Fei Xi stared at the iron ore in his hand, his mouth seemingly wide enough to fit an egg.
The dozen or so people who had come with Shen Yu’an gathered excitedly around Fei Xi.
Shen Yu’an didn’t say anything to stop them. She silently took a few steps back, allowing them to calm themselves.
Calm themselves? That was an understatement! Their current weapons were somewhat damaged, and some people’s blades had become dull.
They wanted better equipment, but it was challenging. The iron mines were now under the control of the imperial court, and even if their master wanted to provide them with some, it wasn’t easy.
So, when Fei Xi and the dozen or so people saw this potentially vast iron ore deposit, they became so excited that they lost their bearings.
The few fragments of ore that Fei Xi had picked out were passed around among the group.
Then, they all turned their attention to Shen Yu’an and saluted her in unison.
Shen Yu’an smiled at them and said, “I’ll need to trouble you all to stay here for a while. I’ll go down the mountain shortly to fetch some tents for you.”
When they had first arrived, Fei Xi hadn’t told them what they were doing, so no one had brought more than a few dry biscuits and a water container.
But if they were going to stay here for an extended period, that wouldn’t suffice. Although it wasn’t very cold now, having a tent would be much more comfortable.
Shen Yu’an also planned to prepare some snake, insect, rodent, and ant repellent powder, as well as food and drink.
Without delay, Shen Yu’an led seven or eight people down the mountain with her, leaving the rest behind for the time being.
Fortunately, this location was well-hidden, and without Shen Yu’an guiding them, no one would have discovered it.
Once Shen Yu’an had left with her group, Fei Xi began organizing other matters.
While their master had gone to the capital, most of their people remained here.
Judging by Shen Yu’an’s intentions, it seemed she had found this iron ore with the intention of collaborating with their master. So, before their master could reply, Fei Xi needed to quickly arrange the relevant personnel to ensure everything was in order.
He wasn’t going to let Fei Dong look down on him.
Humph! He decided to stay here and work quietly alongside Shen Yu’an! Fei Xi happily headed back to the camp to call for more people.
Meanwhile, the eight people who had come down the mountain with Shen Yu’an reached the foot of the hill. Shen Yu’an asked them to wait there and then went home alone.
The Shen family home was currently empty. The three sisters from the Song family were busy at the paper mill, while the elderly members of the family had taken the children to the village for a chat.
Shen Rong and the other kids were at school, and occasionally, Hua Ling would join them, pretending to be male attending classes alongside Hua Nan.
Meanwhile, Shen Ming and Shen Yun had gone to the town. They were responsible for the family’s external affairs.
Even Ji Xun was absent these days, seemingly busy, probably off to the town again to deliver letters.
Shen Yu’an went alone to search for the items she needed to bring to those people.
The tents they used during emergencies were still stacked in the storage room at home. However, the food she wanted to bring for them would come from her spatial storage.
Fei Xi had brought fifteen people, and Shen Yu’an took all eight tents. Since they were just sitting unused at home, she figured it wouldn’t hurt to use the new ones she could fetch from her spatial storage.
However, Shen Yu’an wasn’t aware that Fei Xi had called in more people from the camp. Otherwise, those eight tents might not have been sufficient.
With so much stuff to carry, Shen Yu’an brought a cart over.
She placed the tents on the cart and then fetched three backpacks from the storage room.
In her spatial supermarket, she had a variety of ready-to-eat foods. She unwrapped the packaging, wrapped them in oil paper, and packed them into the backpacks.
She took ten roasted chickens and ten roasted ducks.
Thinking about those people having only dry biscuits, this was her way of providing for them while they guarded the large iron ore deposit.
Shen Yu’an also took pork and mushroom filling, corn and pork filling, radish and wood ear filling, minced meat and vermicelli filling…
In short, she took twenty of each type she found in her space, wrapped them in oil paper, and placed them in the backpacks.
Apart from these, she also packed some sauce and plain flour buns. When they wanted to eat, they could simply heat them up and enjoy.
She thought about what they might need and packed everything into the backpacks, filling them to the brim.
As for the insect repellent powder and such, Shen Yu’an put them in a bag and placed it in the corner of the cart.
Fortunately, they were staying at the foot of the mountain. Otherwise, pushing this cart filled with protruding items would surely have attracted attention.
After walking a short distance along the flattened mountain path, someone quickly came to assist Shen Yu’an.
The scent was so inviting!
As soon as Shen Yu’an appeared before them, they caught a strong and delightful aroma, the fragrance of meat.
Their eyes landed on the three backpacks, and the smell was clearly wafting from them.
Two people immediately took the cart from Shen Yu’an and said, “Miss Shen, take a break. We’ll handle this.”
Shen Yu’an didn’t hesitate to accept their offer. She had intended for them to do the pushing, as she had no plans to go back up the mountain.
The labels on the insect repellent powder clearly indicated their uses, so there was no need for Shen Yu’an to worry about it.
Before descending the mountain, Shen Yu’an went to the craftsmen who were researching sanitary paper. In order to facilitate their work, she had built a separate courtyard for them where they could work without distractions. However, they still hadn’t made any significant progress.
Shen Yu’an had mentally prepared herself for this, so she wasn’t too disappointed.
Next, she went to the paper mill, and indeed, the Song sisters were there.
“Young Miss.” “Hello, Young Miss.”
As Shen Yu’an walked through the workshop, she received warm greetings from those she met.
Shen Yu’an smiled and replied, “Thank you all for your hard work. When you finish work tonight, each of you can take a jar of meat sauce home.”
These workers had been doing a great job, and Shen Yu’an didn’t mind giving them a little extra to make their lives better.
When Shen Yu’an made this announcement, everyone was happier than if they had received two days’ worth of wages.
Why? It was definitely because they were enticed by the delicious food from the Shen family.
As long as it was food provided by the Young Mistress, they felt it was worth much more than two days’ wages.
Furthermore, Shen Yu’an’s rewards were given individually. If there were two or three people from the same family working here, they would envy each other.
Shen Yu’an was walking through the workshop when Gao Shi, Song’s second sister-in-law, suddenly called out to her.
Before opening the paper mill, the Shen family had already reserved positions for the Song family and Zhang family members. This had been done in advance.
Song Village was not too close and not too far from this place, taking about half an hour to walk. It was much better than going to town to find work.
So, after discussing it, Song’s eldest sister-in-law, and second sister-in-law, Gao, came over.
The people from Song Village didn’t have any fields in the new area, so they returned to their traditional occupation: hunting in the mountains.
Behind these villages, adjacent to Longxian Village, was a large mountain. This mountain was home to many large animals, and as long as you didn’t venture too deep, it was relatively safe. They could make a living by hunting and gathering.
The older brother Song and the younger brother Song would go hunting in the mountains every day, while Gao Shi worked in the paper mill. Song Xiao Ni was skilled at embroidery, and she earned a decent income from jobs she took from embroidery shops in town.
In any case, the Song family was managing to get by.
Shen Yu’an looked at Gao Shi, who had called out to her, and asked, “What’s up, Auntie?”
Gao Shi wiped her hands on her apron and picked up a bundle from the ground, handing it to Shen Yu’an.
“That girl Xiao Ni is skilled at embroidery. She told me the shopkeeper gave her quite a bit of money. She saw some nice patterns and made a dress for you to bring back.”
Shen Yu’an smiled as she accepted the bundle and then said to Gao Shi, “After work, don’t rush to leave, Aunties. I’ll go to town and buy some roast chicken for you to take back and enjoy.”
Gao Shi replied happily, “Alright, that sounds great.”