Assassin Farmer Chapter 28
Chapter 28: Scraps
"Madam, thank you." After Su Shuilian finished making cotton pads during the night, she gingerly came downstairs the next morning and slowly made her way to the innkeeper’s wife to thank her.
"No no, no need to be courteous." The innkeeper's wife was also very polite, especially after their dogs had subdued her two reckless and intemperate children. Her attitude towards Su Shuilian was much more warmer compared to others.
"If Miss needs more, just ask, because I still have some. No need to be polite." Although the innkeeper's wife did not know why Su Shuilian needed cotton, she was careful not to pry to maintain the privacy of their customers. What the customers did not want to share, they naturally would not pester about it.
"Thank you, madam." Su Shuilian smiled as she nodded.
From the cotton the madam had provided, she had been able to make six pads. Compared to the ones that she had used before, without the absorbent paper, they were less effective. Still, it was at least much better than just thin fabric. Since last night, she had changed it once and it had yet to leak.
She washed the first cotton pad that she used before putting it in the sunlight next to the window. Because of the bright sun, it dried in just half a day. It was possible to re-use these pads, but after several uses, the cotton in the pad would become stiff and would need to be fluffed up by opening the pad.
Anyway, Su Shuilian was very satisfied with these pads. After all, the maid who had cleaned her room this morning said that most common women would use pads filled with ashes of plants. The cotton pads that she was using were only affordable by the ladies of wealthy families. When she heard that, she was ashamed. Well, she was unaware of this. She also found it difficult to believe that she could use plant ash in pads.
Su Shuilian clenched her fist. Next spring, she must make sure they plant some cotton in the two acres of land that they have. As for how to grow cotton bushes, after they finished moving into their house, she'll go to a bookstore to buy some horticultural books and read about it. If they wanted to integrate into the town, they must know something about farming. In addition, she doubted that Lin Si Yao, an ex-assassin, would know anything about being a farmer. The farming life will be a long haul with a lot of needs.
Lin Si Yao had been traveling to Fan Hua Town everyday. In the morning, he would leave with a few meat buns to eat at noon with some water. Seeing this, the four carpenters did not dare to go back home and eat. Since their client is like that, how can they think of going back home to eat hot food and soup for lunch? So the next day, each carpenter came with two wuwu tou* for lunch. Their speed also increased each day. It'll be the end of the contracted ten days in three more days. If they don't finish in time, besides the unhappy face that they'd be shown, they won't get their bonuses.
(wuwu tou 窝窝头= steamed corn bun)
Today, several poniangs peeked above the low walls of the house, their mouths quietly opening and closing as they gossiped about something.
"They're just here wanting to discuss about this lumber. Not unexpected. It actually took them seven days to come here. That shows how much they have endured." Feng Laoliu looked over before shaking his head and refocusing on his work.
"Ai, ain't that the woman from Hua House? Even she dares to show up?" When the youngest of the carpenters, Fang Dasheng, who'd occasionally glance over at the crowd saw Liu Shi, he could not help but exclaim out loud.
"Tsk, you are really ignorant. In this town, the Hua House's madam and her daughter-in-law are infamous. You want to find the word 'shame' on her face? That would be impossible!" said the slightly lame Wang Shuifa, the patrilineal cousin of the village head Wang Gengfa, as he worked with one hand.
Usually whenever people wanted woodworking to be done, they would rarely hire him. One, because he was handicapped and two, because he was related to the village elder. If he were to mess up or do an unsatisfactory job, people would be unsure whether or not they should give him a deduction.
It was only because Lin Si Yao requested an additional three skilled carpenters that Feng Laoliu had mentioned him. Otherwise, he wouldn't have suggested him. But it was only when he saw how Lin Si Yao did not complain about his lame arm did he feel relieved.
"What A Fa said is correct. That Madam of Hua House is really shrewd. Even my wife had suffered several losses from her." The last one to speak was Tian Dafu, the neighbor of Hua House. The poniang of his house had a straightforward temperament, so when she had married into the Tian House, she had suffered several losses from Liu Shi. From then on, they never agreed on the same plate (didn't get along).
When Lin Si Yao came out of the right wing room after taking measurements for furniture to be built and heard the whispers of the four carpenters, he raised his brow. He looked towards the knee-high wall fence and at the crowd of women there.
"Uh… Gongzi, do you remember me?" When the Madam of Hua House saw Lin Si Yao come out of the house, she cheekily smiled as she made her way to him.
Lin Si Yao lifted his brow. Out of all the women, how could he not remember her? However, since he had promised Su Shuilian not to hurt others, Lin Si Yao suppressed his urge to throw this woman into the river.
"That uh, gongzi, we uh… saw that gongzi had a lot of wood. After you finish using it for furniture, there surely will be a lot of scraps…. Hurhur… Can you gift them to us?" After being pushed out of the group by the other poniang, Liu Shi stammered out her request as she was forced to speak for all of them.
Scraps? Lin Si Yao inwardly sneered while his expression remained stoic. Turning his head, he asked the four carpenters in a loud voice, "So the leftover timber are always scraps?"
"Gongzi, what kind of joke are you saying? With this much wood, even after finishing what you requested, there'll be several logs left untouched. It's not as they say, that everything will be scraps." Understanding his glance, Feng Laoliu feigned calmness as he replied.
"Very good." Lin Si Yao nodded his head. He then turned to look at the crowd of persistent women. "After five days, you can take them," he said before entering the detached kitchen to take some more measurements.
When the group of poniang heard this, they happily scattered away.
The four carpenters looked at each other, confused as to why Lin Si Yao said that.
It wasn't until evening did Lin Si Yao open his mouth and say to the four who were packing up for home, "I'll extend it to two more days. If you do not complete this within five days, not only will you not get a bonus, you also won't get the remaining wood either."
When Feng Laoliu and the others heard this, they rejoiced. So this meant that if they completed this task within the allotted time, they would get to share the rest of the wood between themselves?
The four as one looked at Lin Si Yao, eyes full of desire.
Feng Laoliu patted his chest as he said "Can do! Can do! Gongzi, do not worry, we guarantee it'll be done! Even if we are not finished on the given day, we'll light a candle and work on it at night!" The other three vigorously nodded their heads, afraid he would take back his words.
Lin Si Yao nodded and no longer paid them any mind. He turned around and disappeared from their sight with a single leap.
"Wah! He really is a martial artist!" Fang Dasheng exclaimed with glittering eyes.
"Yeah ah. Seeing that he didn't bother closing the doors…does it mean…"
That night, the four quickly grabbed some candles from their homes and worked until very late at night. When their wives heard about the reason, they were very supportive and even offered to come and help. Just thinking of the leftover logs, even split between the four of them, it would still be enough to make a large table for each of them. No matter what, they will do anything to get it.