Chapter 106: Takoyaki
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The next day, Shen Fu woke up bright and early. After he ate breakfast, he started to prepare his things to take his two sons out.
Lin ShuYi rolled over on the bed and woke up blearily, eyes still misty.
Shen Fu went up and kissed Lin SuYi’s forehead. “Sleep for a while longer. I’ll call you when I’m done.”
Lin ShuYi made a noise of acknowledgement and continued sleeping. He really was exhausted and just couldn’t muster the energy.
Most of what they had to bring was TaoTao’s. His diapers, his compartmented milk powder box, warm water in a thermos cup, the necessary cool drinking water in his milk bottle, teething biscuits…
Shen Yan suddenly appeared behind him, asking, “You’re going out?”
Shen Fu nodded without looking at him. “Yup, I’m taking them out.”
Shen Yan walked closer, watching Shen Fu continuously adding things to his bag, and smiled. “You know what you’re like now?”
“A full-time male nanny.”
Shen Fu: …
Shen Yan laughed again. “However, I quite envy you.”
Shen Fu finally turned his head, looking at his brother. “Actually, you guys can go and adopt one, too.” Shen Yan nodded and then he heard Shen Fu continue. “However, there’ no way they’ll be as good as my kids.”
Shen Yan: …
Just as Shen Fu finished packing up, Lin ShuYi finally got up to ready himself for the day. After everyone was on the car, Shen Yan arrived fashionably late and opened the car door. “I don’t have anything better to do, so I guess I’ll come with you.”
Then he sat into the car.
Shen Fu: …
This guy had a rare holiday that didn’t clash with Jiang Cheng’s, so why is he so insistent on joining them as a third wheel. However, noticing the curve to Shen Yan’s lips, Shen Fu didn’t say anything and switched on the engine.
The place they were heading to was a bit far. It was a farming and culture park with a focus on amusement. Apparently, it hadn’t been open for long, but received high ratings across the board. Culture based tourist attractions like this were usually in rural areas, taking up an immense area of land and having a wide variety of attractions to see, to play, to try out with your own hands, to taste, all scattered across the venue. There were things like DIY pottery, amusement park rides loved by children, many different kinds of foods to try out, and even gardens of fruits that you could pick, fresh and delicious.
It took over two hours to arrive by car. By the time they arrived, it was already ten in the morning. There were already quite a lot of people inside the culture park by then. As soon as the five got out of the car, they purchased tickets and headed inside. XiaoYu darted to the front of their group, looking around as he walked, curious about everything.
Shen Fu actually very rarely came to places like this, never mind Shen Yan.
TaoTao refused to let anyone carry him this time, unsteadily following after XiaoYu. Wherever his brother went, he would follow. Though XiaoYu was curious, he didn’t leave TaoTao behind. The two lead the group with occasionally unsteady steps, the three adults behind them, amused.
There were different attractions in all directions from the front gate. It was up to them to choose if they wanted food or fun. Thus, they decided to visit all the attractions, starting from the front gate. Then XiaoYu and TaoTao got stuck to the park rides.
TaoTao really liked the little train you could sit in and would dart around. He went on that alone a full three times. When Lin ShuYi said he couldn’t continue, he was reluctant to leave, but didn’t cry or throw a tantrum. He just patted the nose of the train and bid it goodbye.
Lin ShuYi couldn’t help but laugh at this.
There were plenty of fun things to do in the park. The three adults combined didn’t manage to match up to XiaoYu’s ride experience, enthusiastically trying every single ride he could before heading off in satisfaction to the food area.
Lin ShuYi was so hungry he had practically deflated at this point.
The food area contained delicacies from all over. This time, it was Lin ShuYi whose eyes lit up.
Possibly because this culture park had been doing well ever since it opened, the food area was extremely popular as well. Little booths were set up all across the area, selling all kinds of treats placed in a variety of pretty little plates and bowls. The portions were all pretty small, not allowing you to get too full and making it easy for one person to try all sorts of things.
There was a huge variety of snacks too: walnut soybean curd with taro balls (芋圆豆花), which was more suited to a southern palette; salty chilli soybean curd (咸辣豆花), a northern specialty; takoyaki, crispy rice crust (焦香米锅巴), sesame oil hot and spicy noodles (麻酱热干面), sweet spicy pies (酱香小饼)…
There was so many kinds that Lin ShuYi didn’t have the first clue as to what he should get. He hadn’t tried most of these things, so he didn’t know what was good.
In the end, it was Shen Yan who gave them a solution. “Line up where there are the most people.”
In the end, they managed to buy their food.
TaoTao drank from his bottle as he stared with wide eyes at everything Lin ShuYi brought back. Then, he suddenly set his bottle down and pointed at the round takoyaki. “Candy~ Candy~”
XiaoYu was smiling so wide his eyes curved. “This is salty; it’s not candy.”
TaoTao didn’t know what salty was, he only knew that this round thing looked delicious.
Lin ShuYi had never tried this either and didn’t know if it was ok to give to TaoTao to eat. He tried it first. There was a crunch to the outer skin before it gave away to a tender inside. It seemed to be meat, juicy and heavy, absolutely heavenly.
He used a spoon to crush the little ball and then blew on it to cool it down before feeding TaoTao. TaoTao closed his eyes in satisfaction, smiling as he ate.
After finishing the little octopus balls, he fed TaoTao some of the sweet soybean curd with taro balls. TaoTao was finally full, finishing the last of his milk and running off to play energetically.
Time flew when they were having fun. In the end, it was six in the evening by the time they finished picking fruits. The sun had yet to fully set, but if they didn’t go home soon, the sky would be completely dark before long.
TaoTao had been running around playing for an entire day and was absolutely exhausted. He fell asleep instantly upon getting onto the car. XiaoYu was also yawning and rubbing his eyes every now and then, like he would fall asleep at any time.
After getting home, Shen Fu and Shen Yan each carried one of the kids inside with Lin ShuYi carrying their things behind them. When they opened the door, they found everyone sitting inside in the living room. Jiang Cheng was there, too, and as soon as he saw Shen Yan, his eyes locked onto the other.
Lin ShuYi set his things down on the sofa and very wisely took TaoTao from Shen Yan’s arms.
Shen Yan pursed his lips as he glanced at Jiang Cheng before heading up the stairs. Jiang Cheng followed.
Old Master Shen gave the two a strange look and asked Shen Fu, “Was your brother with you all day?”
Shen Fu nodded.
Old Master Shen seemed confused. “Did they have a fight? Jiang Cheng arrived at noon and waited for a whole afternoon. No one answered the phone when he called either.”
Shen Fu suddenly understood. No wonder Shen Yan hadn’t been sticking to Jiang Cheng like glue. No wonder Shen Yan didn’t seem right all day. So they had a fight, huh?
Shen Fu suddenly wanted to go up and eavesdrop.
After putting the two children to bed, Lin ShuYi was exhausted, hurriedly taking a shower before making Shen Fu swear he wouldn’t do anything except sleep that night. Lin ShuYi would actually like to be able to get up in the morning thanks.
They didn’t know what Jiang Cheng had said to Shen Yan, but the latter was visibly happier the next morning. On one hand, Shen Fu felt that his brother’s mood swings were a bit weird, on the other, he was glad that his brother was happier. After all, when his brother wasn’t happy, he didn’t look at where he was tossing his bombs.
Jiang Cheng came to the Shen Family house again at noon, saying that he wanted to take Shen Yan out. Jiang Cheng sat next to Shen Fu when Shen Yan went to change.
“You and him…” Jiang Cheng looked towards Lin ShuYi, who was playing with TaoTao not far away. “Aren’t you guys going to get married?”
Shen Fu glanced over as well. Lin ShuYi had just said something that had TaoTao laughing happily nonstop, and Shen Fu couldn’t help but smile as well. “Of course.”
He had planned to marry this person from the very start of their relationship.
Jiang Cheng frowned a little at hearing this and then asked, “Have you said anything to him yet?”
“How did he react?”
Shen Fu thought back. “The first time he didn’t really have any reaction, but the second time he seemed pretty happy.”
Jiang Cheng’s frown deepened. “You talked to him about it twice?!”
Shen Fu finally understood what had happened. “You brought it up with my brother?”
Jiang Cheng nodded, not seeing any harm in sharing with Shen Fu. “I want to marry him but… he didn’t seem happy at all. In fact, he was angry.”
Jiang Cheng seemed to deflate, like a child that didn’t know what he had done wrong.
Shen Fu wanted to laugh, but managed to resist. “How did you bring it up with him?”
Jiang Cheng seemed a little reluctant to speak, but he didn’t know who else he could go to apart from Shen Fu, so he continued. “I asked him to marry into my family (嫁给我)*.”
Shen Fu: …
He tried his best to hold back, but in the end he failed and began to laugh uproariously.
“Marry into your family?!! Ahahahaha….” He was laughing so loudly that Lin ShuYi and Old Master Shen couldn’t help but look over. Jiang Cheng’s expression twisted.
Shen Fu felt that he was laughing too much at this and eventually managed to stifle it. “My brother is a man, and an independent, powerful elite as well and you want him to marry into your family? Do you see him as a woman?”
Jiang Cheng’s brows were locked together, not really getting the point of Shen Fu’s words. “I didn’t think of him as a woman when I asked him to marry into my family.”
Shen Fu chuckled and said, “Uncle Jiang, it couldn’t be that you’ve forgotten how to use Chinese after all these years of staying abroad? Think. My brother has thought you were straight for all these years, and this is exactly what’s been bothering him so much. Using a phrase like that is like poking him where it hurts most. Plus, are you really planning on marrying my brother?”
Jiang Cheng finally understood where the problem lay and ended up wilting at the last two sentences. “Of course, I do. Does it look like I’m joking to you?”
Jiang Cheng couldn’t help but bring back some of his intimidating demeanor. Shen Fu wasn’t afraid, instead feeling a little triumphant. It seemed like he was only afraid of his brother. He didn’t feel at all intimidated by Jiang Cheng’s whose aura was even more oppressive than Shen Yan’s.
He smiled, saying, “Brother Jiang, lemme tell you what I think. I think you aren’t joking and I don’t believe you would ever joke about something like this. It’s not that my brother doesn’t like you, or doesn’t want to marry you, but have you ever thought how he’s going to marry you now when your parents haven’t even accepted him?”
Jiang Cheng’s frown softened. He was a very intelligent person. The reason why he couldn’t figure this problem out was because he was emotionally invested, and it was hard to keep a clear head. “I understand.”
Shen Fu grinned. “Brother Jiang, I’m rooting for you. In reality, I think you and my brother are made for each other.”
Jiang Cheng raised an eyebrow, his usual smile coming back. “Really? Why thank you.”
Yup yup, that was the expression he was looking for. Just look at how well suited they were to one another, two different breeds of smiling wolves.
Jouissance: the phrase Jiang Cheng used here was specifically for asking a woman to marry a man, or something to that degree, since it implies marrying into a family, which in ancient China was how marriages worked. The woman would marry into the man’s family and become part of his family/household, rather than the more modern idea of marriage which is basically the idea of linking two families.
Addis: In ancient China, the wife who married into her husband’s family would quite literally be put into the family register, live on their property, only rely on their money etc. It can also work the other way where a family basically adopted the man to take over a family business by adding him into their family register after he married their daughter, which is called the husband marrying into his wife’s family. Shen Yan is mad because he believes that Jiang Cheng sees him as a woman, not a man.