Around 9 p.m. Su Tang noticed that the orange cat still hadn’t come back yet, so she put away her book and decided to get some rest. As soon as she closed her eyes, the omnipresent light that always illuminated the inside of the space suddenly dimmed in a facsimile of nighttime.
Then, in the morning when she opened her eyes again, the space suddenly became bright again, as if it were daylight. Looking around, Su Tang happened to see the moment when the orange cat quietly slipped back inside. He stood still for a moment at the doorway to shake off a thin layer of snowflakes coating his body before sauntering inside.
“Is it snowing again?” Su Tang walked over and leaned against the door of the cabin with a yawn as she asked about the situation outside.
Finished shaking the snowflakes off, the orange cat jumped up to its little cat shelf and replied lazily, “En, it’s blizzarding out there again.”
“Is the job done?” Su Tang quickly changed the topic. The weather actually didn’t matter too much. If it snowed, it snowed. At any rate, it wasn’t like their house could collapse again.
The orange cat blinked his big blue eyes at Su Tang, not saying anything. Seeing him like this, Su Tang shook her head wryly and turned around to find a big bowl of fish balls and also a bowl of red jujube milk porridge that she had prepared beforehand, and set it all down in front of the orange cat.
What other cats ate, Su Tang had no idea, but she was painfully aware that her family’s cat was quite omnivorous. He was definitely a foodie cat.
Meanwhile, the Foodie Cat saw that there was delicious food in front of him and quickly ate a mouthful of fish balls. Of course, his mouth was full so he couldn’t speak, but by using his floating speech bubbles he didn’t need to delay his reporting: ‘That Pockmarked Zhang…’
The orange cat couldn’t be seen by normal people, so he had spent the night following Pockmarked Zhang to see what he would do when he suddenly had a hundred copper coins in his hands. As it turned out, his hands would itch whenever they touched that much money, so Pockmarked Zhang had immediately gone off to gamble.
For a thug like Pockmarked Zhang, he was usually a lazy layabout who had no desire to do any actual work. His favorite thing in the world was when money came into his hands despite him not doing anything at all so, when Su Tang paid him a hundred copper coins as a deposit, in Pockmarked Zhang’s eyes, it was basically just picking up money for nothing. He didn’t actually have any plans to do the job she had asked him to.
After all, he had no idea who she was. What if he really beat that Wu Yong up, and then that little boy never showed up the next day? Wouldn’t he have done all that work for a mere hundred copper coins? Thus, from the start, Pockmarked Zhang had no plans to find trouble with Wu Yong.
And besides, with money in his hands, his only thought was to go and enjoy it right away. All that was to say, Pockmarked Zhang had immediately run off to the gambling house with the hundred copper coins right after Su Tang left.
Pockmarked Zhang had always liked to gamble, but his luck had never been very good, and it could be said that he lost eight out of every ten times he played. But, unexpectedly, he seemed to be on a hot streak after entering the gambling house last night, and he won nearly two taels of silver in no time.
After quickly stumbling into all these winnings, Pockmarked Zhang was already seeing red, so he gambled more and more.
As a result, he lost all of the winnings and the money Su Tang had given him and, by the end of things, he was five taels of silver in debt with the gambling house. When the gambling house discovered that he had no money to pay his debt, they had decided to spare him… only after forcing him to write an IOU with five percent compounding interest.
After seeing his own handprint in black ink on the contract, Pockmarked Zhang had panicked. Even a small-time thug like him knew that the gambling house was not something he could afford to mess with.
Actually, Pockmarked Zhang gambled all the time, but in the past, he had usually been more cautious. After all, he knew the consequences of owing money that he couldn’t pay back at a place like the gambling house. Unfortunately, maybe it was how easily the money came to him, but last night his usual caution was nowhere to be found, and this was the result.
Now, when it came to this gambling house, if you didn’t give them their money on time, you might find yourself with a broken arm or leg the very next day. And for a small-time thug like Pockmarked Zhang, just the thought of being crippled was enough to scare him half to death.
After being thrown out of the gambling house, he was desperate. He knew he could never pay back this debt on time, and there was no way he could fight the lenders, so it was looking like he was out of options. However, just as he was about to despair, his encounter with Su Tang from earlier in the day suddenly floated to the front of his mind.
Pockmarked Zhang remembered that Su Tang had easily taken out a few taels of silver when they were talking, so it was certain there were at least one or two taels on that little brat.
And, although Su Tang never identified herself, she had casually given him a hundred copper coins on top of the silver she was carrying around. With all these clues, Pockmarked Zhang felt confident that the young master from earlier in the day probably wasn’t short of money. At the very least, he should be able to cough up the five taels of silver he owed!
Once that thought arose, Pockmarked Zhang began to have all sorts of other thoughts. For instance: If that young master was worth a lot of money, couldn’t he just tie him up and kidnap him? If he pulled that off, how could he be in any shortage of money?!
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