Su Nuo also ate a bit of Su Tang’s melon before heading to bed. Even though it was winter, the little guy showed no surprise when he saw this kind of fruit that could usually only be found during the summer in his sister’s hands.
After all, there was an omnipotent ‘River God’ who could carry the pot for Su Tang all year round, so anything could be justified.
In the end, Su Tang had only asked about the gossip in Sujia Village because of all the hustle and bustle it had stirred up, but in reality, she didn’t care about it too much. Despite the excitement outside, she and Su Nuo just kept to their usual everyday rhythm. In the mornings, Su Tang would bring Su Nuo to the small courtyard in town and have him continue his studies, teaching him what she could before taking Zhang Cuilan and Baohe to make more soap.
Then in the afternoons, Su Tang would leave to go study with Song Yi in the Song residence while Su Nuo continued to practice by himself, and then the both of them would head back to Sujia Village in the evening.
Meanwhile, after she heard that piece of news from Chen Xiuxiu, Madam Wu found an opportunity to head into town the very next day, where she went to visit her brother who worked in town and said a few words to him. After that, she returned to Sujia Village, and everything seemed to return to calm.
Time slowly went by, and soon it was the end of October and the ice on the Qing River was getting thicker and thicker. Su Tang estimated that in a few more days she wouldn’t be able to ‘fish’ anymore, and her fish ball business would grind to a near halt with only the small amount of fish that she ‘saved’ ahead of time to sustain it.
One day, after Su Tang spent an hour or so fishing on the Qing River and was heading home, it began to snow heavily. When she finally got home she found that the stove inside the house had been lit and was burning merrily while Su Nuo sat on the nearby kang bed reading with the help of an oil lamp. When he saw that his sister was coming back, Su Nuo jumped up and hurriedly went out to help.
“Well, the snow is certainly heavy enough!” Once Su Tang was inside, the brother and sister pair stood in the doorway and watched the heavy snow that was pouring down from the sky.
“Yes, but at least it isn’t cold. Since we have the kang bed, we won’t get cold anymore.” Su Nuo nodded along when he heard his sister’s comment about the snow, but couldn’t help but make a comment of his own.
After all, in the years before this one, the winters had always been very difficult for the sister and brother pair. The winters in Sujia Village were cold enough that a person could really freeze to death, and back then the two of them could only wear old cotton-padded clothes and desperately try to spend as much time as they could in the kitchen during the winter months. That was because Su Yonggui also had a kang bed, so when the weather got cold he would start to light the stove and keep it lit, which meant that the kitchen was at least a little warm by proxy.
In actuality, it was the late autumn and early spring that were the hardest times for the siblings back then, because Su Yonggui wouldn’t bother to light the kang bed in those ‘warmer’ seasons, and they had no choice but to huddle together in the cold barn.
But for Su Nuo, that all seemed to be just a distant memory now. Nowadays, he and his sister had a new home, and he could light the kang bed whenever he wanted, so it was not cold at all.
“Mhm. And it will only get better in the future.” Su Tang could see through her little brother’s thoughts at a glance, so she reassured him with a smile while patting him on the head.
Anyway, it was already nearly dark, so after chatting a few words Su Tang went inside. When she saw that the little guy was still reading with the help of the oil lamp, she quickly stopped him and sent him to bed. After all, reading like that was bad for the eyes.
Su Nuo was very obedient and when he heard his sister’s instructions he put down his book and lay down to sleep. Seeing that, Su Tang waited for a while and, once she determined he had properly fallen asleep, she disappeared into her space to harvest all the mature produce as usual before coming back out to sleep.
On the warm kang bed, even though there was practically a blizzard outside, Su Tang held her quilt and slept soundly. That went on until she seemed to feel something batting at her face uncomfortably.
‘Get up, get up!’
Su Tang blearily opened her eyes and vaguely saw a big cat face in front of her. She reached out and grabbed at it while snarling. ‘You little ancestor, is it bad for this auntie to get some sleep? What are you trying to do in the middle of the night?’
‘What am I trying to do?! You need to get up quickly! This house won’t last much longer, the snow outside is so heavy that the roof is going to collapse!’ The orange cat was so mad that he headbutted his lazy master as he spoke.
As she saw the small dialogue bubbles popping up one after another, Su Tang first wondered if maybe she was in a dream, but an instant after that her sleepiness cleared away and she jumped up while shouting, “Damn it, what’s going on!?”
‘What are you doing shouting? Run!’ The orange cat was speechless.
Su Tang quickly slapped Su Nuo, who was sleeping next to her, on the head. The little guy was completely blindsided by the sudden attack and he jumped up from the kang bed in surprise while shouting, “What’s is it? What’s going on?”
Su Tang was quickly putting on her own cotton-padded jacket while pushing Su Nuo’s over to him and shouting, “Come with me!”
Su Nuo’s head was still muddled with sleep and, while he was blearily trying to pull his coat on, his sister had already pulled him along and opened the door.
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