Su Yongqiang and Su Yongshun had long heard the commotion outside so they had come out as well. When they saw Niu’er following Su Tang, they exchanged surprised glances and asked, “Tang’er, this is…?”
It seemed that they thought Su Tang had bought a carriage and coachman. Su Tang immediately understood their misunderstanding and clarified, “I’ve been a bit busy recently, so I hired this coachman to take me back and forth to save time.”
Realizing that she had hired the carriage but not bought it, Su Yongqiang nodded. He felt it was much more reasonable this way. After all, a carriage itself was already very expensive, not to mention the cost of hiring a coachman to drive it every day!
Setting that aside, Su Yongqiang and Madam Zhou immediately went forward to invite Su Tang inside to talk. Now that Su Tang was in front of them, they could both finally breathe secret sighs of relief.
At the same time, Su Yongqiang asked Su Laiwang to come over and entertain Niu’er. Niu’er followed Su Laiwang into a side room and accepted a cup of warm water. He politely sat down and waited for Su Tang to be finished with her business. Meanwhile, Su Tang followed her relatives over to the main room.
“Here, sit down, Tang’er. I heard you would be coming over soon, but I didn’t expect you would be here so quickly.” Madam Zhou smiled and led Su Tang to a seat in the main room.
Su Tang followed her inside and draped her cloak over the back of the chair, then sat down. She said, “I went out to run errands, so I wasn’t in Qinghe Town for the past few days. I heard from my brother that you had sent people to find me several times so I was worried there was something urgent and rushed over to see you as soon as I came back.”
Su Yongqiang and the rest all looked at the faint smile on Su Tang’s face. Somehow they felt that this little girl looked about the same as before, but at the same time, there seemed to be something a little different about her.
Madam Lu followed them inside and then immediately ran to the kitchen. Madam Luo and Madam Miao were both already inside, boiling water and getting ready. Seeing that Madam Lu had come in, they realized Su Tang must have arrived and hurried to prepare the tea and bring it out.
Madam Lu went forward to help them prepare. While working, she said, “Just now I almost couldn’t even recognize Auntie Tang. When I first saw her, I couldn’t help but think that she didn’t look like a girl from our small peasant family at all, rather, she looked just like one of those wealthy young misses.”
Madam Miao was a very straight-forward person, and she immediately nodded and agreed, “Isn’t that right though? If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I probably would never have believed that she was the same girl in patchy clothes from last year.”
“Aunt Tang really is capable, but it’s such a pity…” Su Laixi’s wife, Madam Luo, also nodded along with her two sisters-in-law. Today, when she had seen Su Tang, she had also been completely startled by the little girl’s complete transformation.
Indeed, she had changed a lot and now seemed very rich and noble, not looking like a little peasant girl at all anymore. However, when Madam Luo thought of all the hardships Su Tang and her brother had gone through before they could start living a good life, she still felt a bit of sympathy for them.
Madam Lu and Madam Miao understood what Madam Luo was getting at. The three women exchanged glances and then released a sigh together. Maybe it was thanks to their adverse fate that the two siblings could enjoy this kind of good fortune, or maybe it was unrelated, it was hard to say. At any rate, now that Su Tang had returned and wanted to lead the whole Su family to earn money together, it was ultimately a good thing.
The three women didn’t want to let their parents-in-law wait, so after exchanging those brief few words they hurriedly sent the tea over. When they entered the main room, they found that Su Tang was already discussing things with Su Yongqiang.
“Now I have a more accurate estimate of our requirements, but I’m afraid that we will need over a million seedlings raised for our farms. How much money each family will be able to earn will be proportional to how much work they put in. When I spoke to you last time I thought that bringing about a dozen households on board would be enough, but now that the young master has arrived here in person I’m afraid that just a dozen households won’t be sufficient. Therefore, we’ll need to add a few more households, I think a total of twenty should be enough, and we can give any newcomers the same treatment as the others.”
The Luo family had a lot of money and they also needed a lot of seedlings in this phase of their business, so Su Tang wanted to add a few more households. This way, even the Luo family wouldn’t be able to devour all the seedlings alone.
Of course, when Su Yongqiang heard that Su Tang wanted to add a few more households, he was immediately overjoyed. He said, “All right. In fact, while we were screening which households to bring on board we found a few extra ones that are also reliable and tight-lipped. Tang’er, now that you’ve said you need some more, it’s just perfect. However, what do you mean by ‘the young master has arrived in person’?”
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