See his ingratiating behavior, Su Tang coughed and said in a low voice, “Dog leg!”
The orange cat quickly replied aggrievedly ‘I am a Divine Beast, okay? I am not a cat, let alone a dog!’ (tl note: so they call people who act overly like lackeys/underlings/henchmen 狗腿 or ‘dog leg’ in Chinese. Usually, I would localize it a bit but I left it as is here so the orange cat’s joke would work.)
Su Tang just smiled and shook her head. Then she put on her best impression of Luo Xingchen and said, ‘Anyway, just follow behind this young master.’
The orange cat made a sound of agreement and then jumped onto Su Tang’s shoulder. Thus, one person and one cat that no one else could see returned to Qinghe Town together.
The odd pair quickly made their way over to the west side of town and found a certain shack.
“Are you Pockmarked Zhang?” Just as Su Tang was arriving, she happened to meet a man who looked to be in his thirties as he was coming out of the shack. His face covered with pockmarks, and he looked very ferocious.
Su Tang had specially found some red clothes made with fine fabric for her little excursion today. Because the west side of Qinghe Town was basically a slum where all the people on the lowest rungs of society lived, by dressing herself so flamboyantly it would actually make the people there warier of trying anything. After all, when had they ever had such a well-dressed young man visit the area before? They would have to wonder if she was brave and had the backing to protect herself, or if she was just stupid?
Thanks to this uncommon sight, many of the residents were following Su Tang with their eyes, curious to see what she would do. However, when she spoke, Su Tang deliberately lowered her voice and, thanks to her figure, she looked to be just a little boy, so her disguise wasn’t exposed even under all the scrutiny.
Meanwhile, Pockmarked Zhang found what looked to be a rich young master standing on his doorstep and asking for him by name, so his bad temper was immediately provoked. He shouted fiercely, “What are you looking for, I, your Grandfather Zhang for? If you’re just wasting my time, then quickly get out of here.”
Su Tang’s eyes narrowed. As she watched the man instantly start cursing out vulgarities and sending spittle flying everywhere, she felt a bit disgusted. She withdrew a step to dodge the spit and then replied, “I happen to have a job for you. Do you want it or not?”
When Pockmarked Zhang heard this, he calmed down a bit and looked over at Su Tang appraisingly. This rich young master looked to be very young, maybe only six or seven years old. In other words, he was just a child. Could a child really have some serious enough business that they needed to look for him?
“What do you mean?” Pockmarked Zhang didn’t quite believe it, so he asked doubtfully.
“Word on the street is that you’ll do any job if there is enough money involved. I’ll pay you three hundred copper coins, and all you have to do is beat a man up for me. You don’t have to be too overboard about it, just make it so he can’t get out of bed for two or three weeks.”
Su Tang directly stated her purpose. As soon as Pockmarked Zhang heard “three hundred copper coins”, his eyes lit up with excitement. However, a moment later his rationality returned and he looked suspiciously at Su Tang, “Why do you need someone beaten up?”
“Hmph, who let that lowly person called Wu Yong make this young master feel so unhappy? It’s only obvious that someone should teach him a lesson, and if my own servants weren’t too weak for the job, then I wouldn’t even bother to find you. Anyway, all that aside, what do you say? Do you want the job?”
Su Tang perfectly played the role of a rich dandy while at the same time pressing for an answer. Pockmarked Zhang’s eyes narrowed. Although this little brat wasn’t very old, his tone really wasn’t small at all. Thinking that this was just the behavior of a young master from a rich family, he couldn’t help but roll his eyes. After a moment, he countered: “Since the young master wants to teach him a lesson, why don’t you give me a silver or two instead, and I’ll go break his legs for you?”
“This…” Su Tang was secretly somewhat surprised by Pockmarked Zhang’s ruthlessness, but she reacted quickly and put on a show of looking hesitant on the surface.
Sensing weakness, Pockmarked Zhang snorted and said, “What, are you afraid?”
“I have nothing to be afraid of.” Su Tang still remembered the persona she was playing, so as she responded she deliberately tilted her head upward arrogantly.
Pockmarked Zhang was originally a ruffian who would dare to do anything for money, and when he found out that this ‘job’ sprouted from a small conflict between the young master in front of him and some waiter, he was more than willing to take it on. After all, there were no complicated circumstances that could implicate him when the opponent was merely a waiter from Fuxing House.
However, considering that this young master was just a small child, he decided to try to fool some more money out of him, which was why he had quickly jumped to offering to break Wu Yong’s legs.
And, after seeing Su Tang’s reaction, Pockmarked Zhang felt even more confident. He rolled his eyes and said, “Well, if you’re not afraid, then just give me the money and I’ll take care of it for you.”
Su Tang had known from the start that this sort of ruffian would be difficult to work with. They had barely started, but he was already talking big and acting really unreliable. Listening to him, he sounded less like a professional displaying his skills and more like an adult trying to fool a child. Su Tang couldn’t help but sigh internally.
tl begging corner: