Su Tang followed Pengmo inside and was taken to meet an old man.
The old man had white hair and a long beard. His appearance was tidy, but his clothes seemed a little old and worn. When he saw Pengmo come inside with Su Tang behind him, the old man was surprised, “Isn’t that the little girl?”
Then his tone turned a bit stern as he asked, “Why did you bring her here?”
Pengmo hurriedly bowed and began explaining, “Sir, this little one knows that the love between master and your wife is deep and boundless but, after all, it will soon be very cold in Qinghe Town. I’m afraid that the winter clothes we have on hand might not last this winter. I happened to find out that Miss Tang is fairly skillful at making clothes, so this little one asked Miss Tang to make some winter clothes for master.”
“Who told you to go out and make your own decisions?” The old man was a little angry when he heard his servant say such a thing.
Su Tang didn’t bother saying any nonsense. She gave a shallow bow and then said, “Su Tang greets Master Song. Please don’t embarrass Brother Pengmo because of me. Brother Pengmo was just thinking for your sake. In fact, I recently felt that making clothes was too hard on my eyes and I decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore.”
“But Brother Pengmo told me that because you held your wife so dearly you have always refused to wear clothes made by anyone else. When I heard that, I was a little curious. How could there be such a man in this world? That’s why this little girl came to your door today to satisfy my own curiosity. I ask Master Song to forgive me.”
When the old man heard the little girl say such a thing, he couldn’t help but wonder aloud, “Does the fact that there is such a man in this world really surprise you so much? Why do you have such strange ideas in your head at your age?”
Su Tang smiled bitterly. “Master Song, in fact, my brother and I’s mother was weak and she left this world not long after giving birth to us. After that, my father married another woman only half a month later while saying that my brother and I couldn’t be left without a mother.”
“However, ever since our stepmother arrived, our father has never hugged my brother or I even once. On the contrary, we were made to do a lot of work from dawn until dusk, while he and our stepmother would pamper our stepmother’s daughter all day.”
“Later, our stepmother gave birth to a son and barely a month went by before our own father and our grandparents both told us that we had an adverse fate and that, in order to save the life of my third uncle, they planned to offer my brother and I up as sacrifices to the River God.”
“That day, I begged my father on my knees all night long, but he didn’t even look at me once. Only then did I understand that when a person has a stepmother, they also have a stepfather. Only then did I understand that men were actually this kind of creature.”
“I always thought all men were like this, so when Brother Pengmo told me the story of Master Song and his wife, it made me feel a bit nostalgic and a bit curious.”
“Maybe I just wanted to see with my own eyes that not all men in the world are like that. I thought that, perhaps, only my father is like that.”
Su Tang had decided to say all that because she could see that, although this old man was not very lively, he was dressed very extraordinarily, and she could feel his overpowering aura even though he was just sitting there in this small courtyard.
While she had been walking here, she had glimpsed Master Song’s study and had seen books, calligraphy, and paintings inside. Su Tang didn’t actually know much about calligraphy or painting, but basically she could tell from a single glance that this old man was on a much higher level than the teachers that worked in the academy in town.
When she saw that, she had decided on her strategy in an instant. In these ancient times, it was already something very difficult just to be able to study, but it was even more difficult to achieve good results on the Imperial Examinations. Without a good teacher, a person might not be able to make any difference even if they spent their whole lifetime.
Su Tang herself did not have the ability to help Su Nuo, and she also couldn’t find him a good teacher. In the past, she had vague plans of visiting a bigger town and trying to find a good teacher for him but now she found someone who was obviously on a much higher level right in front of her eyes. If she didn’t scheme a bit here, she would be an idiot.
That was why Su Tang opened her mouth and started to speak. After all, if she had just let this Master Song continue talking, he might have directly sent her away. But it was impossible for her to let herself leave so easily. First, she just had to find a topic that they could discuss, and then they could slowly go from there.