Chapter 70: Passion in the Winter
After paying respect to the kitchen god on the 24th day of the twelfth lunar month, Su Shuilian and Lin Si Yao began to prepare for their first New Year together in Fan Hua Town.
The year’s first heavy snowfall had also begun. In just a span of two hours, Fan Hua Town had been covered in a thick blanket of snow. However, there was no sign of the snow stopping.
Fortunately, Lin Si Yao was taught by Tian Dafu and the other villagers to place a water/snow-proof canopy on top of the vegetables growing in the garden. Though it was called a canopy, it was just a oil-lined cloth held up by a few wooden poles. But at least it was able to prevent too much damage from the snow to the plants.
Of course, for the budding Cymbidium kanran (a cold-growing species of orchid), Lin Si Yao had carefully separated each plant and placed some into the clay pots in each room of the house, to celebrate the winter season.
There was no cover placed for the golden wintersweet tree that was brought from Dashi Mountain and planted in the most northern part of the yard. The more it snowed, the more flowers bloomed. Su Shuilian had carefully cut a few twigs that had bloomed and placed them into the white and blue imitation-porcelain vases of the bedroom and study room table. The fragrance of the flower filled the rooms, creating a peaceful atmosphere.
As for the wolves’ house, to avoid it being covered and frozen in snow, Lin Si Yao had moved it next to the south hall entrance. This way, if the weather was good, Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue could still lay on their house and bask in the sun. And once it turns too cold or dark, they can then enter the south hall and enjoy the warmth as they have already started to grow attached to the warmth of the white tiger mat.
Xiao Xue’s companion, the wolf king had not appeared since visiting that last time.
As for Xiao Chun, he had left from time to time to return with all sorts of game. There were frozen hares, fainted pheasant, and there was even a time where he brought home a bleeding deer.
Although Lin Si Yao had already learned the reason, he turned a blind eye to the matter, and gave Xiao Chun credit for all of it. And with the game, he would cook it into a tonic and gave it to the pregnant Xiao Xue.
After the small holiday, Dabao left with Aunt Tian to visit her side of the family to pay respects to their ancestors. It was just that the snowfall had gotten much heavier and it was expected that he would not make it home until right before the beginning of the big holiday (Chinese New Year).
As for Aunt Lao, she had taken a trip to visit them right before the start of the heavy snow. She had brought Lao Yongqiang who had carried a basket of nian gao (New Year cake) as a New Year’s gift.
And so, the afternoon after they had paid their tribute to the kitchen god, Su Shuilian and Li Si Yao went to visit Aunt Lao and Aunt Tian’s house to give them New Year gifts.
They gave each house a bag of shiitake mushrooms, a variety of edible tree fungus, a pheasant, and six carps.
The Tian House gave their gift to them that same day: a big bag of soybeans, 5 kilograms of wheat flour, and a plate of butter sesame biscuit that was meant for the kitchen god.
The Lao House all enjoy eating water milled nian gao. So for the past few days, they had been waiting in line to use the mill in the mill house of Wen house. This year, they had milled a total of 90 kilograms. They had notified Su Shuilian earlier to not go to make water milled nian gao this year. So as soon as they had finished, the Lao family had brought a large basket of the nian gao to their house, a total of 25 kilograms of it. It was enough for the two to enjoy until the end of spring.
As soon as the snow had started to fall, Su Shuilian sat, and began sewing a pair of moccasins for Lin Si Yao while sitting on the warm Kang. That’s right, it was the deer skin taken from the deer bought back home by Xiao Chun. It was skinned, cleaned, dried, and sewed tightly on top of a plain pair of cotton shoes.
It wasn’t until today, the 27th, that it was completely finished.
Though it was not that aesthetically pleasing, as it was hard to wrap the skin around the shoe, it was impossible to hide the rough edges of the skin into the inner side.
However, it was a comfortable fit. After Lin Si Yao put it on, he went to the north yard and netted two fish out of the water tank to make smoked fish. After bringing the fish into the kitchen, he headed towards the southern garden and lifted the canopy up to pick some cabbage and sweet potato. Then he walked towards the hen and rabbit hutch that was near the garden to pad more straw on top of the roof. Lin Si Yao fed the animals before taking the freshly laid eggs from the nest.
Once he was by the main hall entrance, Lin Si Yao shook the snow stuck on his shoes, took the bamboo hat and coat off. Only then did he make his way into the main hall.
“How is it? Did it get damp?” Su Shuilian grabbed a dry cotton cloth and helped him wipe off the snow that was stuck on his outer shirt.
“No.” Lin Si Yao smiled as he watched her frett around him. Seeing that she did not quite believe him, Lin Si Yao sat on the Kang and took off his shoes, gestured for her to take a closer look. “Not wet right?” He said smugly.
“Maybe it was not long enough?” Su Shuilian said, not convinced that the deer skin wrapped around the cotton boots would be this effective.
When Lin Si Yao heard, he couldn’t help but laugh, “On this cold and snowy day, you still want me to wear this and trek, to where exactly?”
“This… this isn’t my intention” When she heard his reply, Su Shuilian instantly blushed and frantically waved her hands.
Her shy face that contrasted against her green button-up dress provoked a moment of emotion in Lin Si Yao.
“Hey… A Yao” Su Shuilian’s words of protest which had yet to come out was suddenly swallowed by his lips.
“A.. A… Yao…. it’s still early now…” In other words, it was still daytime. She was engulfed in his fiery embrace. It took a long time before they broke their kiss and only then did she manage to express her reason in between catching her breath.
“Doesn’t matter.” Lin Si Yao replied in a rough mutter. At the same time, with one hand, he pushed the table on the Kang to the side. With the other hand, he lifted Su Shuilian onto the Kang and teased her.
Su Shuilian’s shocked face turned white when she realised he wanted to ‘eat’ her in the main hall.
“A Yao…” She initially wanted to stop him from acting so bold and daring, however, Su Shuilian realised the words that formed from her mouth sounded like a delicate cry.
“It’s fine, be obedient.” Lin Si Yao knew the reason why she was nervous. Without turning his head, with a wave of his hand, both the North and South gates were closed with ‘clank’ sound.
“Are you okay now?” Lin Si Yao smiled as he looked down at Su Shuilian who was trembling from nervousness. A burst of endearment arose from the bottom of his heart, “Shuilian, I am your husband. There was no need for ‘honor and honesty’ between a husband and wife.” He was ready to enlighten her.
“But…” Su Shuilian shyly blinked. She knew deep inside that he was right. But the way she was brought up since young, made it hard for her to easily let go.
“Does that mean you don’t truly accept me as your husband?” Lin Si Yao acted pitiful as he sorrowfully muttered. He was prepared to move her with affection.
He kissed his way down; from her smooth forehead, to her exquisitely curved eyebrows, to her small, yet straight nose, then to her white and tender ears, and finally to her small, plump red lips. He lingered there, without any intention of withdrawing as he waited for her reply.
“Of course not, how can you say that about me?” Su Shuilian anxiously refuted his accusation, completely oblivious to his small movements.
“Then what is your reason?” Lin Si Yao parted from her lips and asked.
“Nm.” Su Shuilian could not help but let out a moan. It was only then did she realise that Lin Si Yao had somehow taken off both their outerwear without her realising. He had pushed her innershirt up to her chest and moved his hand up her skirt. Oh heavens. Su Shuilian was embarrassed to death.
“Shuilian…. My wife….” Lin Si Yao said in husky voice. He lowered his head towards her plump white **. And in midst of her blind calls, he entered her tight and seductive body.
Outside the house, it was a cold snow storm, but in the house, it was a flowering spring.
Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue were outside on top of their wooden house by the south hall. From time to time, their ears would perk up as they listened to the strange **** sounds and movements coming out from the inner room. At other times, they would just wag their tails as they watched the cold, white flowers fall from the sky.
In their minds they thought: Owner, don’t forget to make dinner. Xiao Xue is pregnant and it would not be good to skip meals.
The year’s first heavy snow started during the small holiday, and didn’t stop until the third day, on the morning of the 28th.
The winter sun was bright after the heavy snow.
Lin Si Yao came out of the house that morning to sweep the snow out of both the north and south yard.
As for the road outside their courtyard gate, because of the thick layer of snow, no villagers were would make their way to the most west side of the village. And so, the town and the surrounding fields were all connected by a thick blanket of snow.
With the items for welcoming back the gods ready and food enough to last until the start of the next year, Su Shuilian and Lin Si Yao collectively decided there was also no need for them to go out of their house.
As for Xiao Chun, who would usually leave towards the entrance of Dashi Mountain to meet up with the wolf king. Because of the heavy snow, Xiao Chun thought the wolf king may not have enough rations to eat, so taking a few pheasant drum sticks in his mouth, Xiao Chun made his way to the entrance of Dashi Mountain.
When he came back, the poultry meat in his mouth was replaced with a cherry-red round fruit.
Lin Si Yao took the orange sized fruit from Xiao Chun. He lifted his sword-like brow, internally surprised. This couldn’t be the legendary Sacred Pearl Fruit, right?!
According to the legend, the Sacred Pearl Fruit takes ten years to bud, ten years to bloom, and another ten years to mature. And it could only be found during the cold winter season.
There were many things that the Sacred Pearl Fruit could be used for.
It was sought after because people who practice martial art could boost their inner force by thirty years!
And if ordinary people were to eat it, well there were definite benefits: they would gain a prolonged and illness free life. Men will double their strength and women will double their charms. Of course this was only from what he had heard from the legend.
Lin Si Yao smiled and shook his head as he threw the fruit into Xiao Xue’s food bowl. Since it was a gift from the wolf king to his companion, then he would not reap the benefits. What’s more, he was almost at the pinnacle, this fruit was not of much use to him. As for Su Shuilian, he would like to try it on her, but not now. Since there was a baby in Xiao Xue’s stomach, she needed a lot of nutrients to nurture it.
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