Chapter 23: Talents

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

“This was pickled by Second and Third sister! They didn’t mean to hide it from you.
Big sister, don’t be angry.” Little sister Su was dizzy from fear when she saw what her big sister was doing.

Big sister didn’t know how to pickle vegetables, so she didn’t let them do it as well.
However, there was nothing to eat at home.
It was too unbearable to bite on dry cornbread all day long, so Second and Third sisters had secretly done some pickling.

Little sister Su’s words shattered Su Wen’s illusion about the original character.

“Second sister, Third sister have never played with little swallows before, so the pickled vegetables are very delicious and don’t smell.”

Looking at little sister Su’s nervous gaze, a superstition held in the countryside came to Su Wen’s mind.
In the countryside of the past, girls had to learn how to make pickled vegetables, noodles, dumplings, and so on before they got married.

The adults all said that if girls caught little swallows, the pickled vegetables would stink.

Therefore, the adults were all watching and did not allow their daughters to touch little swallows.

This was a superstition, and the root of it was that boys were favored over girls.
Boys were mischievous and could cause trouble, climb trees to catch birds or even dig out bird nests.

The girls, on the other hand, could do nothing of the sort.
They could only help with the household chores at home, feed the livestock, and work in the fields when they were slightly older.

“It’s fine, I’m not angry.” Su Wen waved her hand.
“You turn on the fire, I’ll cook the pickles.”

Preserved vegetables were not popular in the countryside.
Firstly, because they were eaten for every meal.
Many ate it over the course of their entire lives.
They were also served without any oil or water, so it was unlikely to be delicious.
However, Su Wen’s method was different.
She didn’t simply take the pickled vegetables out of the jar and place them on the plate for consumption.

Instead, she washed the preserved vegetables with clean water a few times.
After washing out the salt, she sliced it and added a lot of oil into the pot before adding ginger, onions, and chili once the pot had been heated.

The stir-fried pickled vegetables were completely different from before.
Little sister Su plucked up her courage and secretly pinched a little bit of it when Su Wen wasn’t paying attention.
Her eyes suddenly widened in surprise.

Was this…preserved vegetables?

How could it be so delicious?

Su Wen pretended not to see little sister Su’s oily mouth and brought the dinner to the small table under the pomegranate tree.
Su Qing and Su Xiu returned at the same time.
The four sisters washed their hands and sat down to eat.

Su Wen ate slowly as she watched her three little sisters gobble up the food.
They were eating so much that they couldn’t even speak.
So she put down her chopsticks and knocked on the table a few times.

“Knock knock knock!”

The three of them paused at the same time and looked at Su Wen nervously.

“I’m sorry, Big sister.
We shouldn’t have snatched it from you.” Su Xiu lowered her head and apologized, her face red.

Su Wen was speechless.

“I’m not angry, and you guys didn’t snatch mine.” She explained helplessly, before saying in a serious tone, “I just want to tell you that you must maintain good etiquette and manners whenever you eat.
From now on, you have to be strict with yourself.
As your big sister, I have the responsibility to cultivate you into talents and not to let you live a mediocre life and randomly find someone to marry in the village when you’re older.”

Su Qing didn’t know why, but her face suddenly turned pale.

She thought of her mother, who had passed away while giving birth to her little sister.
When her mother was still alive, she would wash them daily and be strict with them.
They were not allowed to grab at rice with their hands, nor drag their chopsticks around the plate when eating.

She had long forgotten many details.
Now that she heard her big sister’s words, she suddenly thought of it, and what followed was shame.
She was only a year younger than her elder sister, but she was far inferior to her.

Su Xiu’s eyes were filled with shock.
“Big sister, can we also become talents?”

“Of course you can.” Su Wen nodded with confidence.
In her opinion, the Su sisters were smart, sensible, and hardworking.
They were all talents.


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