Time Smuggling Starting From The Year 2000 - Chapter 50
Chapter 50: In Germany, in 1866 (Part Two)
Translator: Kim Guo Editor: Tehrn
Huang Xuan went out. He brought back about 50 kg of wheat and gave them to the workers, at which the four got elated. They ate rye bread not because it was nutritious but because they didn't have grains. This bag of wheat was equivalent to their wages of more than half a month. The female worker thanked Huang Xuan once again. She was holding the wheat so tight as if she was afraid that it might fly away. She patiently showed Huang Xuan the way to Kaiserslautern and asked kindly, ’’Have you come here on business?’’
There weren't many emerging industries in Rhineland, and manufacturing wasn't thriving either. As a yellow person, Huang Xuan definitely wasn't in the army. It seemed the woman had got it correct.
Seeing Huang Xuan nod, the female worker said urgently, ’’If you want to do business, there are a great number of businessmen at the Port of Ludwigshafen. The Duke of Württemberg, Ludwigshafen, built a palace there.’’
Huang Xuan thanked the four and started walking westward. Since people could transfer and get supplies only in Kaiserslautern, no matter what their final destination was, they had to go to Kaiserslautern first. It would be best if there were carriages to be hired.
Rolin searched the materials and said, ’’Ludwigshafen indeed has the biggest port nearby and perhaps the most businessmen.’’
’’Why didn't you tell me this earlier?’’ To Huang Xuan, Rolin was omnipotent.
’’I can only count the number of people in this region. All judgment must conform to the set conditions, and I can't judge independently.’’
’’Whatever.’’ Huang Xuan waved his hand carelessly. He had to go to Kaiserslautern anyway.
’’I am sorry. Because going to Ludwigshafen takes more than one day, I didn't consider it.’’
’’I thought you had scanned this area.’’
’’Yes, I have, except for the excluded regions.’’
’’On the account of energy again?’’ Huang Xuan smiled.
’’The search range must be defined. Even a level-one base can't search the entire universe.’’
’’Fine.’’ Huang Xuan laughed. It was rare for Rolin to make a mistake.
Kaiserslautern was still a small town at the time. It was located in the center of the Palatinate Forest. It had become a small city with the highest coverage rate of the forest. Even its busiest street was lined with trees. Its only beer house was also under the shades. Its population was as small as 100,000, which was equivalent to a town in China. It had been even smaller in the 19th century. The forest had limited its development as well as provided it with resources. It had always looked so thin as if it could be seen through from one end to the other.
There was no market in town, and daily supplies were sold in the town center every morning, but it wouldn't be open until the next morning. There were no consumer spots in town except the beer house where the logging workers, and also the only industrial workers, who worked outside the town, drank dark beer when having a break, and the restaurant where they occasionally went to eat.
The beer house was also a hotel. When Huang Xuan arrived, it was already nightfall, but the house was still busy. Huang Xuan walked in, uptight. Since he didn't have a penny on him, he asked Rolin to take out a few kilograms of sugar and wrapped it with clothes.
’’I would like to trade sugar for money. Will you take it?’’
The bartender was puzzled. He shook his head and said, ’’You can try talking to Thomas.’’
Hearing someone mention his name, a middle-aged man with a long beard, sitting at the other end of the bar, raised his glass and asked, ’’Who wants to talk to Thomas?’’
Huang Xuan smiled at the bartender and walked toward Thomas.
’’I need some money for the travel and want to trade this sugar.’’
’’You have found the right man.’’ Thomas looked like an alcoholic with bloodshot eyes. He put down the glass and took some sugar to taste. Huang Xuan doubted he still had his taste after he had drunk that much.
’’It's good. How much are you asking for it?’’
Thomas' beard fell into the glass. He took it out and drank another big mouthful.
Huang Xuan showed his disdain by wrinkling his nose.
’’I want to spend the night here and go to Ludwigshafen in a carriage tomorrow morning. I'd like to trade the sugar for that,’’ Huang Xuan said with his back toward Thomas.
’’No problem.’’ Thomas raised the glass again and said to the bartender, ’’Hunter, take him to a room. It's on me.’’ Then he started drinking more beer.
Huang Xuan had wanted to remind him of the carriage, but seeing his face, he shook his head and walked away. The house stank.
The bed in the room was made of birch that was hard and uncomfortable. Huang Xuan got up early. The house was quiet.
’’Sir, the carriage is leaving soon. Are you coming?’’
’’Of course.’’ Huang Xuan washed his face carelessly and went with the bartender. He thought Thomas was effective despite his sloppy looks.
However, he changed his mind as soon as he saw the carriage, which was a four-horse one, filled with eight people.
’’Are you coming?’’ The coachman was a Prussian with a weathered face and a gruff voice.
’’Thomas paid for him.’’ The bartender tried to help.
Obviously, it was a coach shuttling between two places. Huang Xuan hadn't known there already were public coaches in Europe, and he had intended to hire a carriage for himself.
The carriage was smelly. ’’I've made a mistake and brought this to myself,’’ Huang Xuan thought.
A Prussian man with fair skin was sitting opposite Huang Xuan. The woman with brown hair next to him seemed to be his wife. They were whispering intimately. Huang Xuan wasn't trying to eavesdrop, but their voices kept coming into his ears.
’’Fisher, are we going to cut the woods too?’’
’’Yes, Hartig is right. Planted coniferous forests have more volume growing points, and the output will be higher.’’
’’Are we going to buy saplings and fertile?’’
’’Certainly. I think the coniferous forest is a better choice.’’
Although Huang Xuan knew eavesdropping was bad, he couldn't help asking in a low voice, ’’Rolin, what are they talking about? Planted forest?’’
Rolin searched the materials and answered, ’’It was an afforestation campaign in the 19th century. Hartig was the minister of the Bureau of Forestry of Prussia, who advocated cutting down all the trees and planting conifers that grew faster like crops.’’
’’One can do that?’’ Huang Xuan was shocked.
’’Of course, it failed eventually. But from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, it was popular, and the output was indeed higher. However, their extreme mode of production finally led to the degradation of the soil and the diminishing of the forest. Many trees died of pests and diseases.’’
’’They must have cut down many natural forests.’’
’’They had kept cutting for 50 years and regretted it.’’