress gave him a strange look and wondered whether he was trying to hint at something.
During the wedding some time ago, when she and Ren Baqian weren't around, those scoundrels almost burned down Zichen Palace Hall.
Furthermore, half of the wall was demolished by Lian Liang.
The empress started to get angry when she recalled this incident. These people had the gall to set fires and demolish the hall during her wedding.
It was all because of the "water of life."
And the culprit who brought this spirit was Ren Baqian.
Ren Baqian didn't realize that his words had reminded the empress of what he had done. He was enthusiastically expounding about the uses of sweet potato and sugarcane.
Since the time that high-yield crops like sweet potatoes, yams, and pumpkins were planted three years ago, the price of food in Dayao had come down greatly.
In other words, sweet potatoes, yams, and pumpkins were cheap.
The commoners of Dayao earned about 1.5 to two taels of silver per month, the soldiers made three to four taels, the low-level officials were paid six taels, and the winged cavalry warriors received ten taels.
One tael of silver was about 1,200 copper coins.
However, due to the small amount of copper produced in Dayao, fragmented silver was more frequently traded.
The commoners of Dayao weren't like those in Great Xia or the Yun Nation who bought vegetables and meat in quant.i.ties of 250 to 500 grams.
The people of the Yun Nation would say, "Give me 500 grams of meat. Give me 1 kilogram of cabbage."
This would be paid for with a bunch of copper coins.
The citizens of Dayao would say, "Give me 15 kilograms of beef."
Then, they would go to another stall and say, "I will exchange 1.5 kilograms of beef for 500 grams of beets."
In Dayao, beef was one of the cheapest foods, and the price was only ten copper coins for 500 grams.
A commoner needed to eat 2 kilograms of meat per day, and an adult's income was just enough for them to fill their stomachs.
Fortunately, males and females were treated equally in Dayao, and both men and women had to work. This way, they barely managed to feed their families.
If not for their low fertility rate, a lot of aboriginals would have starved to death if a family consisted of seven or eight people.
Bones cost three copper coins for 500 grams.
Mutton was 12 copper coins per 500 grams.
However, as humans, they couldn't just eat meat. Grains and vegetables were much more expensive.
Salt was 120 copper coins for 50 grams.
Beets were usually sold at 25 to 30 copper coins for 500 grams.
Edible wild vegetables cost about 20 copper coins for 500 grams.
Hard brown rice, which was hard like stones, cost 25 copper coins for 500 grams, whereas black flour that had a sour taste required 35 copper coins per 500 grams.
As for the fragrant rice from Great Xia and the Yun Nation, even ordinary officials couldn't afford it. It was 250 copper coins per 500 grams and two taels of silver for a bushel.
Eating a kilogram of meat could fill the stomach. Two kilograms of grains and vegetables was needed to whet their appet.i.te. Therefore, the citizens of Dayao were so poor that they could only afford to eat meat.
Over the past three years, two or three harvests of high-yield crops like sweet potatoes and groundnuts had a great impact on their diet.
For example, in the market of Lan City, sweet potatoes were three copper coins for 500 grams, while pumpkins and groundnuts required four copper coins.
Unpolished rice had risen to 35 copper coins per 500 grams… Upon discovering that sweet potato was easy to plant, everybody planted it with abandon, and conversely, the price of other food became more expensive!
The emergence of these high-yield crops had enriched their choice of food. Plus, there was no need to worry about hunger.
After all, the price of 1 kilogram of sweet potatoes was the same as the price of 250 grams of mutton.
Their diet had changed from beef stew, roast beef, and boiled beef to beef stew with groundnuts, beef stew with sweet potatoes, beef stew with pumpkins…
In this aspect, the contribution Ren Baqian made was enormous.
Following the news spread by those from the Ministry of Works who promoted these high-yield crops, the poorer citizens were grateful to Ren Baqian for doing these things.
The Empress's Gigolo 857 So Poor That Only Meat Is Affordable
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The Empress's Gigolo 857 So Poor That Only Meat Is Affordable summary
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