“Anyway, you want me to invest in you, so that you can sell more of that toffee, right?” In the end, just who was Song Yi? He was someone who had spent years fighting with that group of old men in the capital, so he wouldn’t be stumped by something like this.
Su Tang was a little fox, but as soon as she had opened her mouth in front of him he had immediately seen what she wanted to do.
Obviously, the little girl needed money! Actually, ever since he had found out how much this little girl loved money, Song Yi had prepared some money ahead of time, and he had been eagerly waiting for this day.
So now Song Yi was so happy that he wanted to laugh in his heart. Finally, the day that he had been waiting for had arrived, ah!
Su Tang couldn’t know what the old man was thinking, but she could see that smug look on his face.
However, Su Tang wasn’t the type to just let someone feel smug, so after hearing his question she replied: “Well, kind of… in a sense… sort of… something like that…”
Song Yi had known from the start this wouldn’t be easy, but he had a trump card this time. He was the one with the money! There was no way that this little fox didn’t want to make a deal with him today. All that in mind, he just looked at Su Tang with great interest, waiting to see what she would say.
After spouting a bunch of uncertain words, Su Tang finally said, “That’s not quite right, master. Rather, I hope you can lend me some money and I will pay you back in three months.”
As a matter of fact, Su Tang really had come to borrow some money. From what she could see, there was just no other way. She really wanted to start making money now, but she didn’t have enough money in her hands to even begin. Thus, after taking stock of all the people she knew, it could be seen at a glance that Song Yi was the only person she could go to for help. In order for her to be able to really set sail in the world of business and develop her little rowboat into an aircraft carrier, she had no choice but to borrow from Song Yi.
However, Song Yi could see that Su Tang had the ability to learn more so, in order to try to get her to learn more he had been constantly trying all sorts of hard and soft methods in recent days. Considering their usual interactions, Su Tang knew it wouldn’t be easy for her to borrow money from her master. In fact, perhaps Song Yi had even been waiting for just this moment, when she was in a situation where she would have to open her mouth first.
Thus, even before she had come here Su Tang had long considered how this conversation would go, and that was the reason she hadn’t just asked to borrow money directly and had instead made many detours. After all, if she had really just directly opened by asking for a favor, she would have completely surrendered the upper hand to Song Yi! She had to at least try her hand at acting pitiful for a while first.
It didn’t matter if Song Yi bought into her acting or not, it was a matter of showing the proper attitude.
“Child, I am your master, a little money isn’t much to me so you needn’t worry, but if you want to borrow something you have to open your mouth to ask for it first. And, for instance, there’s the Comprehensive Mirror in Aid of Governance*…”
Song Yi had long been waiting for this day, ever since he had really gotten a grasp on this girl’s talents. After all, although she had agreed to worship him as her master and was properly following him to learn, it was obvious that she wasn’t giving it her full effort at all. She was so talented that Song Yi often felt that if he said two words where one would do, he was just saying too much and wasting his pupil’s time.
Su Tang was indisputably a born genius and she even learned things faster than Pei Xuan had, who had been the smartest disciple he had ever taken before. Of course, speaking frankly, Song Yi could tell that Su Tang just wanted to live a comfortable life and had no desire to pursue fame or the greatness of a scholar.
He knew it, and it wasn’t like he couldn’t understand it, but Song Yi really couldn’t help himself. Even though she didn’t have any ambition, he really couldn’t bear to watch Su Tang waste her talents and brains. He wanted nothing more than to teach her everything he could, if only to see how much the little girl could achieve if she really applied herself.
But it was a pity that Su Tang paid no mind to his thoughts, and seemed to solely focus all of her energy on making money. However, thanks to this, Song Yi also knew that he didn’t need any other tricks. Thus, now that the day had finally come that the little fox was coming to him with a request, he couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask her to follow him seriously and put more effort into her studies in exchange.
Of course, Su Tang knew that he would make this request, but she would never agree. Learning was something great, and people who devoted their lives to learning were great people, but she had no desire to be great. She was more of a pragmatist, she just wanted to work hard and make enough money to live a good life. Enjoying life was the goal in itself.
The life of an academic just wasn’t suitable for her. She lived her life by a very simple principle: Does it make her happy, or unhappy? Didn’t she live life to enjoy it in the first place? Thus, after discovering that studying all the time made her tired and unhappy she, of course, had no desire to continue doing it.
*this is a reference to a real-life book (資治通鑑 / Zizhi Tongjian). Hence the sudden oddly professional translation quality (since it already has an official name in English lol). Also, according to wikipedia:
“records Chinese history from 403 BC to 959 AD, covering 16 dynasties and spanning across almost 1400 years, and contains 294 volumes and about 3 million Chinese characters.”
So it’s a really long document and it comes up a lot in the next few chapters as Song Yi and Su Tang bicker.