Chapter 28: Braised Pig Trotters with Soybeans
Translated by Kollumceti of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Zhao XueMei waited for several days till Yang JianGuo finally called to say that he would not come back for dinner on Saturday since he was working overtime.
It was great that he was not coming back for dinner. Zhao XueMei packed up and prepared to take a bus to ChaoYang Street. Before leaving, she met Yang Xiao who had just returned from somewhere. When Yang Xiao heard that Zhao XueMei was going to ChaoYang Street, he asked to go with her.
“You’d better not go. Mom’s just going to see what your grandfather is up to.”
Yang Xiao rolled his eyes, “Don’t, you’ll be alone then. Though Grandpa is easy to talk to, aren’t there two other troublesome people? What if you were bullied after going there?”
Although Zhao XueMei felt that the two men would not dare to do anything to her, she was happy that Yang Xiao had said as such, thus she agreed, “Only our family’s Xiao Xiao knows how to love his mother.”
“Of course. You’re my mother. Who else would I love best other than you?”
Zhao XueMei was coaxed by this remark till she grinned from ear to ear. She pulled Yang Xiao’s hand and prepared to go out.
“By the way, Mom, when does Dad get paid?”
“On the twenty-fifth. What happened?” Yang Xiao had never ever cared about these things. Why did he suddenly ask this question?
Yang Xiao scratched his head, “Nothing, I’m just asking. It’s quite hard for Dad to be the single breadwinner. Why don’t I go and see if there is a suitable job at some time?”
Yang Xiao had been idle at home for several years. After graduation, he interned at several places but soon quit and refused to work, complaining that this job was tiring and the another was too hard. Although Zhao XueMei spoiled her son, she also knew that it was impossible to go on like this. However, as long as she mentioned going to work to Yang Xiao, he would got angry and say that they could not stand to see him staying at home. In the end, she just no longer brought it up. Even though it was hard for Yang JianGuo to be the sole breadwinner, Zhao XueMei always thought that it would be better if Yang Xiao was a little older. Zhao XueMei was really surprised now that Yang Xiao volunteered to find work. Her son had finally become sensible and started to understand things. She did not dote on him in vain.
Zhao XueMei looked very happy, “Mom is really glad that you think this way, but you don’t need to be in a hurry to find a job. Ask your father to help you see if you can find a relaxed one.” Firstly, she was afraid that her son would suffer hardship, and secondly, she was afraid that Yang Xiao would quit after two days like before after saying it was too tiring and waste their efforts.
Yang Xiao had something on his mind and was just speaking casually. He became a little impatient upon seeing that his mom took it seriously and looked like she wanted to send him out immediately, “OK, OK. Then, mom, you have the final say.”
Zhao XueMei did not know why Yang Xiao did not want to mention it again after he had brought it up himself, so she said, “Xiao Xiao, don’t clash those two people later. Mom has her own method.”
Yang Xiao did not know what the method his mom mentioned was, but no matter what she said, he just felt that Lin ShuYi was an eyesore. Therefore, he nodded on the surface, but he did not take it seriously in his heart.
Zhao XueMei did not pretend to be any more this time. Anyway, she would not let the matter drop if she did not achieve her aim. She could not let it go on like this, and let other people profit off this for free.
However, she never thought that the XiQin Restaurant would be packed with people when she arrived. Zhao XueMei stared at the unremarkable small restaurant with wide eyes.
“Little handsome brother, we want two bowls of beef noodles.”
“We want a bowl of chicken noodles, with more coriander.”
The sight of this small restaurant packed with people was too incredulous. Could it be that she had walked into the wrong place? History repeated itself and Zhao XueMei stepped back before looking at the sign above.
“Mom, this is Grandpa’s restaurant?” Yang Xiao also could not believe it. They had always looked down on to this small restaurant. The shop front was really unremarkable. Putting it mildly, it was simple and unadorned. Putting it harshly, it was dilapidated. Yang JianGuo worked in a company and Zhao XueMei would rather idle at home than do a job that was full of the odor of oil, let alone Yang Xiao.
Therefore, none of them came to see this small restaurant when they were living here. In their opinion, Old man Yang could not earn much by selling at such a low price even though there were people coming here to eat. In addition, those that patronized the shop were just those few people. Zhao XueMei felt that they were just all acquaintances who were supporting the restaurant.
So in reality, they had been deceived by Old man Yang over the years? There were actually so many people in this seemingly dismal little restaurant? Zhao XueMei’s face immediately turned black, “I’m going to ask your Grandpa what happened.”
Zhao XueMei walked into the restaurant. She did not see the Old man Yang but saw Lin ShuYi who was bustling about inside and Shen Fu who was collecting money outside.
All kinds of thoughts flashed through her mind in an instant. However, the thought that ‘Old man Yang had given the restaurant to other people’ flashed in big letters and she was unable to shake this thought. Zhao XueMei flew into a rage in an instant.
“Why are you two still here?! Where is he?!” What she had just shouted was rather rude. Zhao XueMei had not planned to shed all pretense of cordiality in the beginning, but she could not bear it any longer.
Lin ShuYi looked through the service hatch and frowned when he saw that woman and her son.
Old man Yang would always be there in the morning. They had only managed to persuade him to go back to take a nap when it was close to noon. These two people came knocking on their door again as soon as he stepped out.
Lin ShuYi did not say anything. Shen Fu raised his eyebrow, “Why are you looking for Grandpa? Have you come to make amends and apologize again?”
What he just said was directly stating that their last visit to publicly apologize was actually an act with hidden intentions. Coupled with Shen Fu’s tone of voice that was full of ridicule, Yang Xiao also became full of rage after hearing this and he rushed forward with a big step.
The shop was still full of people at this moment. Seeing Yang Xiao’s behavior, they suddenly understood that these two who had suddenly appeared were here to pick a quarrel.
Yang Xiao only impulsively took a step forward before he was stopped by Zhao XueMei. It was not that she was afraid of something, but she was thinking that since the restaurant’s business was so good, wouldn’t the loss outweighs the gain in the future if Yang Xiao’s impulsive act frightened away the customers?
Lin ShuYi also did not want them to make trouble in the restaurant. Grandpa would be saddened if the restaurant was damaged. Thinking of this, he reached a hand through the service hatch and tugged on Shen Fu’s clothes, “Don’t make trouble here.”
Shen Fu looked at the fair hand that was tugging on his clothes. The bad mood that had been roused by these two people had nearly disappeared all at once. The corner of his lips lifted up, “I know. I’ll speak with them outside.”
Lin ShuYi frowned again after hearing this, “You alone?”
Was Lin ShuYi worried about him? The joy that showed in Shen Fu’s eyes grew. If there weren’t so many people watching, he would have stretched out his hand and rubbed Lin ShuYi’s hair.
“Don’t worry, it’s not like I am going to fight.”
It was really not a fight. This was just a one-sided lesson. Shen Fu scowled and gave Yang Xiao a chilly glare.
“Let’s go out and talk if you have anything to say.” Shen Fu, with his hands in his pockets, approached Yang Xiao with great arrogance. He turned his head and sneered at Yang Xiao in ridicule as he passed him. It was clear that he was intentionally enraging Yang Xiao.
Sure enough, Yang Xiao immediately took the bait and he followed Shen Fu out. He had completely forgotten the losses he suffered in Shen Fu’s hands the last time.
Zhao XueMei wanted to stop him, but did not do it in the end. Although she did not want to make a scene here, she also did not want to passively follow Shen Fu somewhere else. After all, she had not been here for years. However, Zhao XueMei could only stamp her feet and hatefully look back at Lin ShuYi before chasing after Yang Xiao who had followed. Yang Xiao was impulsive and Zhao XueMei did not forget that Yang Xiao had once said that he had suffered losses in that man’s hands.
Lin ShuYi did not feel rest assured even though the three had left. However, everyone was still eating and he could not just close the shop.
After thinking about it, Lin ShuYi called Xiao Wan. Xiao Wan stayed at home during Sundays and it should be fine for her to help him watch the restaurant for a while.
Xiao Wan has never received a call from Lin ShuYi before. She had to force Lin ShuYi to hand over his phone to save his number and had even set up a special ring-tone for him. Unfortunately, it had not rang once. But that was natural since the two families lived so close by and there was no need to call them on their phones.
So Xiao Wan did not realize that she had a call even after the special ringtone rang for a long time. Xiao Wan’s Grandma was cooking in the kitchen. She was stewing a pot of pig trotters with soybeans and prepared to box some up for Old man Yang. She became anxious when she heard Xiao Wan mobile phone ringing, with no sign of her answering the phone, “Qian Xiao Wan! Are you not going to answer the phone? It’s been ringing for half a day!”
Xiao Wan realized that it was Lin ShuYi’s special ringtone. She took no account of her Grandma’s angry roar and answered the phone happily. “Help you look after the restaurant? Okay, okay. It’s alright. I’ll come now. Two minutes, two minutes.”
After that, she energetically rushed to the door, putting on her shoes and preparing to go out.
Xiao Wan’s Grandma poked her head out of the kitchen, “The food is almost ready. Where are you going?”
“Brother Xiao Yi said he wanted me to help him look after the restaurant. He had something to do and needs to go out for a while.”
Look after the restaurant? Shouldn’t Xiao Fu be there too? Xiao Wan’s Grandma thought about it as she lifted the thermos she was holding, “Wait a minute, bring this to them for their lunch since you’re going to the restaurant anyway.”
“Okay~” Xiao Wan energetically returned to pick up the thermos and left just as energetically.
“This crazy girl, when will she grow up?” Be that as it may, her lips lifted in an indulgent smile.
The two people came and left in the blink of an eye, so everyone did not care even though they came here to create trouble. A few more people came to the store, but Lin ShuYi apologized and said that he could not cook now as he had something to do. The customers were very understanding. Ten minutes later, Xiao Wan trotted over.
“Brother Xiao Yi, here’s some pig trotters stewed by Grandma.”
Lin ShuYi took it and smiled at her, “Thank Grandma for me. I’m going out first. Xiao Wan, help me keep an eye here.”
Xiao Wan beamed and waved her hand, “Go on, go on~”
Shen Fu stopped after walking three alleys away from XiQin Restaurant. There were usually few people in this alley and using this was the best way to solve these problems.
Yang Xiao also arrived in the next moment. Zhao XueMei trotted as she followed them, but also kept an eye out. This place was remote and quiet. What did Shen Fu bring them over here for? She would never have followed him if it weren’t for her being unable to stop Yang Xiao. Thinking of this, Zhao XueMei tried to awe others by displaying her strength, “Why did you bring us over here? Are you planning to do something to us in broad daylight?”
Yang Xiao remembered that this person was not an easy character to deal with once Zhao XueMei said this and could not help regretting his own recklessness.
Shen Fu shrugged his shoulders, looking relaxed and comfortable, “Nothing. I just don’t want to see you guys causing a disturbance in Grandpa’s shop, so we’re talking in another place.” After that, he look at Yang Xiao in ridicule, “What’s wrong? You’re scared?”
Even if Yang Xiao was already been terrified in his heart, he could only put on a front and say, “Afraid of you? What a joke!”
Zhao XueMei was a woman of long experience after all. She did not fall for Shen Fu’s psychological tricks. She pulled Yang Xiao behind her, “I have nothing to say to you. Xiao Xiao, let’s go.”
Shen Fu did not speak, but he looked at Yang Xiao with contempt. He knew that with Yang Xiao’s character, which could fly off the handle at the slightest provocation, he would not leave like this.
Sure enough, Yang Xiao stopped after musing over it. Besides having a little strength, he did not believe that this man could do anything to him. “Mom, how can the two of us be afraid of him? Aren’t you going to tell them to get out of Grandpa’s house? When are you going to say it if not now?”
Zhao XueMei was inwardly indignant that Yang Xiao chose this time to become impulsive and make trouble, yet she also stopped. She looked at Shen Fu, “I do not know why the two of you approached my father, but my father is soft at heart. Don’t blame us for being impolite if you have other intentions.”
“Other intentions? Do you think that everyone would keep thinking about Grandpa’s house as much as you do?”
Even Zhao XueMei flushed with anger this time.
Yang Xiao rushed up and threw a punch at Shen Fu’s face while Shen Fu’s attention was on his mother. Shen Fu swept his long legs and kicked Yang Xiao’s stomach with one foot, before using punting Yang Xiao far away. His hands were in his pockets and he did not even take them out.
Zhao XueMei skittered towards Yang Xiao and howled, “There’s a fight! Come and see! There’s a bully in broad daylight!”
A shadow of a smile was displayed on Shen Fu’s face, “I didn’t do anything. He himself jumped over.”
It was only then did Yang Xiao realize that he had kicked an iron plate. His belly twisted and it hurt as he breathed.
Yang Xiao has always been strong in appearance but weak in reality. He did not dare to raise a hue and cry after suffering this loss. Shen Fu was neither hostile not friendly as he incited them. He just looked at them with a scowl without any other reaction. Instead it was Zhao XueMei could not help letting loose a torrent of abuse. Shen Fu shook his head. He spent so much effort, yet the result was a cowardly and useless bag of wind.
Just as he was about to walk away with his hands in his pockets, he heard Zhao Xuemei hurling foul words, “You shameless gigolo! I don’t know where Old man Yang got such a bastard like you from. You still dare to hit people?! And that no-good son of a bitch! Let me tell you, I’m not going to leave this matter at that. Since you dare to hit Xiao Xiao, I’m going make your lives a living hell!”
Shen Fu looked back and shot her a dark glare.
Zhao XueMei was still a little scared. She thought a little and did not dare to scold him anymore. So she scolded the other one, “That little thing called Lin ShuYi is not a good thing either! He looks so seductive and bewitching and even killed his own parents! He will surely not have a good future. More likely than not, he’ll become a little toy for a thousand people to ride and ten thousand people to sleep with!”
She had learned from the Internet that there were still gays and male prostitutes in the world a few days ago. At that time, she had spat and even said that they were disgusting. Unexpectedly, these new vocabulary came into use now. Even Yang Xiao was stunned to hear them.
Who knew that Shen Fu’s face would suddenly turn black. He even turned around, looking down on her like a Asura full of murderous intent, “What did you say? Say it again.”
The last three words seemed to be squeezed out between the gaps of his teeth. Zhao XueMei was so frightened by his appearance that she trembled. She opened her mouth and wanted to continue scolding, but did not dare to.
“Shen Fu.” Lin ShuYi walked over from the other mouth of the alley. He had the usual expression on his face, and it was unknown if he had heard anything.
Yang Xiao’s face became pale upon seeing that another person had arrived. They could not even deal with a single Shen Fu, let alone another one.
Lin ShuYi did not spare them a glance. He walked over to Shen Fu and asked, “Finished talking?”
Shen Fu put away his fierce expression and grinned as he nodded, “Finished.”
“Let’s go back since you’re finished. Xiao Wan’s Grandma sent some braised pig trotters with soybeans. Didn’t you say you wanted to eat it the last time?”
Shen Fu narrowed his eyes, “Like you don’t want to eat it too.”
Lin ShuYi finally laughed. “Yes, I want to eat too. Let’s go back to eat together with Grandpa.”
Shen Fu nodded and stretched out his hand to rub Lin ShuYi’s head.
“You go first. I’ll still have a little bit more to tell them.”
Lin ShuYi did not object. Finally, he looked at Yang Xiao, “Go on then. But there is no need to say too much for such people.”
Shen Fu burst into laughter. So it turned out that Lin ShuYi also knew how to get angry.
Shen Fu’s expression darkened again as soon as Lin ShuYi left. He walked to the mother and son pair and squatted down with a smile that was like a smile and yet not, “Auntie, I think you should know what words should be said and what words should not. You don’t need me to teach you right? And this son of yours,” Shen Fu shook his head, “most of it has already been disabled. If you don’t teach him well, you will have no chance in the future.”
When Shen Fu said that Yang Xiao was disabled, Zhao XueMei thought that Yang Xiao had been beaten till he was disabled. However, it was only until Zhao XueMei heard the latter part of his sentence that she understood what Shen Fu meant. She trembled with rage and not longer cared about her fear, “I don’t need you to manage my own son! Who do you think you are?!”
Shen Fu was not angry. He stood up with a smile and looked at Yang Xiao, “If you let me see you come here again to look for something…” The consequences did not need to be mentioned, yet Yang Xiao felt an inexplicable chill that ran straight up his spine to his head.
After that, Shen Fu nonchalantly and cordially put his hands into his pockets before walking off in the direction that Lin ShuYi went.