Chapter 66: The Wolf King’s Love
The Wolf King laid stubbornly on the ground, refusing to budge an inch. He whimpered, seemingly to beg Lin Si Yao to let him in.
Lin Si Yao kept his stare for a long time. Finally, he sighed, and turned around. “Don’t break anything, and don’t howl.” He allowed him in the cabin.
The wolf happily swayed his tail as he leaped to the door, and obediently sat down to wait for Lin Si Yao.
Lin Si Yao looked up to the sky in exasperation, and sighed again to the pale crescent above.
It wasn’t that he was soft-hearted, but more so the fear of the Wolf King’s capabilities. The courtyard walls barely counted as an obstacle to the wolf if he really wanted to get in.
The wolf probably did this in consideration of Xiao Xue. To become the alpha of a region, it didn’t solely rely on a pelt of royal, shining silver fur, a compelling atmosphere, or a powerful frame. The king possessed intelligence close enough to be compared to humans.
If he were to become anxious, who knows what harm he could cause to his household and woman, Su Shuilian?
With this first visit, surely there would be a second time, so Lin Si Yao decided to have Xiao Xue and Xiao Chun urge him to not come down the mountain again. There was enough fear towards wolves by the villagers for it to ruin their peaceful home.
Lin Si Yao walked to the expectant Wolf King, opened the door, and let him in.
The three wolves touched snouts, leapt around and exchanged greetings.
Lin Si Yao left a small crack open in the door on purpose.
He turned around to meet the Wolf King’s luminescent eyes, and dryly reminded: “Leave before midnight, and avoid the villagers. If you can’t do that, then you won’t see Xiao Xue ever again.” Although, he was sure that no villagers would be out at night with this bitter cold, he wasn’t ready to take any chances.
He didn’t care to confirm whether the Wolf King understood him or not, and walked away into the bedroom while closing the door behind him.
The three wolves looked at each other, laid down in their previous positions, and resumed discussing.
“I heard your voice, and was just about to come out. Is it about Xiao Xue?” Lin Si Yao met Su Shuilian’s inquiring gaze as he walked in.
“No, there’s nothing wrong. I just informed her about some things.” Lin Si Yao didn’t tell her about the Wolf King so she wouldn’t have another thing to worry about.
He rubbed her small, chilly hands, and pulled her into the warm, thick blankets. He stripped to his sweatshirt, and held her while leaning against the head of the bed.
His hand slipped around her neck, and the other squeezed at her shoulders, they were sore and stiff from embroidering all day.
Of course, unless there was some circumstance like if she was on her period, his massages would eventually turn into irresistible teases. In less than half an hour, he was on top of her….
The morning arrived, but the sky remained as dark as night. The dim moonlight shone through the sparse curtains, so there was no need to light a lamp.
Lin Si Yao woke up by habit, and wondered whether the Wolf King really abided to his orders, and returned to Dashi Mountain.
So, right after he tucked the sleeping Su Shuilian in the covers and snuck in a light kiss, he put on the light coat she had laid down for him on the low cabinet. And snuck into the living room without a sound.
In the corner of the room, Xiao Xue was the only one dozing pleasantly on the warm and comfortable white tiger pelt hunted from Dashi Mountain.
Lin Si Yao raised his brow. Where had Xiao Chun gone at this hour? He couldn’t have followed the Wolf King back to the mountain, right?
But if that was the case, Xiao Chun wouldn’t have a problem venturing into Dashi Mountain with the skills he possessed right now, and even more so with the mighty Wolf King accompanying him.
So, Lin Si Yao didn’t worry. He started to estimate the workload that needed to be done today.
He walked out the front door into the north courtyard, and cleaned the few water jugs they had left. Next, he carried two buckets to the south yard’s creek. With six trips, he managed to fill the jugs to a little more than three quarters.
Lin Si Yao swept the north and south yards’ brick floor with a broom, then cleaned the south yard’s chicken and rabbit coop. He shoveled their manure into a pile, and pushed it all into a ditch behind the goat pen. They’ll need it for fertilizer.
After replacing the livestock’s supply of clean water and feeding them, he brought an armful of lumber over from the chicken coop to the creek. He chopped them all into sizable firewood, and laid them out to dry in the sun. Later, he would move them all into the bamboo basket by the fireplace.
By the time he finished, the sky was starting to brighten.
In the distance, faint sounds of cow moos and chicken clucks could be heard.
On the way back to the kitchen, he passed the garden, picking some fresh cabbage and daikon to prepare for lunch: Fried sausage with cabbage, and carp carrot soup. Then, he’ll make steamed meat with the potatoes that were dug out just two days ago for Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue. Lin Si Yao walked into the kitchen, washed his hands, and washed a pot of rice for porridge. There were still three corn cobs and buns leftover from last night.
His eyes wandered to the rice wine in the cupboard, which had been fermenting for quite a while now. It was made with the several pounds of sticky rice gifted by Aunt Tian. So as the porridge simmered in the pot, Lin Si Yao brought out rice and sticky rice flour to make some of the rice buns Aunt Lao once brought over. Once the rice wine was evenly kneaded into the two lumps of dough, it is left on the side to rise. It will be checked on later.
Then, he carried two big soup bowls over to the goat pen, and did his daily routine of milking the nanny goat. At first, he was clumsy and wasted quite a bit of milk, but he had become much more consistent and steady over time. Lin Si Yao had mastered the art of goat-milking without spilling a single drop.
The milk was boiled over a huge flame, and he sprinkled in a few crushed almonds and a piece of rock sugar. This was to reduce most of the goat’s intestinal stink in the milk to acceptable levels. It was only Tian Dabao who refused to touch goat’s milk no matter what. Lin Si Yao split the milk into five servings; Xiao Xue received two because of her condition.
He poured the milk into two dog dishes (or wolf dishes?) and two floral-printed china bowls. Using plates as a lid, he set them all onto the table. Wolves can’t consume hot fluids, just the same as dogs, so he typically waited for the milk to cool a bit before serving it to them. The sun rises late in the winter, so Dabao’s morning school was pushed three hours forward.
As always, Lin Si Yao would return to the bedroom after finishing his routine to wake her up in his own special Lin way; kissing the blushing Su Shuilian awake. It was only after eating breakfast and cleaning up the kitchen that he started to practice and teach Dabao swordplay. He didn’t forget to feed the goat, too. This was pretty much Lin Si Yao’s typical morning, and he had already grown familiar to the routine. If he were to live the rest of his life like this, there wouldn’t be any regrets.
Just as he finished up and was about to wake Su Shuilian, Xiao Chun returned. Of course, he hadn’t gone out through the front door, but rather leapt out the courtyard walls. A bloody goat kid hung from his jaws, and Lin Si Yao raised his eyebrows at Xiao Chun’s otherwise gleaming clean fur. This was most likely the Wolf King’s way of caring for Xiao Xue during her pregnancy.
Xiao Chun dropped the goat the ground, and chased his tail around twice. Lin Si Yao said, “Don’t follow him next time, and don’t let him come again….” He paused, and added, “You should understand, this is the village, there will definitely be trouble if the Wolf King comes and goes often.” Xiao Chun gazed at him, seemingly to understand. He whimpered in reply. If Lin Si Yao were to understand him, he would probably be surprised.
Xiao Chun said: “The Wolf King came yesterday just to see how Xiao Xue was doing. He won’t come back again, unless you invite him. And he promised, from this day on, he would hunt food for her every five days and send it to the foot of the mountain until she gave birth…” This was the love of the wolf clan, to express affection through caught prey. To hunt down food every five days was an incredibly difficult task in the bitter winter! Lin Si Yao lifted the pitiable goat’s carcass to the creek, where he decided to clean after he came back from Xiu Peak. Of course, with the freezing temperatures, any raw meat wouldn’t go bad even if laid outside for three or five days. Even though Xiao Xue and Xiao Chun have become used to cooked meals, they still can’t touch spicy or boiling food. Of course, they loved everything else. Barbecue was their favorite.
In the next few days, Lin Si Yao cut up the goat into five large chunks, slicing off bit by bit to feed Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue. He dipped them in sauce after barbecuing, braised them in soy sauce, cooked stew with all kinds of vegetables, even just simply sprinkling salt after boiling in plain water. With a new dish every day, they ate a full five days’ worth of goat, greatly satisfying Xiao Xue and Xiao Chun, who belched generously after every meal. Afterwards, they laid down under the cold sun, and lazily counted the clouds… Su Shuilian looked upon them in amusement. She was nearly finished with her embroidery, and thought of learning Xiao Chun’s ways after turning the fabric in. She’ll pull Lin Si Yao to bathe in the sunlight after a full meal….
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