In the north of Blapei, Tonikas was a somewhat prosperous small town located in the suburbs. Beside it were vast, unoccupied lands. In an area of several square kilometers, there were some sparse farm villages. Zhang Tie estimated that the little boy's grandma was living in one of them.
By a horse taxi, Zhang Tie came to the small town Tonikas. When he arrived there, the elegant four-wheeled carriage that was only suitable to be driven on flat city roads could not continue moving forward in the wild as the path here was covered with pits, which was only suitable to oxcarts, which moved slowly, or directly riding a horse.
After paying a few dozens of copper coins, Zhang Tie got off the carriage at the small town Tonikas. He first inquired about the location of Chevli from someone in the small town, then walked directly towards it as it was only 2-3 km away from where he was now.
People in Blapei were honest and kind; additionally, Zhang Tie had his first lieutenant officer's certificate in his pocket. He was not afraid of troubles even moving alone.
The surrounding farming land was verdant and vigorous. Many farmers were working in their fields. At this time, the farmers in the farming areas surrounding Blapei had just finished sowing autumn wheat.
With wheat seeds, they could produce beer. Therefore, sowing wheat seeds became a great event in Blapei. By next summer, when they had to reap them, the people here would hold a grand wheat reaping festival.
Zhang Tie had heard from the driver that in order to celebrate the good harvest of the past year and that the wheat seeds were sowed, the beer festival, the most boisterous festival in Blapei every year, would be held next month. In it, all the girls in Blapei would present the beer which was brewed by them. The single girls who could brew the best beer would be the stars pursued by all the lads in the city. In the eyes of all men in Blapei, it was the happiest thing to marry such an excellent girl.
Zhang Tie kept walking on the path as he enjoyed the surrounding landscape. At the same time, he was considering all the details of saving those earthworms. This was the first but would not be the last deal that'll require him to set free earthworms. In order to make the Fruit of Redemption ripen and his body recover as soon as possible, Zhang Tie was well prepared to keep doing this for a long term.
A person from another place suddenly wishing to buy earthworms that were usually taken as fodder for chickens and ducks, this would arise others' suspicions in any place. If he did not want to become their focus and be held back, he had better find a proper reason to persuade them.
Should he tell them that it was the secret to cure a disease in the east? He was afraid that everybody then would take him for a lunatic. What about other excuses then that would make others not to be curious about why he constantly set earthworms free?
Zhang Tie recalled Guardian God School which was a school that worshiped mother nature. The doctrine of this school included caring for everything of the mother nature's and letting her recover balance. The worshipers of that school loved flowers and grasses; of course, they also loved small animals. He might be able to use this point. Grandma Teresa had told him that some believers of this school truly had set free some animals that were locked up, enslaved, or going to be killed.
'Maybe I have to launch the Cave Barbarian Survival Mode once again this time' Zhang Tie mumbled inside.
After walking on the path beside a field for about one kilometer, creaks of wheels rotating around the axles drifted into Zhang Tie's ears. He looked back and saw an oxcart slowly driving towards him, carrying half a cart of dried wheat straws. The driver of the oxcart was a 60-odd man in a grass hat and coarse white linen clothes. Because the path beside the field was very narrow, at the sight of the oxcart driving here, Zhang Tie hurriedly stood aside, giving way.
"Lad, where are you going?" the old man asked enthusiastically, seeing Zhang Tie walking alone.
"Hoho, if you like, get on the cart, I'm going to Chevli too!"
The old man then stopped the ox.
Giving a smile, Zhang Tie climbed onto the oxcart and sat on the pile of wheat straws. Together with the old man, he headed for Chevli.
"Lad, you don't look like a resident of Chevli, what are you going there for, friends or relatives?" the old man asked.
"Hmm, I've just been in Blapei for a short time. I was told many families in Chevli were raising earthworms. Therefore, I want to have a look there!" Realizing that the old man might be a local resident, Zhang Tie immediately launched his "Cave Barbarian Survival Mode".
"Earthworms? Why?" the old man asked out of curiosity. "Shouldn't they be interesting only the the chickens and ducks?"
"The biggest function of earthworms is not animals' fodder!" Zhang Tie revealed a pious and innocent expression. "If I set them free in a wild field, they could make the soil more fertile when the spring arrives. Benefiting from this, the land will be more vigorous and everything will flourish. Those trivial organisms are the gifts from Gaya, the Mother of Land!"
As he heard Zhang Tie's explanation, amazement flashed across the old man's face. He then glanced over him once again. "Are you a believer of Guardian God School?"
"Yes, I lived in Blackhot City before where I made contact with the Guardian God School. I'm a pious believer of the Guardian God School!" Zhang Tie revealed a smile.
The old man then hesitated for a while. "There are truly many people raising earthworms in Chevli village and its surrounding villages. You're right. However, it might be very difficult to persuade them to gift their earthworms to you because of what you say, but you should go and try. Maybe someone really would like to do that!"
"Of course I will not let others gift their earthworms to me for nothing. No matter what, the earthworms were their private properties. Therefore, I plan to buy the earthworms that they raised before setting them free!"
"Buy them, you mean you want to buy the useless organisms?"
The old man became even more startled.
"Of course, even if I'm a pious believer of the Guardian God School, none of the doctrines tell us to plunder others' properties or support ourselves by letting others suffer from a loss for a right thing!"
Hearing Zhang Tie's words, after several seconds, the old man felt a bit a bit shameful as he asked Zhang Tie in a low voice, "Uhm... if you want to buy, how much do you want? I raise a pond of earthworms too!"
Zhang Tie had not imagined that he could meet an earthworm raiser in such a short time. It was really as lucky as having a pillow whenever you want to have a sleep.
"How much do you feel I should pay for the earthworms they raise there?" Zhang Tie asked the old man.
"If you can pay 20... no, only 18 silver coins for a pond of earthworms, I guess most people will want to let you have those useless organisms!"
The old man's face slightly blushed as he felt uncomfortable about bargaining with a kind young man for those little things that nobody would buy at all before.
'He's really an adorable old man.' Zhang Tie smiled inside.
"Then I will pay you 21 silver coins for one pond of earthworms..." Zhang Tie looked solemn and merciful. "As long as I can send these adorable little things back to Gaya, the Mother of Land, and enable this land to be more vigorous, I won't mind spending a bit more."
Hearing Zhang Tie's words, the old man became even more bashful.
The oxcart kept rocking on the path as it drove forward. After leaving the path, the road became a bit broader so two oxcarts could pass at the same time. However, the road situation was still not good. Sitting on the oxcart, Zhang Tie chatted with the old man and gradually learned many new things.
The old man was named Harley, a local farmer of Chevli. Many people in the village were truly raising earthworms, even many families in the surrounding villages were raising earthworms too. People raised them here for two reasons: first, it was convenient to raise earthworms; second, if earthworms were used as fodder for chickens and ducks, they could save a lot of grains.
After rocking for over ten minutes, Zhang Tie finally arrived at Chevli village, which only included more than a hundred households. Few outsiders would visit this small village normally. Especially, people like Zhang Tie, who was a Chinese youth. Sitting on the oxcart, once he entered the village together with Harley, he had caught many people's attention.
"Hey, Harley, who's that Chinese youth sitting on your cart? Is he Hanna's man..." someone started to ask standing beside the road.
"Go away..." Harley became impatient as he wove his whip. He didn't explain what Zhang Tie was here for at all. When there were fewer people around them, he became nervous as he turned back and said, "Uhm... my earthworms..."
"Don't worry, I will definitely buy your earthworms before considering others'!"
After working in the grocery store for several years, Zhang Tie owned a pair of sharp eyes. Certainly he knew what Harley was concerned about. Although Blapei's people were simple and honest, they were still not hostile to money. Especially in rural areas, like in other such places, besides selling some grains in harvest seasons, people normally would have few chances to make extra money.
Zhang Tie soon caught sight of the place where Harley raised his earthworms.
It was a small pond built of bricks and cement which was deeper than 30 cm, while covering 7-8 square meters. The small pond was surrounded by hedges in case chickens and ducks came inside to eat them. It was covered with straws to prevent sunshine from reaching it as well Beneath the straws were a pile of cow and fowl dung, duck feces, and soil.
This was how people raised earthworms. After piling up the dung of livestock together with wastes and covering them with straws, they didn't need to care about the fodder for chickens and ducks any more.
Zhang Tie knew that his last hope and the holy miracle of redemption lay in the dirty dung and wastes.
For the first time, Zhang Tie was filled with awe with the creator's arrangement for each life.