Chapter 69: The Small Holiday
Oh and before you start, I have to explain the title. So ‘小年’ literally translates to small day, but its less confusing to call it a small holiday instead. It’s the day a week before the ‘big holiday’, aka Chinese New Years (CNY). I have no idea what it was until my dad explained to me, but basically its a small celebration prior to CNY that depends on where in china you live.
“Cousin?” Yang Keyi called to his younger cousin, Lu Wan’er, who suddenly became immersed in melancholy.
“Oh, older cousin, I’m fine.” Lu Wan’er woke from her daze and suppressed the hate in her eyes before biting her bottom lip and turning to her older male cousin. “I’m fine, I just thought I saw someone.”
Humph, as one of the richest ladies in this city, to humbly lower her head for a man of inferior status and still receive the same rejection… Not only that, but to bear such insults from him, how could she live with such humiliation?!
With such a thought, hate flashed quickly through the eyes of Lu Wan’er. If she couldn’t get with him, how can she allow other women to? Lin Si Yao is hers! How could Su Shuilian be his match?
She continued to watch the couple who were displaying their affection in the corner of the restaurant. Her fury grew as every second passed; she was about to explode in anger.
Her poor chopsticks suffered as she snapped it in two.
“Younger cousin?” Yang Keyi heard the sound and looked up in astonishment. “Is there something bothering younger cousin?” He looked in the direction where Lu Wan’er was glaring at. With her younger cousin’s serious gaze, there must be something bothering her.
“Shut your mouth! Focus on eating!” Yang Keyi’s sudden question soured Lu Wan’er’s mood even more. She was bitter and angry as she glared at him.
Yang Keyi was puzzled by her action, but judging from her current mood he knew it was not a good time to inquire.
This glamorous cousin of his, according to his mother, was his bride-to-be. This low-key trip taken from his home city was done with the sole purpose of their families to discuss their marriage. If all goes well, then next year on the first day of spring he will be welcoming this cousin into their household as his bride.
However, had he been misled? Where was the former grace and elegance? All he could see now was her fierce glare.
Currently, Lu Wan’er was also very annoyed.
Yang Keyi was decent, but he is kinda inflexible. However, marrying him would be a win. The Yang Family was famous in Fengtai City. The city was a bit far from home; with a carriage, it would take seven to eight days. However, if she were to marry him then her life would be inexhaustible in wealth and glory.
After calming her mood, Lu Wan’er once again reverted back to her graceful self. With a charming smile, she said, “Cousin, I’m sorry, I was not myself just now. I was just… ai nevermind, it’s hard to explain… If elder cousin does not mind, after we finish the meal, I will slowly explain, ok?”
After all, Lu Wan’er had mingled in the poetry club for a while. With three points (3/10) truth and seven points (7/10) falsehood, she was able to end the subject without a problem.
Of course she did not dare tell Yang Keyi the truth of her liking another man.
Unfortunately for Su Shuilian, she (LW) spent no effort in pushing the blame on her.
She had even thought about hiring the ‘Thundering Winds Gang’ to take care of Su Shuilian. Just because Lu Wan’er did not want to take her life didn’t mean she would not spare any effort into making her life miserable.
As for Lin Si Yao, Lu Wan’er was no idiot. With his skills in martial arts, how could the Wind Thunder Organization be his opponent.
For the embarrassment and indignation she had suffered for the first time in her life from Lin Si Yao, she would never forgive him.
That day, after she was dragged away by the large dog of Lin Si Yao’s, she told no one of the matter after returning home, not even to her own father.
For one reason: because Lin Si Yao will realise sooner or later what he is missing out on. He will apologize and beg for her forgiveness.
With that thought, she had managed to convince Hua An to allow her to stay for a few more days at their house in Fan Hua Town. She stayed until Lu House’s madam – Lu Wan’er’s mother, Lu Qiaoying – had sent someone to come pick her up. The people that were sent by her mother had informed Lu Wan’er that a distant aunt and an older cousin of three years were visiting from Fengtai City. Only then did she leave Hua House, albeit reluctantly.
It was just she did not expect to meet him again so soon! However, this ‘meeting’ at Wu Qin Restaurant after half a month, and to witness such a scene… How could she swallow such grievance?!
Seeing Lu Wan’er (and co.) walk out of Wu Qin restaurant right ahead of them, Lin Si Yao’s eyes flashed with a dangerous glint.
He had long felt her hate-filled gaze from time to time while he and Shuilian were eating.
From his previous occupation, it was easy to pick up hostility from others. He would not allow Lu Wan’er to hurt Su Shuilian in any way. Otherwise, humph! She was just a rich young miss. If a rich person were to suddenly become missing from the city, there would be many happier people!
“Wheat flour, glutinous rice flour, red bean, sesame, sugar, cooking wine, and salt……… Is there anything missing from that?” Su Shuilian counted the items she had just gotten. These ingredients were going to be used to make steamed and soup dumplings.
“This should be all of it.” Lin Si Yao looked at the cotton bag before looking up at Su Shuilian who seemed a bit tired from walking. “Tired? Let’s go home. If you remember anything we forgot, we can come back later.” With his method of travel, it only take an hour to go back into the city anyways.
“That works.” Su Shuilian nodded her head. She currently did not think there was anything that urgently needed to be bought.
“Oh, we need to go back to Wu Qin Restaurant to purchase a roasted duck to go.” She remembered the gluttonous Dabao and wolves.
“Ok.” Lin Si Yao lightly glanced at Su Shuilain. He was slightly sour seeing how well she treated the wolves and Tian Dabao.
The 24th day of the twelfth lunar month was the day everyone of Fan Hua Town was sending their thanks to Zaoshen (the god of the kitchen).
Tian Dabao’s long awaited break had finally begun.
Although it was a break, he still had to run to Xiufeng and back. After, he had to complete one hour of Xuantian sword practice before he was able to play. He would then go to the yard by the temple and show off to the other kids. Fortunately, although he was mentally handicapped, when playing with the other children, Tian Dabao knew not to go overboard. Maybe it was thanks to being trained by Lin Si Yao for half a year that his personality calmed down.
It was no wonder Aunt Tian had started to suspect that the clot in his brain had dissipated. From what she had noticed, his recent actions were the same as a normal twelve year old. Well, other then those times where it seemed like he had no face nor shame.
Therefore, Tian House started to treat Lin Si Yao with even more respect. Whenever they got good food, they would always send Dabao or Aunt Tian herself would bring it over to share with Su Shuilian and Lin Si Yao.
Even the other households started to look at Lin Si Yao with twinkles in their eyes. How could they not? What the doctors could not figure out, Lin Si Yao was able to, and in just half a year! Not only that, Dabao had become so much healthier! He was no longer the sick boy, and in winter all he needed to wear was two light layers, maybe a small jacket, and he could go out with no problem!
As a result, some of the other farmers were thinking of sending their sons to be taught by Lin Si Yao. Although they may not become experts, at least in the future they will remain healthy and physically strong, that was definitely worth it!
Lin Si Yao naturally refused. Who were they kidding, do they think he was opening a dojo? Tian Dabao alone was a lot of trouble. He was not going to give himself more trouble by taking in even more children disciples.
If not for insuring Su Shuilain and their future children’s safety, he would have not considered taking in a disciple.
He had no such weird hobbies. To take in a new disciple every time a suitable child was encountered…with more than 20 children calling him master at the age of twenty three, just the thought of that gave him goosebumps. Lin Si Yao shook away the thought as he headed towards the south yard.
Aftering chasing out Tian Dabao who had finished his daily exercise, but refused to leave, sticking to Su Shuilian, Lin Si Yao started to clean the house: every floor and corner.
Su Shuilian filled a bucket with clean water, as she started to wipe the furniture and ornaments in the house.
After two months of use, the blanket covers, pillowcase and bed sheets as well as all of the cushions and cushion covers in the main hall, west wing, and kitchen were placed with newly made ones. On the bed, the pillow and blanket covers had peonies embroidered with a single purple thread along with doubled threaded gold and silver thread. The bed sheet was plain white. As for the cushions and cushion covers, they were lined with a baby blue base satin and silver embroidery.
Looking at the newly decorated house and the clean yard, Su Shuilian curved her lips in satisfaction.
“A Yao, take a rest before continuing…” Su Shuilian brewed some of the Black Tartary Buckwheat tea (Soba Cha) that Aunt Tian had gifted them a few days ago. She poured him and herself a cup before calling out to Lin Si Yao who was able to go continue work in the kitchen.
“Ok…” Lin Si Yao came into the room and took a sip of the Black Tartary Buckwheat tea, “good tea!” He praised it sincerely.
“Mhm, Aunt Tian had told me her family had planted a few Black Tartary Buckwheat last year. They harvested about twenty five kilograms so they gave some to the neighbors.”
“A Yao, can we also plant some too, the next year?” Su Shuilian squatted down, occasionally taking small sips of the Black Tartary Buckwheat tea. The tea warmed her spleen and stomach, it made her feel very comfortable and content.
“Ok…” Lin Si Yao smiled and nodded. If she liked it, there was nothing he wouldn’t do.
After taking the small tea break, the two went into the kitchen to prepare the snacks and fruits as tribute for Zaoshen.
The dough used to make the dumplings and the five-treasure biscuits was ready.
Lin Si Yao started to form the dough of the 99 mini dumplings one by one. And to the eager to help Su Shuilian, who had stuffing in her hands, he gave a her nose a light squeeze. Seeing that white flour on her nose, his smile turned into a hearty laugh.
Su Shuilian was puzzled at his reactions. She turned back to look at her reflection in the clear water, only then did she find out about his mischief. At his rare laugh, she dipped her hands into the flour, hoping to smear his face with it too.
The pair laughed for a while when suddenly Lin Si Yao pulled her in for a kiss. Su Shuilian shied away as soon as he loosened his grip on her waist.
Su Shuilian started to make the dumplings from the shaped dough that she had grabbed from Lin Si Yao. They had made three different fillings: minced meat, minced cabbage with minced meat, and mixed vegetables with mushroom stuffing.
She had made dumplings with Lin Si Yao twice before. Although they were still not aesthetically pleasing, there were no longer cracks in the dough.
Lin Si Yao watched her finish a few dumplings and couldn’t help but pinch her nose again. Seeing her pout and turn away from him in protest, he smiled. He went back into molding the dough for the five-treasure biscuits.
With that, the small holiday slowly past as the two continued to prepare the snacks for the kitchen god.
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