Saturday, February 20, 2016
Bringing the Farm to Live in Another World - Chap 38
Chapter 38 - Literacy
Zhao didn't know what was happening outside the thatched hut. He believed that Meirin would take care of it. He was really tired now and just wanted to have a good sleep.
From the barn, he pulled out a blanket, then he immediately layed down on the bed. It only took him a few minutes to fall asleep. After drinking the Water of Nothingness, his body couldn't even handle a large amount of exercise, let alone the situation that happened today.
Outside the thatched hut, the slaves were also resting. With such a rare opportunity to rest, they naturally wouldn't say anything. Plus the ground was covered with a soft blanket. Soon the entire space was quiet. Even in front of Zhao's door, Rockhead and Blockhead was sitting down while napping.
After more than two hours, Meirin woke up. She slowly walked to the hut and opened the door to check up on Zhao, finding him fast asleep. She then quietly closed the door.
Looking at the slaves, she saw that some of them were already awake, just sitting there not knowing what to do.
Although Meirin could teach them how to read, she didn't know if now was the right time. Teaching these people would make noise, and she didn't want to wake Zhao up.
But then she noticed that the radishes, which were planted before she slept, had actually started to sprout. She was very surprised. This was her first time seeing how fast something could grow in this space.
Meirin couldn't help but squat to look at the growing radish seedlings. These seedlings were very sturdy, and they looked healthy.
Making the same movement, Meg crouched down next to Meirin, and whispered, "Grandma, how could these radishes sprout so quickly? Is it some kind of advance vegetable magic?
Meirin smiled slightly. "Master told me long ago that anything he planted in this space would have a greatly shortened maturation time. But I didn't think that it would be this short."
"In this space, the magic radishes will mature every eight hours." Zhao's voice came from a distance.
Meirin and Meg were surprised for a moment. They turned around and saw that Zhao had come out of the hut, with Blockhead and Rockhead standing behind him. Meirin stood up. "Master, is what you say true? A batch of magic radishes can mature in eight hours?"
Zhao nodded, then he pointed to the corn field. "See those corn? In the space, they only need fourteen hours to reach maturity after planting them."
They followed the direction of Zhao's finger. They saw the growing corn, with green leaves that looked strong and long.
Zhao turned to Meirin. "We will have enough food to eat inside this space. So it's better to stay here instead of encountering those spirit beasts."
"Yes, Master is right," Meirin said. "If we don't have to worry about finding something to eat, then we could stay here for a few days."
Zhao turned around and looked at everyone who was awake. The slaves were standing up respectfully while watching him. "Grandma Meirin, while you teach them to read, Blockhead and I will dig a stove to cook."
They had more than a hundred people to feed. Although Zhao had brought a lot of supplies from the castle's storage, if he wanted to make something for the slaves to eat, he would have to build a place to make a fire. There was nothing like that here in the space, so he could only dig a simple stove.
"Master, let the slaves build it," Meirin said. "They can do it in a shorter amount of time, and it would be strange for you to do it."
Zhao looked at the slaves and nodded his head. If the slaves were learning how to read and write, while their master was digging a stove, it would scare the slaves because it was contrary to what they knew.
Meirin saw Zhao nod, and immediately organized the slaves to start digging a stove. Zhao fortunately had the castle's supplies in his spatial barn so they weren't lacking any tools.
Although they had to feed more than a hundred people, they only needed ten or so to dig the stove. Then they would use the pot that Green had purposely bought for the slaves.
In fact, many slave owners would use this kind of method because it was the easiest way to feed the slaves. While the slaves were working, you just needed to find two people to carry the pot and cook the rice, thus saving a lot of time.
The ten slaves dug a good stove frame, but it was impossible to light a fire now. Zhao had to wait for the corn to mature first, then they would have something to burn, otherwise they would have to use the wood that he had brought, which would be a pity.
Zhao knew that they were short on wood, and he didn't know when Green would come back. After he returns, they could sell the radishes in exchange for gold coins, and then they would be able to buy more wood. But for now, Zhao didn't want to waste the supplies he had on hand.
After looking at the stove frame, Zhao nodded at the slaves, then he turned to Meirin. "Grandma Meirin, it'll take more than two hours for the corn to mature. In that period of time, you have to teach them to recognize some words. I'm going to go take a break inside the hut."
Meirin nodded, and once Zhao walked inside the hut, she turned to the slaves. "Please do not worry. In two hours or so, the corn will mature, and then you can eat. In these two hours, you will learn to read..."
Before she could finish, the slaves buzzed with excitement. The slaves couldn't read. It was common sense in the Continent to not teach the slaves to read. So for them, literacy was a sacred thing, and now they had just heard that Meirin was going to teach them, so all the slaves were very surprised.
Meirin shouted, "Quiet!"
The slaves immediately quieted down, but they all had a look of excitement as they watched Meirin. "We of the Buda clan are not the same as the other nobles. Our benevolent master has consented for everyone to learn. If you can learn the words quickly, Master can absolve you of slavery. Understand?"
This got the slaves more excited. Zhao letting them be taught was amazing, but if they were to learn well, then they could even become free commoners. For the slaves, it was like telling them as long you eat, you will also get a bonus. Such a good thing was hard to find.
"Because of the conditions we have now," Meirin said, "I can only teach you to recognize some simple words. In these two hours, I can only teach you ten words, but you must learn to read and write it." Having said that, she picked up some paper and a brush.
They didn't have a blackboard. Writing on paper was the only way she could teach the slaves. There were too many people, so she could only write one word on each piece of paper to make the word large enough for the slaves in the back to see it.
Meg was around Meirin, watching everyone, including Daisy and Ann, studying seriously. Before, Daisy and Ann were commoners, but they couldn't go to school because they didn't have the money for a teaching fee. Now that they had the opportunity to learn, they wouldn't miss it.
Meg had previously been to a school in the Empire. In the elite schools, she found that the reaction between the slaves and the school's students weren't the same. Those aristocratic students considered school as a form of torture. They didn't put any spirit into it. They would only be happy after class had ended and they could go home to play. Adam was such a person.
But the slaves were completely different. Learning to read, they looked excited and also very focused. Fearing that they won't remember the lesson, and because they didn't have anything to write with, they would trace their finger on the ground. Their earnest struggle to learn deeply touched Meg.
Blockhead and Rockhead also looked at the slaves. The two had been adopted by the Buda clan so they automatically received lessons on how to read. However, they didn't take it as seriously as the slaves. The reasons were because they were young, and they weren't very smart, but mostly because they got the opportunity to learn how to read so easily.
You do not know the value of things that are too easily obtained.
They had studied how to read together with Adam. Adam was not considered a wise man. Yet although he was smarter than the two, he was not fond of reading, so it took him several tries to learn, just like them. Looking at the slaves who were so focused on learning, Blockhead and Rockhead couldn't help but feel ashamed.
Meirin naturally saw this, and suddenly understood that Zhao's decision was correct. If the slaves didn't know how to read, then even if they wanted to contribute to the Buda clan, they would only have a limited ability to do so, no matter how much they work. But if they learn how to read, then they could help the Buda clan be greater. The Buda clan needs each person to be at their best in order to help revitalize the Buda clan. So she taught them very seriously.
Translator Notes: This chapter was edited from an MTL. Please leave a comment if you've spotted anything that looks wrong.