“This small one has asked around and found a source of milk. Also, the quilts in the warehouse are all a little old, so this small one was afraid that they wouldn’t be warm and took the liberty of ordering some new cotton quilts, which will be delivered in two days. In the meantime, Young Miss Su and the young master will have to make do with what we have.”
After hearing what Pengmo said, Su Tang interjected with a question, “Master, did you buy all that for us?”
Song Yi nodded and explained, “Well, since I found out you were adopted into a new family after being offered as sacrifices to the River God I was afraid that you wouldn’t have any suitable clothes to wear. You’re my disciple and you will be busy with studying in the future, so I doubt that you will have time to make your own clothes. Anyway, aside from Pengmo I am the only one living in this residence, so I decided to let Pengmo clean up a room for you in the east courtyard. You can live there in the future.”
Su Tang really hadn’t expected for Song Yi to arranged a place in his residence for them to live, and for him to even buy clothes for her and her brother. If she was being honest, this was the first time she could remember experiencing the feeling of being taken care of by an elder.
“This disciple thanks master for his kind intentions, however every day I have to fish on the Qing River to make fish balls to sell. It will be a bit inconvenient for me to live in town. Even if you are my master, this disciple cannot let go of her livelihood. But from now on, this disciple will come and cook for master every day and work on practicing my writing and furthering my studies in the afternoon. I promise that my work won’t delay my learning.”
Su Tang had a very simple principle. When other people were good to her, she would be good to them in turn. Before, Song Yi had fooled her into acknowledging him as her master, and she had gone home angry. But, in the end, she had decided that Song Yi was just an old man, and she couldn’t really let herself stay angry with someone with some doddering old fool, right? Wouldn’t that just be unreasonable?!
That was why she had come back today and firmly expressed her attitude. However, after that she had found that Song Yi seemed to have really accepted her as his disciple purely out of kindness, and he didn’t seem to have any bad intentions. If she was still angry with Song Yi after knowing all that, then she would really be a heartless and ungrateful person.
However, until now, Su Tang had only regarded Song Yi as a good teacher with good moral character. But now, although she knew that he was a black-hearted and thick-skinned old man, she could also tell that he truly respected her and sincerely considered her as close as family. When faced with this kind of sincerity, Su Tang also became a lot more serious.
All of these thoughts seemed complicated and obtuse, but both master and disciple were smart people, so they both clearly understood what was going on in each others hearts. Which was why when Song Yi saw the little girl responding to him and bowing so seriously, he pulled her back up and replied with equal seriousness.
“You’re at such a young age, so why do you have so many strange ideas? Your parents are gone so I, as your master, have a responsibility to take care of you. The east courtyard has been cleaned up for you and, if you don’t want to live there you don’t have to, but know that if you want to stay, there will always be a place for you.”
In the past when Song Yi taken in other disciples, he had never been so attentive to them. Of course, he had always been very sincere in guiding and educating all of his disciples, but he had never cared as much about any of them as he did about Su Tang. The reason was just a combination of his own age and his current very particular circumstances. At first, he had picked her up as if just finding something to do for himself but, slowly, he ended up putting some of his feelings for his wife and daughter into this girl.
For her part, Su Tang could feel clearly that Song Yi had no intention to make use of her, especially when she saw how Song Yi reacted to her ability to never forgot anything that she read before just now. Although he was very excited for a moment, in the end, he chose not to expose her ability and instead decided to help her protect her secret.
He sincerely thought of what was best for her first and then worked to protect her. Since she, Su Tang, had received this kind of kindness, naturally, she would return it.
“Thank you, master!” Su Tang thanked him sincerely when she heard Song Yi’s promise of a home.
Song Yi said, “From now on, your master’s clothes and three meals every day will be left to you.”
“I knew it. Master laid a trap for me here.” Su Tang snorted. Hadn’t he just bought clothes for both her and her brother? So clearly her craftsmanship wasn’t as important as he pretended it to be.
Su Tang sighed helplessly. This old fox, it would be strange if he didn’t calculate against her at least a little.