Chapter 17: Trading
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
There had to be an entire turtledove in this bowl. Madam Zhao couldn’t help but tear up. She had cried a lot.
She cried when she was sad and also when she was happy.
Su Sanmei replied from the outer room, “Mother, I have meat to eat. I’m not coming.”
Su Sanlang smiled and said, “Hurry up and eat. Our daughter is worried about you too. I’ll go and fix the traps tomorrow. I’ll catch more in the future. Every time I catch something, we’ll eat a little.”
Madam Zhao looked at Su Sanlang and said softly, “Sanlang, you eat too.”
Madam Zhao picked up a piece of turtledove meat and fed it to Su Sanlang. As he retreated, she said, “Sanlang, if you don’t eat, then I won’t eat either.”
Madam Zhao knew that Su Sanlang had given all the meat to her and the children. He probably couldn’t even bear to take a sip of the soup.
And how could she bear to see this? They were family.
Seeing how determined Madam Zhao was, Su Sanlang had no choice but to eat that piece of meat.
Turtledove meat smelled really good. Even the bones were soft after a long stew.
After dinner, the family washed up and went to bed.
Su Sanlang got up early the next morning to cook and woke Su Sanmei up to help.
When it was done, Su Sanmei went back to sleep.
When Su Sanlang entered the house, Madam Zhao was awake. As if she knew that he was going out, she said gently, “Sanlang, I don’t know much about trade either, but I heard from Eldest Sister-in-law and Second Sister-in-law in the past that you have to compare goods with other shops. Try going to a few more places.”
Winter was coming and the weather would get colder. Madam Zhao only hoped that they could sell for more money.
Su Sanlang was also a little nervous, but he smiled and said to Madam Zhao, “Darling, don’t worry. I know what to do. I’ll go now. You stay at home. If there’s anything, call for the children. They’re obedient.”
Madam Zhao nodded.
Su Sanlang did not want Madam Zhao to worry too much, so he did not delay. He placed the animals at the bottom, placed more than ten catties of chestnuts on top, and carried them out.
Madam Zhao watched Su Sanlang leave and sighed softly. She prayed silently in her heart that the heavens would bless their family.
Su Xiaolu yawned and said to herself, “Sending good luck to Daddy.”
It was dawn when Su Sanlang left the village with the basket on his back and the villagers were still asleep. He looked back in the direction of his home, his eyes filled with many emotions.
However, it was only a glance, and he moved on determinedly. The town closest to the village was called Goathorn, and Su Sanlang was prepared to go to Goathorn to sell the animals and the wild chestnuts.
It was a two hours walk from the village to the town. Only when he reached the town did Su Sanlang learn that they had to pay a fee to enter.
Those who didn’t have money to pay had to make do with what they had, or on credit. There was a big river outside Goathorn, and there was only one way in and out of town. If he wanted to get away with it, he’d have to cross mountains.
If one tried to cross the mountains, they could encounter poisonous insects and snakes. If they were bitten, they would even lose their lives. Therefore, the soldiers guarding the city were not worried about anyone escaping the toll.
When it was Su Sanlang’s turn, he mimicked the others and said, “Officer, I’m from the countryside to sell some wild goods from the mountains. I don’t have any money now. Can I make up for it when I come out after I sell these.”
The soldier guarding the city was a middle-aged man. He looked at Su Sanlang and asked calmly, “What are you selling?”
Su Sanlang answered honestly, “Wild chestnuts and two pheasants.”
“Fine. Just put your thumbprint here and go in.”
The soldier brought a piece of paper to Su Sanlang, who obediently pressed his thumbprint and carried his basket into the city.
There were many streets in the town. Street vendors shouted at the commoners passing by, “Come and eat noodles and fragrant meat buns.”
Su Sanlang carried the basket on his back and looked around. He didn’t approach anyone to ask questions. Instead, he decided to walk around first.
After a while, he had a rough idea.
Like him, there were many people who came from the countryside to sell things, and they were all gathered in a single street. Down the street, one could see many pheasants, hares, and wild fruits.
Many well-dressed women walked past with baskets in their arms. When they saw something they liked, they would ask about the price.
Su Sanlang observed the crowd. Most of the hunters’ prices for pheasants and hares were twenty copper coins a catty. Everyone’s prices were about the same, and Su Sanlang had an idea.
He took out the chestnuts, pheasants and hares and prepared to wait for someone to approach.
At this moment, a person jogged over from afar. Su Sanlang didn’t recognize him, but the people beside him had already stood up with wild rabbits and pheasants in hand. They smiled and said, “Butler Sun, look at my pheasants. I just caught them this morning. Their skins aren’t even broken.”
“Butler Sun, look at my wild rabbit. It’s very fat. Its fur is also very good.”
People surrounded Butler Sun, carrying their prey and smiling.
A person who introduced the wild fruits even stepped forward and handed Butler Sun a peach. He said obsequiously, “Butler Sun, try it. These wild peaches from the mountains are very sweet.”
Butler Sun covered his nose and waved. He glanced around and said, “Move aside. If you dirty my clothes, you’ll have to pay for it.”
The people stepped back in unison, but they still looked hopefully at Butler Sun.
Su Sanlang also came back to his senses. This was the butler of a big family coming out to buy goods. However, he could no longer squeeze in and could only stand there.
Butler Sun did not choose anyone’s things. Instead, he walked forward. The people surrounding him had no choice but to make way.
As soon as the people moved aside, Butler Sun saw the hares Su Sanlang had placed on the ground. He didn’t look impressed at all. His eyes narrowed as he walked forward and said, “I want all of these. Carry them and come with me.”
Joy surged in Su Sanlang’s heart. He nervously stuttered as he tried to sell wild chestnuts to Butler Sun. “Sun, Butler Sun, my wild chestnuts are also very fresh. They dried just right and are very sweet.”
With that, Su Sanlang pulled open the sack at the side so that Butler Sun could see the chestnuts inside.
Butler Sun looked over and said, “It’s not bad. They’re rare. Bring it along. It’s not bad to let Young Master try it.”
After buying Su Sanlang’s goods, Butler Sun didn’t look at the others’ anymore. He turned around and left.
Su Sanlang happily picked the basket up and followed. He didn’t mind if people looked at him with envy. He naturally understood that his presence affected the opportunities of the others.
However, this was just an interlude. After Butler Sun left, others quickly came to buy the goods.
Those who did not sell their prey did not care about being jealous of Su Sanlang. They immediately put on a smile and presented their prey to the buyers…
Su Sanlang, on the other hand, followed Butler Sun away from the noisy street to the back door of a large house. Looking at the good house with green bricks and tiles, Su Sanlang exclaimed inwardly. As he followed Butler Sun through the back door, Butler Sun said, “You look unfamiliar. This is your first time in town, right?”