‘Did you get it?’ Su Tang looked at the door. There was an orange cat lying lazily by the doorframe.
When it felt Su Tang’s eyes, a conversation bubble appeared over the orange cat’s head. “You two-legged beast, do you think this divine beast could not handle such a small thing?”
Seeing the orange cat with the speech bubble over its head, Su Tang rolled her eyes. ‘Divine beast? You can barely be called a four-legged beast.’
That caused the orange cat to spit hair at Su Tang angrily, which Su Tang ignored before stretching out her hand. After a moment the orange cat pounced onto her wrist and disappeared. All that was left was a mark that looked like a small and lovely cat’s head on her wrist.
“Sister?” Dalang had been happy to finally eat some eggs but when he heard what his brother said just now, he suddenly felt lost again.
Looking up, he found that his sister was staring at the empty doorway. He had no idea what she was looking at. He glanced at the empty door and asked Su Tang what she was looking at questioningly.
When Su Tang heard her brother’s question, she looked down and saw her younger brother’s face had doubts written all over it. She touched his head and murmured, “Hmm?”
“Tomorrow…” Dalang wanted to ask if the reason that they could eat such delicious eggs now was because they were going to die soon.
But then he saw his sister reach out her hand and produce a red candy from nowhere and Dalang became even more confused. “Ah?”
When Su Tang saw that he looked so silly, she only felt he was cute and gave him a smile. But then she became serious. “Dalang you need to listen to your elder sister. Tomorrow, you must always follow my words. When I give you this, you need to eat it right away and then you will not die. Trust me.”
When Dalang heard his sister say all that in such a sure tone, although he was still worried, he nodded. “Okay, I believe in you sister.”
Hearing her younger brother’s childish voice expressing his trust, Su Tang’s heart felt warm and she silently vowed to live up to this trust.
Dalang was six years old this year and he knew that in this family, only his sister was ever good to him, she even used to save her own food and give it to him to eat. So even if he didn’t trust others, he would always trust his sister.
The brother and sister ate all the eggs together and then that evening Su Tang, under the resentful eyes of everyone else in the Su family, impolitely took away a big bowl of porridge that someone else had cooked. Once the siblings had enough to eat they went to sleep together.
Later, in the middle of the night, Su Tang slowly opened her eyes. Su Erlu, who was guarding the barn outside, was snoring outside the door. Su Tang got up carefully and went to a dark corner of the barn.
Su Tang made a gesture with her hand and the scene in front of her suddenly changed from a dark barn to bright sunlight.
What appeared in front of her was a large farm. She was facing a cabin. To the right of the cabin was a small hot spring. The spring water flowed into a rectangular fish pond where there were herring and grass carp swimming around.
There were 32 plots of land in front of the fish pond. At present, only six plots of land were open. The open plots were growing radishes, cabbage, apples, rice, and wheat, all of which were ripe.
Behind the fish pond was a pasture, which was divided into two parts, one for raising poultry, and the other for raising livestock. Right now there were a few chickens and cattle being raised.
Behind the cabin was a processing plant and a supermarket.
At present, the land, the fish pond, and the pastures were all open. But the supermarket and the processing plant were still closed.
Su Tang traveled to this strange world and instantly saw the arrogant orange cat that claimed to be the guardian of her space.
Su Tang hurriedly harvested all the crops in the six fields and when she was done she saw that the radishes, cabbage, apples, rice and wheat she had just harvested had all appeared inside the space warehouse. These things were Su Tang’s greatest advantage in her life in this era. With these, she was at least not afraid of starving to death.
“Xiao Four*, have you arranged everything for tomorrow?” Afraid that Su Erlu might suddenly wake up outside and not see her, Su Tang didn’t waste any time. She had ventured into the space tonight to confirm things with the orange cat.
“Can’t you change the way you call me? And I’ve already told you there will be no problem. Tomorrow, once you two are in the water, I can move you both out of the bamboo baskets and directly into the space.” The orange cat was not satisfied with his name. He was a dignified divine beast but this name was so strange, it was no good at all.
When Su Tang heard what the orange cat said she reached out and patted it. Seeing its eyes squint comfortably, Su Tang smiled and said, “Please, Xiao Four.”
Then, without waiting for the immortal beast to protest, Su Tang left the space. Su Erlu was still snoring so Su Tang slipped back into bed without incident and went back to sleep.
At dawn the next day, Su Tang and Dalang were rudely awakened. “Get up quickly! Don’t waste time and miss the time to offer sacrifices to the River God or just see how I will deal with you!”
Madam Zhao was very distressed by the eggs and rice the sister and brother pair had eaten yesterday. And when she happened to see some egg shells on the floor of the barn when she came in just now she got even angrier.
Su Tang, who just woke up, frowned and glanced at Madam Zhao and their stepmother, Madam Wu, who looked like she was watching a joke coldly from the door. “We can get up by ourselves,” she said in a cold voice. “Now that it’s come to this, do you still think we can run?”
“I don’t think you have the guts!” Madam Zhao snorted, “Hurry up, don’t waste the auspicious hour!”
Su Tang ignored her and turned to help Dalang put on his clothes. She tidied him up and carefully explained to him, “Remember I told you, hold this in your hand and eat it when I tell you to eat. Do you believe that I will not let you die?”
Dalang looked at the glittering and translucent candy in his hand and nodded. Then he looked at Su Tang, “Sister, please don’t die.”
Before, when Su Dani smashed herself on the wall it had a great impact on Dalang. Now it was only two days later so the child didn’t have any sense of security. Su Tang felt a little distressed. She nodded quickly. “No one will die. In the future, your sister will let Dalang learn to read and take the exam to be a big official.”
When Da Lang heard his sister say so, he nodded up and down, “OK, Dalang will be a high-ranking official in the future!”
After all the arrangements were made, Su Tang came out holding her brothers hand. When she came out, she saw that Old Lady Huang had also arrived. This Old Lady Huang was a famous witch who lived nearby. If anything bad happened in the families of the villagers nearby, they would come and look for her.
As soon as Old Lady Huang entered the doorway, she happened to see Su Tang and Dalang coming out hand in hand, with a smile on her face she said. “The Su family is really sincere. These children both chose to serve the River God on their own. In the future, the Su family will enjoy good fortune and endless blessings.”
This witch had always made her money by bluffing people, and calling things white when they were clearly black. So right now she was spouting all kinds of exaggerated words. But when Madam Zhao heard those words her face brightened a little. “How could we think so much? We just want our child to hurry up and get better soon.”
Old Lady Huang was very clever and as soon as she saw Madam Zhao’s expression, she knew what the other person was thinking so she immediately said, “That’s natural. With the protection of the River God, I’m sure he will wake up right away.”
After she said that, Old Lady Huang felt a chill on her back. When she looked behind her, she saw the little girl’s eyes staring at her coldly.
*‘小四儿’ or xiao si’er or xiao four or maybe little four, who knows! But in memory of Xiao A (and also because I’m lazy) I’m calling it Xiao Four.