At least that was Su Tang’s feeling. In her mind, the discussions and disputes with Song Yi had certainly been the most educational part of her time under his tutelage.
As evening fell, Su Tang left the Song residence and headed home. Then, the next morning, she left the house alone again and headed toward North Street to look for another craftsman.
“Is this Uncle Chen’s house?” Su Tang knocked on a door, and then asked in an uncertain tone when the one who opened the door was a small girl.
When the little girl heard Su Tang’s question, she blinked and replied: “That’s my father, are you looking for him?”
Then she opened the door a little wider and invited Su Tang in while she went to fetch her father. A moment later Chen Shuisheng came out from deeper inside the house and when he saw Su Tang his eyes widened a bit with surprise, “Little girl, you’re looking for me?”
“Well, I’ve heard that Uncle Chen is good at building stoves so I wanted to invite you to come to my house and build a stove for me.” Su Tang directly stated the purpose of her visit.
In this era, people skilled at building stoves did not get work often or consistently so they wouldn’t bother opening shops like a carpenter would. After all, there wasn’t always a fresh supply of people building new houses who needed stoves, and besides, in many smaller places like Sujia Village, the villagers would just build their own stoves without ever seeking help from outside of their own little villages.
However, what Su Tang needed this time wasn’t just an ordinary stove that could be made by piling up a few rocks. Since she was planning to enter the dessert business, she knew she would need an oven. Even if all of the relevant production machines could be unlocked in the Space’s processing plant in the future, she would still at least need an oven to show on the outside.
But as it turned out, it wasn’t that easy to get an oven in this ancient era, so Su Tang had specially asked the orange cat to investigate and find a source for her. In the end, the orange cat found Chen Shuisheng, who was regarded as the best person for making stoves in town and who had made stoves for many of the town’s residents. Thus, she came to his door.
The stove-building business was always sporadic at best, but Chen Shuisheng did do it occasionally to make some money on the side, so when he heard Su Tang’s intentions, he invited her to have a seat inside, “What kind of stove are you planning to build?”
“I just need it built it according to the way I drew it here. Uncle Chen, please take a look and see if you can do it.” Su Tang took out the diagram she had prepared beforehand and passed it to Chen Shuisheng.
Chen Shuisheng took the picture and looked at it. He quickly saw that it was a very strange stove, both relatively larger than most stoves and also strangely divided into an upper and lower section. He had never built anything like this before and he couldn’t help but furrow his brows and look up at Su Tang, “Girl, do you really want to build such a stove? Actually, I don’t think this thing can even be called a stove.”
In his heart, he wanted to just directly say that it was nonsense. After all, this ‘stove’ didn’t even have a place to put the pot, so what could even be done with it once it was built?
“Naturally, I have a use for it, I just wonder if Uncle Chen can make it according to my picture?” Su Tang asked seriously. Even though she had drawn up a diagram beforehand and was “only” making an oven, in reality, it was necessary for her to get some input from a skilled craftsman on the project. After all, obviously, she had never made an oven before even in her previous life, and her diagram was only produced from her memories of pictures of early European ovens she had seen before.
Thus, she needed to find a skilled craftsman to build it for her and hopefully help her avoid any mistakes that she as a layman might have overlooked.
Chen Shuisheng looked at Su Tang’s childish figure and couldn’t help but wonder if this little girl was fooling around behind her family’s back.
Su Tang could clearly see his doubts and felt very helpless in her heart. There was nothing she could do about how she looked, ah, who let her transmigrate into a small loli? It was all the fault of a certain four-legged Divine Beast.
A certain four-legged Divine Beast: Meow! How is this my fault?
“Uncle Chen, please rest assured that you will be well compensated for your work.” Sensing his doubts, Su Tang directly tossed out a firm promise of remuneration. After all, who would bother to quibble about details when there was money to be made?
And sure enough, when Chen Shuisheng heard that he didn’t raise any further objections. Anyway, as long as he was being paid, it didn’t matter to him what the little girl planned to do with her strange ‘stove’ and it wouldn’t be his problem if whatever plan she had failed.
“Well, I estimate it will take two days to build the stove, plus three more days to properly fire it.” Chen Shuisheng seriously studied the diagram before finally giving an estimate.
“I won’t bother Uncle Chen to fire the stove, I just need you to make it.” Su Tang said quickly. After all, she was not going to tell anyone exactly how it was used.
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tl note: idk, it’s hard to bring across the oven vs stove nuance properly. Just know that Su Tang is building a European-style ancient oven instead of the ancient Chinese stoves common to the setting.