The Orphan Ger Who Purchased A Husband - 14
The older boys jumped off the carriage and closed the gates. The couple continued to the stables. One of the younger ones skillfully parked the carriage, while the others came over to start taking care of the horses after the couple demounted. Shen-Ping and Ting-Guang stood in the corner under the shade, as they observed the movement of the boys.
When the horses were settled, Shen-Ping ordered the boys to unload the carriage. The task was completed smoothly and even the youngest of the boys was strong enough to handle the task. They followed the directions of the couple and moved everything into the house. When they returned, they lined up in front of the couple. Their backs were straight, and they look so proud as if they were waiting to be praised.
Ting-Guang arched his brow and Shen-Ping laughed lightly before he returned to his serious look. “Going forward, Ting-Guang and I will be your masters. You may address us as Master Ou-Yang and Master Ngo, don’t ever call me madam.” As he said this, an ugly look passed Shen-Ping’s face before it returned to normal. The memory of the pig calling him madam as a sign of his affection crossed his mind, and for a second he couldn’t keep his emotions under control.
He took a deep breath and tried to calm down. He continued, “Of course, with our acceptance, there must be rules that come with it. One is to always follow our orders. Two, never enter any part of the house with a lock on it, if you find the lock open just report it to us. Three, don’t walk around this place like you own it and never go beyond your means. It doesn’t matter how young you are, if you break these rules, you will be punished.
For now, it’s just you five. However, there might be more of in the future. We have enough rooms for all of you to have your own for now, the servant’s quarters are right over there. Your meals will all be provided along with your clothing. If you do well, you will be given a wage and it can be lowered or raised depending on your behavior. Once you’re finished your work, you can do as you please but don’t go anywhere without letting us know. The older ones must always know where the younger ones are.”
Shen-Ping looked at them and gauged their reaction. He thought to himself and stated, “It seems none of you have names, and I have no intention of giving you my own or my husband’s. So, from today all your last names will be Tu, and starting from the oldest to youngest you will be An, Bing, Chen, Ho, and Jin. Tu An raise the younger ones like they are your blood brothers, and treat them well. If there is anything you can’t handle, then you come to us. Alright follow us, there is work to be done.”
The couple walked ahead in a steady stride and the young boys ran to keep up. They went into the house and the trunks were moved to their respective places. After rinsing their hands in hot water, Tu An and the others went to the kitchen and the other rooms to unpack the things. Shen-Ping and Ting-Guang returned to their room, to unpack their new clothes and personal items. When they were done with them, the boys removed the trunks and put them into the storage room.
Shen-Ping looked at the boys who followed them. He reminded them, “Aside from the rooms that are locked, you’re also forbidden from entering our bedroom and the study. For now, make do with the clothing you have, I’ll buy you new ones later and take some of the food from the kitchen to the servant’s quarter’s kitchen. That should be all for now, you can do as you wish.”
The boys bowed and then walked away. It was only when they went out of sight that the couple could hear their laughter as they ran away.
Shen-Ping shook his head and the couple went to the study room. He sat down and started taking an account. He took account of the day’s expenses and then made a list of the things that would regularly need to be restocked. When he was finished, he set aside a budget, then he took another book to make an account for the things that have to do with the boys, especially their pay.
He double-checked everything and then, he looked at the account book for the rented farmland. He looked up and saw Ting-Guang, who had been sitting not too far from him, with a frown on his face. The other man sat up straight when he noticed the look on his face as if he was waiting for him to speak. Shen-Ping told him about the matters concerning Zeng Ze-Xin and his family.
Of course, he told him nothing concerning his rebirth or the things that could shame him and the original. They agreed that the next day they would head out to deal with those people’s matters. But for now, the couple had been on the road all day and hadn’t had a proper meal since the morning. They got up and went to the kitchen washing their hands with hot water. Shen-Ping looked through the ingredients and the meat they bought.
“After today, we shouldn’t buy any meat I can hunt. There really isn’t any need for me to sell them to get money, so we can keep the meat for ourselves.” Shen-Ping spoke and glanced back to see the other man furrowing his brows. He turned slightly and put his hand that held the knife on his hip. He continued, “Don’t give that look, I’ve been hunting on my own since I was eleven. You couldn’t count the times I almost died, I’m sure you’ve seen the scars. If you want you can tag along, you can come but don’t think of telling me what I can and can’t do. I’ve had enough of listening to others.”
He turned away and continued preparing the ingredients, completely oblivious to the concerned look that passed over Ting-Guang’s face. The man sat there quietly and observed Shen-Ping. He had seen the scars, but he hadn’t thought that the other gained it by doing something so dangerous. He could only frown for a bit before affirming his decision to always follow Shen-Ping.
Shen-Ping worked on the ingredients as the other went to prep the fire for the stove. Shen-Ping glanced over and wished he had the modern stove but as he thought of it he could only shake his head with a sigh. He had spent most of his life trying to survive after being born with a terrible status, though he had learned many things, knowing how to make a modern stove wasn’t one of them.
Shen-Ping went over and poured peanut oil into the pan. He swished it around and covered the pan before tossing in the meat, and he sprinkled the seasoning and let it fry through and then threw in the other ingredients. Even though Shen-Ping would never say he was a chef, after years of cooking for himself and for a certain pig, he had mastered his cooking skills.
Now, in time like these where even the rich were sparing with the way they cooked, the flavor of his food could make anyone salivate. A smile came to his face as he tossed the wok. He already got the rice sitting in the other pot cooking. Ting-Guang enjoyed the delicious smell of food that Shen-Ping is making. Ting-Guang enjoyed the smell radiating from the pot as he made tea using the fruits and leaves they purchased in town.
Soon, the meal was ready, and the couple sat down to eat. They were unaware that their food had drawn the attention of the five boys. They were thought to cook according to the customs of this world and as they were servants, they didn’t dare to use too much so their food was barely edible. It was later after Tu An had received a stern scolding from Shen-Ping, that would start cooking properly for his brothers.
The couple took their time enjoying their meal. Then, they cleaned the kitchen. They went to the instrument room near the study. They really had nothing else to do and since it was a bit late to venture out and do anything interesting, Shen-Ping decided to test his inherited music skills. He looked around at the instruments and picked up the flute. He took a cloth and cleaned it before he closed his eyes, following the inherited memories, he put the flute to his lips and began to play.
Ting-Guang that sat not too far away, watched his partner, mesmerized. Shen-Ping sat by the window with the light shining on his face. The sound that came out was a bit hard to hear, but Ting-Guang paid no attention to it. He was so enthralled by Shen-Ping, whose eyes were closed, and a serene look was on his face. For Ting-Guang, at that moment nothing else mattered. After Shen-Ping got used to the muscle memories of playing the flute, the tune became smoother, and soon, sounded as if it was played by a professional musician. This would be strange to most anyone but Ting-Guang did not even question it as he continued to watch his partner with a small smile on his face.