Chapter 77: Yellow Catfish Tofu Soup
Translated by Karcessel of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Tang Shuang broke open the belly of a plump yellow catfish with one clean cut of his knife. In a moment, Lin ShuYi needed a soft fish with few bones, like this yellow catfish, to make fish soup.
The fish was fresh and lively, jumping around, but it still couldn’t resist the swift blade in Tang Shuang’s hand falling upon it. It was unreasonable, but Tang Shuang kind of wanted to be a chef. Cutting through a live fish seemed a bit cruel, but thinking of the delicious soup Lin ShuYi was going to cook these fish into, Tang Shuang could be a little more cruel.
After cleaning all the fish and washing them, Tang Shuang plopped them all into a bucket and prepared to go back into the kitchen.
When Tang Shuang left the kitchen just a moment ago, Lin ShuYi was still in middle of preparing a salt chicken, with the salt already rubbed on the chicken. By the time Tang Shuang returned, it should be about ready to be baked in an earthenware pot. However, as soon as Tang Shuang approached the door, he spotted Shen Fu walking out with both hands hooked in his pockets.
“Eh? Shen ge, when did you arrive?” This was way too stealthy, right? Tang Shuang was in the yard right outside the kitchen the entire time, yet he didn’t hear a single noise.
Shen Fu licked his lips, the corners of his mouth hooked up in a smug grin. He seemed to be in an extremely good mood. “Just got back.”
Tang Shuang nodded, reasoning to himself that he must have just been too distracted to pay attention to any sounds. Raising the bucket in his hands, he motioned toward the door. “Xiao Yi ge is waiting for the fish, so I should head in.”
“Sure. I’m headed out to do some shopping anyway.”
Sidestepping Shen Fu, Tang Shuang headed into the kitchen, but couldn’t help feeling that something seemed off about Shen Fu, he just couldn’t pinpoint what. Well, if he couldn’t think it through, then might as well as put it away and move on.
With his back towards the entrance, Lin ShuYi seemed flustered as he slightly clumsily flipped the chicken over. Tang Shuang rarely saw Lin ShuYi lose his calm demeanor, and thought it was a bit funny and strange. “Do you need my help?”
“No need.” Lin ShuYi didn’t turn around, and his voice was hoarse as he replied. He flipped the chicken back around.
“The fish are cleaned then, if you want to take a look, Xiao Yi ge.”
Tang Shuang was very skilled with the knife, so the fish weren’t only clean but neat and tidy too. After the busy day yesterday, Tang Shuang was left utterly in awe of Lin ShuYi’s exceptional culinary skills, so this time he was hoping he might surprise Lin ShuYi with his skills and maybe even earn some praise. When he carried the basin over, however, all he received was a quick glance and confirmatory “mn,” before Lin ShuYi turned back to the chicken.
Tang Shuang felt that the passing glance he could let go of, but not even a single positive response? He was a bit unhappy.
But Lin ShuYi was busy, so Tang Shuang didn’t want to bother him any further. Leaving the fish on a nearby table, Tang Shuang turned and left to find some other chores he could do.
Only then, as Tang Shuang’s footsteps faded, did Lin ShuYi turn around. Lips red and swollen, anyone with a discerning eye could tell exactly what happened with one glance. Shen Fu didn’t help with the prep work one bit, but he certainly had himself a good meal.
Poor Lin ShuYi was only distracted for a moment, which unfortunately gave Shen Fu the perfect opening to swoop in and leave Lin ShuYi’s mind a muddled mess, thoroughly kissed with a hand pressed against the nape of his neck. By the time Lin ShuYi managed to react and push Shen Fu away, his lips were already a rosy red.
And then Shen Fu had the sheer audacity to tease him. “This color looks good on you.”
Lin ShuYi’s glare was sharp enough to kill a man.
Not only was Shen Fu not scared, but he even dared to eye Lin ShuYi’s neck right in front of hin, brazenly running his gaze along Lin ShuYi’s collarbone. Eyes dark with lust and wholly satisfied, Shen Fu licked the corner of his lips.
Lin ShuYi’s face couldn’t decide whether to be red or white. Red out of embarrassment, white out of rage.
The footsteps from afar were getting closer, so Lin ShuYi forcefully pushed Shen Fu away towards the door.
“You don’t want me to help you?” Shen Fu’s voice was full of laughter, but all Lin ShuYi could think about were all the retorts he could snap back and Shen Fu scramming far, far away.
Ultimately, Tang Shuang was far too innocent, and didn’t notice anything out of place at all. Lin ShuYi didn’t pay any attention to him, so he just wandered off to find some other work to do.
It wasn’t until the salt brine chicken was prepped, cooked, and off the heat that Lin ShuYi managed to calm his heart down to normal. The strength in his body was slowly coming back.
Truthfully, he didn’t dislike Shen Fu’s kiss. The two of them had already come so far, and apart from that final step, everything that should be done was already done. There really wasn’t anything to be embarrassed about. And Lin ShuYi had to admit, Shen Fu was attractive to him in a way that he couldn’t even put into words, or else Shen Fu wouldn’t have been able to have his way with him so easily all the time.
However, Lin ShuYi’s heart still held a few reservations. If done at home with the doors closed, this kind of thing was fine. But out in public, where someone could walk in on them at any moment, Lin ShuYi was really a bit uncomfortable. But uncomfortable or not, he once again had to admit to himself, he really didn’t try to avoid being kissed by Shen Fu at all.
Which may just be why Lin ShuYi was particularly angry this time. Being led astray by Shen Fu just like this, he didn’t have any willpower at all!
It wasn’t until later, when Tang Shuang finally caught a glimpse of Lin ShuYi’s lips, that things dawned on him. Face flushing bright red, he suddenly understood what had seemed off about Shen Fu, and why Lin ShuYi was avoiding him.
Such a bright red! Shen ge was really formidable!
Lin ShuYi looked at Tang Shuang coldly. “Done looking?”
Tang Shuang ’s mouth reacted faster than his brain, so he said, “No.”
Two seconds later, he realized what he said, and quickly took to his heels, half backtracking, half running, all the while correcting, “Enough, enough, really enough!”
Another half hour passed, and Lin ShuYi finally finished all his work. Dialing up Shen Fu, he informed him to tell everyone it was time to eat.
Shen Fu agreed earnestly, but then added in one last line, “Not red anymore?”
Before his words even finished, the line had already cut off.
Shen Fu put his phone in his pocket, thinking that no medicine could save him now. Teasing Lin ShuYi even a little bit was enough to engulf his heart in a warm, fluffy cloud, and even when he was scolded or glared at, he was still unreasonably happy. There was definitely no medicine that could save him now.
Efficiency surprisingly fast, it wasn’t long before Shen Fu got everyone present, enough for two full tables. Everyone was chatting and laughing as all the dishes were brought to the tables, and even if they were all technically customers, they didn’t seem like customers at all. But that wasn’t strange either, because except for the Shen family, everyone else who came were all close friends of Old Man Yang. They all knew about the situation between Lin ShuYi and Shen Fu, so they weren’t really strangers at all. More like one big family.
Old Man Yang was very happy. Regarding the relationship between Lin ShuYi and Shen Fu, Old Man Yang never deliberately told anyone else. He knew that just because there were things he could accept himself, it didn’t mean that others would be the same. But although it was a mystery where everyone heard the news from, everyone seemed to know, and no one seemed to mind.
Finally, Old Man Yang could let his heart rest.
The people present weren’t really curious about Lin ShuYi and Shen Fu, but they were curious about the Shen family. How to put this in words, it was just, the Shen family seemed so familiar, yet no one seemed to be able to recall from where they seemed familiar.
And really, from first glance, it was clear to see that the Shen family was a little different. It was something like temperament, or mannerisms, the way they interacted with the world around them just singled them out, like they were all born with the aura of kings. Individually they all stood out, Grandfather Shen, Shen Fu’s mom and dad, but they were all also polite in a way that invited politeness back towards them. Whether the Shen family held the same place in the world as them or not, it was clear to everyone.
But what they could read was just that, and as long as they understood the gist of it, that was enough. The Shen family didn’t seem willing to say too much about themselves, and no one was prepared to ask too much. After all, the only person that any one of them might run into was Shen Fu, so it had nothing to do with the rest of the Shen family.
However the part where Lin ShuYi somehow ended up with such a unique family, everyone was still a bit curious. But then the food was brought to the table, and no one had the time to wonder about Lin ShuYi or the Shen family anymore.
Compared to curiosity about just what the Shen family’s profession was, the more important thing at the moment was just how delicious this fish soup looked. The shrimp looked so spicy! The smell of roast meat was so good enough to knock someone unconscious, and hey, this chicken’s color looked pretty tasty! A foodie’s priorities were always a bit different from the average person. Happily clamoring and laughing away, everyone began to eat.
Old Man Yang and Grandfather Shen sat side by side at the same table, heartily talking up a storm, agreeing on everything, pouring one drink after another. Just like two old friends who hadn’t seen each other for years. Shen Fu’s dad sat quietly by Grandfather Shen’s side, his face gloomy. Who was it just now that said Grandfather Shen had the aura of a king? Come take a look at this.
Lin ShuYi sat by Old Man Yang, with the seat to his right still empty. Shen Fu was just about to go sit, when Lin ShuYi shot out a hand and grabbed Tang Shuang, pulling him down into the seat. Shen Fu’s face immediately became hollow.
Tang Shuang felt like his seat was about to be set on fire by Shen Fu’s look, but when he tried to get up, Lin ShuYi stopped him. All he could do was sit there and be anxious. In the end, it was Shen Fu who admitted defeat, and went to sit by Shen Yan’s side.
Towards the little brother who gained a wife and forgot his older brother, who only sat by Shen Yan when he had no other seats, Shen Yan’s only reaction was to twist his body around and sneer at him.
Shen Fu: …There was no way this was his real brother, absolutely not.
As for everyone else here, no one noticed this scene. Everyone was too busy eating and drinking and having a good time, even Tang Shuang. Temporarily ignoring Shen Fu’s consistent gaze that set his nerves on edge, Tang Shuang instead fully threw himself into enjoying the delicious food. Only Shen Fu poked at the meatball in his bowl, his entire posture expressing his sadness.
Lin ShuYi finally felt his anger dissipating.
Finally, when the last fish soup was served, Lin ShuYi broke off the best piece of meat and, skipping two people, put it directly in Shen Fu’s bowl without looking at him or saying anything.
Shen Fu, who was just burying himself in a figurative pit a second ago, sudden shot as high as the sky, lighting up. Shen Yan, on the other hand, who was so sickeningly sweetened by the scene that he felt like this teeth were about to fall out, looked at his brother who was just short of a wagging tail, and suddenly didn’t feel so well.
Tang Shuang had his face buried deep in his bowl. Having a mouth to eat with was good enough, eyes, what eyes? Didn’t need those. It was just some PDA, it wasn’t like he hadn’t stood through worse over the years.
However, a moment later, someone suddenly said, “Hey, isn’t this chicken skin a bit burned?”
Forget about the fish meat, Shen Fu wouldn’t even be able to eat the fish bones anymore.