Su Tang knew that Madam Qin’s offer was well-intentioned, but she didn’t want to let her relatives work outside in this cold weather on her behalf. And, in fact, what she had just been saying to her brother wasn’t a lie either, she had really been planning to build a new house sometime after the New Year.
The two of them were already the successors of Su Laochaun’s household so, even if they ended up living somewhere else in the future, Su Tang would never abandon the place where his old house was. That was why she had long been planning to have a new, bigger, house built on this spot, and at the same time she would go out to retrieve the bones of Su Yonghe and his family so that they could be properly buried.
By that time, she would make sure no one would question her or her brother about the source of their income anymore. Also, since they now needed a place to live, they would naturally have a good excuse to build a new house after the New Year. Since that was the case, Su Tang didn’t want to have her well-intentioned relatives help rebuild a house for her now when she was planning to build it again a little later on.
“What do you mean by that, Sister Tang, which man in our village stops working because of the cold?” Su Yongshun quickly disagreed. He really didn’t feel that asking his sons to go over and help repair Su Tang’s house in the snow was too much, or even particularly out of the ordinary. After all, they were all from all peasant families, and they were all used to working even when it was cold outside.
“Brother Yongshun you misunderstood me. In fact, Su Nuo recently found a master who is teaching him in town, and his master has even provided us a place to live. There have been many times when his master has urged us to come and live in town but, because I need to go fishing on the river every day, and since our parents’ home is here in Sujia Village, we’ve been continuing to travel back and forth every day until now.”
Su Tang tried to explain everything to Su Yongshun and his family while leading them away from the collapsed house, “However, now that the house is like this, I think it’s for the best that my brother and I go and live in the place his master prepared and treat it as a temporary residence. After all, we can’t live in a house that is collapsed.”
“And, actually, I’ve been thinking recently that it would be good to wait until spring comes and the weather warms up a bit, and then directly build a new house while, at the same time, going out to retrieve our brother and sister-in-law’s remains so that they can be reunited with our parents. I intend to fulfill my father’s last request no matter what.”
For the moment, Su Tang blurred the truth a bit and didn’t mention that ‘Su Nuo’s master’ was actually her master, but she did properly explain her plans for the spring.
Su Fu’an and Su Fuhua were worried that their parents or their wives might fall because of the snow, so, because the situation wasn’t so urgent anymore, they took their tools off of their shoulders and shoveled out a path ahead. Because of that, the family was able to move through the snow much more easily on the way back, and by the time Su Tang had finished explaining everything they had more or less arrived at Su Yongshun’s doorstep.
The elderly couple were very excited when they heard that Su Nuo had found a master in town and that the two siblings had plans to rebuild the house and retrieve Su Yonghe’s remains soon.
Su Yongshun grabbed Su Tang’s hand and asked emotionally, “Sister Tang, are you telling the truth? You really plan to go and pick up Yonghe and his family at the beginning of spring?”
Su Tang nodded firmly. “Yes. Back when my brother and I were first adopted you told us about our father’s final wish so, as his children, we definitely have to do our best to fulfill it, and we’ve been thinking about how to do it ever since.”
After a pause, Su Tang continued, “So don’t worry, brother, sister-in-law, I know clearly what I need to do in my heart.”
Madam Qin and Su Yongshun hadn’t expected Su Tang was really so capable. Of course, everyone could see that she and her brother had been wearing much better clothes these days than they did in the past, and that they had both put on weight. From a glance, it was easy to tell that their days were better now than before, but it was still unexpected to learn that Su Tang had really sent her brother to study in town like she said she would and that she was even planning to build a new house.
However, despite Su Tang’s words, Madam Qin still invited her inside once they arrived at the house. “Even if you don’t need to repair the house because you plan to go and live in town for the winter, you shouldn’t leave right now. It’s still not even dawn yet. Come and warm up at our house first and later when the sun comes out, you can go back and take anything you can still need from your house.”
Right now, it was still dark outside and the snow was still coming down heavily, plus Su Tang and her brother were both small children, so Madam Qin really wouldn’t feel at ease if she sent them to walk into town like this.
Su Yongshun agreed with his wife, “En, listen your sister-in-law and I this time.”