Chapter 14: Grilled Fish
Translated by Crystal of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Back in Da Yan, Lin ShuYi often went fishing, not because he liked it but because his teacher, the Chancellor loved it. His teacher often said that fishing was meditation and self-cultivation. If your mind couldn’t calm down, then go fishing. Once the fish takes the bait, your feelings would have calmed down.
Lin ShuYi tried it before, but he never got to that level, not in that life time. If he could follow the trend, then he wouldn’t have died such a terrible death.
His teacher had once told him that one should seek self-improvement during difficult times and seek to benefit others during successful times (Said by MengZi). Too bad he couldn’t benefit others, or improve himself. In his death, he never thought about how sad it would’ve made his teacher.
Even though he was alive, his teacher would never know. As he thought about it, Lin ShuYi suddenly opened his eyes.
Shen Fu was startled.
Seeing his face an inch away, Lin ShuYi’s face also darkened. “What are you doing?”
Shen Fu rolled his eyes and reached his hand to over to Lin ShuYi’s seatbelt. Then he said, “In the short span of time I asked you to put the stuff away, you somehow fell asleep in the car. You didn’t even wear your seatbelt, what do you think I’m doing?”
His long, well-defined, fingers fastened the seatbelt and with a click, Lin ShuYi found himself immobile. Just as he was about to say something, he saw Shen Fu doing the same. Then he shut his mouth, by the looks of things, it was something necessary.
Lin ShuYi had only ever taken the bus before, it was his first time in a car.
Old man Yang said that the fishing place was a bit far and needed multiple transfers if they were to take the bus. After hearing that, Shen Fu got this car. It wasn’t new and Shen Fu said he borrowed it from a friend, but Lin ShuYi never asked further.
Old man Yang was actually curious about the fact that he could drive. After being asked, Shen Fu pulled out a driver’s license from his wallet and said, “I knew how a long time ago.”
Lin ShuYi didn’t pay much attention to the license, instead, he focused on the photo beside it. It was a bit blurry and before he could get a clear view, Shen Fu put the wallet back into his pocket.
Lin ShuYi was till confused, when he changed clothes for Shen Fu, he hadn’t seen a wallet.
“Hey, are you still there, did you bring everything grandpa told you to bring? What were you dozing off to?”
Lin ShuYi regained his senses and nodded.
Shen Fu turned around and said something to old man Yang before he got into the car.
“I really didn’t think Xiao Fu would know how to drive. Now it’s much more convenient.”
Shen Fu smiled, “Grandpa, sit tight, fasten your seatbelt, we’re ready to get going.”
Once old man Yang fastened his seatbelt, then the three drove off.
Shen Fu didn’t know the way either, but they had a GPS so Shen Fu input the address that old man Yang told him. During the whole drive, Lin ShuYi kept staring at the GPS and Shen Fu couldn’t understand why.
“Do you want to learn how to drive?” Shen Fu asked.
“If you want to learn, I can teach you.”
Lin ShuYi replied unenthusiastically, “Why would I learn that?”
Shen Fu didn’t know whether to be annoyed or laugh. If you didn’t want to learn, then why are you staring at it so intently? He replied, “Once you learn how to drive, you can go out. If you want to eat something, you don’t have to worry about public transports and taxi’s aren’t convenient.”
Lin ShuYi’s eyes brightened, “I’ll learn it.”
“…….” Shen Fu felt like he found Lin ShuYi’s Achilles’ heel.
Once they arrived and Shen Fu got out of the car, he felt that this was truly a good place.
It was rural and quiet but with a great scenery.
Old man Yang got off the backseat of the car with a smile. Standing beside Shen Fu, he said, “How is it? It’s a good place, right? This is a place that only people who live near here know about.”
In front of them was a clear lake, but not a stagnant one. Ripples came and went, glistening under the sun. Beside it, willow trees created a perfect shade and there was a huge empty area for their tent. They could have a meal here, not to mention fish.
“Yes, it’s beautiful.”
However, Shen Fu wasn’t the one who said this. Shen Fu turned around to see Lin ShuYi just getting out of the car, his hand rested on his brow and his lips slightly curved, as if he remembered something funny.
Shen Fu crossed his arms in front his chest and, for a moment, wondered why this kid looked so nice. Almost nicer than he was.
Just as the two were focused on their own thoughts, old man Yang had already walked over to the car, prepared to unpack.
They had originally planned for a fishing trip, but after Shen Fu heard of the scenery and open space, he brought along a tent and camping equipment. They might as well eat out as well.
Seeing that old man Yang was starting to unpack, Shen Fu quickly walked over to help. The tent wasn’t heavy but difficult to build by oneself and just as Shen Fu was about to call Lin ShuYi over, Lin ShuYi said, “How do you build this?”
Shen Fu taught him and Lin ShuYi followed his instructions, building one side of the tent.
Old man Yang, in the meantime, had fixed together the fishing rod. Smiling as he looked over, he said, “Kids these days sure know how to enjoy themselves.”
They all ate breakfast before they came and it was still in the morning so they were full of energy. Once they built the tent, they sat beneath the willow tree and started fishing.
Lin ShuYi hooked the bait onto his rod and then looked unwaveringly at the fishing bobber. Shen Fu pressed his lips firmly together and thought to himself, it looks like he knows a thing or two. Old man Yang sat alone somewhere further away, probably afraid the two newbies would affect his catch.
But to the surprise of all, it didn’t take long before Lin ShuYi’s bobber started to sink. Calmly, Lin ShuYi reeled the fish in, it wasn’t long, only the size of Lin ShuYi’s hand, but because it was the first catch, he still had a faint smile on.
Shen Fu was shocked, he didn’t just look like he knew something but also had the skills. It wasn’t long before Shen Fu had something biting his hook as well.
One after another they caught their fish, as if they were competing against one and another. Old man Yang watched them afar and couldn’t help but smile.
Xiao Fu looked mature enough, so how come when it came to Xiao Yi, his childish side came out?
These two kids’ personalities were really different, not like brothers, not even like cousins.
By the time the sun rose to its peak, the two’s buckets was also getting full. Old man Yang’s bucket became the one with the least fish, however, they were the biggest, most were three kilograms.
Both Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi counted the fish in their buckets, and they both had twelve. Once they got rid of the smaller fish, Shen Fu had nine while Lin ShuYi only had eight left.
“Since the weather’s so nice, let’s not eat what we brought but instead grill these fish.” Shen Fu suggested as he pushed his sunglasses up.
Lin ShuYi tilted his head, “But we don’t have anything to cook with.”
Old man Yang came over with his bucket and said, “Xiao Fu thought ahead and told me to bring all of the cooking equipment. I have a knife, a grill rack, and see those cobblestones over there? We can use that to make a grill.”
Since it was a rare chance, he might as well make the full of it, so after hearing they were going to grill the fish themselves, Lin ShuYi got excited.
Old man Yang killed, cleaned, then marinated the fish while Shen Fu built the grill and made the fire. There was a forest around, so there were dried branches, these ones created less smoke.
The forest wasn’t close, so Lin ShuYi volunteered to grab the branches as he saw Shen Fu was busy with the grill. By the time he came back, with a bundle of sticks, Shen Fu finished making his grill as well.
Raging fire wasn’t good for grilling, so they first burned some of the larger branches and used the coal left behind to grill. The fish had been marinated with salt and ginger powder, then they were given a few slices on the back. Once it was grilled, the fish meat curled up and the aroma filled the senses.
Shen Fu only knew how to make fire but not how to grill, thus he left Lin ShuYi to his own devices and went back to the tent. By the looks of it, he was going to nap.
Wild fish were fresh and tender, the meat was firm but not dry, thus when grilling, it was best to not move it much. Otherwise, the fish might fall apart. Lin ShuYi simply brushed a bit more oil on them to ensure the meat would end up crisp and flavorful while also wholly intact.
Since they were grilling it, they used medium sized fish as they were easier to cook. Thus, even though they grilled a few fish, it didn’t take long.
In the end, he sprinkled on some cumin powder and chilli pepper powder. Old man Yang, who was watching on the side said, “Xiao Yi, you don’t eat spicy food do you? Leave some without the chilli pepper powder.”
“It’s fine.” Lin ShuYi replied since he always got tempted by other people’s food, he might as well make them all the same this time.
Once he finished, Lin ShuYi got up to grab Shen Fu.
Shen Fu had laid down in the tent, one hand on his forehead and it looked as if he was asleep already.
Lin ShuYi had investigated Shen Fu’s looks before, but even then, sometimes he would still be amazed by it. If he just took Shen Fu’s face, it was a match even against those celebrities on TV.
The tent was still a bit small for Shen Fu, as he laid horizontally in the tent, one of his legs was curled up.
Lin ShuYi kicked his other leg lightly. “Food’s ready.”
His long, feather like eyelashes fluttered and slowly opened. Once he saw Lin ShuYi, he instantly laughed, “Pff.”
Lin ShuYi’s face darkened instantly. “What are you laughing at?!”
Shen Fu rose with laziness and stood in front of Lin ShuYi. He reached out with his fingers, as if to touch Lin ShuYi’s face, but Lin ShuYi tilted his head back. However, he was held still by Shen Fu. “Don’t move! You’re face’s a mess.”
The warmth of his fingers touched his cheek, gently rubbing them as he smiled. Lin ShuYi didn’t know why but his heart suddenly beat loudly and then his ears started burning.
“I’m going to wash it off.” Lin ShuYi turned around and walked towards the lake.
Shen Fu’s hand froze, confused, was he embarrassed?
Once they finished eating, old man Yang continued to fish, while Shen Fu sat beside him, chatting. Lin ShuYi, however, went back to the tent and took a nap. He didn’t fish anymore.
It wasn’t until the sun set did they pack up and leave.