Chapter 47: Wonton Noodles
Translated by Yan of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shen Fu didn’t know how to explain this, so he decided he might as well not explain it, since there wasn’t any harm in it either. For example, now he didn’t have to have any qualms about being near Lin ShuYi and being disliked by him. In any case, Lin ShuYi thought he liked Chen Fang, though Lin ShuYi’s occasional glance at Chen Fang with an I-understand-everything expression truly made Shen Fu feel very irritated.
Chen Fang was innocently attacked by their looks and glares, and he blew up. “Hey, what did you two do that you’re hiding from me?”
Shen Fu was whatever, but why was Lin ShuYi looking at him weirdly as well?
Shen Fu didn’t have a chance to speak yet before Lin ShuYi turned his head and said, extremely deliberately, “It’s nothing.”
Chen Fang: …
Who would believe you when you look like that?!
Fortunately, it didn’t persist for much longer before Shen Fu said that the two of them were going to go out to play. He hadn’t forgotten why he had brought Lin ShuYi here. But now, Lin ShuYi felt a little embarrassed to go, because he felt like Shen Fu would rather want to go with Chen Fang than himself. But he wasn’t familiar with anyone else here, and Shen Fu definitely wouldn’t inconvenience him by tossing him here alone.
So Lin ShuYi thought of a solution. “How about Chen Fang comes with us?”
He had to create opportunities for Shen Fu.
But Shen Fu’s face went dark, and he glared viciously at Chen Fang from an angle where Lin ShuYi couldn’t see him with an expression that said ‘if you dare to agree I’ll never let you live it down’.
Chen Fang gritted his teeth and hatefully told this person who forgot he was his… brother now that he had a wife: “No, I still have things to do. You two can go ahead.”
Shen Fu smiled, satisfied, before he turned to tell Lin ShuYi, “He isn’t coming. Let’s go ourselves.”
Lin ShuYi wanted to speak, but stopped, and he patted Shen Fu before he glanced at Chen Fang again and agreed.
Chen Fang left first. When he left, he drove away in the Jaguar after he gave another set of keys to Shen Fu. He even said mockingly, “I should make you walk, since you’re the kind of person who’ll forget about his bros the moment he has a wife.”
Shen Fu took the keys and waved cheerfully at Chen Fang. “Take care, I won’t be sending you off~”
Chen Fang: …
Chen Fang’s garage was very large, and there wasn’t just the Jaguar parked inside. In actuality, Chen Fang himself leaned more towards more understated cars, while Shen Fu liked cross-country vehicles that had both top-quality performance and exteriors. So, after debating over the cars in Chen Fang’s garage, Shen Fu finally drove off with a Land Rover. This was also the only cross-country vehicle that Chen Fang had in his garage.
Once they got in the car, Shen Fu opened the GPS on his phone before he explained all of the scenic and popular spots nearby to Lin ShuYi. “The scenery here is good, but it’s a bit far, and it doesn’t actually have anything fun to do there. You’re purely there just to look at the scenery, which is nice… This place is pretty famous for its shopping street. If you don’t like to shop, there’s no need to go, there also isn’t anything fun to do… There are a lot of foreign tourists here, but there aren’t really any distinguishing characteristics of H City here…”Once he finished talking about all the touristy spots that he felt were good, he looked at Lin ShuYi. “Where do you want to go?”
Lin ShuYi took a look and said, “You can decide.”
After all, they each had their own pros and cons. It was still a bit hard to make a decision just based on Shen Fu’s descriptions, so it would be better just to go where Shen Fu decided. In any case, he wanted to see everything.
Shen Fu curled the corners of his lips. “Then, let’s go see them one by one.”
They had plenty of time, so there weren’t any problems no matter where they went. After that, the two of them began from the the spot closest to them and prepared to visit all the touristy places before Grandfather Shen came looking for them.
Even though H City was an economically flourishing city, it was simultaneously an ancient city that had history and culture. Because it was on the coast and was developed, it attracted many foreigners who came to invest and settle there. As a result, the culture of this city was also the integration of China and the West; not only did it have the classical beauty of China, it also had the bold and unconstrained beauty of the West. The mixture of the two attracted even more people to come and see it.
They managed to visit quite a few places in one day. The alleyways that Shen Fu disliked the most was actually where the two of them stopped the longest. It was because though the complicated and tangled alleyways seemed outdated, they were packed with many ancient delicacies, which made Lin ShuYi stare with wide eyes. They wandered around them for quite a while till they filled their stomachs with deliciousness.
(t/n: I’m imagining he’s talking about something similar to shanghai’s tianzifang here)
These alleyways could be considered H City’s famous antique alleyways. The moment they entered, an old, familiar scent greeted them. The path paved with bluestone, the short eaves of the doors, and the curved corners of the buildings all made it seem as if they had entered a whole different world.
Lin ShuYi stared blankly from outside the alleyway for quite a while. The building at the corner ahead was very familiar, and he felt like he would be able to see his great teacher lying in the bamboo chair sunbathing if he pushed open the door. Next to the chair would be a small table with a cup of verdant and fragrant green tea on it. When his teacher saw him enter, would he narrow his eyes slightly before laughing say, Lin ShuYi, you’ve come back?
It was just a pity that, no matter how similar the building was, even if he pushed open the door he would never see his teacher again. What’s more, there had been a large Chinese snowball viburnum bush planted in front of the door back then. When the flowers bloomed, it was so fragrant that the entire alleyway could smell them.
Lin ShuYi lowered his head, and he didn’t know just what kind of feeling suddenly appeared in his heart.
“What’s wrong?” Shen Fu only took two steps forward before he realized that something was off with Lin ShuYi so he looked back and asked. He seemed to be very moved by this ancient alleyway, as if he would involuntarily calm down when he saw it. Shen Fu turned back and walked over to Lin ShuYi. He reached out, wanting to pat Lin ShuYi’s head. Why did he feel like Lin ShuYi was grieving?
Shen Fu glanced at the building in front of them again. It looked normal, just the average building. There was nothing special about it compared to other buildings.
Lin ShuYi didn’t say anything. After a long while, he tugged at Shen Fu’s sleeve. “I want to go in and take a look.”
Even though he knew that even if he went in, there wouldn’t be anything to see, that’s just how people were. They always wanted to believe in their own lies.
Shen Fu was startled, but he didn’t say anything else before he grabbed Lin ShuYi’s hand and led him towards the building. “Let’s go in and take a look.”
There was someone inside. There weren’t many of the original inhabitants left in the houses here. Ever since this place began to become a tourist spot that attracted travelers, the price of housing here grew more and more expensive. There were countless people who came and went, wanting to take this stretch of ground. Those who wanted money felt like this place was archaic, so they sold it. The only ones remaining were some old men and women who stubbornly guarded their homes and were unwilling to move.
Everyone comes home eventually, so they didn’t want to go somewhere else.
Lin ShuYi wanted to go up and knock on the door, and even though there was noise from inside, there were no movements for quite a while. Lin ShuYi let out a long sigh and was getting ready to leave when the door opened. An old lady with silver hair walked out and said softly in the regional dialect, “Who are you two looking for?”
Shen Fu used the same accent to respond to her, beaming, “Grandma, could we go in and get some water?”
The old woman narrowed her eyes and assessed them before finally stepping aside. “Come in.”
Lin ShuYi suddenly didn’t want to go in anymore, because he already knew that there was no way the person he wanted to see was living here.
Shen Fu only felt like Lin ShuYi’s mood wasn’t quite right, but he didn’t know why. However, since Lin ShuYi said that he wanted to go in to take a look, then they would do just that.
“Come on, didn’t you want to go in and see?” As Shen Fu spoke, he entered first after the old woman before looking at Lin ShuYi. Only then was Lin ShuYi able to follow Shen Fu inside.
Sure enough, there was no Chinese snowball viburnum bush in the courtyard, nor was there a bamboo rattan chair. There was only the blue-gray floor tiles, and there were a few flower pots in the corner. There were no flowers growing in the pots; instead, there were a few bright green herbs.
A fragrant aroma suddenly drifted over in the air, and Shen Fu smiled as he crinkled his nose before he started conversing with the old woman, saying how they were here to go sightseeing. They hadn’t found a place to eat here yet, and he asked what the old woman was cooking that was so fragrant, as well as if they could try a bit.
The old woman actually laughed before finally nodding. “It’s not anything really delicious, just a bowl of wonton noodles. As long as you don’t mind.”
Shen Fu shot another look at Lin ShuYi. “We don’t, we don’t.”
The alleyway was simple, and the old woman’s house was also especially unadorned. The blue and green table was placed in the corner too with a basin on top of it. Finely chopped minced meat filling was in the basin as well as a pack of square wonton skins.
It seemed like the old lady was the only one living here, so it seemed a bit abrupt to suddenly let in two strangers she didn’t know.
Shen Fu asked why the old woman wasn’t afraid that they were bad people, and she chuckled before she said she could tell from how they looked. She had seen a lifetime’s worth of people, so at the very least, she could tell that.
Wontons were easy to make; you just had to pick up a bit of filling with chopsticks before casually pinched it closed in your hand, and then there would be a full wonton.
Adding in tasty fish soup, pure white noodles, refreshing sliced vegetables, and a final sprinkle of fresh emerald-green cilantro picked from the flower pots outside, a bowl of fragrant wonton noodle soup was complete, the broth spotless, the wontons plump, the noodles long.
Lin ShuYi didn’t remain down for long. After all, he had lived here for quite a long time already, so he could already accept the reality that even though he had the exact same body and face, he was living in a completely different world. He believed that even though he had already died in Da Yan, his teacher and Song Yan would be able to continue to live well. He was just a bit sad that he wasn’t even able to see them one last time.
“Young lad, eat up. There aren’t any troubles that won’t pass eventually.”
A bowl of wonton noodles was placed in front of Lin ShuYi, and he looked up to see the old woman’s smiling face. Lin ShuYi expressed his thanks as he took it before he finally surveyed the room. “Is grandma the only one here?”
The old woman was slightly stunned before she nodded and laughed again. “Mhm, it’s just me. My partner and son already passed away.”
Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi were both startled, and Lin ShuYi hastily lowered his head and apologized. “I’m sorry, I’ve mentioned something that makes grandma feel hurt…”
The old woman waved her hand. “It’s fine, my partner passed away eight years ago. My son has also been gone for three years. I’ve already cried all my tears; even if they’re not here, I have to continue living.” She actually ended up comforting Lin ShuYi.
That’s right. The dead were already gone, and the people left behind still had to continue living no matter what.
Lin ShuYi chuckled and picked up the bowl before taking a large gulp of soup. He then lifted up his face. “This soup is so tasty.”
The old woman looked extremely happy, because it had been a very long time since anyone ate her wonton soup.
Just before they left, Shen Fu secretly left some money on the old lady’s table. The two of them bid farewell and left the house.
As they were going, Lin ShuYi said jokingly, “Grandma, I feel like you should plant a Chinese snowball viburnum bush outside your door.”
The old woman curved her eyes and waved at them. There had indeed been a Chinese snowball viburnum bush there before, though unfortunately it had also died in the end.
After they left the old woman’s house, Shen Fu reached out a hand and rubbed Lin ShuYi’s head. “Are you feeling much better now?”
Lin ShuYi nodded before he edged further away. “Since you like Chen Fang, it isn’t right for you to act like this.”
Shen Fu: …
He immediately stopped pretending.
Chinese snowball viburnum bush