Seeing her act so polite Su Tang hurriedly said, “Sister-in-law, don’t be so polite. Rather, we are very grateful to Brother Yongqiang and sister-in-law. Today I happened to catch two carp in the Qing River. Brother and sister-in-law should know that Xiao Nuo and I need to show filial piety to our parents during this period, which is why we can’t eat these fish ourselves. Because of that we really wanted to bring some over so that your family could have a taste.”
Even though Sujia Village was very close to the Qing River, the people in the village mostly lived difficult lives. The current of the Qing River was very rapid which made fishing both difficult and dangerous. It made it so that the people who had the ability to fish would rather bring their catch into town to sell for money than eat it themselves. Because of the value of fish, very few of the villagers would be willing to eat their catch.
Grass carp meat could sell for around three copper coins a jin. Su Yongqiang was the head of the Su family so he was doing pretty well for someone living in Sujia Village, but even his family wasn’t wealthy enough to eat fish every day.
The grass carp Su Tang was carrying had been produced by the fish pond inside her space so each carp weighed exactly three jin. Plus, they had meat that was uncharacteristically tender and tasty for carp, so she especially came to give some fish to Su Yongqiang. On the one hand it was to express her gratitude, while on the other hand it was to express the attitude of her and her brother.
Sure enough, both Su Yongqiang and Madam Zhou’s eyes flashed when they heard Su Tang’s words. Because Su Tang and her brother were still so young and Su Yongqiang had never taught them the proper mourning rituals, he hadn’t expected anything. After all, mourning rituals to show filial piety were not something that a person knew from birth, rather, they were something that were passed on as rules by the parents.
Which was why they did not expect that Su Tang would mention that she and her brother wanted to show their filial piety to Su Laochuan like this. Inside, they both felt that this decision of Su Tang’s was really magnificent. This way, after the mourning period was over, no one would be able to say anything about these two adopted children. After all, they really were abiding by the proper rituals for Su Laochuan.
Su Laiwang’s wife, Madam Lu, brought a bowl of water to Su Tang and her brother, “Aunt Tang, Uncle Nuo, have some water!”
Madam Zhou saw Madam Lu coming and asked her to take the fish brought by Su Tang to the kitchen.
Su Yongqiang said to Su Tang, “Since you have this thought in mind I’m sure Su Laochuan will rest in peace. But there is no need for you to thank me, what I did was my responsibility as the patriarch of the Su family. After all, I cannot let people from the family have their lines end. You are a good child, you should live a good life in the future. You will certainly be able to carry on Su Laochuan’s household.”
Su Tang nodded when she heard Su Yongqiang’s words. “Brother Yongqiang you shouldn’t turn down our thanks, it might be your responsibility but my brother and I will both remember your help. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know how long Xiao Nuo and I could have lived.”
Su Yongqiang couldn’t help feeling sad when he heard her say that. These two children were so young. They really weren’t old enough to live on their own, so why did they have to leave home, go to another place, and recognize someone else as their parents?
Su Yongqiang and Madam Zhou felt sorry for the brother and sister pair but there was no other way. Who could be blamed for giving them their adverse fate? Fortunately, Su Laochuan’s family was already gone so they would not fear the fate of the two siblings.
“I’m not the only one who is responsible. Actually if it wasn’t for that boy Fu’an mentioning it, the thought to have you two be adopted wouldn’t have even occurred to me. You should thank him too.” Su Yongqiang said.
Su Yongqiang was the patriarch, so it was his responsibility to deal with these things inside the family, but this time Su Fu’an gave him good advice on what to do. He was also the one who asked Su Fuhua to take people to dive in the river to try to save the children. Though, in truth, Su Yongshun had received great kindness from Su Laochuan when he was younger, which meant that Su Fu’an’s actions could be considered a little selfish.
But, whatever his motivations, he really had helped the siblings a lot, so Su Yongqiang felt like he had to mention him.
Su Tang nodded after she heard what he said. “Well, I actually caught two fish today so I’ll go and visit Brother Yongshun’s house later.”
Su Yongqiang and Madam Zhou both felt that even though Su Tang was not very old she was skillful in her ways of handling matters. She was clear on who to hold grudges against but she was also clear who had helped her before and kept those people in mind. She knew how to repay kindness with gratitude.
When they heard Su Tang and Su Nuo were planning to go to Su Yongshun’s house later, Su Yongqiang and Madam Zhou didn’t say much more and soon they sent the siblings on their way. Su Yongqiang’s family cooked the carp Su Tang gave them that night and the whole family was surprised by how delicious it was.
After Su Tang and Su Nuo left Su Yongqiang’s house, they told them that they were heading home to get the other carp. But, actually, after they got far enough away Su Tang just took another carp from her space warehouse and hooked the fish’s mouth with some grass rope, and then carried it to Su Yongshun’s house.
As the two approached Su Yongshun’s house, Su Tang had a feeling as if someone was looking at them. But when she looked around she didn’t see anyone.
When the orange cat who was following by the side of the road behind Su Tang saw her looking around like that, a conversation bubble appeared over its head, ‘It’s that Chen Xiuxiu.’
Seeing that name, Su Tang raised her eyebrows and smiled thinly. ‘So it’s her.’
‘It seems that your stepmother hasn’t given up yet. Tch, sure enough, the most poisonous two-legged beast is a woman!’ The orange cat sighed.
When Su Tang heard the orange cat sigh she glanced over at it. “The saying is ‘the most poisonous thing is a woman’s heart’. Tch, it seems that the great four-legged Divine Beast is unexpectedly unlearned. But this saying is really boring, as if men are not cruel and vicious.”
The orange cat, who was despised by Su Tang, puffed up indignantly to show that he was very angry and could not be coaxed. Su Tang looked at the cat like this, smiled, and pretended not to see it.
However, her eyes could not help but glance over in the direction of Chen Xiuxiu. It seemed that she was right in her thinking that as long as her and brother did not die, there would always be people who did not feel at ease. In the future it would not be easy for them to live a peaceful life.
But if some people still thought that she was the same as Su Dani from before, if they dared to extend their claws in her direction, then they shouldn’t blame her for snapping those claws off!
The Divine Beast who looked like an orange cat was still feeling very proud until he looked back and saw his master’s smiling face, at which point it felt a cold shiver run up its spine. The owner it picked up this time seemed to be a little black-bellied, ah~.
Su Tang did not know that she was judged to be black-bellied by the orange cat, she just continued to walk with Su Nuo to Su Yongshun’s house.
Su Yongshun’s house was only about 100 meters away from Su Tang and her brother’s new house so it was very convenient to go over. There were four rooms in Su Yongshun’s house, plus a yard surrounded by a fence that had chickens in front and two pigs in the back.
When they heard the siblings knocking at the door, Su Yongshun and Madam Qin* hurriedly asked their daughter-in-law to open the door. Su Fuhua’s wife Madam Tong quickly went and opened the door. When she saw that it was Su Tang and her brother outside, she smiled and said, “It’s Aunt Tang and Uncle Nuo!”
Madam Tong was a small woman with a round face. She had only married Su Fuhua at the beginning of this year. When she saw the siblings she smiled and looked very agreeable.
Su Tang and Su Nuo saw how happy she seemed to be to see them, so when they heard her call their names they nodded and asked, “Are your parents home?”
“Yes, aunt and uncle, come on in.” Madam Tong busily invited the two people in.
At that point Madam Qin and Su Yongshun also came out to the doorway. “Of, so it’s Tang’er and Brother Nuo.”
Su Tang quickly gave the carp she was carrying to Madam Tong. “I wanted to come and thank Brother Yongshun and sister-in-law for everything yesterday. I went to the Qing River and fished these two carp, so I wanted to send one of them to your family.”
Su Yongshun and Madam Qin did not expect that the siblings would bring them something, so they both said, “Come on in. Why are you being so polite? You and Xiao Nuo are still young. You should stew and eat it yourselves, you need more nutrients.”
When Su Tang heard Madam Qin’s words, she smiled and walked into the main room. “Although Xiao Nuo and I are young, we also need to thank you for your help so that we can show our filial piety to our father.”
“And anyway, since our father just passed away, Xiao Nuo and I cannot eat these things. Right now we must properly show our filial piety, but our days are still long. What good things won’t we be able to eat in the future?”
*I suspect this is a typo, or maybe the author changed their mind on the name, but I really can’t be 100% sure. In chapter 10 this guy was introduced with his wife in this line:
Meanwhile in this chapter he’s introduce with his wife again in this line:
a.k.a he’s with ‘秦氏’ (qin shi) this chapter and with ‘李氏’ (li shi) in chapter 10
And while I don’t know enough Chinese grammar to properly understand the nuances here I feel like the author must have just typoed or changed the name from ‘李’ to ‘秦’… maybe?
Since she is still Qin in the next chapters I actually went back and edited chapter 10 to change Li to Qin. I’m gonna stick with that unless it becomes obvious that it’s wrong.