Anri explained to Liu Feng just how expensive salt was in this world. Most commoners had to wait for months before they could get a little bit of salt. This was inevitable as no one knew about salt mines and only relied on coastal cities for salt.
There was no such thing as the Solar Salt Extraction Method in this world. Salt was discovered a long time ago when someone found gray crystals left after boiling seawater in a pot.
Salt prices were especially high in cities in the western lands as they were very far from the ocean. The people here were lucky as there was a waterway that was very near to Xi Yang City, which lowered the price of the salt by a little. Otherwise, food merchants would raise the price of salt even more.
As of now, 1 kilogram of salt costs at least 60 copper coins. Pretty much no commoner could afford that. Many commoners just poured their money together to buy half a kilogram of salt and divide the salt equally between them.
Beastkins like Mina and Anri had it even worse and pretty much had no chance to eat any salt. The wheat that they ate could pretty much be passed off as water. That was why they were so attracted by the food Liu Feng gave them.
Nicole soon came back with Niu Ben, who eagerly asked, “Young Master, are salt mines mines that have salt?”
“Yes,” Liu Feng said. “Do you know any place where the rocks and dirt are salty?”
“Yes. Young Master, I know a place where the rocks are salty,” Niu Ben said, nodding rapidly. “It- it’s just that people have tried to eat the stones as salt before but the bodies of the people that ate the salt all died of poisoning.”
“…” Liu Feng gave those people a thumbs up mentally. I guess they were tired of living. “Of course it’s toxic. There’s a special method to extract the salt and only by extracting the salt that certain way will the salt be safe for consumption.”
Turning salt ore into edible salt was a complex that required a lot of steps. Namely, crushing, dissolving, filtering, and analyzing¹. Only then would rock salt², a type of edible salt, be obtained.
“I’ll bring a few carts of salt ore back immediately!” Niu Ben shouted as he ran out. His family was also rarely able to eat salt because of how expensive it was. There were many times when he had called Liu Feng a prodigal because of how much salt Liu Feng used on a single dish. The fact that the salt was as white as snow made it even harder for him to believe.
Niu Ben had not once doubted whether or not Liu Feng would actually be able to produce salt, rather, he was thinking about what Liu Feng couldn’t do.
Liu Feng thought it was quite pitiful how expensive salt was in this world. A very strong slave would be sold at twenty copper coins, which is way cheaper than a kilogram of salt.
Slavery existed in this world. Many human traffickers captured vagrants and sold them off as slaves.
As Liu Feng came back from his thoughts, he saw Mina, Anri, and Nicole staring at him.
“Is there something on my face?” Liu Feng asked, touching his face.
“Nope!” the three said in unison, blushing. They had such godly synchronization. As for what they were really thinking, only they themselves knew.
“Alright! Let’s go do some preparation work before Niu Ben brings back the salt ores. We should also organize the backyard so we can have a place to enjoy in the winter.” Liu Feng got up and stretched his arms.
“What do you want to put in the backyard?” Nicole asked curiously. Besides the plants that could somehow keep their green leaves in the winter, there wasn’t anything in there.
“Just go take a look for yourself. Just remember to bring plenty of people that can work,” Liu Feng said.
They went to the backyard with a few servants following them.
The backyard of the castle was extremely large- in fact, it was even larger than a soccer field. It included a view of a landscape made of rocks and a stream flowing in from the outside.
Liu Feng searched for the greenest part of the yard and pointed at it. “Dig over there and keep digging until you see water.”
The servants immediately began to work. They didn’t dare to disobey as their master, Liu Feng, had ordered them to do so. They would even jump into the river without hesitation if that was their order.
“Young master, why are you digging up such good flowers?” Anri asked, frowning. She was currently thinking about the intentions behind Liu Feng’s orders, as she knew that Liu Feng would never do anything meaningless.
“Hot spring!” Liu Feng said, smiling mysteriously. Well, he was actually only guessing. The reason that tree leaves fall in autumn was because of the change in temperature and climate,³ which made him think of temperature.
The temperature definitely played a key role to how the backyard was able to stay fully green. Even though it was just a guess, it was still worth a try. If they actually did manage to dig up a hot spring, then their lives would be so much better.
“Hot spring? What’s a hot spring?” Mina asked, dumbfounded. This was the first time she heard the word.
“Water’s coming out!”
“Wow! The water’s hot! Ah! So hot!”
The servants digging the ground suddenly shouted, and Liu Feng’s eyes lit up. He immediately ran to the place and saw a large pit that was about 2 meters wide. It was slowly filling up with hot water.
“There really is a hot spring!” Liu Feng exclaimed, unable to hide his joy.
“This is a hot spring? Can you drink the water?” Mina asked, scratching her cheek.
“The springs that you normally see are cold. I didn’t know that there were springs that were hot,” Anri said, amazed.
“You will know what the hot spring is for later and you will love it by then,” Liu Feng said, shaking his head. It would be difficult for him to explain, so he decided to just create a hot spring bath and just let them see for themselves.
“Craftsman Head Lu,⁴ build a house here. I will give you the design paper later. Protect the spring properly,” Liu Feng said.
¹ That’s what the author wrote. I have no idea what analyzing salt has to do with turning salt ore into edible salt. Maybe there’s a different meaning. If someone knows the actual steps to turn salt ore into edible salt please tell me and forgive me for my ignorance.
² 青盐. 青 mean green/blue and 盐 means salt, so literally, green salt. But doing research with Google tells me otherwise and it looks more like halite, more commonly known as rock salt.
³ This is somewhat accurate, but not the full story. Tree leaves fall because water freezes in winter because of the weather, and water expands would freeze, and that would severely harm the tree leaves. Tree leaves are also pretty much useless and unable to do photosynthesis in the winter, so keeping a bunch of useless leaves would just waste a ton of resources and would cause the tree to not have enough resources to survive. Idk about the other plants and grass but the author specifically wrote tree leaves for this part.
⁴ He’s the guy that asked to be Liu Feng’s servant in chapter 26.
I’m back! I’ve got most things sorted out and will be able to translate more often (at least until before school starts next year).
So, it seems that I have 60 chapters owed. (Yes I know it’s technically 66 chapters but seeing how it’s not yet Friday I still have some time to pay my 3 chapters from Monday to Wednesday before they turn into the 6 chapters I would have to owe.)