Today, Madam Qian had ordered fewer fish balls from Su Tang, which gave her a bit of a shock. It also reminded her that selling fish balls alone would not be enough for what she wanted to do in the long run. Plus, since the weather was getting colder, if the Qing River froze, then she would naturally no longer be able to ‘fish’.
Of course, the soap would also make her some money but, at the end of the day, selling one less item meant one less layer of income.
She had majored in fashion in her previous life, so when she saw ready-made clothes in the fabric store today, she remembered that she could also make clothes. It was just that, ah~, she didn’t how much money she would be able to earn by doing that. If the profit was too low that she just wouldn’t bother.
She had thought it over seriously at one point but, in the end, she actually didn’t have much hope. After all, she clearly remembered that Madam Zhao had come to find trouble and accuse her and her brother of being thieves when she saw them wearing what she suspected were ready-made clothes. And she had assumed that those clothes had cost a mere thirty copper coins.
In reality, the coarse cloth for the two sets of clothes had cost twenty copper coins and they had taken four or five days for Su Tang to make. Which was to say, she would only make ten copper coins of profit for every four or five days of work if she made and sold clothes out of coarse cloth. Obviously, if the margins were that slim, she would just forget it.
That was why when she had asked how much these slightly more expensive-looking clothes cost, she had asked very casually and without any expectations. But when she heard the shopkeeper’s response her eyes suddenly brightened and she asked excitedly, “Wait, how many taels of silver? Tell me, what kind of business is it?”
As it happened, just as Su Tang was talking to the shopkeeper in the fabric store, a certain young man came out of the teahouse not far away, followed by his servant. “Young master, you shouldn’t bother with these people. Where could you find clothes up to your standards in a small town like this? You might as well go to…”
Pei Xuan had just stepped out of the teahouse, his demeanor was leisurely but his eyes were narrowed as if he was annoyed to be listening to Pengmo’s words. As he looked up he happened to see a familiar little girl inside the fabric store across the road, and he couldn’t help but open his mouth and exclaim with surprise.
It had been almost a month since he had last seen her but the little girl’s face seemed to have filled out a little since then, it seemed a bit more white and tender now. The girl was wearing a gray blouse over a black skirt and she still had two small white flowers in her hair. Right now, she was saying something to the shopkeeper in the fabric store across the road.
Pengmo heard his distinguished young master suddenly exclaim with surprise, so he looked up at the fabric store across the road as well. He quickly spotted the girl too and said, “Oh, isn’t that the little girl I saw last time? Wow, she seems almost like a different person. Young master, you have good vision, what a beautiful little girl.”
Pengmo still remembered last time when his master had praised this little girl a bit so he decided to compliment her looks. In the past days, Su Tang had been eating things she hadn’t been able to eat before like milk, eggs, white rice, and noodles. Although she wasn’t eating any meat, or any greasy or fatty foods, she had still fleshed out a little. Now that she wasn’t a skinny bag of bones any more people could clearly see some of her beauty.
Her face was naturally white and healthy-looking, even with a little bit of baby fat. The two hadn’t noticed it because she was so thin before, but now that she had some meat it was obvious that every time she smiled two dimples would appear on both sides of her cheeks. She looked just like her name*, like something sugary sweet.
When he heard Pengmo praise her beauty, Pei Xuan gave him a glare. Which eye of his saw anything beautiful on that girl?
However, he still silently made his way across the street and secretly leaned forward to listen in on what the girl was saying to the shopkeeper.
“My husband’s surname is Wang. Little girl, you can just call me Mrs. Wang*. Two days ago, a noble young master brought us some satin and said he wanted to order some clothes. However, the embroiderer I usually work with doesn’t even dare to touch such a precious fabric so, naturally, she didn’t dare to try to make it into clothes.”
Pei Xuan arrived just in time to hear the shopkeeper saying those words to Su Tang.
Su Tang also quickly introduced herself, “Mrs. Wang, you’re being too polite. My name is Su Tang and I’m from Sujia Village. Could you tell me what kind of requirements the customer had for the clothes? And also how much are they paying for having the clothes made?”
When she asked her questions Su Tang’s tone was very confident. After all, she was someone who had graduated after majoring in fashion design so, when it came to making clothes, she was a professional.
*feel like I might have noted this before but if not – su tang’s ‘tang’ (糖) means ‘sugar’ or ‘sweet’ according to the dictionaries I’ve checked.
*well she introduces herself a Wang niang (王娘) but I’m just gonna use ‘Mrs.’ since I feel like that should be the rough English equivalent in this context? …unless the readers think I should leave it as niang? I’m a bit indecisive heh.
tl note: Hehe this is a fun chapter. Of course, it’s a bit early to be throwing around the word ‘male lead’ but if we disregard that, this sure is a sneaky way to get the FL to make the ML clothes before they’ve even been properly introduced.