Chapter 127: She Laughed to the Heavens! (2)
Xu Yuan and the others were stuck in a dilemma at the contents of these letters, but Gong Yi Mo ignored it all after reading just one letter. Many people from Great Tang offered financial resources, saying that if she cooperated, she could complete the waterway within three years. Three years to complete the canal?
Gong Yi Mo felt that this was too long.
The princess crumpled the letters into a ball and looked outside at the sweltering workplace with its sweating laborers. Her eyes narrowed slightly.
Under Gong Yi Mo’s direction, the farmers who volunteered were given very good treatment. It was unlike those other senior officials and dignitaries who ordered them to pave the palace roads while giving them less than humane treatment. Gong Yi Mo’s leadership was appreciated by many people. Most commoners in this ancient era had a simple mindset: when they decided to do something, they try to give it their best, unlike the civilians in the capital who used cunning schemes to take what they wanted.
Instead of dealing with those malicious schemers, Gong Yi Mo was more concerned with how she could reduce the workload of her volunteers. Right now, they were clearing up the section of the Yulong Inner Canal that was north of the Yangzte River where the riverbed was too high in elevation. Since the river was shallow in this area, the water’s flow was very slow.
But the clean-up process was very difficult.
Since most tools in use were made of wood, the most difficult task was to clear up the sand and silt. They could only use the most primitive method, which was to dig and transport the debris away. Although the water only reached up to their calves, this kind of digging in the water was laborious.
Gong Yi Mo’s head was filled with innumerable idea, which she rejected one by one…
If only…there wasn’t any water in the way…
This thought sparked an idea in her mind!
She immediately summoned the accompanying geographers, sailors, and craftsmen together, and called other tradesmen to discuss her ideas.
A group of people gathered at the harbor around a table without any chairs. Placed on the table was a clay model that Gong Yi Mo made personally.
Everyone gathered around the scene wondered what new idea the little girl had to present.
“How would you guys clear up the inner canal? I want to see if you can come up with any ideas.”
Gong Che laughed. Could these people actually come up with a better suggestion?
But each one of them merely shook their heads. Only one of the craftsmen touched his moustache and replied, “We can use the ox plough method that Miss has mentioned a while ago, and we have made some other labor-saving tools using Miss’s ‘axle’ method. Perhaps those tools will prove useful. You may take a look at them later.”
Gong Yi Mo nodded her head. The ancients were very clever. Perhaps due to their limited materials, they were better than modern people at how to make use of everything they had.
“Aside from tools, I have another method to offer, and I want to see if everyone will agree.”
Gong Che nodded at her, signaling that it would be okay.
Gong Yi Mo smiled, then pointed her finger at their present location.
“Because the elevation of the Yulong Grand Canal’s riverbed is too high, its flow has been seriously impeded. Some workers with tall enough legs work better than others in the water, but relying solely on them is too much trouble.”
“So what do you mean?” Li Ke was curious about what the princess had in mind.
With a triumphant smile, Gong Yi Mo pulled out her brush and dipped it in ink. On a map, she drew dotted lines from their location, all the way to the capital. Her eyes glistened slightly as she pointed to the dotted lines. “For now, we can close the Grand Canal build it in several smaller sections! This will be a temporary solution. Once the excavation of the Grand Canal is nearing its end, we can reopen the Yulong Grand Canal! What do you think?”