Chapter 94: Red Bean Pie
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
On the thirty-ninth day they brought TaoTao and Xiao Yu home, they welcomed the New Lunar Year. XiQin Restaurant was closed early, the employees sent on holiday. Receiving their payslip and generous bonus, they were all ready to go on their knees and cry long live.
Old Man Yang’s New Year was, naturally, spent at Xiao Wan’s grandmother’s place. Now they had completely become one family, slotting together like a puzzle. Whenever Xiao Wan called him grandad, he practically vibrated with delight. Aunty Yang was also given leave by Lin ShuYi, allowing her to go back to her hometown. They were heading back to H City with their two sons. Being with family on New Year’s was a must.
In TianChao, it was tradition to eat the last meal of the year on the thirtieth day of the last lunar month with family while watching the Chinese New Year Gala, so they headed for H City on the twenty-ninth of the last lunar month. This time, they didn’t leave in the morning because the four of them were going shopping first. They were going to pick out new years gifts for Shen Fu’s parents and grandfather. This was their first Lunar New Year together, thus immensely special to both Shen Fu and Lin ShuYi.
TaoTao enjoyed going outside a lot. Every time he heard talk of it, he would flail about in delight, calling out for his brother and fathers. When Lin ShuYi took out his little scarf and told him they were going out, he would sit docilely, waiting for Lin ShuYi to wrap the scarf around his neck and grin as Lin ShuYi picked him up, heading out.
Shen Fu had Xiao Yu hold his hand. Today the two were wearing very similar aqua colored down jackets, one long and one short, just like parent-child attire. Lin ShuYi couldn’t help but smile at the two from behind them as he locked the door.
Xiao Yu might seem to cling to him a lot, but actually he seemed to prefer staying with Shen Fu. The two handsome young men, one big the other small, talking together was a heart-warning and beautiful sight. And clearly, it wasn’t just Lin ShuYi who thought this way.
The entire mall did.
The group of four seemed a little strange. It didn’t seem like they were brothers, but parent and child seemed even more bizarre. When Xiao Yu occasionally called Shen Fu daddy, everyone’s eyes went so wide it was like they would fall out.
After carefully browsing and picking things out for an entire morning, they finally managed to buy gifts for everyone.
After getting Shen Fu to take Xiao Yu and TaoTao to KFC for fries, chicken wings and red bean pie, Lin ShuYi went alone to buy gifts for the two kids too. They wanted to give the two a surprise, so they had to buy gifts behind Xiao Yu’s back.
Once everything was prepared, the family set off.
Last time they went back, Shen Fu had driven then his SUV over. This powerful, efficient off-road vehicle had completely become a car for convenience. There were two children’s car seats in the back now, one for TaoTao and one for Xiao Yu.
TaoTao didn’t really like the car seat. Whenever he had to sit in it, he always squirmed around, preferring to sit on Lin ShuYi’s lap. However, if Xiao Yu sat next to him, he’d settle down a bit more. Since there were two children on the car, Shen Fu drove slower than he usually would. Lin ShuYi sat in the back as well, next to TaoTao.
Shen Fu glanced at him through the rear-view mirror. “Are you tired? If you are, you should sleep for a bit.”
Lin ShuYi was indeed feeling a little drowsy. Though Xiao Yu and TaoTao had slept early the previous night, he had been held down against the bed by Shen Fu and tormented for half the night. Shen Fu was rather energetic, but Lin ShuYi couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit, and he was exhausted.
Glancing at TaoTao who had his eyes wide open and was looking around curiously, Lin ShuYi shook his head tiredly. “It’s fine.”
Xiao Yu sat up in his car seat. “Daddy, you should rest for a while. I’ll keep an eye on TaoTao.”
Shen Fu regretted being so hard on Lin ShuYi last night, but ever since they had two kids, Lin ShuYi’s free time had been cut short. Shen Fu liked the kids, he really did, but their existence meant that chances like last night were rare, and he couldn’t help but take full advantage of them when they appeared. He already had a hard time controlling himself around Lin ShuYi, but last night Lin ShuYi had been wearing a casual top with a very wide neck, exposing his pale, shapely collarbones. Shen Fu had almost started drooling when he saw, and so he devoured Lin ShuYi as soon as the kids fell asleep.
Xiao Yu’s maturity had Lin ShuYi smiling. “Xiao Yu is so responsible. I’ll sleep for a while then, keep an eye on your brother for me.” Xiao Yu nodded seriously.
Lin ShuYi was drowsy and tired, so it didn’t take him long after leaning back and closing his eyes before his breathing evened.
Xiao Yu sat up again and looked at Shen Fu. “Is daddy tired?”
Shen Fu reached out to raise the temperature of the AC in the car before replying. “Mhm.”
After another hour, Shen Fu was the only one still awake in the car. Seeing the three in the back asleep in a pile, Shen Fu felt his heart was going to melt with warmth. The car had stopped for a while, but Shen Fu didn’t wake them.
Instead, it was Old Master Shen who called after waiting for ages to no avail. “Are you still not here yet?”
Shen Fu replied, “We’ve arrived ages ago.”
Old Master Shen: …
It wasn’t until they came out that they realized that the reason why Shen Fu didn’t say anything was because the three other occupants of the car were all asleep, cuddling in the back of the car. Shen Fu carefully unlocked Xiao Yu’s seatbelt, wanting to pick him up, but Xiao Yu woke up.
Rubbing at his eyes blearily,he mumbled, “Daddy, have we arrived?”
He looked around and jumped in delighted surprise. “Great grandpa! Grandma!”
It was only then that he remembered that there were two others sleeping in the car and hurriedly covered his mouth, carefully glancing at Lin ShuYi.
Lin ShuYi frowned a little, waking up.
Xiao Yu looked over guiltily. “Did I wake you?”
Lin ShuYi was startled at all the people around the car, his lips twitching as he reassured Xiao Yu. “Don’t worry. Daddy’s slept enough anyways.”
They then got off the car, greeting everyone before Shen Fu picked TaoTao up and the family went inside. TaoTao switched hands once throughout this, and woke up, too, waving his arms in joy at the sight of his grandma and grandpa, and calling out to them nonstop.
That night, the family had a lively meal amongst laughter and joy, and the next day was the last day of the lunar year. With Lunar New Year so close, the hourly worker employed by the Shen Family had been given a vacation and went home to be with family as well. They would have to cook their New Years Eve meal for themselves.
Luckily, there were plenty of people in the Shen Family, so they could make a much larger variety of dishes. They had Lin ShuYi for Chinese dishes and Mama Shen and Alan for western dishes. Making a lavish feast fit for the New Year was no problem.
They decided to focus on Chinese dishes. Old Master Shen couldn’t really get used to western style dishes, especially the medium or rare or whatever steaks. Old Master Shen never had them, and didn’t understand the appeal in eating half raw slabs of meat. Thus, Lin ShuYi became the main chef for this feast.
Lin ShuYi contemplated his opinions before eventually settling on wrapping dumplings.
In DaYan, there wasn’t a single family that wouldn’t have dumplings to celebrate the New Year.
Though in TianChao, dumplings were no longer rare delicacies that most people only had a chance to eat during New Years, Lin ShuYi could never forget the delightful memory of his first time eating dumplings. Thus, Old Master Shen announced that everyone was to go and wash their hands and start making dumplings together.
They moved from the kitchen to the massive dining table, taking up all the corners, laughing and chatting as they gathered to start wrapping dumplings. There were three fillings: prawn, cucumber and sweetcorn; celery, pork and radish; chives, egg and glass noodles.
Mama Shen knew how to make the wrapping, Lin ShuYi knew how to wrap the dumplings. As for the rest, they gathered together looking around at each other and trying not to laugh as theirs were only uglier and no ugliest to their dumplings.
After half an hour, Shen Fu and Alan finally escaped the noob level and started getting better and better at wrapping the dumplings. Meanwhile, Aunt Shen and Shen Yan just got worse and worse. Aunt Shen was someone who rarely came into contact with things like this; she didn’t even know how much water to add for instant ramen. Shen Yan wrote beautifully with a fountain pen in hand, but wrapping dumplings was basically a torture scene at work.
In the end, Old Master Shen couldn’t take how bad they were at this and sent them off to one side to watch. Watching as beautiful dumpling after dumpling came from Lin ShuYi’s hands, Shen Yan decided that culinary skills was a necessity for his future life, otherwise he might start trying to steal his brother’ wife.
Unable to help out with wrapping dumplings, Aunt Shen happily went to play with TaoTao. Shen Yan, speechless for a moment, also joined in.
TaoTao really quite liked this usually silent uncle of his, smiling widely and handing over the item in his hand. “Uncle~”
They had no idea where TaoTao had gotten it, but Aunt Shen lit up upon seeing the thing in TaoTao’s hand. “Hey, hey, let’s play Mahjong.”
The dumpling wrappers: …
In the end, Aunt Shen, not helping and instead just causing more trouble, managed to steal two of the productive group: Papa Shen and Alan. Aunt Shen, having not studied the deep TianChao culture of Mahjong in a long time, couldn’t help her excitement at being able to play again. After teaching Alan the rough basics of the game, Aunt Shen happily announced that the game was starting.
The Shen Family had been completely split into two groups: the productive, dumpling making group, and the unproductive, Mahjong playing group. As the game progressed, Lin ShuYi watched as he made dumplings, his interest of this strange new game soaring.
Finishing his last dumpling, Shen Fu patted his hands and stood. “Do you want to go and see? I’ll teach you.”
As Lin ShuYi walked over, Alan stood, looking immensely relieved. If he won his wife’s money, she’d get angry. If he lost, his money would still be hers, and she’d still be angry. Faced with an angry wife no matter what he did, Alan gave up. Luckily, Lin ShuYi came over, curious, so Alan didn’t even think or hesitate to give Lin ShuYi his seat.
Two hours later.
Lin ShuYi held everyone’s money, looking a little embarrassed. “How about we play without money?”
Shen Fu glanced at his brother and smiled. “Of course we want to play with money.”
Shen Yan smiled like an arctic wind at him. Aunt Shen, having lost the most, was on the table, too exhausted to get up. She was never playing Mahjong with Lin ShuYi again. Ever!!!
Lin ShuYi: You can’t really blame me for being able to remember every card I play~