The Plough

The Plough

Chapter 132 - Chapter 132

The change in the maid's expression did not escape Ling Shu's notice, but he chose to ignore it.

Lu Zude nodded and pouted, "The doctor said my mom will sleep for a while and wake up at night. Uncle Ling, I'm really worried about my mom."

Ling Shu comforted him, "Listen to the doctor and let your mom take her medicine obediently. She'll be fine soon. Can I go see your mom?"

The maid looked hesitant.

But Lu Zude took the initiative, "I'll take you guys there."

As a man, Ling Shu couldn't possibly go and disturb Mrs. Sun. He just stood at the door with Yue Dingtang and watched for a while.

Mrs. Sun was sleeping under the covers. There didn't seem to be anything unusual at first glance, but from the frequency of her body movements, she was definitely not a corpse.

Lu Zude tugged at Ling Shu's sleeve and whispered, "Uncle, let's not disturb mom's sleep." 

Ling Shu and the others returned to the living room and took their seats again.

"Sister Song, please pour two cups of tea for Uncle Ling and Uncle Yue," said Lu Zude, who was very polite and even took the initiative to ask the maid to pour the tea.

However, the maid did not move. She looked at the two men and then at Lu Zude, hesitating.

Ling Shu spoke in a sarcastic tone, "Yesterday we helped you find someone and caused such a big commotion. Now that we come to your house, we can't even get a cup of tea? Zude, does your maid listen to her master's orders or not? If not, I'll ask Old Yue to find you another one and dismiss this one."

Yue Dingtang knew that Ling Shu was deliberately trying to drive away the maid so that he could talk to Lu Zude alone, so he didn't stop him from being sarcastic.

It must be said that when Ling Shu wanted to bully someone, he could really make their face turn green. 

The maid finally regained her composure and quickly apologized with a smile, "Gentlemen, I will prepare some refreshments for you. Yesterday, the madam bought some Western pastries, including Napoleon cake and cream cake. What would you like to have?"

"Let's have a little bit of everything. And while you're at it, could you also buy some groceries from the street? We'll have lunch here with Mr. Lu and check on how Mrs. Sun is doing," Ling Shu deliberately asked Lu Zude, "Do you welcome us?"

Lu Zude was very happy, "Of course!"

The maid dared not express her annoyance. 

Ling Shu and his companions had the power and connections to call on the police station to search for people. Unless she was foolish, she would not dare to offend them.

She forced a smile and asked Lu Zude, "What would the young master like to eat?"

Lu Zude thought for a moment, "My mother likes fish, so could you buy some fish, Sister Song?" 

Ling Shu added, "I also like to eat fish. Let's have two sea bass, steamed sea bass is good. If not available, carp will do. And also some braised pork, and garlic eggplant, that should be enough."

The maid's smile twisted, and she couldn't help but resist. 

"Mr. Ling, we are a small household, barely making ends meet. Usually, we only have two dishes for a meal. Madam specifically instructed me to be frugal!"

"You usually have three people, two dishes would usually be enough. Today, there are only two more of us. Besides, if your mistress were awake, she would treat us as honored guests. By trying to save money for her, you are actually offending her. Do you have the right to speak here? Someone who doesn't know might think you are the master of the Sun family." 

Without mercy, Ling Shu made her face turn pale and then turned to Lu Zude. 

"Where did you find such a stubborn maid? She wouldn't treat you and your mother like this on a regular basis, would she? Otherwise, let her come with me to the police station and investigate her past misdeeds. She'll behave after a few days in jail."

The maid finally realized the severity of the situation and fell to her knees, begging for forgiveness and admitting her mistake. She claimed to have been loyal to the Sun family for a long time, but was simply used to being frugal and never intended to cause trouble for the guests.

Ling Shu took out some money and told her to go buy groceries and cook, then impatiently ushered her out. The maid stuttered for a while, but seeing that they had no intention of pursuing the matter further, she quickly took the money and left.

As the sound of the door closing echoed, the maid left.

"How long has she been working for you?" Ling Shu asked Lu Zude. Sitting up straight, as if he were a student answering a question, Lu Zude began to speak.

"After we moved here, Auntie Song came. My mom said she's a distant relative of my grandma's and she's really good at cooking and helping with chores. My mom's not feeling well sometimes, so she can't do all the housework."

Yue Dingtang interrupted, "You told me yesterday that Mrs. Sun isn't your biological mother?"

Lu Zude nodded, "My real mom passed away from an illness. This new mom is the one my dad married later on."

So she's his stepmother.

Yue Dingtang asked, "Are your grandparents still alive?"

Lu Zude replied, "Yes, they're still in the countryside."

Yue Dingtang questioned, "If they're still there, how did your mom take you away from the countryside? Didn't your grandpa object?" 

Lu Zude pouted, "Mom said that schools in Shanghai are good and that I should come here to study. She said it's better than going to a private school and that my dad went to a church school in the city. But after I came here, my mom didn't let me go to school!"

Upon hearing this, not only Ling Shu but also Yue Dingtang were surprised. 

They had to confirm with the child again, "You didn't go to school? Then why did Mrs. Sun say yesterday that you were missing after school?"

"My mom said the school wouldn't accept me and that I have to wait until next semester. But she told me not to tell anyone that I don't have any books to read, or else people will look down on me." 

Lu Zude felt a bit guilty as he spoke. "Yesterday, I was too playful and got lost on my way back. I wandered around in an unfamiliar place and a pastor took me in. He gave me candy, and in the end, it was Sister Song who found me." 

Yue Dingtang asked, "I see that Mrs. Sun was very worried about your disappearance and even came to us for help. But you said she wanted to harm you. How could she harm you?"

Lu Zude lowered his head and twisted his fingers for a while before whispering, "My grandmother said stepmothers are not good, and she told me to be careful. Yesterday morning, I wanted to eat salted duck eggs, but my mother wouldn't let me. I was unhappy..."

Ling Shu found it both funny and ridiculous. After all, this was the reason behind everything.

It seemed that as a stepmother, Mrs. Sun not only loved Lu Zude as her own son, but also did not mistreat or abuse him. Otherwise, Lu Zude would not be like this now.

So, where did the "save me" note from Mrs. Sun come from?

Ling Shu suddenly had a flash of insight and seemed to have found the answer.

"You just said that Sister Song is a distant relative of your grandmother. Did your grandmother ask her to come here to help?" 

Lu Zude shook his head in confusion. 

For a little kid, this question was indeed a bit difficult for him to answer.

Ling Shu: "Does Sister Song treat you well on a regular basis?"

"Her cooking is delicious, but she talks back to my mom and says bad things about her to me," replied Lu Zude.

"What did she say?"

"She said stepmothers are all bad."

"But it didn't rain last night, and Mrs. Sun seemed fine. How did she suddenly get sick?"

"I was asleep until midnight yesterday, but I heard Sister Song and my mom arguing."

"What were they arguing about?"

"I don't know," Lu Zude said, looking bewildered.

It seemed like the problem lay with the maid. But now that Mrs. Sun was unconscious and this half-grown child couldn't explain anything, they could only wait for her to wake up and ask her directly. 

Two grown men and a little boy didn't seem to have much to talk about.

With nothing else to do, they decided to wait for Mrs. Sun to wake up and Ling Shu took the opportunity to ask about Lu Zude's studies.

"What books did you study in the private school?" Ling Shu asked.

Lu Zude replied, "The Thousand Character Classic, as well as the Four Books and Five Classics."

Ling Shu was surprised and exclaimed, "It's already this day and age, why are you still studying the Four Books and Five Classics? Has no one told you that you need to study new textbooks in school?"

Lu Zude felt embarrassed and replied, "I have studied new textbooks before, as well as foreign languages, but I'm not very good at it."

Ling Shu rolled up his sleeves and said, "That's not a problem. Come on, Uncle will teach you. Do you have a textbook?"

Lu Zude became excited and asked, "Does Uncle know English? My mom said she wants to enroll me in a church school next semester, but they require an English exam."

 Ling Shu laughed, "Of course I know it, during my school days, I was an outstanding student."

As he said this, he noticed a strange smile on Yue Dingtang's face.

The meaning was clear: except for English.

Ling Shu was angry.

He was looking down on him, wasn't he? 

Even if his English was average and his French was terrible, it still depended on who he was comparing himself to. 

Teaching a child who had not yet started his studies, wasn't it easy to do?

Yue Dingtang's lips curled up, with a sense of anticipation, as if he was looking forward to watching a show.

Unfortunately, Ling Shu couldn't amaze the child.

Because the maid came back.

Her speed in buying groceries was unexpectedly fast, but Ling Shu saw that her basket was full of things.

"Sister Song, did you buy the carp that I wanted to eat?" Ling Shu deliberately asked.

"I bought it, I bought it! Two carp and two perch for all of you. I was afraid that you two gentlemen wouldn't have enough to eat, so I bought extra! I also bought some snacks for you, like sugar-coated chestnuts and fried buns. The young master and you two gentlemen can have a little something to eat first, and as soon as I finish cooking, we can all eat together!"

The maid said with a smile, her forehead covered in sweat. Her attitude was much more attentive than before, showing that her trip outside had made her more aware of not offending Ling Shu and his companions.

Ling Shu asked, "What about Mrs. Sun? Did you not prepare anything for her to eat?"

The maid hurriedly replied, "Her body is weak right now, and the doctor instructed her to only drink porridge. I bought some vegetables and will make her a bowl of vegetable porridge later. Oh, and I also bought some spare ribs. I'll make sweet and sour spare ribs later, which the young master loves to eat, and also the braised pork that Mr. Ling specifically requested!"

Lu Zude cheered, "I want to eat sweet and sour spare ribs!" 

The maid brought plates of steamed buns and sugar-coated chestnuts and then disappeared into the kitchen to continue her work.

In a hushed voice, Ling Shu turned to Yue Dingtang and said, "Has she suddenly become smarter? Could she be possessed by a ghost?"

Yue Dingtang rolled his eyes at him and replied, "If someone bullied you like that, your brain would also work overtime!"

Ling Shu chuckled and said, "Thank you for thinking highly of me. My brain is already quite sharp."

His playful demeanor was quite adorable, and Yue Dingtang couldn't resist scratching his palm in response.

The action was extremely subtle, and Lu Zude, who was studying with his back to them, didn't notice at all.

Ling Shu instinctively trembled slightly and tried to retract his hand, but was caught by the other person.

Another scratch.

Lu Zude turned around.

Yue Dingtang quickly let go.

"Uncle Ling, how do you pronounce this word?" asked Lu Zude.

Ling Shu couldn't hold back and almost hit Yue Dingtang with his fist. 

"Let's see, it has two meanings..." Ling Shu pondered.

Until mealtime, Ling Shu and his companions were unable to see Mrs. Sun wake up.

After eating, they couldn't continue to laze around in someone else's home. Ling Shu privately instructed Lu Zude to keep a close eye on the maid and not let her get close to Mrs. Sun. 

The vegetable porridge had to be tasted by the maid first before feeding Mrs. Sun, and Lu Zude agreed.

Ling Shu thought to himself, even if Lu Zude's grandparents didn't like her as a stepmother, they shouldn't have the courage to poison someone. He gave these instructions just in case.

Before leaving, Ling Shu even told Lu Zude in front of the maid that they would come to visit in a few days.

Who knows if the maid understood his hidden meaning, as her expression remained unchanged.

As they left Mrs. Sun's residence, Yue Dingtang paused and looked back.

The small house was nothing special, just like the other houses around it. It was made of red bricks with glass windows, and the outside was covered in ivy and roses, creating a peaceful and beautiful atmosphere.

But there was something strange about it.

Yue Dingtang furrowed his brow slightly, unable to pinpoint exactly what was odd about it.


A little frog who likes reading. Hope you liked this chapter, and thank you for your support! Coffee fuels my midnight translation binges.

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