Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: CaiCat, SpringBreeze
This New Year’s Eve was a very difficult day for Mu CangZhou as the children’s understanding of things was a bit off. By mistake, Yan Xiu’er’s goal of making New Year’s Eve a special and memorable one for the kids was half achieved.
The children were afraid that Father would take over the reins as soon as he arrived in the kitchen, making their grandmother lose face. So, they carefully set up a policy to keep Father out of the kitchen at the root and tried hard to implement this task.
Xiao Jin and ZhiZhi were responsible for keeping Father on the couch and keeping him from wandering around, and Xiao Jin was mainly responsible for watching Father’s behavior, prompting ZhiZhi to untie their own shoelaces and make small situations when he got up.
Xiao Shui was responsible for keeping Father out of the kitchen, following him from the moment he left the living room. When he came out of the bathroom and wanted to go to the kitchen, he immediately took a breath and rushed up, “Father, wait!”
Suddenly, a low voice was sent into Mu CangZhou’s ear. He looked back and it was his own little medusa. Mu CangZhou always had a little more tenderness for this child. Because he broke his shell with FanFan, and they had limited energy, they shared their love equally between the two children from the beginning.
Some studies have shown that the treatment of children in the period before they break their shells for a month could affect their future personality.
To be fair, Mu CangZhou didn’t think there were any major problems with the personalities of his children. But he also knew that with six children raised together at the same time, that it was inevitable parents would carelessly neglect space. This child, Xiao Shui, happened to be different from his brother FanFan, and did not have strong self-confidence in many things, doing things with a point of caution from time to time.
It took a lot of patience and trust to improve this situation, so Mu CangZhou squatted down to make his eyes level with Xiao Shui, raised his hand to gather his long, wavy hair, and asked softly, “What’s wrong?”
The place touched by Father was very itchy, Xiao Shui shrank his neck and thought of the responsibility he had come with.
So, he relaxed again and said with a red face, “The air at Grandma’s house is too dry… my hair is a little uncomfortable…”
He didn’t wait for Mu CangZhou to react, he rushed into the kitchen like a wild animal without a brain to find a small bowl to get water. When he came back to Mu CangZhou, his eyes were moist and his mouth muttering, “Father, can you put some water in my hair?”
When a son is in need, the father must meet them. Mu CangZhou immediately picked up Xiao Shui with one hand and took the small bowl with the other, turning back to the bathroom, “Sure, we’ll just use the shower.”
This was the perfect way to interrupt Mu CangZhou’s intention to go to the kitchen to see how the dumplings were chopped.
Xiao Shui was happy to see that this method was working. However, when the warm water drizzled onto his hair and Mu CangZhou asked him if the water was the right temperature, Xiao Shui felt a little bit of shame, knowing that he had never been so delicate in the hot Fire Island District!
It was a rare day when BaiBai was not on the phone with Brother Phil. There was homemade New Year’s Eve food, with a very, very large number of dishes. Too many kinds of smells were mixed together, making his nose feel uncomfortable, and he was lying by Daddy’s side in a depressed and sickly state, talking to Jing Man about one thing or another.
On the surface, however, he did not break away from his brothers to monitor Father’s activities, and his eyes and attention were still glued to Mu CangZhou. When he saw that Father and his brother Xiao Shui had been gone for a while and had not returned, he was very anxious. They would not have gone into the kitchen and let Father kill them, right? Once this thought came to his mind, he couldn’t sit still.
Jing Man saw the child arching in his arms, thinking that his nose was uncomfortable again, and quickly buried the soft little child in his arms, trying to purify his senses with his own smell, and softly asked, “Do you smell something again?”
“Huh?” Daddy’s sudden affection flattered BaiBai, he shook his head, refusing to let Daddy worry, “No, no, I saw that Father is not back yet, I also want to go to the bathroom…”
Jing Man smiled, “Then let’s go to another bathroom, come on, I’ll take you there.” After saying that, his eyes fell on Xiao Jin and ZhiZhi, who were huddled together playing with their terminals, “Do you two want to go to the bathroom?”
The latter quickly minimized the page, trying to check whether there were cameras in the grandmother’s house, and shook his head no.
Xiao Jin said, “Daddy, don’t worry about us, we’ll go by ourselves!”
Indeed, these two children were very capable of taking care of themselves.
Then, Jing Man turned around and asked Xiao Sang, who had been rolling around with the two golden retrievers since he entered the door and was now lying on Big Bear’s belly, scratching him, “Precious Xiao Sang, do you want to go to the bathroom?”
Xiao Sang lazily stretched, green and white eyes turned, and stiffly shook his head, “No.”
This kid had the most special and solitary personality, so only he knew that he was playing with the dog on the surface and was actually observing the dog’s behavior and reactions. Big Bear and Jing Xiang both recognized Father’s footsteps and scent, and both of their ears would prick up if he came back.
Perhaps thinking that he had enough people to watch his father, FanFan opened up a new battlefield for himself.
He ran into the kitchen on the pretext of staying with his grandmother, preparing food with Yan Xiu’er and stealing a little of the ingredients every now and then.
The big white tiger was also very talented at making food because he had a great love for eating and a very keen sense of taste. The same person who had not been in the kitchen several times, his cooking skills were actually much higher than Yan Xiu’er. Whether it’s vegetables or meat, as soon as he saw and smelled it, he could match it in his mind and come up with recipes and cooking.
Seeing the chopped, fatty and lean pork and BaiBai’s chubby lotus root on the counter, FanFan gulped and asked Yan Xiu’er, “Grandma, do you have a deep fryer at home?”
“Of course.” Although Yan Xiu’er did not cook at home, she had all the kitchen utensils in case she needed them at any time.
The day finally came. FanFan’s eyes lit up when he got a positive answer and he said with a big smile, “Let’s make stuffed fried lotus root!”1
He could already visualize the taste of a salty, crispy, and delicious fried stuffed lotus root in his mind! This… It didn’t seem to be a dish that a beginner could master…
Yan Xiu’er started to regret it when she took out the brand new frying pan, but when she turned around and saw FanFan’s mouth-watering and expectant expression, she couldn’t say no. After thinking about it, she said, “Let’s see, you wait for a while. I’ll go get your father to come over and help.”
Who would have thought that these words ignited FanFan’s nerves, and after his brothers’ explanation, he already understood that he could never let Father into the kitchen today!
“No! I’ll do it let me do it!” He shouted while running quickly to close the kitchen door. His expression was even a bit fierce, making Yan Xiu’er confused. Guessing that maybe FanFan wanted to show off a trick like himself, Yan Xiu’er nodded in understanding, “Okay, Grandma believes you can do it!”
The day ended with all the children wandering around in a bit of a frenzy. Originally, Yan Xiu’er wanted to ask the other five children to come to the kitchen to experience rolling and wrapping dumplings, as she had originally thought. However, when she went out of the kitchen several times, the children seemed to be too busy to care about themselves.
She was too embarrassed to interrupt, so she had to work with FanFan and the cooking robots to complete the New Year’s Eve cooking activity.
Thanks to FanFan, she learned a lot of cooking tricks and how to use those things in the kitchen… She thought it would be Mu CangZhou at the helm and she was playing second fiddle, but it turned out that FanFan had taken over the job originally intended for Mu CangZhou as his son.
The meal was a great success for everyone.
FanFan didn’t want Daddy to know that he did most of the cooking today, because when he wanted to go into the kitchen at home, Daddy was worried about him cutting his paws and getting burned by the hot oil, so he refused to let him go free to cook.
So, he deliberately steered the conversation towards his grandmother, convincing both Daddy and Father that Yan Xiu’er was a good cook.
In this day and age, fireworks had long been disallowed, replaced by a comprehensive regional broadcast of the year’s actions in each district, along with cheerful music. Intuitively hearing what people have done this year, and how far society has come, was not a matter of celebration.
The clock turned to twelve o’clock and Jing Man heard Jing HanYang’s voice unexpectedly – “Happy New Year, everyone in QingYuan District, I am Jing HanYang, the newly appointed district governor this year, we have achieved a lot in the past year… Finally, I’m going home for the New Year. I wish every family a Happy New Year and to remember to open your terminals to receive red envelopes.”
“Huh? This year, Dad gave out red packets to the whole QingYuan District!” Jing Man opened the terminal and grabbed the third prize of 88 yuan.2
He looked at the rules for grabbing the red envelope and found that there was a maximum of 8,888 and a minimum of 8 yuan.3
This money may not seem much, but there were hundreds of millions of people in a district, the base was huge! Yan Xiu’er came over and took a look, pursed her lips and smiled, “This is sponsored, you continue to look back.”
Seeing that his mother was in a good mood, Jing Man’s heart jumped. As expected, the top sponsors were some government companies, and then dropped down to private enterprises. The first in the list was Xiu Yan Personal Care!
Ten hundred thousand… The zeroes at the back of Jing Man’s eyes were blurry, but he still couldn’t figure out how much money his mother had sponsored.
As a person who didn’t feel much about money, this was the first time his heart was beating wildly because of too much money.
My mom is a rich woman, my dad is the district chief, it feels like I’ve become powerful too.
While he was thinking, Yan Xiu’er’s face suddenly approached him with a slightly drunken smile and asked, “ManMan, you always thought your mom and dad were not good people, right? That’s why you are so happy to see us doing charity.”
It was weird to bring this up on New Year’s Eve.
Jing Man was not a good liar, and frankly he did have this feeling after all these years, so he did not dare to say anything and looked at Mu CangZhou with wet eyes, hoping he could save him.
Fortunately, Mu CangZhou understood. He raised his glass and Yan Xiu’er clinked, laughing, “You’re drunk. Let me, an objective and impartial third party, answer the question. We have never doubted the character of the two of you. The greater the ability, the greater the responsibility, and you are both indelible founders who have made great contributions to society. However, as far as emotions are concerned, I don’t think you have been a good pair of parents in the past twenty years.”
With such words spoken, Yan Xiu’er’s head cleared a little.
She gave a hint, glanced sadly at Jing Man, didn’t say anything, and ate a dumpling by herself. The New Year’s Eve dinner lasted too long, and the dumplings got cold and a little hard.
Jing Man was relieved to see the atmosphere had eased, and he gratefully clutched Mu CangZhou’s hand and said to Yan Xiu’er, “Mom, don’t eat it yet, I’ll go warm it up for you.”
Hearing a “creak”, the door opened.
Jing HanYang, who was still broadcasting more than ten minutes ago, appeared in front of them. When he saw his wife and children and their cute kids, he took off his stern face and bent down to change his shoes while smiling, “Happy New Year, have you received all the red envelopes?”
“Grandpa! Grandpa!” They had no hope of seeing Jing HanYang today, but it was a surprise to see him there. The kids swarmed and surrounded him.
Xiao Sang nodded, “I’ve got it, thank you for the 8888.”
Xiao Shui was shocked, “Is it that much! I only have eight yuan!”
“It’s okay, little brother, I only have eight yuan too.” ZhiZhi secretly covered their 88.
Xiao Jin smiled, “I’m the same as Xiao Sang.”
BaiBai frowned, “Am I the only one with 888?”
“What? There are still red packets?!” This was FanFan, who was too busy tasting the food to listen to the live broadcast.
- Stuffed fried lotus root:
- 88 yuan is ~13 USD.
- 8888 yuan = ~1,334 USD, 8 yuan = ~1.20 USD