When Pengmo saw these servants gawping at Su Tang, he said coldly, “Before you arrived here, didn’t your master tell you what and what not to do?”
These servants hadn’t thought much, only thinking that seeing such a small girl being treated so respectfully was a fresh and curious sight, but after being reminded they all quickly lowered their heads and returned to their work.
Once inside, Su Tang began to head toward the study but stopped when she saw that her master was unexpectedly meeting with a messenger in the main hall. The person her master was meeting with was a young man who still had traces of boyish features on his face. Seeing that her master was busy, Su Tang didn’t interrupt him, she just continued on toward the study to learn by herself.
A while later she noticed it was almost time for lunch, so she went to find Pengmo and asked: “It’s almost time for lunch, but what should we do about these servants?”
Talking about status, Su Tang was officially Song Yi’s disciple. She was an honorable young miss, while Pengmo was a servant. And ever since Song Yi had accepted Su Tang in, Pengmo had changed his manner to be more respectful to Su Tang. However, while they lived in an era that placed great emphasis on the difference between masters and servants there were, after all, only three people total who usually stayed in the Song residence. Su Tang cooked for Song Yi every day anyway, so adding one more dish wasn’t really any more work, so she usually cooked for all three of them.
Of course, mindful of the status difference, Pengmo could only barely allow himself to eat Su Tang’s handmade food, but he wouldn’t ever eat at the same table with Song Yi and Su Tang. So, considering how they usually did things, Su Tang wasn’t sure how much she should cook when she saw that there were so many extra people today.
“Young miss, you only need to prepare food for the master and yourself. They are all just servants, there’s no need for you to serve them personally. Once they finish their work and go back they’ll be able to find something eat on their own.” Pengmo hurriedly dissuaded Su Tang from trying to cook for those servants.
After all, he himself always felt very uneasy eating Su Tang’s food so there was no way he would ask her to cook for this group. In fact, he had even told Song Yi before that there was no need for her to cook ap portion for him, but Song Yi had just said it was boring to only have two people taste a dish, which was why he reluctantly ate the food she made for him.
However, he was very aware that this behavior wasn’t appropriate when considering their statuses. And today, when there were so many people around, there was no way he would dare to ask Su Tang to tire herself out by cooking for them all. After all, she was his master’s disciple, so it would be strange for her to cook for the servants!
Su Tang caught the key point in Pengmo’s response and felt a little surprised. She couldn’t help but ask, “They’re going to leave again today?”
Those men all looked weary and travel-worn but they planned to immediately leave again without staying even a single night to rest?
Pengmo nodded. “In fact, they should have been here much sooner but it seems they were delayed. Unfortunately, it looks like they won’t be able to return before the new year as they intended even if they rush back right away.”
Song Yi had been teaching Su Tang many things these days, but he still hadn’t ever specifically clarified his own identity to her. Of course, thanks to the orange cat, Su Tang already more or less knew, so when she saw these people arriving and leaving in such a hurry, she had some ideas. For instance, if you told her that a distinguished personage like her master had decided to settle down in a small place like Qinghe Town just for the sake of his affection for his late wife, she would never believe it, no matter how deeply affectionate they might have been.
Su Tang vaguely understood some things in her heart, so she decided not to ask any further, she just smiled and said, “I see.”
Pengmo had expected that Su Tang would ask more, so he was surprised when she decisively ended the topic. He nodded slowly even as Su Tang turned away and headed toward the kitchen to begin cooking. Watching her, he couldn’t help but shake his head. It seemed that the thoughts of masters and servants were truly in different realms, after all, even a peasant girl like Miss Su was hard to see through.
Meanwhile, Song Yi had heard out everything the messenger had to say. He fell silent for a long moment before slowly replying, “You’ve worked hard in coming all the way to this place. However, I don’t have anything more to say to them. I’ve already said the words I needed to say back then. Although the local officials have been working diligently, their work will never bear fruit when certain parties are siphoning benefits away from the top.”
After Song Yi spoke, the messenger saluted and agreed. Song Yi solemnly looked down at the letter the messenger had delivered for a long moment. Eventually, he said, “Anyway, go down and help Pengmo move the things for now. Come back in a little while.”
The messenger respectfully agreed, gave a final salute, and then withdrew to go help Pengmo.
tl begging corner: