Last time, on Apocalypse Lord: Yun Ling tells You Qing Wen her secret, and ropes her into the salt business.
This chapter has been brought to you by me and Smash10101.
Chapter 49 – Autumn Harvest 1
Time flew, and in a blink, it was Day 71.
The characters in the top right corner changed again. “Autumn, harvest day.”
“Harvest day?” Yun Ling held the mung bean cake, and ate it in small bites.
She did not know how the mung bean cake was made, but it was soft and delicate, with a great taste.
Yun Ling liked it from the first time. Just when she had started to worry that she would not have them again, You Qing Wen coincidentally gave her a few more boxes.
“It does not sound like bad news.” She thought as she ate cake. “Did the game find its conscience, and are finally letting the players rest?”
After thinking for a while, Yun Ling decided to lead the team out, and see what it was like outside.
At 8 o’clock, the team departed on time.
The team now was different than before. There were more than forty NPCs, and the foraging team was also forty people, so there were more than eighty people.
Yun Ling looked around, and split the people into two groups.
Then Guard A led a group out, and she led a group in another direction.
The autumn was a harvest day, and there were more new resources than usual.
Yun Ling did not walk for long before she saw berries, corn fields, and potatoes. She did not have the foraging team stop, and continued to advance.
Based on her guess, the winter would be very hard, and she wanted to prepare in advance.
After walking more than ten minutes, they passed by a cotton field. Yun Ling then stopped and arranged for the player to harvest.
Without needing more orders, the players worked consciously and in order.
At this time, the bushes swayed gently. Eight gray rabbits were jumping around, and gathered together eating grass.
Yun Ling shouted, “Mage!”
The lightning, stone pieces, fire balls, and hail strayed out, and immediately drowned the gray rabbits.
In the blink of an eye, the monsters were all destroyed. Only the rabbit meat, the rabbit fur, copper coins, and white rabbit gloves floated into the air.
Yun Ling picked up the items, and thought these were not bad. The rabbit skin and the rabbit fur gloves were suited for defending against the cold.
When winter came, she did not just have to provide winter equipment for the players, her combat NPC also needed them. Like this, she needed to prepare at least fifty portions.
Soon, the cotton field was picked clean.
“Let’s go.” Yun Ling’s thoughts were going up and down but it did not show on her face as she walked away.
In the evening, Yun Ling returned to her room to rest.
She first made a cup of Pu’er tea for herself, and then drank tea as she took care of the matters of the territory.
Attributes: Strength 8, Agility 8, Stamina 6, Intelligence 6, Spirit 6.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Advanced Sewing
Craftable Items: Bandages, Quivers, Shoes, Linen Shirt, Cotton Shirts, Cotton Pants, Knee Pads, Quilts, Blankets, Leather Gloves, Leather Clothing.
The moment she saw the craftable items, she sensed winter blowing at her.
Yun Ling did not hesitate to hire. She named the NPC “Tailor C” and sent them off to the Tailor Shop to make cotton shirts, cotton pants, knee pads, quilts and blankets.
She viewed the territory attribute window.
[Unlockable Buildings: 10]
[Existing Buildings: 9]
[Existing building detail:
Warehouse (level 2): Omitted.
Mission Hall (level 2): Omitted.
Woodworking Workshop (level 2): Omitted.
Tailor Shop (level 2): Omitted.
Residence (level 2): Omitted.
Defensive Shield (level 2): Omitted.
Restaurant (level 2): Omitted.
Ice House (level 2): Omitted.
Farmland (level 1): Omitted. ]
Yun Ling wanted very much to upgrade the farmland to level 2, but it was about time to unlock the blacksmith shop she had wanted so much.
But once the blacksmith shop was opened, there had to be a lot of labor to mine, and the farmlands would lack enough manpower to care for them.
Farmland could not compare to the shrubs. The shrubs were vigorous and there would be a harvest without people taking care of them. If no one took care of the farmland, it was possible that the harvest would decrease greatly in yield.
What to do?
Yun Ling was in a dilemma.
Before she could think of a plan, the system gave a notification, “Player ‘ You Qing Wen’ is requesting to enter, will you allow it?”
Ever since she confessed her identity, You Qing Wen bought a stone house, becoming a neighbor, and frequently coming to visit her. One was to deliver salt, and also to deliver her some delicious things to eat.
Yun Ling clicked “yes” and let her in.
“This is the salt that was just made,” You Qing Wen said as she took out wood jars and wood bowls from her backpack. “This is new, fried sugar cake, want a taste?”
The sugar cake was golden yellow, and at a glance, you would know that they were crisp on the surface, and soft inside.
“Put them there first.” Yun Ling had a sad expression.
She wanted to eat as much as she wanted, but her weight did not allow her.
“Eat it when it is hot. When it is cold, it does not taste so good,” You Qing Wen warned.
“I know.” Yun Ling decided to change the topic. “It is almost autumn now, and all the families need salt to preserve food.”
“Have you asked the science giant you picked up? Can the output be increased?”
“I asked.” You Qing Wen grew solemn when they were on an official matter. “He said that some of the equipment that he had brought along had been destroyed in an accident, and right now, the daily output of salt is steady at one thousand bags.”
“If you want to increase output, you need to find a professional master to open a furnace, and make the equipment according to the requirements.”
At this, she looked hopefully at Yun Ling, feeling that the lord was all powerful, and would have a way to solve this.
“Then never mind,” she slowly said.
“Why? We cannot do it?” You Qing Wen was surprised.
Yun Ling said, “This is beyond the limits, there are no furnaces in the unlockable buildings.”
“Okay.” You Qing Wen shrugged. “In reality, the residents do not have to make salted meat. Dried meat and smoked meat can also be kept for long.”
“I know a household that has started to search for jars to make cornbread. When it gets cold, the jars can be placed outside, and the food can be eaten over the entire winter.”
“Also dried sweet potatoes, potato pancakes, homemade salted vegetables, chili and meat sauce…they are all long lasting.”
“There are many ways, salted meat is just one of them.”
Yun Ling said, “The shelf life of game materials is super long, most of them 180 days. Even if they are not preserved, they can be stored for a long time.”
Thinking of this, You Qing Wen thought of the piles of food in her house that had rotted and her heart hurt. “Speaking of that, you once reminded me to hoard more game materials. At the time, I was exploring, and found so much food that I did not keep your words in mind. But when the summer came, no amount of food was useful, all of it rotted.”
Thinking back to it now, she still felt pain.
“There was no summer during the beta, I was just guessing. But it was such a coincidence that I guessed right.” Yun Ling gave a helpless smile.
“So after that, I did not mind speculating on the game with the worst of intentions.” You Qing Wen stood up as she talked. “I have other matters, and have to go.”
“Okay.” Yun Ling saw her guest out of the door, and then was immersed in her own thoughts.
The next day, a newly built “Blacksmith Shop” appeared in Rising Cloud Town.
At the same time, there were seven new collection missions sent by the territory in the mission hall.
[Acquisition of saltpeter. 1 copper coin per piece.]
[Acquisition of coal. 3 copper coins per piece.]
[Acquisition of copper ore. 3 copper coins per piece.]
[Acquisition of iron ore. 5 copper coins per piece.]
[Acquisition of cold iron ore. 8 copper coins per piece.]
[Acquisition of black iron ore. 15 copper coins per piece.]
[Acquisition of blackgold ore. 30 copper coins per piece.]
One person was handing in the linen cloth and saw the new mission. Immediately, joy appeared in his eyes. “Before, when I went into a cave to hide from the rain, I had picked up a blackgold ore! So simple to get 30 copper coins??”
He did not believe it, and quickly handed in the ore.
In the next second, -1 blackgold ore, +30 copper coins.
“This is more profitable than hunting! And safe. I do not need to take risks!” That person was happy and sprinted out of the mission hall — he planned to take equipment, and then invite his relatives and friends to go to the cave and mine.
“You can trade copper ore and iron ore for money? They were in the monster drops!”
“I learned blueprints. To create purple equipment, I went to mine black iron ore, and I have two pieces left.”
“While I have never mined before, and do not know where the mines are….to complete the collection mission, I can do it!!”
The crowd was excited. The players prepared and decided to go to this job of “mining” that had potential and money.
At the same time, the system notifications kept on coming.
[You have received 1 x Blackgold Ore.]
[You have received 1 x Iron Ore.]
[You have received 2 x Copper Ore.]
In the stone house, Yun Ling had a bright smile.
Did she fear not having enough people? If she increased the price of collecting the ore, there would be players that came to participate on their own.
Yun Ling opened the window and upgraded the farmland to level 2.
Farmland (level 2): Can hire people to farm, and get a steady supply of crops. Requires 100 copper coins to open one field. (Currently, at most, you can possess 50 pieces of farmland)
“Now, the problem is solved,” Yun Ling said relaxedly.
In the Blacksmith Shop.
Qiao Qiao came in and asked, “Are there kitchen knives? Are there machetes? Are there small daggers?”
There was only Blacksmith A in the shop. He was smelting ore at this time.
He pulled on the bellows, and the flames shot up, followed by the sound of hammering.
Blacksmith A said in a rumble, “I just got a batch of ores, and am smelting them right now. It will take a bit of time before finished products can be made.”
“What will the shop sell in the future?” Qiao Qiao asked.
She could not be blamed for being so urgent. She desperately needed the proper tools.
Kitchen knives could be used for cooking, machetes for speeding up foraging, and the dagger for protection. If all these were being sold, it would be so good.
Blacksmith A did not say anything, but displayed the attribute window.
[Name: Blacksmith A]
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Elementary Mining, Intermediate Smelting, Intermediate Forging.
Craftable Items: Small animal traps, iron pots, iron picks, small knives, kitchen knives, short knives, steel knives, machetes, bronze swords, broadswords, seven star swords, chainmail, bronze helmets, bronze shields, iron shields.
There were kitchen knives, machetes, and short knives!
Qiao Qiao’s eyes lit up, and she said excitedly, “Then you go smelting and I will come back later.”
The summer left and the autumn came, the heat fading away.
At the same time the heat faded, the non-game materials in the warehouse were all used up.
In the rear kitchen of the restaurant.
Chef A gently reminded, “Lord, if you limit the food supply, this may affect business of the shop.”
“That doesn’t matter.” Yun Ling did not care. “The restaurant does not exist to make money. It is so when the residents have eaten all their food, there is a place where they can spend money to buy food.”
“Starting today, provide 50 mixed grain steamed buns and 50 rice porridges for breakfast.”
“At lunch, provide 50 black rice cakes, and 50 bowls of rice soup.”
“At dinner, provide 30 portions of rice cake, 30 portions of vegetable salad, and 30 sandwiches.”
“If you cannot sell all of breakfast and lunch, keep the food until dinner to sell. If the food is not sold out, leave it for the NPCs to eat.”
She had thought deeply about the menu before deciding. She had analyzed the population of the territory, their ability to spend, their food situation, and how much the foraging team got each day to set this number.
In normal situations, there was too much stock.
Right now, the restaurant sold foods that gave buffs, and at high prices. Not many could afford to buy.
Also, it was autumn, and harvest day. There were wild resources all over the land. If the residents wanted to save money, they could dig for their materials and cook on their own.
After deciding this, Yun Ling sent the orders for the chefs to do this.
In reality, if the players did not finish eating their stored food, they found that after the summer, the non-game foods were spoiled, and were inedible.
Some sighed sadly, “I am very unlucky! I managed to save food, but they were wasted like this.”
“If I had known that they would go bad, I would have let go and had a good meal!”
“In the village I was part of, we stored enough food to eat for three to five years. We ate so much, but were not able to finish before they spoiled. Okay, now, we will change to hoarding game food. I hope they can be stored for longer.”
“Ah, I just wanted to hope. If I had sold some of the food at low prices back then, I would at least have some copper coins, and not watch them grow mold.”
Most residents did not have the happy troubles of storing food for a spring and a summer season without finishing it.
After using up the food they had found from different places, people changed to menus using game materials.
When the potatoes were roasted, with a bit of salt, they would satisfy hunger.
The wild vegetables could be mixed and eaten.
Collect mushrooms, little peppers, meat sauce, think for a while, adjust the ratio, and you could make good meat mushroom sauce.
Put rice in a bamboo tube, add meat, and the right amount of water. Put it into the fire to roast, and then it was bamboo rice.
If one really did not have any cooking talent, and was too lazy to cook, they could buy and eat from the restaurant, hire people to cook, or go around the night market to buy night snacks.
Each night, there were clever life skills players skilled in cooking setting up stalls, and showing their skills.
“Newly cooked sticky rice.”
“Fried udon with mushrooms.”
“Steamed custard! Carp soup!”
There were only things that people did not think of, and nothing they could not do. The delicious foods of the past reappeared again, and caused people to drool.
As the neighbor of a grilling expert, Yun Ling suffered greatly. Each day, near evening, there would be gusts of roasting meat coming from the neighboring stone house. This greatly affected the friendship between neighbors.
Just as Yun Ling almost could not resist going over to knock on his door, Mister Neighbor came to visit. “I made skewers, there is grilled gluten, grilled rice cake, grilled squid, grilled pork belly, grilled fat beef, take it and eat.”
There was a layer of sauce on the skewers, and it was so fragrant!
She took a bite. Sweet and spicy, very tasty and enjoyable.
“If you like, I will give you more next time.” Mister Neighbor was very kind.
Yun Ling: I, I forgive you.
The berries were harvested and the crops were mature. It was just 5 days from the previous harvest this time.
Now, Yun Ling finally understood what “every 5-10 days, you can receive a batch of crops” meant.
Harvest day, you could harvest in 5 days.
Calamity day, peace day, 10 days were needed.
This was not random or by luck.
After understanding, Yun Ling calmed down. “A fixed date is good. It is convenient for arranging the work of the NPCs.”
During the autumn harvest, the food covered the land, and the residents all hoarded food to prepare for the winter.
In the empty ground behind the wood house, Xia Xi had not followed the trend of transplanting shrubs, or starting a field to grow vegetables, but he found wood, mud and sand, preparing to make a bread oven.
It was not difficult to make a bread oven, and it was not the first time that Xia Xi was doing this. So, she should be able to quickly do this.
The problem was, during the building process, she found she lacked a key material, “Brick.”
Before the apocalypse, if she needed bricks, she could buy them everywhere.
After the apocalypse, she could not fill her belly, much less anything else.
If she had to make the bricks herself, from the clay to the firing, it would take three to five months to finish.
“Do I have to give up?” Xia Xi hesitated.
At this time, her older brother Xia Han Dong came home and shouted immediately, “Little Xi, come and look! I got the bricks you wanted!”
Xia Xi was stunned. When she found that her brother had brought back red bricks, she was surprised and happy. “Where did you get it?”
“Drops from monsters,” Xia Han Dong explained. “I encountered some mud monsters, and after killing them, they dropped clay and also bricks.”
Seeing his younger sister reluctant to let go of the brick, he said, “See if there are enough. If not, I will go and get some tomorrow.”
“Not enough, I need a few more.” Xia Xi smiled sweetly. “Thank you, Brother.”
“Okay, tomorrow, and the day after, I will kill the mud monsters until you have enough,” Xia Han Dong said readily.
After a few days, when all the materials were gathered, Xia Xi was prepared to act.
First, she built a base, and then used sand and stone to make an insulation layer. Then she made a mud tire on the bottom, and then used cloth to wrap around the mud, leaving a position for the chimney to connect to the oven outside.
When the oven was built, she took out the cloth and the mud, and then made a small door of wood. The bread oven was done.
It looked very large, but in reality, the inside was about the size of a built-in oven.
After finishing the work, Xia Xi kneaded the flour, and put it into the oven to bake.
The bread oven was also called an earth kiln. It did not directly use wood fire to heat up the food, but to have the wood fire heat the oven first, and rely on the radiant heat of the thick wall to cook the food.
This way, the bread was crisp on the outside, and fragrant and soft on the inside. They tasted better than from normal ovens.
Xia Xi made five batches of bread, eating one on her own, and leaving the rest to her brother.
Xia Han Dong took a bite, and had a nostalgic expression. “It is this taste! When we were young, Grandmother made this for us, but we never got to eat it again.”
Xia Xi thought, yes, later on, you went out to work, and only returned home for New Years. Sometimes, to save money, you did not even bear to come back then.
Looking at the remaining bread, she said seriously, “Brother, I am planning to start a business.”
“Selling bread?” Xia Han Dong reacted Immediately.
“Yes.” Xia Xi nodded. “I am not good at fighting, and in the past, relied on you going hunting to support this family. Now, I want to do something on my own.”
“Yes.” In Xia Hang Dong’s view, trying to do business was nothing wrong. If the goods could not be sold, the family members could help eat them.
But unlike her brother’s lack of concern, Xia Xi decided that she had to achieve something. To speak of nothing else, at least she had to support herself.
Beside the wood hut, Qiao Qiao and Grandmother Qian were making smoked meat together.
There were different ways of making smoked meat. Grandmother Qian cut the pork into pieces like usual, and then marinated in salt before the smoking started.
To avoid ash during the smoking, Grandmother Qian had Qiao Qiao put the stone bonfire above empty ground.
Different kinds of firewood would affect the taste. In order to eat tasty smoked meat, Qiao Qiao had picked up cypress leaves and branches.
The fire burned for three days.
During the time, the fragrance spread around the wood hut, and caused the passersby to look back repeatedly.
More players came to ask, “Are you selling the smoked meat?”
Qiao Qiao would answer, “No, it is just for my family to eat.”
The smoked meat was bright and shiny, the smell unique. The players stood there and took a deep breath, almost unable to move their legs.
Some who really wanted it would stand there and secretly learn, planning to go back home and make it themselves.
Qiao Qiao and Grandmother Qian were busy and let them watch, not driving them away.
In a certain part of the town.
Lu Fei held a small knife, and quickly cut up the wood. Soon, a “door” like wood structure took form.
In order to make sure it stood steady, the base was set up in a triangle to make it more stable.
In the distance, his cousin Lu Feng was twisting grass into rope.
They were immersed in their work when a woman came to ask, “How are you selling the wood racks?”
Lu Feng looked up and said with a smile, “20 copper coins each.”
Hearing this, the woman could not help but have a painful expression. “What about the rope?”
Lu Feng said “3 copper coins each.”
“Too expensive.” The woman thought, this was not doing business, just stealing money!
“You cannot say that.” Lu Feng explained seriously. “Look, it is almost winter, and everyone is busy hoarding food.”
“Do you have enough salt for salting meat? Do you know how to make smoked meat? It seemed that only dried meat is suitable for people like us who do not know anything.”
“Buy the wood rack, use the straw rope to tie the meat to the rack, how convenient? After a few days, the meat will be dry.”
The woman was clearly moved.
For normal families, the restaurant salt was not cheap. Also, even if she could bear to spend the money to buy, at most, she could only buy one bag per day. If she wanted to preserve things, that was not even enough.
As to that smoked meat, she had heard of it, and even stood there a while to steal from the teacher. But the taste of what she made was completely different. She did not know in which step the problem had occurred.
After thinking about it, dried meat was the easiest to make.
The woman put away her thoughts and said, “Too expensive, 10 copper coins for a rack is about enough.”
Lu Feng grimaced. “This is pure manual work, I cannot make many each day. Your price will ruin our livelihood.”
The woman was speechless. Then she said, “How about 20 copper coins, and you give me some straw ropes.”
After a verbal battle.
The woman paid 24 copper coins and left in satisfaction with a wood rack and three straw ropes.
Lu Feng was also very happy.
For residents like them not skilled in fighting, staying in the territory and doing manual labor was better than going out to fight the monsters.
Also…recently, the wood racks and straw ropes were popular. They could sell as many as they could make.
Thinking about this happy thing, Lu Feng could not help but grin.
Yun Ling could feel the enthusiasm the territory residents felt towards hoarding food, and out of curiosity, she also tried to make salted meat.
[Name: Salted Meat]
Use Effect: Fills the stomach.
Shelf Life: 237 days.
Three days ago, the food had clearly shown —
[Name: Pork Belly]
Use Effect: Fills the stomach.
Shelf Life: 180 days.
Taking away the three days of the marinating, the shelf life had increased by 60 days, and it could be seen that salting was helping.
Yun Ling also tried smoking and air drying, and found they all increased the shelf life by 60 days.
“240 days. In game time, it is 8 seasons. The residents will finish eating before the shelf life ends.” After making sure of the result, she finally was reassured.