Wang Shijing came back in the evening. The farmers were busy and everyone’s cattle had to be used. The calf in their family was still small and could not pull a cart, but it was also not good to borrow from others so he could only walk to the county town, not letting Shao Yunan go with him. When he came back, he had rented an ox cart in the county town because he bought a few things, mainly farm tools and vegetables, as well as some grain.
All tea leaves were already jarred and the goat milk fruit collected by Zhao Lizheng’s family were already brewed into fruit wine, so they just had to wait till it was ready. This time Wang Shijing went to the county town to find someone to help him build a house and hire people for farm work. He could work on the vegetable field to be reclaimed in his family’s yard by himself, so there was no need to hire another person for that.
Wang Shijing had been there the day before and he had found the right person. Uncle Zhou and Uncle Wang dad were both good at building houses, but Uncle Zhou was not well and their family farm work was done mainly by Zhou Tianbao, who was very busy. Uncle Zhou was unable to help due to his health and Uncle Wang’s dad was too old, so after thinking about it Wang Shijing decided to let Uncle Zhou and Uncle Wang’s dad work as supervisors, paying them 50 copper coins each per day, not including food.
Wang Shijing first found a craftsman in the county to build the house. Shao Yunan’s requirements were very specific, so he had to find a talented craftsman. The craftsman himself had people working under him, but Wang Shijing planned to build a large house with many rooms, so he hired more than 20 refugees from the flood-stricken area in the south. These refugees lost their land and gathered outside the city to find work. Wang Shijing contacted the leader of this group of people, and finding him quite reliable he settled the matter. 60 copper coins per day of work, excluding room and board. The wages of craftsmen were calculated separately. Since it was the busy farming period in the village they couldn’t find people from the village to help with cooking and it was also impossible for Wang Shijing to let Shao Yunan cook for more than 30 people every day. It would be too tiring.
Usually, if you hired people to build a house and cover food and accommodation, the day salary was only 30 copper coins at most. But because Wang Shijing was in a hurry and because his offer did not include food and accommodation, he decided to directly raise the wages. No one was reluctant and they all said that they would do a good job and build the house within two months at most, according to Wang Shijing’s requirements. Wang Shijing first gave the craftsman and the boss of the refugees two taels of silver each. If the house was built without any problems, he would pay the remaining wages. It was also done to avoid someone deliberately delaying his work and not doing a good job.
On the other hand, Wang Shijing looked for short-term field laborers in the county town. Also paying 60 copper coins per day of work, without food and housing. He also rented a plow cow, paying a small deposit first, the rest would be settled after the work was finished. Wang Shijing originally intended to hire six people, but some villagers approached him that were willing to help with his family’s farm work, so he hired less people in the end.
When Wang Shijing came back he explained the matter to Shao Yunan, but Shao Yunan just said that it was Wang Shijing who was in charge of this matter. As long as he could build the house in accordance with his vision, it was good. In fact, Wang Shijing’s approach to this situation now was to find a design company, then find a construction team, and then hire two supervisors. Hiring two supervisors was also quite easy, since Uncle Zhou and Father Wang felt that Wang Shijing was completely helping them and automatically took over the job of helping Wang Shijing select wood, bricks, and other materials. Wang Shijing was not really familiar with this area, so very trustingly he took out hundred taels of silver and handed it to the two Uncles.
Shao Yunan was very much looking forward to this new house and discussed the drawings with Wang Shijing and their two children for two days. He planned to build a three-way courtyard house, with living rooms, bedrooms, guest rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, and other functional rooms. It also had to have a garden, vegetable plots, and barns. Shao Yunan used the classical courtyard he had seen before to design this house. Looking at the design made by Shao Yunan,Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing looked forward to their new house, not to mention their two children.
In ancient times, there was no cement, so houses were mostly made of wood and brick. But Shao Yunan decided to let someone else worry about the main material for building the house, since he didn’t intend to become involved in building houses or planting. He was busy and when he finished doing his own thing, he paid close attention to Wang Qing and Wang Nizi’s studies. Wang Shijing was in charge of other things. The negotiated construction team and short term workers would arrive the next day, so after eating dinner, Wang Shijing went to Uncle Zhou and Uncle Wang’s father with the drawing. He had to confirm a lot of things. He was so busy that he didn’t even have time to have a good chat with Shao Yunan.
When Wang Shijing came back, Shao Yunan was in Wang Qing and Wang Nizi’s room telling idiom stories to the two children. Shao Yunan did not intend to let the two children learn in a step-by-step manner like other children, so he developed a learning program for the two children that was a combination of both modern and ancient education. If they went to a private school and studied, Shao Yunan would consider adding more educational ideas, so that the two children not only learned how to read, but also how to study.
Wang Shijing, who walked outside the door, did not immediately push the door open and just quietly listened to Shao Yunan tell the children a story. Wang Qing and Wang Nizi listened with fascination. The two children were not yet literate, but the stories told by their little father were very interesting and the truths in the stories were easy to understand. They could also learn idioms after listening to these stories. Wang Qing didn’t know what the teachers of private schools were like, but he felt that his little father must be better than them.
Shao Yunan heard the courtyard door rattle, but how come no one made a sound for a long time? He stopped the story and shouted, "Who is it? Is it Shijing?" Both Wang Qing and Wang Nizi looked in the direction of the door. Did their father come back? Wang Shijing at the door swallowed before replaying. "Well, I’m back." Saying that, he pushed the door in and entered the room. Shao Yunan did not notice any abnormality and only asked, "How was it?"
"It’s all settled. Uncle Zhou and Uncle Wang’s father will go to choose the materials tomorrow, saying that it would all be ready made. Those who come tomorrow will lay the foundation first. I also have someone to pay attention to the field side, I will prepare the vegetable field as soon as I am done with the house."