Chapter 8: Sliced Ginger Porridge
Translated by Kollumceti of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Since Lin ShuYi was extremely efficient in doing everything, he still got up at the same time every morning and even had enough time to go for a stroll before punctually arriving at the store.
Old man Yang’s vegetable garden was the only place he took his daily stroll at. All the vegetables in the vegetable garden were growing well. A bundle of bok choy had recently been harvested here. The seeds scattered back in those days had just grow up and could now be eaten. The chilis were black and green in color and looked very spicy at the first glance. Lin ShuYi had wondered to himself that, the similarity between this place and Da Yan, was that there was a distinct difference between the North and South. Rice was eaten in the South, whereas wheat was eaten in the North. Old man Yang lived in the South, yet it was surprising how he was able to make such a superb bowl of noodles. The people here all could not seem to take spicy food, but Old man Yang basically was unhappy without spicy food.
Lin ShuYi felt that he did not know much about Old man Yang. He knew nothing except that he had a son living somewhere else and his grandson was older than him. Normally, Old man Yang also would not talk to him about this and he had never asked since Old man Yang would tell him himself when he should know.
There was no need to lock the vegetable garden. People nearby all knew that this was Old man Yang’s vegetable garden and nobody went in. Even if they wanted to harvest some vegetables, they would mention it to Old man Yang in advance.
Thus, Lin ShuYi was now somewhat surprised. He came here to water the vegetables after closing the shop yesterday. Although the outside door was unlocked, it had been latched shut. However, the door was wide open now, as if someone had gone in.
It was not very bright yet. Could it be that this person came in at this time to steal something? There was nothing in the vegetable garden that he could steal except vegetables.
Lin ShuYi entered with disbelief.
The door was open, but there was no one in the vegetable garden.
Lin ShuYi felt it was a little strange. Could it be that he had left after stealing?
Lin ShuYi saw the chili tree move slightly while he had been thinking about it. Lin ShuYi increased the brightness of his newly-bought phone’s screen before he walked over for a look and jumped in fright.
There was a person lying there. It was a man who was lying on his side so he could not see his face. However, the man cut quite a sorry figure.
His clothes were torn and his trousers were in the same sorry state. His exposed hands were full of injuries. Lin ShuYi almost thought that he was now in the Celestial Prison of Da Yan if it weren’t for the cell phone in his hand. The injuries on the man’s body looked just like they came from torture.
Could he be dead? Lin ShuYi narrowed his eyes and turned the man over with his feet. Once he saw the man’s face, his pupils shrunk. It’s him?
Lin ShuYi seldom remembered the face of a man he had only seen once, but this man was the exception. This was because the man knocked over his box of red bayberries as soon as they met, so he remembered this man very clearly.
Lin ShuYi squatted down, then he bent his fingers and put it at the tip of the man’s nose.
There was still breathing, he was not dead.
Lin ShuYi stood up again.
It was no longer his problem if the man was not dead. However, the man was so badly injured that he might die if Lin ShuYi just left him there.
The main point was that this was Old man Yang’s vegetable garden. It was not very good if he died here. Lin ShuYi eyed the man on the ground with a great amount of disdain. Then he put his cell phone into his pocket, pulled the man up and carried him on his shoulder.
Truth to be told, the man’s injuries were far less serious than what Lin ShuYi had thought. Due to there being not much daylight and the dimness of the mobile phone – coupled with the man’s body being covered in mud – it looked quite terrifying. In reality, the man was just suffering from some superficial injuries and it was impossible for him to die there because of this little bit of superficial injuries. It was purely Lin ShuYi thinking too much.
Lin ShuYi really wanted to throw him out again once he thought of this.
He had always avoided these sort of people who liked to invite trouble. If it was in Da Yan, Lin ShuYi would not spare him another glance even if he died in front of him. However, but this was Tian Chao/Imperial China, and it would be troublesome if someone died here.
It was clearly just some superficial injuries, but the man did not give any indications that he was waking up. Seeing that the time for opening the shop was approaching, Lin ShuYi could only call Old man Yang, who should still be at home at this time.
The phone rang two times before it was answered. Old man Yang’s voice was a little excited, “Is it Xiao Xiao?”
Lin ShuYi was stunned. He knew who Old man Yang thought he was, Yang Xiao, the grandson of Old man Yang.
“Grandpa, it’s me.”
“Oh, so it’s you. You’ve never called me on your phone before, so I thought it was Yang Xiao. What’s wrong?”
Lin ShuYi pursed his lips, “Grandpa, I feel a little uncomfortable. I may not be able to come in today.”
Old man Yang did not make a big fuss, “It’s all right. Grandpa will open up shop by himself. What’s wrong with you? Do you want to go to the hospital? Grandpa will take you there.”
“There’s no need, I’m just a little dizzy. I’ll be fine after some sleep.”
“All right, relax and go to sleep. You can come whenever you’re feeling better. Grandpa can manage by himself here.”
When the call ended, Lin ShuYi looked down again at the filthy troublesome thing on the ground and stretched out his hand to strip the man of his clothes.
He appeared to have a fever when Lin ShuYi had touched his head just now. He could not let the man lie on the ground like this despite it being midsummer. Yet, Lin ShuYi was utterly reluctant to let the the man lie on his bed, so he could only strip the man completely and let him sleep on the sofa.
Lin ShuYi remembered that the man was quite tall, about a head taller than him. He also remembered that his laughter made people feel very angry.
Lin ShuYi’s sofa was a little small, so it felt a little wrong to let a tall and big man nest in it, but the man did not react at all. Instead, he was frowning slightly with a flushed face and lips as red as blood.
Lin ShuYi estimated that such a high fever would leave the man barely alive if he was left alone.
Though Lin ShuYi had not used anything in the kitchen for a long time, he often tidied it up and was very clean. He grabbed a handful of rice, cut a large piece of fresh ginger and a section of scallion, and simmered them over a fire.
Taking advantage of this time, Lin ShuYi went out and removed the blanket covering the man.
Wiping the body off with warm wine was the most effective in reducing a fever. However, he could only make do with warm water as there was no wine here. The warm water was still a little cold for the man’s body temperature, so the man reacted by shrinking reflectively back a little when the towel touched him.
The wounds on the man became more obvious as the sky slowly brightened. This kind of wounds looked like they were from a whip. Although it did not cause much substantial harm, it looked really frightening.
Lin ShuYi calmly wiped down the man’s whole body from top to bottom. He did not look at what he was not supposed to look and saw everything of what he was supposed to look at. In any case, they were both men, so it was nothing big for Lin ShuYi even he saw something he was not supposed to see.
The sliced ginger porridge was ready by the time he had finished wiping the man’s body. He held the man up and scooped out a spoonful of porridge, pouring it into his mouth.
The man choked and woke up while coughing. It took quite a while for his eyes to focus before he saw Lin ShuYi. Then his lips lifted in a smile as he laughed, “It’s you?”
Lin ShuYi suppressed the fire burning up from his heart as he narrowed his eyes, “I am the one who saved your life.”
The man chuckled and smiled again, the one who saved my life? Where did this old-fashioned fellow come from? Looking at Lin ShuYi who was gritting his teeth and looking like he wanted to spring over and bite him, the man tactfully repressed his laughter and solemnly stated, “Yes, you are the person who saved my life.”
Lin ShuYi felt that this sentence which came out of the man’s mouth had fanned the flames of rage in his heart even more instead. He should not have saved the man from the beginning. Lin ShuYi placed the bowl on a small table on one side, turned around and left the room.
The man’s surprised voice came from behind, “Where’s my clothes? You took them off?!”
Lin ShuYi ground his teeth, “I’ve burnt them!”
The sound of the man’s quiet laughter drifted out again, “Although we’re both guys, you shouldn’t take off my clothes ah.”
Lin ShuYi clenched and unclenched his fist, but he still restrained himself in the end. He never liked this man who laughed so frivolously and openly from the beginning. The words from this mouth, that was so sick with fever, were still so unpleasant to hear.
The man struggled to sit up with a grin when Lin ShuYi walked away. He lifted the blanket and looked at his wounds before smiling, “Tsk tsk, they sure were ruthless.”
By the time Lin ShuYi came in once more, the man had already fallen asleep again. Lin ShuYi reached out and touched his forehead. It was still hot, but it was not as serious as before.
The sun has risen high into the sky. Although he did not know the background of the man, there was nothing in his house and he was not afraid that the man would harbor evil designs. Therefore, he felt as ease as he locked the man in the room while he went to XiQin Restaurant.
Old man Yang asked even though this was the time when the store was busy, “Are you feeling better? If you feel bad, go back and lie down. It’s not busy for Grandpa here.”
Lin ShuYi felt that it was not necessary to let Old man Yang know as he had planned to chase the man away as soon as he got better. Thus, he lied to Old man Yang. He was going to let the man leave when he got back as there was nothing serious with him. So he said to Old man Yang, “I’m already alright.”
Despite having a busy day, Lin ShuYi did not forget to bring back a bowl of noodles for the man when he returned.
The clear and slippery noodles in shredded chicken soup was light and mild. Very suitable for sick people.
The man seemed to have been awake for a long time when he unlocked the door and walked in. He was looking around the room and was even wearing Lin ShuYi’s clothes.
The man was not a single bit embarrassed upon seeing Lin ShuYi still staring at him even after walking in. He pointed to the clothes on the ground and open-mindedly and magnanimously said, “They’re already that dirty, so I could only wear yours. I even borrowed your shower. You don’t mind, right?”
“I do mind.” Lin ShuYi glared at him and placed the container of noodles he was holding down.
“You brought some food? That’s great. I’m hungry now.” The man was beaming as he walked over and lifted the container noodles for a sniff, “It smells delicious.”
Probably because the man had not completely recovered, his hand was still shaking when he lifted the chopsticks. Lin ShuYi looked him over from head to foot and found that his clothes were still a little small on the man. A waist riddled with scars was exposed when the man bent his head to eat the noodles. Lin ShuYi shifted his gaze and treated it as if he had not seen anything.
The man had regained his strength after he had eaten and drank his fill. He sat comfortably on the sofa and sighed, “Why don’t I see anyone else in the house? Do you live alone?”
Lin ShuYi could not be bothered to reply to him.
The man gave a wicked laugh, “You live alone? No wonder the house is so old and there’s nothing inside.”
Lin ShuYi clenched his teeth and managed to continue the conversation after much restraint, “You can scram now since it’s old.”
The man burst into laughter, “I thought you were ignoring me. My name is Shen Fu. What about you? You look completely like a kid.”
Lin ShuYi became calm upon knowing that Shen Fu was deliberately provoking him. “Have you finished eating? Looks like you’re okay now. Immediately leave after you’ve finished eating.”
Shen Fu’s eyes rolled and he fell on the sofa in the next moment, “Ouch! My back hurts, my head seems to hurt, and my stomach hurts too. No way, I can’t. Everywhere hurts…”
Lin ShuYi had lived two lifetimes and never before had he seen such a shameless man. He was dumbstruck as he stared at Shen Fu who was making a scene on the sofa.
“I’m a wounded person. You really want to chase me away ah?”
Lin ShuYi was so furious that his chest hurt. It was practically like inviting the wolf into the room, yet he could not chase him out with a stick. In the end, he angrily returned to the room and slammed the door.
Shen Fu was laughing unbridledly. This little thing was so funny to play with!