Fortunately, in every reincarnation, his lover’s basic information didn’t deviate too much. As long as his height was 190 cm and up; big build; looks masculine and handsome; bad habits such as smoking, drugs, possessiveness, addiction to stalking and peeping etc. he could narrow down the candidates from those.
According to the current situation, the most likely candidate should be Qin Ce, but Qin Ce had feelings for the protagonist, his cold and handsome face only melted when he saw the protagonist. Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t want to believe his lover could be stolen away.
So, he called in people to send out an inquiry for this type of man. Lushi and Tweety felt very distressed for him, they thought that his weird requirements were set because he didn’t want to get married.
News of the man didn’t have time come in before the first signs of the drought erupted. Zhou Yun Sheng had to put away his plans and concentrate on dealing with the next series of events.
One day, he was invited by the chief to pay a visit to the fields.
Pointing to the dead rice fields, the village head bitterly said, “Master, look at this year’s harvest. I’m afraid we’ll lose them, but we already don’t have enough to make some gruel to eat. At this rate, we’ll starve to death. Can you lower the rent a little, so everyone can stay alive?”
Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t respond, he twisted his brow as he circled around the field. Many people had gathered around the field when they’d heard the landlord was coming. They stood close by waiting, if the landlord smiled, they’d feel that life was full of hope, if the landlord frowned, they’d have no food this year after the rent. They could only go home to sell their children then.
After observing all the rice fields and looking up at the weather, Zhou Yun Sheng slowly opened, “I expect it won’t rain for another two months. The grains really will die out by then…. okay then, this year’s rent will be free.”
The chief was overjoyed, but before he could thank him, Zhu Lao Si spoke up, anxious to discourage, “But young master, we have no surplus, and we also have to feed so many servants. If they don’t pay, we can’t support our family, why don’t you just lower the rent instead?”
Zhou Yun Sheng revealed a thoughtful look after hearing him. The chief’s happiness suddenly turned into despair, he closed a fist, anxious to beat up Lao Si.
Qin Ce, who had excellent hearing, was standing close by, listening in. He was surprised after hearing Zhu Ziyu’s proposal, but now, after the performance from Zhu Lao Si, he guessed that the two were putting up a farce. One played the angel while one played the devil, all this to evade the rent reduction request. They really were a pair of greedy beasts.
Thinking of this, he sneered and turned to leave, but was shocked by the young man’s next words, “I say it’ll be free, you say to reduce it, just who is the master here? If I’m unable to be frugal and unable to support my servants, that means I can’t afford to lead my own Zhu Jia. I might as well become a slave!”
“Young, young master, I was just mentioning a proposal, not trying to call the shots. Please don’t pay me any mind!” Zhu Lao Si’s scalp tingled under his sharp eyes, he dripped cold sweat as he backpedaled.
Zhou Yun Sheng hummed, squinting at him. After a while, he looked back at the chief and said, “This year’s rent is free, that’s my decision, go tell the villagers.”
From ecstasy to desperation, to ecstasy again. The chief almost cried. He immediately kneeled down and thanked Zhu Ziyu, then he started running and shouting, “The landlord said that this year’s rent is free, take the cushions off your bellies, hurry home to feed your children!!”
“Thank you, landlord, thank you!”
“Zhu are really good people, really good ah!”
As Zhu Ziyu walked through the fields, the villagers constantly kowtowed and he waved his hand at them. Zhu Lao Si was still in shock, he stood in the mud, paralyzed with fear.
Before, when Qin Ce looked at Zhu Ziyu, he only felt he was hateful. But now, looking again, he didn’t look like a big evil man, he even looked benevolent. He always had a slightly raised chin, really prideful. Even when he wasn’t smiling, his red lips had a slight upward tilt. When he was angry, his bright peach eyes looked particularly cute.
Qin Ce’s thin lips involuntary hooked, he walked toward the other man, but stopped when he saw his face slightly change, his brow was twisting as he looked at a group of children.
The group of children were surrounding a small beggar, throwing stones to chase him away, their mouths were spitting out ugly words. Because of Zhang Shulin’s advanced warning, the people had some food in storage, they were relatively more comfortable than the nearby villages. The adults were severely rationing their food, but they didn’t have the heart to starve their children. As a result, the children of the village didn’t look as starved as the other villages’ children, who were emaciated and lying on the road side. They bounced around, lively.
But, because the elders always talked about the lack of food, starving to death, etc., the children had developed a special hatred for beggars, they didn’t dare bully the adult beggars, but they immediately swarmed in on the little beggars.
Zhang Shulin and his family also walked into the field. Zhang family’s situation was getting better, there was a good amount of rice to eat at home. His two sisters were dressed a lot more cleanly than other girls, so they were usually ostracized by the other children. When they saw the small beggar being bullied, they sympathized with him. They called Zhang Jiarui, their older brother, over to chase away the group of children, and handed the beggar two rice cakes.
The little beggar cried in thanks, and limped away.
Zhou Yun Sheng silently watched all this, then he called the village head over, “Gather the people in the village and quickly hide in the mountains, a disaster is coming.”
The village head was frightened, he wanted to question him but was interrupted by a deep voice, “Zhu Landlord, what’s the meaning of this remark?” It was Qin Ce.
“You saw that beggar, right? He had quite a bit of muscle, he looked thin, but he was actually very strong. It’s obvious that he usually eats very well, he can’t be a normal beggar. When he was surrounded by the children, he dodged very subtly and his stance was stable, so he knows martial arts. Plus… there’s a dagger hidden in his leggings.”
The village head took a closer look, sure enough, the small beggar’s leggings were slightly uplift, it looked like the shape of a tool.
“Now think about it, why would a child disguise himself as a beggar and take a weapon to our village? When that little girl gave him the rice cake, his eyes looked greedy and ruthless, so I’m afraid he doesn’t plan to just pass through. I heard that in north of Fuling County, the drought has really taken its toll. Many people are selling their children to bandits, who then use them as scouts to find villages to loot. That child was probably a bandit scout sent to check out our location. You have to quickly organize the villagers and take them up the mountain, so they can escape death.”
Zhou Yun Sheng had known the bandits would come, but he didn’t know the specific time period. When he saw the child, he knew that they would come in the next few days. Fortunately, he’d dug out a huge cellar in Zhu home, hidden under a dry well, to store food. Unless the bandits basically dug up the whole house, they would never find it.
The village head was frightened, while wiping his sweat, he quickly ran to tell the villagers, but was called back by Zhu Ziyu, “This is important, when you go up the mountain, don’t take too much food. Whatever you do, leave some at home.”
“Why? Why do we have to leave some for the cheap bandits?” Qin Ce, who’d been listening in silently, suddenly asked.
Zhou Yun Sheng’s peach eyes stared at him, he denounced, “Are you foolish? If the food is all taken away, when the bandits run around and don’t find any, do you think they’ll just give up? They’ll search the whole mountain to catch us, then we’ll definitely suffer their wrath! Your life or food, which is most important, weigh it yourself!” Zhou Yun Sheng gave him a fierce glare, then turned away.
His eyes are even more beautiful when he’s angry, Qin Ce involuntarily trembled. Then, he waved over Zhang Jiarui and the sisters, and brought them back to the house to pack up. Although he had amnesia, he still had his survival instinct, he’d understood Zhu Ziyu’s meaning immediately, but he inexplicably wanted to tease him, so he’d asked an obvious question. He really appreciated the round prideful eyes in that small face, and when he’d called him a fool, his heartbeat had somehow sped up.
When the young master came home and explained the situation, his servants all prepared to leave, the nanny, maids, bodyguards etc. all migrated to the mountains and forests. Zhang home also didn’t panic, they quickly packed up their family to leave.
As for the villagers, after the village head and Little Black strongly advised them, everyone left some food at home. But halfway into the mountains, some villagers suddenly felt panicked and clamored to go back and take some more.
The village head quarreled with them, but he had to take care of his own family, so he parted ways with the rebellious villagers and fled in the opposite direction. Qin Ce also led the six Zhang family members away from the villagers. These people were too ignorant and timid, they’d eventually get them killed if they hid with them.
Qin Ce was stationed on the border, his survival ability in the wild was very strong and he soon found a very subtle cave. Just as he moved aside the concealing vines, a steel knife struck out towards him, he moved sideways to avoid it and twisted the holder’s wrist. He heard a sharp noise, the wrist had dislocated, and the knife fell to the ground.
“Don’t attack us, we’re not enemies!” A familiar voice made Qin Ce immediately retract his killing intent.
“It’s the landlord.” Zhang Shulin’s father and mother looked around the cave and quickly rushed forward to bow, they also pressed down their children’s heads in a bow.
“Hey! Everyone is escaping into the mountains, pay attention to who you attack.” Zhou Yun Sheng looked around at the people in the hole, then glared at Qin Ce, “Mister Strong Man over there, you broke my guard’s hand. What should I do if he’s disabled?”
“It’s not broken, just dislocated, I’ll help him re-connect it.” Qin Ce pulled the guard’s hand towards himself, the guard screamed at the sharp pain, then was surprised to find his wrist was good again.
Zhou Yun Sheng gave a cold nod, then put the matter behind him.
Zhang Shulin saw that his father and mother were too timid to talk, so he had to take the initiative to introduce his family. They didn’t know when the bandits would strike, or if they could find another hiding place in time, so they’d have to live together in the cave for a few days. It was important to improve their relationship, otherwise, if Zhu family, who had more people, drove them out, they’d be in a bind.
When he introduced Qin Ce, he didn’t notice the man’s embarrassed blush. Qin Ce hadn’t minded it in the past, but now, facing the jade-like Zhu Ziyu, he really regretted not opposing the nickname.
But, he has always been very emotionally restrained, he only quickly glanced at Zhou Yun Sheng then looked away.
Zhang Shulin was a chatterbox and he was talking endlessly, so Zhou Yun Sheng began looking around for some entertainment. He noticed Zhang Jiarui would stare at him with eyes of hatred from time to time. He picked up a small branch and pointed it in his direction, then said, “I’m getting tired of asking this, but once again, have I somehow offended your entire family? This one looks at me like he wants to eat me alive.”
“There’s no such thing … …” Zhang Shulin quickly denied, but Zhang Jiarui sneered, “After breaking into my home, you use us, then just turn around and forget everything?!”
“When did I break into your home?” Zhou Yun Sheng squinted at him.
“My family’s preserved egg recipe, didn’t you rob it?”
“Secret egg recipe? I thought I sent it back?” Zhou Yun Sheng twisted his eyebrows, face doubtful.
“Don’t pretend, who doesn’t know what kind of person you are. Li Jia and Wang Jia only charge 40% rent, you charge us 60%, everyone is on the brink of starvation. You also forcefully seize fish and meat from the villagers, simply heartless!” Zhang Jiarui shouted in anger.
“What nonsense! My young master changed the rent to 30% a long time ago! Where did you get your 60%?! Are you trying to shame us?!” Tweety stood up and angrily retorted.