Chapter 30: Lan Zhou Ramen
Translated by Crystal of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
This thing finally ended with Yang JianGuo’s slap across the face, but everyone knew it was far from over.
Zhao XueMei went back to her parents home in tears. The anger burned stronger and stronger. Somehow it seemed that Yang JianGuo grew a backbone after that incident and never went to pick her up. Now matter how angry she was in Zhao XueMei’s family home, he didn’t care but because of that, Zhao XueMei just got angrier.
This was the first time in their relationship that they had fought. Before, he didn’t even dare raise his voice against her, much less hit her, thus Zhao XueMei blamed it all on old Man Yang and Lin ShuYi. If it wasn’t for them, nothing would have happened.
In the end, it was Yang Xiao who brought Zhao XueMei back against Yang JianGuo’s wishes. But even then, Yang JianGuo ignored her while pulling a long face. Clearly he was determined to leave her alone for a while. Zhao XueMei had never experienced such treatment before and she threw her anger onto the plates and bowls in the house. The house was in a chaotic atmosphere, very much unlike a ‘home’.
On the other hand, the XiQin Restaurant was in a whole another atmosphere.
By now, old man Yang barely even took care of the restaurant itself, leaving it all to Lin ShuYi. From the look of things, he was going to pass the restaurant onto him. As for the old man himself, he would do some light exercise with Xiao Wan’s grandma and play chess with old uncle Chen. His days were much more carefree than before.
Thus, this lasted until a day where old man Yang called everyone over and announced the thing that he had been considering.
“From now on, this Xi Qin Restaurant belongs to Xiao Yi.”
Other than Shen Fu and Xiao Wan’s grandma who weren’t surprised, everyone else was dumbfounded, including Lin ShuYi, “What are you saying grandpa?”
Old man Yang waved his hand, indicating him to pause and wait for him to finish. “My life accomplishment…at then end of the day, is just this Xi Qin Restaurant. I never did anything ‘great’, just kept this restaurant going for half of my life. At first, I thought to pass on this restaurant to my son and grandson as I aged…” Old man Yang paused before continuing with a smile, “but, too bad, I didn’t have that luck. Neither my son nor my grandson wants this restaurant, it’s not to their standards. But even so, it’s my child, even if it isn’t worth much, I don’t want to just throw it away. So I might as well pass it on to Xiao Yi, then even when I die, I’ll know it’s still there.”
The whole talk was a bit solemn and everyone knew old man Yang was remembering his disappointing and unfilial son and grandson.
Old man Yang didn’t say anymore so Xiao Wan’s grandma walked up, patting his shoulder as she said, “Old man Yang, don’t overthink things. Isn’t there still us and the two kids? These two kids, we’ve been watching them, even if they aren’t blood related to you, they treat you like you are. It’s not a bad idea to leave it to him, otherwise it would be angering to have Zhao XueMei take over it.”
Then everyone started nodding, saying that Xiao Wan grandma’s words made sense.
Lin ShuYi held his lips shut the entire time and only spoke up now, “Grandpa, I can’t take this restaurant.”
Now, everyone, except Shen Fu, was surprised.
“Stupid child, old man Yang already told us he’s going to give it to you, why don’t you take it?”
Lin ShuYi said, “There are something we can and cannot do. Helping grandpa with the restaurant is something I want to do, something I’m willing to do. When grandpa give me a wage, then it’s an equivalent exchange. I got what I deserved from grandpa then the rest I don’t deserve. I won’t take anything I don’t deserve.”
Lin ShuYi said it with seriousness but everyone just took it as a childish joke and smiled. Even old man Yang said, “You sure know a lot, I got dizzy listening to you, but I just know one thing. If this restaurant isn’t taken over by you, then I’m selling it. Then, there won’t be a Xi Qin Restaurant left.” Getting to this point, old man Yang’s expression dimmed as well, “Xiao Yi, you really don’t want it?”
“Why does grandpa have to sell it?”
Old man Yang smiled, “Stupid child, grandpa’s old, I can’t work anymore. Even if we ignore that, even if I can still work, what happens when I die? This house would still belong to someone else.”
Once Lin ShuYi understood everything, he was shocked. The world was huge, but there wasn’t another Xi Qin Restaurant to be his resting place.
With a smile, Shen Fu whispered to Lin ShuYi’s ears, “How about this, since grandpa’s going to sell the restaurant if you don’t take over, why not buy it yourself?”
Lin ShuYi tilted his head, “Buy it?”
“Yep, if you buy it, then the Xi Qin Restaurant will forever be called the Xi Qin Restaurant.”
A light lit up Lin ShuYi’s eyes. “You’re right. Grandpa, I’ll buy the restaurant.”
Old man Yang was taken back and then everyone started laughing, “Sure, sure, if you want to buy it, then you can buy it.”
Anyways, as long as Xi Qin Restaurant was still around, buying it or taking it, what’s the difference? As long as Lin ShuYi agreed then it’s fine.
So in haste, the decision was made.
However, old man Yang took it very seriously. He pulled out his property ownership certificate and took Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi to the department of housing management to exchange ownership to Lin ShuYi. When they came out of it, Lin ShuYi finally remembered that he hadn’t given a penny for the place. Not only that, the little savings he had wasn’t nearly enough.
Old man Yang was smiling like usual, “No worries, this money, you can give it to me whenever you want. Actually, it’s fine even if you don’t give me anything, grandpa doesn’t need anything. Grandpa just has one wish and that’s this restaurant, grandpa wants you to keep opening it until the day you really don’t want to anymore. Only close it down then.”
Lin ShuYi nodded, “I won’t close it, but I will definitely give the money to you.”
Shen Fu, who hadn’t been on the sidelines this entire time, pulled up and said, “I have money, I can lend it to you, you want it?” Lin ShuYi glared at him. Shen Fu smirked, “You don’t believe me? Anyways, it’s owing grandpa or owing me, you pick. If you owe grandpa money for a long time, he might not want it anymore. As for me…no way.”
In the end, Lin ShuYi didn’t borrow from him because old man Yang said that he would give him an IOU. That way, he wouldn’t worry about not repaying the debt.
Thus, the XiQin became Lin ShuYi’s, even though from the outside, there was no difference. Old man Yang still came over to help every now and then. Sometimes he would even show them a few of his famous dishes for them to try. From then, Lin ShuYi also learned a lot, that with what Song Yan taught him, now he could even create his own dishes.
Once everything got rolling, time passed by quickly. In the blink of an eye, summer was over and Yang JianGuo, along with his family, never once came. Yang JianGuo didn’t dare go, Zhao XueMei didn’t want to go until she figured something out and Yang Xiao didn’t have time to go.
Ever since Yang JianGuo and Zhao XueMei started their ‘cold war’, they stopped bothering Yang Xiao. Zhao XueMei only gave him money, making sure he wasn’t hungry or cold, didn’t ask about anything else. Her focus was entirely on how to get old man Yang’s house and restaurant. Yang Xiao had always been tired of being at home, now that it was cold and stressful, he came back less. He spent his days outside. Yang JianGuo was pissed but there was nothing he could do when his son never came back home. Even when he decided to say something, Zhao XueMei would refute back coldly, so he stopped asking.
Yang Xiao enjoyed his freedom, so he came back even less. Taking the money Zhao XueMei gave him, he lost himself at the gambling place and went there everyday.
“Quick, quick, quick! Hand over the money!”
“Fuck, I lost again!” Yang Xiao pushed his tiles into the centre and continued swearing. His pockets were empty so he could only ask the person beside him, “Lend me a few more thousand.”
The man put the cigarette he held in his hand into his mouth. Without another word he started to count the money and said, “If you take the thousands or hundreds it’s hard for me to do the accounting. I’ll give you twenty thousand, you go play around.” (~5 RMB=1 USD)
Twenty thousand was a lot, but Yang Xiao was still riding the rush and so he took it after a tiny bit of hesitation, “I’ll give it back once I win some.”
The men let out a puff of smoke and said with innocent face, “Don’t worry, we’re pals aren’t we? You play, I’ll go out for some fresh air.”
Even though he said he was going out for some fresh air, once he got outside, he turned the corner to a house on the right. Hei Ge, the one who played them last time, was sitting over there eating ramen with a head full of sweat. Hearing him come in, Hei Ge didn’t even lift his head and asked, “How’s it going?”
The man, who had just claimed to be Hei Ge’s brother, instantly backed down. Bending down, he handed him a glass of water, playing up to him. “We’re almost there Hei Ge.”
That was when the muscular man lifted his head, his stern face looked menacing, drastically different from the smiling, inviting person from before.
“If it’s almost there, then it’s time to rein in the line. Who knows how much we can squeeze out of this kid.”
“Don’t worry, I heard that his father was a white-collar in a company, there shouldn’t be too much but definitely enough. Don’t worry Hei Ge.”
“That’s good, if nothing come out of him, then throw him into the ocean to feed the fishes.”
The man smiled and bowed in succession, “Roger that.”
The two looked at each other and smiled, as if looking at a sheep ready to be slaughtered.
And that sheep was wholly unaware still.
“I lost again?!! How I’m I so unlucky today!!”
“Do you need more money?”
“It’s, it’s okay, I already borrowed so much from you.”
“You already reached pit bottom with your luck, I don’t believe it’ll go any worse. If you’re scared then don’t go any further, it’s your loss, not mine.”
“Then, then how about another ten thousand?”
“How is ten thousand enough! A hundred thousand! Xiao Zi, don’t worry about it, you’re brother’s got money. I don’t believe you can’t make this flop!!!”
“Alright, a hundred thousand it is!”
This hunt had been going on for too long, now it was finally time to reel it in.
Yang Xiao played till his eyes were bloodshot, but in the end he still lost everything. By the time everyone left, the man beside him kneeled down and said, “You’re really unlucky.”
Yang Xiao nodded blankly.
“Well, whatever. Seeing that you lost so badly, I’ll round it to a whole number, but when are you planning on returning this money you borrowed?”
Yang Xiao was dumbfounded, “Re-repaying?”
The man stared at him, “What? You want to chicken out?”
Yang Xiao quickly shook his head, “No, that’s not what I meant. I just wanted to ask, how much did I borrow in total?”
It was only then did Yang Xiao felt his legs shaking.
“Not much, not much, just this amount.” The man said as he raised one finger up.
“Ten, ten thousand?”
The man smiled, “The last round you just lost ten thousand, you think it’s only that much?”
Yang Xiao’s legs shook even more, “A hundred, a hundred thousand?”
The man continued to shake his head.
Now Yang Xiao was dumbfounded, “Then it’s a million?!!”
“A million one hundred and eighty thousand. Your bro here is nice, I won’t ask you for the hundred and eighty thousand, but when are you going to return that million?”
“Aren’t we brothers though?”
The man smiled, “Even brothers have to have a clean account. There’s no point getting familiar now is there?”
Yang Xiao’s eyes widened as he realized he had been tricked. “You tricked me?!!”
The man he had called brother for more than a week just gave him a mean slap across the face. His eyes squinted and he wore a menacing expression, “Tricking you? You’re kidding me right? What? Now that you lost, you forgot about the money you borrowed? So the money I lent you isn’t money or something?”
Yang Xiao started seeing stars with that slap and instantly chickened out, “I’ll return it! I’ll return it! Just let me go back, I’ll definitely think of a way to repay you!” No matter what, he needs to leave first.
But the man saw through him instantly and said, “A million wasn’t a small amount so you do need to think about it, but before you go, sign this.” The man took out a piece of paper. On there, in black and white, it was an IOU, with Yang Xiao borrowing a million dollars today and will repay this amount in ten days. At the bottom, it even had the lender and borrower.
Yang Xiao shrunk back. If he signed this, his life was over.
Then the man hit another slap across his face, making both sides equally swollen. “You don’t want to sign it? Okay, if you don’t sign it, leave me two of his fingers.”
With that, two people carrying knives really walked up step by step towards him. Before it touched his finger though, Yang Xiao made a noise like a pig about to be butchered and yelled, “I’ll sign it! I’ll sign it!”
Then, he wrote down his name on the paper.