Chapter 49: Mid-Autumn Festival
“What happened?” When Lin Si Yao returned to the kitchen, he saw Su Shuilian bringing out snacks and sweets from the food cabinet and placing it on the table.
“Oh, A Yao. Aunt Tian invited us to eat lunch at her place. They want to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival together with us and also thank you for accepting Dabao as a disciple.” When Su Shuilian saw it was Lin Si Yao, she faintly smiled and explained, “I believe if we do not go, she will come back again to invite us. Let’s prepare some desserts and fruits to bring later. Afterall, it’s more lively with two families.”
Lin Si Yao raised his brow as he looked at her for a while without word. He turned and walked in front of the sink basin before he picked it up and carried it out of the kitchen.
“A Yao?” Su Shuilian was a bit confused as she placed down the dessert in her hand. She followed Lin Si Yao out of the kitchen and watched him clean the dishes before summoning up her courage to walk up to him. In a low voice, she asked, “A Yao, you don’t want to go together? Then we don’t have to go, let’s just have Dabao bring some desserts and fruits to them.”
“No.” Lin Si Yao shook his head, and simply answered.
“Then…” Su Shuilian blinked as she did not understand his meaning. When she saw his rolled-up sleeves about to fall down, she quickly rolled them back up.
Lin Si Yao paused, then immediately said, “You promised to spend Mid-Autumn Festival with me.” Now that he had finally was able to put trust into another person. Lin Si Yao could not help but complain how she did not keep her words.
She took the initiative to make this promise, that they would spend every Mid-Autumn Fest together. He had only hoped that for his first Mid-Autumn Festival, they would spend it together peacefully. He did not want any irrelevant people disturbing them. Even if she was there with them, it would not satisfy him.
“Hm? I never said I won’t spend the day with you.” Su Shuilian finally understood the reason why he had suddenly turned and ignored her.
“The actual Mid-Autumn Festival begins at night under the moon, competing in drinks. Look, I have already bought the osmanthus wine. It’s just that this wine is not that… aromatic. Next year, we should brew our own osmanthus wine, ok?”
Yesterday, she had specifically requested Aunt Lao who was going to the market in the city to buy her some scented osmanthus wine. Taking advantage while Lin Si Yao was out in the fields, she had opened the bottle and took a few small whiffs. Though it did smell like osmanthus, it was not as aromatic as the osmanthus wine brewed in her previous Su House. She learned some brewing technique from the books she had read, so this was the perfect opportunity to practice.
After she folded up his sleeves, Su Shuilian took the cleaned dishes and placed them out in the bamboo basket under the grapevines. After it dries, she will then recollect them and place them back in the cupboard. This way, it can prevent any molding.
When she saw that Lin Si Yao was in a daze, she giggled and poked at his arm. This man, to actually see him in a daze was quite rare.
“What’s the matter? Do you still not want to go? Ok then, we won’t go, ok? Then what should we have for lunch?” Su Shuilian gently swayed his arm and asked in a pampered voice. This caused the originally dazed Lin Si Yao to unconsciously tighten his lower abdomen.
“You said…” He slowly opened his mouth, “It’ll be just us at the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival? You also bought scented osmanthus wine for us to drink together?” Lin Si Yao unbelievingly repeated what she had said, she wanted to compete on drinking liquor with him? With her low alcohol tolerance, wasn’t she afraid that after 3 cups she would be too intoxicated to even stand?
Wait. That’s not the point… The most important part was when did she purchase the wine? Damn it, and without him even knowing.
“Yes, I also got mooncakes specially prepared, as well as the soup dumplings we made yesterday, it was all for tonight.” Su Shuilian said while smiling at him.
Lin Si Yao stiffly turned his head, the blush that had creeped up his faced was quickly dispersed by this breathing technique.
“A Yao?” Su Shuilain tugged at his hems. She found it amusing that he was being shy. Although the blush on his face was inconspicuous and faded just as fast as it appeared, she was sure that he was being shy.
“I’ll go check on Dabao.” Lin Si Yao found an excuse and quickly fled towards the south side.
“Then, this afternoon….” Su Shuilian held back her laugh as she chased after him to ask.
“Whatever you want.” Lin Si Yao answered awkwardly from afar. Su Shuilian could no longer hold back. With a “pfft,” the crisp sound of laughter resounded under the warm sunlight.
It turns out he was such a lovable person. Su Shuilian continued to look toward the south. Lin Si Yao was supervising Dabao’s horse stance, her smile still plastered on her face, without a sign of fading.
“Come on, come on, brother, have some more. There’s no need for further words, with Dabao in your hands, we are assured.” The completely flushed Tian Dafu said as he pulled on Lin Si Yao’s cup to refill with more hundred proof liquor.
“Your dad! What are you doing with all that alcohol. Come, A Yao, Shuilian, try our chicken. Although it was not a year old, a young chicken still has a tender taste, try it!” Aunt Tian kindly grabbed two chicken thighs and placed them individually on Lin Si Yao’s and Su Shuilain’s bowl, indicating them to try it.
“Mom….” Tian Dabao reluctantly stared at the chicken thighs and swallowed some water before looking at Lin Si Yao to say, “Shifu, Shiniang, quickly eat the chicken thighs, my mom makes very good stewed chicken. Quickly try it.” And finish it so he doesn’t have to continue to look at it anymore… He had raised those chicken for more than six months. Although he knew he could not have the entire chicken, the thighs were usually reserved for him. But now… no! Don’t think about it, he should be happy to let his Shifu and Shiniang have it. How could he be so small minded. Afterall, Shifu will teach him some awesome martial arts.
Su Shuilian watched Dabao greedly eye the chicken thigh on her and Lin Si Yao’s plate and found it funny. She was just about to give hers to him before she was stopped by Lin Si Yao, “You eat yours.” He then took his portion and give it to Dabao.
“There’s no need… Dabao!…” When Aunt Tian saw this, she was about to return back the chicken but it was quickly devoured by Dabao. She was angry and scowled at him.
“Eh? When did this chicken thigh appear in my bowl?” Tian Dabao quickly came back to himself and noticed the chicken thigh that was bitten by him. Tian Dabao slowly looked up toward the seat across from him. Oh no, he had taken his Shifu’s chicken! Woowoowoo, how could he have snached his Shifu’s chicken?!
“No worry, let him eat, nourish his body.” Lin Si Yao lightly said, smothering Aunt Tian’s burst of anger. Loathsome brat. The one who had wanted him as his master was him, yet he didn’t show any signs of respect. The one who gnawed on his master’s chicken was also him. He was already 13, almost an adult, yet he actions are still so shameful. He even dreams to marry a beauty in the future. These kind of things are hard to achieve, no, impossible.
“Shifu….” Tian Dabao looked at Lin Si Yao with glittering eyes before setting his eyes back on his bowl. He took another bite of the chicken and rice. Big Brother Lin…. Shifu… ALthough you have a cold face, I know you have a warm heart. Rest assured, I will listen to you in the future and learn martial arts and be like you. Uh… be like Shifu? And marry a hot lady too?
If Lin Si Yao had heard Tian Dabao’s inner dialogue, he would have fallen off his chair and onto the ground. Outwardly cold and inwardly warm? Him? An ex-assassin? That would count as an insult. It’s just that he didn’t want the disciple he accepted to prolong his training from lack of stamina in the future.
“Shuilian jie, Dabao called you Shiniang, so is it ok if I call you jie?” Tian girl was halfway finished when she suddenly thought about the issue of seniority with a sudden impulse to laugh. In other words, if Tian Dabao had to call Su Shuilian ‘shiniang’, and if she were to be her jie (older sister), then Dabao would have to now call her martial aunt. But thinking to how Shuilian jie addresses her mom as Aunt… wow, it’s a confusing mess.
“Pfft-” the lively Tian daughter could not help but laugh out.
“My daughter… what are you doing…” Aunt Tian was stunned but then suddenly realised what her daughter was getting at. It was actually quite a funny thing to think about.
Su Shuilian looked at Lin Si Yao who was sitting beside of her. Ah right, although he looked like he’s in his twenties, they had never asked for each other’s specific age yet.
Luckily, they were not in the Su region during the Republic of China era. Before marriage, they would have to check their affinity through the five elements and birthdates. Moreover, they would have to have a ‘hearing’ with many tedious paperwork to publish, including name, sex, date of birth, number of witnesses, family status, etc… Long story short, it would not have been such an unorganised ceremony like this.
Thinking to that point, Su Shulian could not help but also burst into a laugh, causing Lin Si Yao to glance at her. She then quickly stopped and sat upright with a smile. It seems that she was less and less wary of him.
“A Yao, how old are you this year?” On their way back home, the two leisurely walked on the empty town road in the autumn breeze. Su Shuilian pursed her lips and asked embarrassingly.
Lin Si Yao gave her a weird look, his usual cold voice was mixed with some gentleness as he answered, “Didn’t I already tell you on our wedding night?”
“Eh?” Did he? Su Shuilian blinked her eyes, she thought back to the eighth day of the eighth lunar month. However, after she had replayed the whole day over in her head, she still could not recall him ever mentioning anything about his age.
“You don’t recall?” Lin Si Yao smiled and lowered his lips to her eyes and said, “It was during the time when we were…”
“Ahh-!” Su Shuilian exclaimed, ignoring her own flushed face, she quickly covered Lin Si Yao’s lips with her hands and looked around. Fortunately, it was the middle of wu-shi (11am- 1pm) and the villagers were resting in their houses, so they were the only people on the town road.
She sighed, then let down her hands, just as she was about to place them back to her sides, it was grabbed by Lin Si Yao. He held her hand in his hand as he led her back to their house.
“A Yao…” Isn’t this being too bold? “In broad daylight” flashed in Su Shuilain’s mind. She was flushed down to her neck, she struggled a bit, but with no avail.
“Don’t move.” Lin Si Yao commanded in a low voice. He looked ahead at the white walled, black tiled, red columned house -that belong to them, which suddenly brightened his mood. “I am twenty-three this year. My date of birth is the tenth day of the tenth month, and you?”
“I… I’m fifteen… Birthday… First day of the third month…” She should currently be fifteen, and that birthday was her previous date of birth.
“Why are you so nervous?” Lin Si Yao pulled her into his embraced and amusingly watched her lower her head, “Shuilian, I already said before, we are already husband and wife.”
“I know.” She quickly nodded her head. Of course she knows. She remembered what her mother said in that dream: they should share their intimate feelings, and not be like her mother and father, who looked more like strangers than married couples.
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