Is This Okay, Kim Sangseung?
Thanks to me, a boom of investing in the fishing industry was formed among the noble families of Gyeongsang Province.
In a way, this investment boom could be a turning point in an alternate history novel.
That’s why I want to make an assumption today.
For example, let’s assume that I am the novel’s protagonist, and my story is the introduction.
The introduction is quite important in a web novel.
This is because most readers have very little patience.
If they find a text bothersome or don’t like the writing, they won’t read it.
A novel that fails to attract the readers’ attention at the beginning is doomed.
Seasoned web novel readers can roughly gauge a novel’s potential just by looking at the reading rate of the first 1-5 chapters.
What would the readers think of my actions so far?
Although there’s a semblance of shadowboxing, if I can convince the discerning readers, wouldn’t the upcoming battles be more favorable?
First of all, I stupidly lost focus on the crucial parts of chapters 1-2.
Some readers would argue that the protagonist’s mentality is trash.
This is a situation that is not entirely fair.
Honestly, can a person who suddenly finds themselves in the Joseon era think, “Ah, then I should act like the protagonist of a novel!” and put it into action right away?
I’m just an ordinary citizen who doesn’t have an extraordinary mind or unyielding spirit.
Also, some readers with extreme psychopath tendencies might start a fight, saying, “The MC’s personality is so frustrating.
It’s not fun at all!”
However, these extreme psychopaths cannot be considered normal readers.
They want the protagonist to always gain benefits and act cunningly without any logic.
But realistically, what could a 10-year-old child who has just survived a near-death experience and lost their memory do?
Isn’t it even more absurd to wish for a 10-year-old to change the Joseon dynasty?
Well, extreme psychopaths who’ve swallowed up all the logic probably wouldn’t even consider that.
It may be self-justification, but it wasn’t too bad that I could plan for the future while eating a sweet potato for a month.
The first step may have been a bit twisted, but if I take the next step well, I can keep the readers reading.
In that sense, wouldn’t my first move, encouraging the fishing industry, be a pretty good start?
The problem is what comes next.
My initial plan was to catch herring, make fertilizer from the innards, and make soap from the oil obtained during the drying process of the oil-rich herring.
Honestly, I was somewhat confident about the fertilizer.
According to the information I found, I could roughly estimate the mixing method and the amount of fertilizer to be applied.
But the soap side is not going smoothly; I’m still experimenting because I haven’t found the right ratio yet.
Nevertheless, the biggest benefit of fishing is the fish obtained from it!
The Fair Wind catches more than 3,000 fish a week.
This amount is sufficient to supply fish as a side dish to the nearby village solely from the fish caught by Fair Wind.
Thanks to the herrings caught by Fair Wind, many people were able to eat fish as a side dish.
According to Kang Jik, last year around this time, there should have been a throng of people borrowing food from our family because of a shortage, but this year there’s been no one begging for food at our house.
Our family used to stockpile about 300 sacks of miscellaneous grains as emergency rations every year.
Judging from this, our family’s grain consumption has decreased by around 1 to 2 gama per household.
In the past, food was currency, but what if there’s so much grain that it can’t be eaten? Naturally, commerce will inevitably develop.
Impatient readers might get angry, asking when I’ll develop commerce and move on to the next step.
I, too, want to make a lot of money immediately and give a big middle finger to the foreign leader monkey while keeping them in check.
And I want to prevent the Imjin War from happening at all.
But the moment I write such a novel, my novel’s comment section will be filled with insults.
Because there’s no logic to it.
Just like how a protagonist’s every step builds up to reach the epilogue in a novel, I also need to carefully take each step to protect my family.
Although it may be slow, the snowball I’m rolling will soon grow big enough to swallow the Imjin War.
It must be so.
It had to be done.
A bountiful year has arrived~
Time passed quickly.
And now, I have reached the pinnacle of enjoying my life in Joseon.
It has already been nine months since I found myself in Joseon, and now the hot summer is over, and the cool autumn winds have arrived.
When we think of autumn, the idiomatic expression that comes to mind is “cheongomabi,” right? However, in this era, cheongomabi was used a bit differently.
Cheongomabi, which means the sky is high and horses are fat, was used to imply that now the foreign barbarians will come to break the earthenware pots.
A similar foreign saying would be, “Winter is coming.”
According to the stories I’ve heard, those barbarians are already sneaking over the Amnok River from the north.
This year is 1582, so Nurhaci, who would become the great founding emperor of the Qing Dynasty, is not even a chieftain yet.
At least until this year, there would be no significant threat from the north since his father is still assisting Ming China’s Li Shengliang.
Shinlip, who made a name for himself in the north, would only break the pot of the Jurchen tribe called Nitanggae in 1583, so there’s still plenty of time ahaha!
The snowball I’ve been rolling seems to be growing bit by bit.
“Young master, there’s a Pungmul performance in the village today.”
“Really? Soyul, do you want to go?”
In the spring, a performance was held to give strength before starting the farming season, while in the fall, the Pungmul performance was held to uplift the weary bodies from farming and celebrate the bountiful harvest.
“It’s a bountiful year~~~~ It’s a boun~~~~tiful year~~~ came~~~!”
I’m feeling nostalgic, listening to the ancestors sing the bountiful harvest song, which I learned in elementary school.
People laughed, chatted, and sang, dreaming of a happy harvest.
The rice fields were dyed golden, and the well-ripened fruits spread across the mountains and streams, symbolizing peace.
The Jurchen tribes in the north would be busy invading yearly to get their share, but Ulsan, the area at the rear, does not need to worry about invasions.
The problem now is that this place will soon become the front line.
Kids grow up incredibly fast.
When I first saw her, Soyul was still toddling around, but she has grown tall and strong this year.
I should be careful because she might be an ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra genius who doesn’t forget her current memories.
Of course, this little one sniffling and looking at me doesn’t seem like an ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra genius, but better safe than sorry.
As a response, I wiped Soyul’s nose.
Then I carried Soyul and danced.
On a day like today, there’s no distinction between nobles and commoners, so no one would say anything if I carried Soyul and danced.
The next day, the real harvest began.
It’s the busy farming season, and even the house slaves and servants are almost all out to help with the harvest.
Now it’s September 1582.
If history is correct, Oda Nobunaga would have just died at Honnoji, and Shibata and Toyotomi would be competing to become Nobunaga’s successor.
Ah, trading with Shibata and selling grain and getting guns and gunpowder in return would be a sweet deal, but the overall situation is not good.
It’s because the fucking Japanese began to do small invasions, which reduced the already declining trade volume to three ships per year.
Most of the trade in the Joseon Dynasty was tributary trade with Ming China.
Even though it was a tribute trade, Joseon received more valuable gifts in return, so they relied on it.
On the other hand, Japan relied on trade with Joseon because they needed various items from Joseon.
While studying to write novels, I couldn’t understand why Joseon, with so much to gain from trading with Japan, came so close to severing ties.
But after living in this world for about nine months, I naturally learned the reason for blocking trade with Japan.
Japanese people wanted Joseon’s rich grains.
Japan, which hadn’t developed the plains around Tokyo yet, naturally suffered from food shortages.
Plus, they had been fighting amongst themselves for nearly 100 years, so they needed more food to feed their army.
However, Joseon was also in dire need of food.
Of course, from the perspective of running a country, there was no need to trade while starving their own people.
The problem is, if they can’t sell food, they should develop other products, right?
Japan not only liked Joseon’s grains but also their cotton fabric.
As an island nation, Japan needed sturdy sails for its ships, and it was difficult to make tough sails with Japanese textiles.
However, even cotton fabric in Joseon was used as currency, which was a problem.
If the circulated currency decreases, the economy will naturally shrink.
That’s why Joseon did not actively trade with Japan.
Our ancestors in the 16th century had already implemented their own version of export bans on semiconductors and three major components.
And Joseon’s choice eventually led to the Imjin War.
No matter how I think about it, trade between the two countries is necessary to prevent the Imjin War.
Then how do we increase trade with Japan?
For that, Joseon’s economy must develop even a day sooner.
If there is an increase in grains and cotton fabric, people will naturally need luxury goods.
Grains are needed for eating and cotton cloth for wearing; once people have enough food and clothes, they naturally seek more comfortable and better things.
The current economy of Joseon is hardly different from the primitive age.
Grains and cotton cloth play the role of real money, but selling grains could mean risking starvation.
Who would want to sell their lifeline, the grains?
It’s not like they can sell cotton cloth recklessly, either.
Clothing is a necessity and a consumable at the same time.
To endure the cold winters of the Korean Peninsula, thick clothing is absolutely essential.
Because of these reasons, purchasing something is an impossible dream for common people.
Be it grains or cotton cloth, they must prioritize using it for themselves, and even that is not enough for the reality of commoners.
To overcome this situation, I wanted to develop boats and fertilizers.
And today was the day to announce the results.
How much rice would be harvested from my paddy field? I was excited.
“Young Master! Your paddy field yielded 10 seoks more rice!”
“10 seoks? Is that a lot? How much grain can we get from a normal 1 gyeol?”
“Usually, we can harvest around 28 seoks of grains from 1 gyeol.”
So, does this mean using fertilizers on the paddy field increased production by about 35%?
I saw hope in Kang Cheol’s story.
The moment when my doubts about whether merely creating fertilizers could change Joseon turned into certainty.
If this fertilizer was distributed throughout Joseon, it would mean that the annual food production of Joseon would increase by about 35% and that there would be a surplus of grains in Joseon.
Moreover, another food resource called herring is caught by dozens of ships every week in Ulsan.
If people eat herrings instead of grains, it means more grains will be left over naturally.
And if there is a surplus of grains like this? Short-sighted commoners would certainly fill their stomachs first.
But if there is still leftover food? The population will increase.
Once their backs are warm and their stomachs full, all living beings tend to engage in reproductive activities.
However, handling the sudden increase of 35% in food production will not be easy.
Naturally, the practice of exchanging food for needed goods before they spoil will develop, and there will be a chance for me to play an active role.
I hope that day comes soon.
 A Korean idiomatic expression meaning “the clear and lofty autumn sky.”
 On the border of modern-day North Korea and China
 Technically, Nurhaci never became the emperor of the Qing Dynasty, but he did found the Later Jin Dynasty.
His son, Hong Taiji, later known as Emperor Taizong, would found the Qing Dynasty.
 A traditional Korean folk music performance that includes drumming, dancing, and singing.
 One seok is about 180 liters
 Gyeol is an old Korean unit of land measurement, equivalent to about 1,000 square meters.
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