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TL’ed by snowflake_obsidian
Edited by Xia
 阳春白雪; "Spring Snow" are melodies from the state of Chu which are considered to be high art and literature.
Ch 25 – Untitled
Seeing Su Tang's reaction Aunt Sun, was somewhat anxious and frightened. "Du Juan, did I say something wrong?"
Du Juan inwardly sighed. How should she respond to this? Listening to 3rd miss's thoughts, she let fall the qualms of a vile person. Don't tell me that for one's own child, you need to only guard against that illegitimate child? That year for the sake of your own child, you scolded and beat the 3rd miss many times. But 3rd miss, that's not the same with you?
On the road back, Su Tang's facial expression was somewhat not good. Originally she was somewhat merciful toward Aunt Sun, but hearing the final words, the show of pity transformed into hatred.
Xi Que by contrast didn't think much. She just felt pain seeing Aunt Sun, with this fitting sad-looking appearance, now entreat her own young miss. In those days, she also frequently received Aunt Sun's scolding and beatings.
"Young miss, will you be her advocate?" Xi Que inquired.
Su Tang ceased her stride. Her eyes looked admiringly at the luxuriant flowers on the side, and pliantly said, "Can I say no?"
Pausing a bit, she again spoke. "I cannot go out now. You run over to Su Ji for me and call 2nd Liu out. I must pose a question about Su Ji's ultimate state of affairs! Remember, be careful. Don't let others see you!"
Being commanded, Xi Que slipped out the little door.
Returning to the room, Su Tang accidentally discovered Song Shi An sitting on the side of the table, hand holding her previously purchased to-pass-the-time collection of very vulgar forest mountain jokes. Song Shi An felt bored silly and soon afterwards also dexterously escaped to go to the washroom. After that, he simply didn't go back again.
Getting a glimpse of the corners of his mouth with the faint trace of an odd smile, Su Tang blushed with shame. She hurriedly advanced, took the book in his hands, and without extra trouble stuffed another book in his hand, saying, "This is popular literature. You ought to read Spring Snow !
Song Shi An swept his eyes at the book cover, his face blackened. "You want me to read admonitions for women?"
When Su Tang saw the book title, she again hastily took it and said with a hallow laugh, "An error of the hand, error of the hand."
"I never would have expected to actually find this book in your room." The jeering of Song Shi An's mouth intensified even more.
Su Tang rolled her eyes at him and resentfully said, "This old lady doesn't know any calligraphy so it was purchased to keep up appearances! 5 minted coins for one book, would you like a stack?" She wouldn't tell him at that time she saw all her sisters carry this (particular) book, reading it. So, she erroneously believed it was very interesting and therefore made off with a copy!
"Xuan Zi?" Entering the bedroom Su Tang didn't see him, and asked as she exited the room.
"Su Ming came looking for him, so I let him go out to play." Song Shi An replied, smiling. Of the people in this family, his impression about this young uncle wasn't bad. Delicate with handsome features and a polite bearing, it could also be seen that he was sincerely fond of Xuan Zi. Xuan Zi usually didn't have a playmate so this return trip was opportune.
Not waiting long, Xi Que brought 2nd Liu over. Su Tang cast a glimpse at Song Shi An and said, "Do you want to go for a stroll?" Dealing with the household affairs would let this cold noodles see a lot of awkwardness.
But Song Shi An was absolutely still. He just stood at the doorway scrutinizing that middle-aged man. 2nd Liu was ill at ease being examined from head to foot. Heavens knew that in this life the highest official he could see was the county magistrate, (but) in front of his face was the most important highest ranked senior general!
Su Tang saw that Song Shi Ani was yet disinclined and had no intention to cast aspersions. 2nd Liu was taken aside and the inquiry began.
2nd Liu was also an old hand at Su Ji and was properly respectful towards Su Tang. "3rd miss, to speak honestly, Su Ji again declined downhill since eldest aunt took control. It isn't even a month so this really is worrisome. You are asking about the cause for this and probably understand the principal reason. Even if we were to be at Su Ji the next 10 years, ultimately there's no one person managing these matters which simply doesn't make sense! Moreover, perhaps you don't know, a half month ago a new pastry shop opened on the facing side. The taste aside, their prices are cheaper than ours, therefore this business naturally…."
Su Tang looked at the bitter face of 2nd Liu, and knew that he really had a troubled heart concerning Su Ji. She inwardly sighed and said, "Don't talk about anything else for the time being. I ask you, in this period of less than a month, how much silver did Aunt Zhou swallow again from the accounts?"
2nd Liu pondered and spoke, "The eldest wife now doesn't permit me to touch the account books. I therefore don't know the specifics."
Su Tang's anger was unbearable. Didn't this trick cover everything including the false accounts!
2nd Liu continued to speak. "And there's another thing, these past few days all the shop assistants have been insincere. Formerly when you were there, we were like a family. But now….uh, in secret that shop opposite approached several of us and offered high amounts to go over to them….2 young ones have already left. The few of us remaining are old people. To be honest with you, yet…..uh. 3rd miss, it would be good if you want to come back…" realizing this wasn't possible, 2nd Liu repeatedly sighed.
Su Tang felt her heart go cold. Early on she knew that the management skills of her eldest sister's husband were not good at all. She also knew Aunt Zhou ruthlessly made money by improper means. Yet now another pastry shop appeared…don't tell me that Su Ji was done for!
Just at this moment, Xi Que flustered, ran in saying, "Miss, Aunt Zhou is here!"
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