Chapter 56 (Part 2): Mutton Dumplings
Translated by Kollumceti of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lin ShuYi’s eyes widened, not understanding the reason for the elderly man’s actions.
Shen Fu could tell that the elderly man was deliberately making things difficult for Lin ShuYi. Then he recalled about what Old Master Shen had said to him before. Was it possible that it had been true? If so then he had really been careless.
Lin ShuYi shook his head. “I dare not receive these for free. Elder should still charge an amount for this. How much do you want?”
Shen Fu covered his face and heaved a sigh, “Elder, let me be the one to inscribe this fan.”
The elderly man stared at Shen Fu and did not say anything at all.
Even if Lin ShuYi was dense, he could tell that the elderly man was trying to make things difficult for him. Although he did not know why, but… he intuitively felt that it had an indelible relation to Shen Fu!
An inscription. Lin ShuYi looked at the brush in the elderly man’s hand.
Shen Fu thought Lin ShuYi was feeling awkward, so he stretched out his hand and pulled Lin ShuYi behind him. Then he said to the elderly man, “Elder, what my grandfather said to me wasn’t true, right? I’m afraid that it won’t be too appropriate if you’re trying to make things difficult for him because of this.” Then he took out his card and ordered Cheng Zi to get the credit card terminal, “Elder, you’ve already quoted this price for me. You can’t go back on your word.”
The elderly man and Lin ShuYi stared at each other with wide eyes. Lin ShuYi poked his head out from behind Shen Fu, “It’s a lot of money right? How about we don’t get these?”
It was not necessary for him to have these. Although he liked them, he had a strange feeling in his heart when he saw the elderly man make things difficult for Shen Fu. Furthermore, it seemed that the elderly man and Shen Fu knew each other.
Yet, Shen Fu was reluctant to do so. It was not that he was unwilling to give up these things, after all it worst comes to worst, he could find other things to buy. The main point was that he brought Lin ShuYi here, yet he had let Lin ShuYi suffer from harassment. Thus, he was naturally reluctant to give in.
The old man looked at the two of them expressionlessly. He did not say anything. Cheng Zi sat at one side and looked at Shen Fu anxiously. He obviously did not know why Grandpa was suddenly treating Uncle Shen like this.
Seeing that Shen Fu was going to swipe his card, Lin ShuYi finally reached out from behind Shen Fu and pinched the slender brush between his fingers. Then raised his pitch-dark eyes and looked at the elderly man, “I just have to write an inscription for us to get these for free?”
The old man squinted his eyes half-way. He replied with a dignified bearing, “I’ll naturally let you have it for free if I am satisfied.”
Lin ShuYi dipped the brush in some ink and then he took the fan. Painted on the fan was several green hills and a bay of spring water. It was not a painting with much creative concept. It was easy for him to write an inscription, but it would probably be difficult to satisfy the elderly man, and why would he care what the inscription was since he was deliberately being difficult?
Lin ShuYi pursed his lips as he thought for a moment. Then he securely pressed the fan down and began to write.
His penmanship was beautiful, resounding, and forceful, as he wrote without stopping. Finally, he lowered the brush after the last stroke, and passed the fan to the elderly man.
Lin ShuYi lifted the corner of his mouth in a smile that was somewhat chilly, “Elder can take your time to look at it. We don’t want the items anymore. Shen Fu, let’s go.”
Shen Fu was quite far away and Lin ShuYi’s back blocked his view, so he did not see what Lin Shuyi wrote. He thought that Lin ShuYi wrote it badly upon seeing Lin ShuYi behave like this. Shen Fu could no longer be bothered with the decorations. He caught up with Lin ShuYi, preparing to comfort him.
Who knew that the elderly man behind them would start laughing heartily just as they had taken two steps. Then the elderly man said, “Take all the things you that you’ve selected just now. I don’t want any of them.”
Lin ShuYi did not even turn back. Contrary to what one might expect, Shen Fu was stunned. He really wanted to see what Lin ShuYi wrote!
The elderly man seemed to have anticipated Lin ShuYis temper and laughed even louder, “After all, Shen Fu still has to call me Grandpa. It’s my fault for fussing over minor matters with you guys. I hope you won’t take offense.”
It was only then that Lin ShuYi stopped. He turned to look at the elderly man and gave a bow, “I’m the one who forgot their manners.”
The old man squinted his eyes. This youngster remained calm in the face of events, was magnanimous, and was neither haughty nor humble. He was a good seedling. “Then you should accept Grandpa’s gifts, yes?”
Lin ShuYi shook his head, “Thank you Grandpa, but I can’t accept them.”
The elderly man frowned, but at last his lips spread as he laughed. “Okay, you don’t need to accept it for free. You’d better buy it all.” Then he looked at Shen Fu, “You’re still not handing your card over? Swipe it!”
But at the end of the day, the elderly man only charged them three hundred yuan even with so many things added together. It was practically the same as giving it to them for free. One must know that the price the elderly man first quoted at Shen Fu was sky-high, and if the price were calculated according to the value of those things, it would not be much lesser than that sky-high price.
Shen Fu never managed to satisfy his intense curiosity about the words on the fan till the end. So he could only ask Lin ShuYi what he had written, “What was the inscription that you wrote on the fan?” It had to be something fairly impressive to satisfy this elderly man who came to pick a quarrel on purpose.
Lin ShuYi looked at him coldly. “First, tell me what’s your relationship with the old man?” Why would this elderly man make things difficult for him without rhyme or reason?
Shen Fu looked a little awkward and then he began to clearly explain it piece by piece.
“Actually, this person is my grandfather’s best friend. He likes to buy and sell these type of antique porcelains and stuff. I thought you would like it, so I brought you here.”
Lin ShuYi listened while looking at Shen Fu, hinting for him to continue.
“Actually, he also has a granddaughter that’s a few years younger than me. She’s now in the United States. My grandfather told me some time ago that this elder wanted to introduce his granddaughter to me. I thought he was joking and didn’t take it seriously…”
So that was the reason this had happened. Shen Fu was embarrassed. He did not take the offer seriously, yet this elderly man took it seriously. Although the matter was resolved in the end, when all is said and done, he was the one that didn’t mange things well.
Lin ShuYi was still pursing his lips and did not speak, thus, Shen Fu thought Lin ShuYi was still angry. He glanced at Lin ShuYi a couple of times and smiled before reaching out and latching onto Lin ShuYi. Shen Fu raised his eyebrows, “Are you jealous?”
Lin ShuYi glared at him. But frankly speaking, he was a little unhappy when Shen Fu said that. He did not know which part made him unhappy. He was just unhappy about it anyway.
Shen Fu smiled till his eyes curved. He looked at Lin ShuYi’s slightly pursed lips and itched to pull him into his arms. Unfortunately, there were many people passing by in front of him now and Lin ShuYi might slaughter him if he did so.
“By the way, can you tell me what you wrote on the fan now?”
Lin ShuYi narrowed his eyes, “You want to know?” I won’t tell you.”
Shen Fu: “…”
Didn’t we say that we’d exchange? Where was the most fundamental trust between people? Why did he feel that at the same time he had found a treasure, this man seemed to be getting blacker and blacker?
When both of them had left, Elder Wen took out the fan and looked at it again. Then he made a phone call.
Old Master Shen answered after the phone beeped twice, “You’re back?”
“No. Guess who I met today?”
Old Master Shen was unaware of the situation, “Go on and say who did you meet? Or how would I know?”
Old Master Shen did not respond at first. When he finally realized who this ‘granddaughter-in-law’ was referring to, his voice rose by several octaves, “You’ve met that child?”
Old Master Wen nodded his head before he became aware that Old Master Shen couldn’t see him, so he hummed.
“How was he? How was he? He looks very spirited, right? I felt that he looked rather good from the first time I saw him. He’s a good lad.”
Old Master Wen snorted disdainfully at this point in the conversation. “I don’t believe in those superstitions. But that young lad is really good. Do you know of that fan which even you didn’t know what to inscribe? He wrote down an inscription.”
Old Master Shen opened his eyes wide, “What did he write? What did he write? Quickly tell me.”
Elder Wen opened the fan with a flick of his wrist and read out the verse written on it. “‘Belittle not a small pond, for fear of a dragon hidden below shallow waters.’ This is telling us not to look down on him.” Elder Wen smiled, “He’s neither haughty nor humble and didn’t bear grudges even though I was hard on him. He’s really a good seedling.”
Old Master Shen’s eyes widened, “You made things hard for him? How did you make things difficult?”
Elder Wen snorted when he heard this, “That was still nothing much. Doesn’t every one of you dote so much on him like he’s a treasure?”
Old Master Shen was embarrassed and felt that he was losing face, so he rebutted, “Isn’t this mainly because I’m feeling sorry for Xiao Fu?”
“Is it really?” Elder Wen gave another cold snort and stopped talking. “By the way, I gave your granddaughter-in-law’s daughter-in-law several millions as a first meeting gift. You can play it by ear yourself when my granddaughter gets married.”
Then he hung up.
Old Master Shen: “…”
All right, so this was the main point after all.
The two men went home together after all the explanations were made. The things they bought in the elderly man’s house would be delivered soon and everything would be done after moving them in.
The two did not go home, but went directly to Old man Yang’s place. Old man Yang was playing mahjong with Xiao Wan and her grandmother. He was rather unlucky and lost miserably, so he had a note pasted on his forehead. Yet, he was not the slightest bit unhappy and was laughing very happily.
Lin ShuYi suddenly felt that something was a little wrong while he standing outside. Had Grandpa Yang been spending more and more time together with Xiao Wan’s Grandma recently? He had a strange premonition in his heart and felt that it would soon become true. Yet, Lin ShuYi thought it would be good even if it became as such.
Old man Yang asked if they had eaten upon seeing the two of them coming over. Shen Fu shook his head and said that they hadn’t. Old man Yang then brought out two bowls of mutton dumplings from the kitchen. “It’s cold now. Have some mutton, it’s good nourishment.”
The fresh mutton did not have much of a gamey taste. Chopped up with scallions and fresh ginger, and with the addition of a variety of seasonings, it was folded into a small ingot shape. It was both delicious and good-looking. Paired with refreshing aged vinegar and chili oil, each mouthful was sour and spicy, whetting the appetite and being neither gamy nor greasy.
Everything had been delivered by the end of their meal.
Old man Yang and Xiao Wan’s Grandma came to see the items that had been delivered. They were surprised to see all the things that Lin ShuYi bought. “Xiao Yi, tell me, how much did these cost?”
Old man Yang and Xiao Wan’s Grandma looked at each other. They only thought the price was not right, yet they were unfamiliar, so they could not tell how much it was worth. Rather, Xiao Wan was the one staring at these things with wide eyes.
The last time she went to a classmate’s home, she saw a vase which was very similar to one of the vases Lin ShuYi brought back. It was said that someone who entered through unofficial channels had sent it, and it cost more that a hundred thousand. If these were all authentic…
How much would these be worth? In the end, Xiao Wan would only hypnotize herself. It was bought it for three hundred yuan, it can’t be authentic… But could you really buy so much with three hundred yuan? Xiao Wan unconsciously shifted her gaze to Shen Fu.
Why did she always feel that it had something to do Brother Xiao Fu?
Shen Fu: “…”
It’s really not because of me, please let me go.