Chapter 70: Crystal Sugar Lemon
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Old Man Yang was originally worried that Old Master Shen and the others wouldn’t be used to living in a place like his. Surprisingly, Old Master Shen didn’t mind at all, he managed to sleep through the night just fine on the hard bed. In the morning, when he got up, no one else was in the courtyard yet. He was used to waking early, and he was also a little worried they wouldn’t be able to sleep well, so he had gotten up particularly early.
It wasn’t long later that Lin ShuYi came out as well. Seeing that no one else was still awake, he quietly called Old Man Yang to the kitchen. “How come you’re up so early, grandpa?”
Old Man Yang rubbed his hands together, smiling. “I was just worried they wouldn’t be able to sleep well.”
Lin ShuYi smiled and patted Old Man Yang’s shoulder. “It’s fine. There’s no need be nervous about it, grandpa.”
Old Man Yang waved his hand dismissively. “I’m not nervous. Originally, I was a little nervous, because I was afraid that if I didn’t do well that it would reflect badly on you. Now, I know that they really are good, reasonable people, I’m not nervous anymore. However, it is their first time visiting, so I have the obligation to make it the best it can be.”
Lin ShuYi’s heart felt all warm and fuzzy. “Grandpa, you should make some congee. I’ll take Shen Fu out to buy breakfast. It’s getting colder and less convenient to make it at home.”
Old Man Yang agreed and went to make congee. Lin ShuYi dragged the still bleary-eyed and not fully awake Shen Fu out to buy breakfast.
Just as they left, Old Master Shen and the others woke up. After washing up a bit, he asked Old Man Yang, “Have Xiao Shen and the others not woken yet?”
Old Man Yang put the rice in the pot and handed Old Master Shen a cup of water. “They’ve gotten up to buy breakfast. Said that it wouldn’t be convenient to make it in such cold weather.”
Old Master Shen also smiled. “It was definitely Xiao Yi who said that. He’s much more responsible than that brat of ours.”
“No no, Xiao Fu is a very good child, too. He was very obedient to Xiao Yi while helping out over here.”
It wasn’t until he had finished saying this that Old Man Yang snapped back and carefully looked at Old Master Shen’s expression, afraid that Old Master Shen wouldn’t be happy. However, the other didn’t seem displeased at all, instead laughing and saying, “Haha, being wrapped around our wives’ finger, that runs in the family! But it isn’t a bad thing to listen to your lady!”
Old Master Shen really did think of Lin ShuYi as the Shen family grandson’s wife. He kept using words like wife and lady, which was a little awkward for Old Man Yang, but this also meant that the Shen Family really had truly accepted Lin ShuYi, which made Old Man Yang very happy indeed. Old Master Shen was older than him, yet he was so much more open and accepting of Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi. He should learn from this man and reflect upon this more.
It was only then that Old Master Shen finally sipped at the water he was given. His eyes narrowed appreciatively. “What kind of water is this? It tastes good.”
It had a slightly astringent flavor to it at first, but then it turned sweet, the fresh aroma spreading from the tip of the tongue to the taste buds before it slid down the throat, warming. It was delicious.
Old Master Shen raised the cup, only just realizing that his water was a very faint brown, a slight sour hint in the aroma it emitted, though there didn’t seem to be anything in there.
Old Man Yang glanced back and smiled. “Crystal sugar lemon water, it helps with arthritis. I like to make and drink some every day in winter. If Old Brother Shen likes it, then you can take some. I have quite a lot left.”
Old Master Shen usually preferred to drink tea at home, so he rarely went for sweet things like this. To him, all those soft drinks were full of sugar or other chemicals. They were sweet, but they didn’t have any real flavor to them. It was his first time having this crystal sugar lemon water but it tasted great.
“Dad, Uncle Yang, what are you guys doing? How come I can smell lemon water?” Shen Fu’s mother had just washed up. Seeing the two chatting, she came over to join in.
Old Master Shen laughed. “You have a good nose. I just tried it. It seems like you drink it quite often, LiYun?”
“They all say that this is a beauty treatment. I tried once but it wasn’t successful. It was rather bitter. Then the ones I bought outside were too sweet. I’ve never tried a proper version.”
Old Man Yang retrieved two upside-down cups from on top of the cupboard, taking out a small clay pitcher from the fridge.
Shen Fu’s mother looked at the pitcher admiringly. “I haven’t seen any clay pitchers like this for a while now. How come you have one, Uncle Yang?”
Old Man Yang smiled. “This pitcher is quite old now. People used these in the past. I’m more used to them. I just can’t get the hang of those new food containers you can buy. It’s not broken or anything, so I didn’t want to throw it away.”
Though it was a rather old pitcher, it was very clean, and it was just as useful as those expensive food containers sold in shops at keeping it airtight. In addition, it wasn’t transparent, so they could keep it for longer.
As soon as the lid was taken off, the sour of the lemon and the sweet of the crystal sugar poured out. Shen Fu’s mother had her eyes locked onto the pitcher. “This is it, this is the scent. I don’t know where I tried it first, but the aroma is exactly the same, and I never found anything better.”
Old Man Yang used a ladle to fill the two cups, one ladle of lemon water per cup. Then he used warm water to dilute it, the fragrance instantly becoming mist and dispersing in the air.
“This won’t keep for very long. At most, half a month, so I didn’t make too much. If you like it, take it with you. It isn’t anything expensive. However, young lady Shen is right. It doesn’t just help with soothing the throat, but is also a beauty product. It’s best for the ladies.”
Shen Fu’s mother sipped at the cup, eyes lighting up. “Thank you for this, Uncle Yang.”
The three continued chatting for a while longer before Shen Fu’s father made his appearance. He also enjoyed the lemon water greatly.
Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi were out buying breakfast. They chose all sorts: a few salted ones that Old Master Shen liked before getting some sweet ones for Lin ShuYi and split them between their bags before heading back.
When they got back, the four were all standing next to the kitchen, chatting happily.
Old Master Shen had even started helping Old Man Yang out, which made Shen Fu go wide-eyed in shock. It wasn’t just them though, even Elder Wen, who was his grandfather’s closest friend, had rarely ever seen Old Master Shen help out like this. It was clear that the two were having fun chatting. Although, Elder Wen was never one to do this sort of work in the first place.
Lin ShuYi’s lips curved into a slight smile. He seemed very happy to see this.
Shen Fu, helplessly smitten with his wife, recognized the happiness that shone in Lin ShuYi’s eyes, and with everyone getting along so harmoniously, he happily… grabbed Lin ShuYi’s waist, trying to show off their love.
The moment everyone turned to look at them, a soft spot on his waist was pinched between Lin ShuYi’s fingers as he smiled and said, “We’ve brought back some breakfast. Grandpa Shen, uncle, auntie, you should all eat it while it’s hot.”
Shen Fu’s arm was still at Lin ShuYi’s waist, hovering awkwardly, and Shen Fu’s expression was even stranger as he gritted his teeth and forced himself to greet everyone with a smile. “Yes, let’s, eat, while, it’s, still, hot.”
It wasn’t until everyone went back inside that Lin ShuYi let go. By then, Shen Fu had gone pale.
Lin ShuYi hadn’t pinched him very hard, he just felt that Shen Fu’s actions were a little disrespectful while in front of their seniors. He turned to scold Shen Fu, but that was when saw Shen Fu holding onto his own waist, face pale.
“I… I didn’t pinch you that hard, did I?”
Shen Fu didn’t reply, just holding onto his own waist as if he were in great pain.
Lin ShuYi started to panic a little, not caring that they were in the middle of the courtyard or if anyone could see them, immediately going to lift Shen Fu’s shirt. “Let me see, did I accidentally hurt you?”
Shen Fu finally straightened and let him lift the sweater he was wearing under his coat.
With the sweater up, Shen Fu’s beautiful, completely unblemished abs were revealed.
“If you continue, I won’t be able to hold back anymore.” Above Lin ShuYi’s head, Shen Fu finally gave a suggestive smirk.
Having decided that he had teased the other enough, Shen Fu wanted to take this chance to embrace Lin ShuYi, but he miscalculated. As soon as Lin ShuYi realized he was being tricked, he pinched Shen Fu’s waist properly, harshly this time and twisted in frustration.
Shen Fu didn’t feel so good at that.
Before, when Lin ShuYi pinched him, it was a turn on, which ended with Shen Fu wanting to tease him, but all he really managed to do was to drop a rock on his own foot.
Yet in their current situation, he couldn’t even cry out, so he had no choice but to swallow his pain.
Lin ShuYi let go, gazing at him with narrowed eyes. “Can you hold back now?”
Shen Fu: … sob.
Poor Shen Fu, with his plan backfiring on him, left to go and distribute breakfast. Watching as Shen Fu rubbed his waist, Lin ShuYi felt guilty. Did he pinch him too hard? Yet this guilt didn’t last ten minutes, for Shen Fu used the excuse of helping him get the dishes ready to take some skinship benefits for himself.
He had a plate in each hand, trembling so hard he almost dropped them as Shen Fu sucked and kissed his lips. Seeing his lips reddened and swollen, Shen Fu smiled. “Your pinch really hurt. I’d say that kiss makes up for about a tenth of it.”
Lin ShuYi wanted to throw the plate at his face.
After admiring his handiwork, Shen Fu took one of Lin ShuYi’s plates and left. When Lin ShuYi entered the room, he didn’t even dare to look up.
But in the end, Old Man Yang still noticed. “Xiao Yi, why are your lips so red?! Did I add too much chili?!”
Old Master Shen glanced up, coughed, and looked back down. Shen Fu’s parents simultaneously looked over at Lin ShuYi and simultaneously coughed and looked back down.
Shen Fu looked up for a good, long while, his smile practically ear to ear before he coughed and bullshitted in a serious tone, “Hm, today’s dishes really are spicy.”
Old Man Yang, who had only added a tiny bit of chili, was completely baffled.