Chapter 36: Cheng Yan’s Dream
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After dinner, Mama Lin and sister-in-law Lin cleaned up the things on the table, while Father Lin played with his granddaughter. It was hard for Lin Xiu to come back for a holiday, so he stared at Lin Xing, who just spoke ill of him. Lin Xiu took him to his study and gave him instant homework.
Lin Xiu held the tea cup, drank the flower tea and looked at Lin Xing holding his head and scratching his ears, as he thought about the answer to the question Lin Xing gave him. Seeing Lin Xing looking over, Lin Xiu smiled and motioned with his eyes to continue thinking.
How could he talk about his brother behind his back? What’s more, he still said it in front of him and now he wanted to give him a brotherly education. Lin Chen was not interested in reading. Lin Xiu, who knew him, bought some books about business for him. Therefore, Lin Chen took the book that his Eldest Brother and Second Brother gave him to study, and Lin Cheng occasionally told him some experiences from his previous life.
After eating the hot pot, Lin Mo felt thirsty. He went to the kitchen and boiled some flower tea to cool the heat and reduce the fire. After thinking about it, he dropped a few drops of spring water into it.
Cheng Yan went to the kitchenette to make hot water for Lin Mo. Lin Mo brewed the tea for them and then carried the pot back to the house. When Cheng Yan was heating the hot water, he also burned some extra wood. As soon as Lin Mo entered the room, he felt the heat blowing across his face. However, the heating effect on him was very weak, and just like eating hot pot, although the house could have burned a dragon, his feet were still cold.
When Cheng Yan had finished heating the hot water, he took it to the room and poured it into the tub. When the hot water in the tub was almost too much, Cheng Yan came in with a basin of lukewarm water.
“Come here and heat your feet before you take a hot bath.” Cheng Yan walked in with a basin of water and called for Lin Mo.
Lin Mo put down his things and went to Cheng Yan’s side. He sat on the stool and took off his shoes then put his right foot into the water and tried it. When he found that it was warm water, he put his feet in.
It was better to use warm water to let cold feet adapt. It couldn’t be too hot or too cold. Lin Mo had an accident when he first soaked his feet in hot water. He had gone to bed after soaking his feet and was awakened by his feet itching in the middle of the night.
So after that, Cheng Yan would patiently warm his hands and feet with warm water and then use hot water again. Cheng Yan pulled up his sleeve, squatted down and put his hand in the basin. As soon as he touched Lin Mo’s foot, his brow slightly wrinkled. Although he knew that Lin Mo’s hands and feet were cold, he was so cold that Cheng Yan began to worry.
“Why are you frowning? Be careful of becoming a little old man.” Lin Mo touched his frown and smiled.
Cheng Yan carefully warmed his feet and said, “You have to see the doctor. Your hands and feet are too cold.”
“I’ve visited the doctor for it before… Well, let’s go to another doctor when we have time.” Lin Mo compromised, though he knew it was useless.
Cheng Yan didn’t speak. He kneaded Lin Mo’s feet and felt they were almost to normal temperature. He motioned for him to stand up, and then helped him take off his coat, leaving only the inner gown. Cheng Yan helped him into the tub and Lin Mo sank a little once he got in, only showing his head.
Lin Mo took a hot bath and shouted to the other side of the screen, “There is a small pot of tea on the table. Remember to finish it.”
“Okay.” Cheng Yan answered, took Lin Mo’s wet coat, and took out the used basin.
After Lin Mo took a good bath, the rest of the Lin family had basically gone to bed. There were several small bathrooms in the courtyard. Cheng Yan simply took a bath. Lin Mo was now lying in bed waiting for Cheng Yan to return to the house.
“Pour out the water tomorrow. Come here quickly. It’s cold in the quilt.” Lin Mo said as soon as he saw that Cheng Yan was going to the otherside of the screen.
Cheng Yan stopped, turned around, blew out the light and walked to the other side of the bed. As soon as Cheng Yan lay down inside the quilt, Lin Mo wrapped around him like an octopus. For Cheng Yan, the temperature in the quilt was not cold, but considering Lin Mo’s constitution, he didn’t speak.
Lin Mo tried to drill into Cheng Yan’s arms. Sometimes he thought it would be best if he could lie in the bed during the day, since it was too cold to go out. But thinking that their family had no money, they both wanted to make money, and finally they had to lift the quilt off and get up.
Getting up in the morning during winter was really deadly! But fortunately, he still had a warm night, Lin Mo thought as he stepped on Cheng Yan’s instep with his cold little feet.
“When we make more money, let’s get up late in winter and stay in bed.” Lin Mo mumbled.
“Okay, put your hand in to warm them up.” Cheng Yan responded with a low voice, opened the clothes he was wearing, and brought Lin Mo’s cold hands in.
“Cold?” Lin Mo put his hands on Cheng Yan’s warm chest, felt the other’s body quiver for a moment, and chuckled.
“Cold.” Cheng Yan agreed.
It was cold, but Cheng Yan still held his hands, holding his palms to his chest for a while, and then turned them over to warm the back of his hands. The two big feet were still wrapped around Lin Mo’s feet. Before long, Lin Mo only felt that his whole body was warm.
After warming his hands, Cheng Yan reached out and held him in his arms.
Lin Mo was in his arms, and his eyes were closed. When he heard a familiar voice, he unconsciously responded, “Mn…”
When Cheng Yan saw that he was asleep, he closed his eyes and went to sleep as well.
In the middle of the night, Cheng Yan, who seldom dreamed, dreamt again today. Cheng Yan knew that this was a dream, but it was useless for him to struggle and wake up. He could only watch the development of his dream in silence.
In the desolate yard stood two teenagers, a boy was being held by a bright yellow clothed teenager, standing in front of another boy with a cold expression.
The two sides were silent for a long time. At last, the boy who looked a little cold opened his mouth. “Imperial Brother 1, protect Xiao Yuan.”
“Fifth Brother…” The child who was held did not let his eyes turn red, but he could not help crying out.
“… We’ll wait for you to come back.” The bright yellow clothed young man held the child’s hand tightly and looked at his younger brother in front of him.
The boy looked at him and whispered, “Imperial Brother, when I come back, it will be time for you to ascend the throne.”
“I think so as well.”
“Come here.” The boy looked at the child standing by and reached for him.
“Fifth Brother…” The child broke away from his Third Brother’s hand, threw himself into his Fifth Brother’s arms, and secretly shed tears.
The young man reached out to touch the child’s head and said, “Listen to your brother. Don’t trust anyone except your brother.”
“Mn, Fifth Brother, you need to come back quickly and don’t get hurt.” The child bowed his head to dry his tears and looked at him.
“Mn.” The boy answered, looked at them for a long time, and finally left through the small door.
Cheng Yan, as a bystander, looked at them in silence, only feeling that the scene was familiar. Cheng Yan glanced at the boy and the child, tolerated the bitterness in his heart, and left with the other boy.
After the young boy left, he followed a general into the barracks and left for the frontier fortress.
Then, Cheng Yan watched the young boy climb from a soldier to a general’s position step by step. On the way, he saw that he had experienced several threats to his life, but the young boy still clenched his teeth and propped himself up.
At last, Cheng Yan saw the grown-up boy, the man who had taken the position of general, put on the silver mask, burn the letters sent from the Imperial City, and led his own soldiers to the Imperial City all day and night.
When he arrived outside the Imperial City, the general saw the newly crowned Emperor in dragon robes and the young man in red beside him. Cheng Yan saw the general, who had no expression all year round, slightly raise the corner of his mouth, that was not covered by the mask.
Without seeing anything else, Cheng Yan woke up. Cheng Yan opened his eyes and held Lin Mo in his arms.
This dream was the same as the dream he had before. Was that young man in the silver mask the general he dreamed of before? He had recovered a bit of his memory before, but he did not know what his previous identity was.
Was he the new Emperor or the general? Or was he someone else?
Cheng Yan looked out of the window and found it was still dark. He put Lin Mo’s slightly cool hand in his arms and closed his eyes to sleep.
It was getting colder and colder, and it was snowing outside. Lin Mo didn’t go to the Gourmet Shop anymore. Every day, he stayed in the warm room and played with Xiaoya and Xiaonan.
Cheng Yan went to see the shop every morning and came back at noon. Since it was getting colder and colder, there were more and more people dropping by to eat hot pot, so Cheng Yan recruited several more people to help in the shop.
The Mingjiu Pavillion opened by Lin Cheng was not only for fruit wine, but also for hot food in winter. Lin Mo went to have a look before, and talked about a few dishes to Lin Cheng. Lin Cheng went back to ponder for a few days, and then launched a new product.
Lin Chen, who was obsessed with business, went out with Lin Cheng every morning, so that Lin Xing could only feel the cold quilt by himself every morning.
It was cold, and Lin Xing stayed in the warm room. However, Lin Mo, Xiaonan and Xiaoya played together. Lin Xing could only sit on the side and look at them bitterly, and then continue to read the books prepared by his Second Brother.
There were not many things in the warm room, and the largest area was the big bed, which was covered with several layers of quilts, and then the underground heater was being burned below. The big bed accounted for half of the room and there were many things on it. Lin Xiu was reading while drinking tea and he looked at Fourth Brother from time to time. Then he looked back and continued reading.
Lin Mo and Xiao Ya played at one end of the bed, and Mama Lin and sister-in-law Lin were on the other side making clothes for them. Even so, the upper part was still very wide, and five or six strong men could sit there at the same time.
“Focus.” Lin Xiu tapped on the table with his fingers, warning his little brother.
Once again, Lin Xing, caught by his Second Brother, turned around and looked at the book honestly.
After staying in the warm room till noon, when Cheng Yan, Lin Cheng, and Lin Chen came back, Mama Lin would put away everything, and go to the kitchen with her daughter-in-law to bring out the bone soup that had been boiling, and then start to prepare the ingredients for lunch.
When Cheng Yan came back, he went to the warm room to check on Lin Mo, and then went into the kitchen to help cut vegetables.
- Lit. Brother Huang, Huang= Yellow. The imperial yellow jacket (Chinese: 黃馬褂; pinyin: Huáng mǎguà) was a symbol of high honor during China‘s Qing Dynasty. As yellow was a forbidden color, representing the Emperor, the jacket was given only to high-ranking officials and to the Emperor’s bodyguards. Therefore, they call their Brother, Brother Emperor or Imperial Brother. I felt that Imperial Brother sounded better than either of those.