Su Tang couldn’t help but gasp. This wasn’t what she wanted, ah~, she wanted to find a teacher for her brother, not for herself.
“What’s the matter?” When Song Yi saw that Su Tang didn’t answer his question, he asked again.
Su Tang sighed in her heart before responding, “Yes, my father is dead. At present, there is only my brother and me in my family. My brother is six years old and he’s very smart. Actually, after the Spring Festival, I’m planning to send him to study in the academy. After he takes the exams and becomes the top scorer, I’ll be able to borrow some of his light.”
Su Tang couldn’t just say that she already knew Song Yi’s intentions, so she quickly tried to promote her brother.
“You think that the top scorer in the imperial exam is something that can just be picked up off the ground for nothing?!” Song Yi really didn’t know what to say. She was a girl from a small place, so it was fine if she was a little less knowledgeable, but did that excuse talking nonsense?
“No matter how hard it is, my brother will be able to do it. He’s smart, so I’m sure he’ll succeed.” Su Tang said, while thinking Don’t you want to consider changing disciples, old man?
“Fine, then I’ll see how he takes the top spot in the exam. Anyway, you want to make clothes for me and make some money, right?” Song Yi didn’t care about Su Tang’s younger brother at all. After all, in his eyes, if he liked someone then that person was good in his eyes, but it was useless to mention someone he didn’t know in front of him.
Su Tang could clearly see what he was thinking, so she could only answer, “Yes. Does this mean you agree Master Song?” You’d also better agree to accept my brother as a disciple, Su Tang thought silently.
Song Yi nodded, “If you acknowledge me as your teacher, I will allow you to make clothes for me.”
“Master Song, you see, is it possible to change this request a little bit? For example, you could take a look at my brother first…” Su Tang tried to struggle.
She had only wanted to make some money, and that was already something not very easy, but now someone wanted her to study on top of that? More importantly, how many years had it been since she graduated from college? Wasn’t she done with school already? But, unexpectedly, there’s a person who still wants her to study? Why was it like this, ah~?
Song Yi didn’t wait let her finish that sentence, he just stared at her with a deep gaze and hummed coldly, “Hmm?”
Su Tang instantly knelt down, “Disciple Su Tang greets Master, greetings and salutations*!”
Song Yi: ???
Su Tang: …what did she just say?
She knelt down and kowtowed to acknowledge him as her master and then she was brushed out the door with two pieces of cloth that Pengmo had pushed into her arms. When she dazedly returned home, a thought occurred to her and she asked aloud, “Have I sold myself off?”
The orange cat rolled its eyes so far back that you would wonder if its pupils hadn’t just flown away, and it said, ‘You just realized it now? Also, you were sold quite cheaply.’
Rewinding to two hours ago, when Su Tang had just shouted ‘greetings and salutations!’ in front of Song Yi.
Pengmo watched from the side wide-eyed and Song Yi almost spit out the tea in his mouth. He shuddered and felt amazed that he, Song Yi, who had never lost his cool even in front of the emperor, nearly lost his composure in front of a little girl.
He looked down and saw Su Tang was kneeling there and wearing an incredulous expression. The little girl’s whole face was wrinkled up as if she was terribly shocked by what she had just said, and her mind was obviously a million miles away, so Song Yi gave a stern cough.
“Hmph, that’s good then. From now on, you will be this old man’s disciple. Tomorrow you will come here to study. Pengmo, take two pieces of cloth from the warehouse and give it to Tang Tang. She can take them back and make me two sets of winter clothes. And Tang Tang, from now on, you will be responsible for cooking.”
Su Tang looked up, “Ah?”
Song Yi smiled kindly. “Good girl, although you don’t have a father, with your master here, I can make decisions for you. In the future, you can follow master to study and learn. Master knows that Tang Tang’s family situation is not very good, so I won’t ask you for the usual tuition of hundreds of taels of silver. Instead, you can just make clothes and cook for master from now on.”
Su Tang wondered if she heard wrong, so she said “What was that?”
What did he mean by making clothes and cooking for him?
Was there something wrong with her hearing? Did she hear it wrong?
*okay so this is also the title and I localized it (badly). The actual phrase used is ‘Wan Fu Jin’an’ / 万福金安 which I looked up and found to be a particular kind of respectful greeting used in court etiquette in ancient times. But I wasn’t able to find any sort of ‘proper’ English translation for it so eh.
I mean the joke it that Su Tang gets intimidated into instantly bowing down and acknowledging him as her master / greeting him, without really intending to do that and I think that still comes across even with my butchery of language.