Chapter 38: First Day of the New Year
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After eating the tangyuan, Lin Mo dressed up and went out with Cheng Yan. As for the rest of the family, they also went out together in a team of twos and threes.
The Ice Lantern Festival had been around for a long time. At the beginning, every family made an ice lantern and put it in the yard. After that, it was placed in front of the gate for others to look at. On the second day of the New Year, people would choose which one they thought was the best. Now, it had developed into an activity. The town would place large ice blocks for carving ice lamps, and provide the carving tools. Everyone could try it. After carving, the carver could choose either to put it on the exhibition area or take it home.
However, nowadays, the Ice Lantern Festival was a metaphor for people to express feelings to their lovers. Most of the people who came to play at this festival were young people.
Lin Mo put one hand into the pocket of Cheng Yan’s clothes and walked arm in arm with him. It was still morning and there weren’t many people out. There were only a few ice lanterns on the street, however, if they came out at night, they would be able to see the ice lamps all over the street, which would be brightly lit with candles. The lights in the ice sculptures were as bright as stars.
Cheng Yan walked beside Lin Mo and followed his footsteps. To be honest, Cheng Yan didn’t think these ice lanterns were good-looking, but just wanted to be with Lin Mo.
“Want to try?” Cheng Yan saw Lin Mo looking at the ice, and how his eyes were eager to try.
“Mn, let’s carve one.” Lin Mo turned his head and looked up at Cheng Yan. He was looking forward to it. No matter what it was, as long as it was what Lin Mo wanted or was his request, Cheng Yan wouldn’t refuse, or maybe he didn’t want to let him show disappointment.
Cheng Yan nodded, and Lin Mo went to pick out a moderate piece of ice and took the tool to the other side to carve. Cheng Yan crouched in front of the ice, looked up at Lin Mo and asked, “What shape do you want?”
Lin Mo squatted down and thought about it. “Make a hollow palace lamp.”
“Okay.” Cheng Yan nodded, thought for a few seconds and began to knock on the ice.
Palace lamp? Some scenes flashed in Cheng Yan’s mind. In his memory, the kid beside him begged him to carve a palace lamp. Unfortunately, he went to the military camp before he learned how to do it.
Cheng Yan didn’t let Lin Mo do it. He quickly carved it by himself. Since his partial memory recovered, Cheng Yan also knew how to mobilize his internal power and how to use his martial arts properly. However, to carve ice lanterns with strong internal power made Cheng Yan seem to be overqualified.
Lin Mo squatted aside, bored, so he took the little ice knocked down by Cheng Yan and carved a lotus. Cheng Yan glanced at him and didn’t stop him.
After carving, Cheng Yan moved it to the exhibition area and put the candle in the ice lamp. At night, someone would light the candles inside.
“We’ll come back in the evening and move it home tomorrow.” Cheng Yan placed the lotus lamp carved by Lin Mo next to the palace lamp, and a small candle was placed in the middle of the lotus.
Lin Mo glanced at the magnificently carved palace lamp and then looked at Cheng Yan. He was confused, but didn’t show it on his face. He then nodded at Cheng Yan’s words.
After that, they went to see other things. On the first day of the new year, in addition to the ice lamp activities, there were other festive activities. When it was almost noon, Cheng Yan and Lin Mo went back to have dinner.
By the time they got home, Mama Lin and sister-in-law Lin had the ingredients ready. The soup in the hot pot in the middle of the table bubbled up, and it’s smell filled the whole room. Lin Mo breathed in this scent as soon as he walked in.
Cheng Yan and Lin Mo were the first two to come back. The others were still playing outside or just starting to return home. Cheng Yan went to the kitchen to help bring the prepared ingredients out. Lin Mo stayed in the room to warm up and stretched out to the charcoal fire near the bottom of the hot pot, and when his hands were almost warm, he took up the plate and put in some meat and cooked it first.
When everything was almost ready, Lin Mo heard several children’s voices coming from outside.
“Ah? Fourth Brother, you’re back so soon.” As soon as Lin Xing entered the room, he saw Fourth Brother sitting on the other side of the table. He thought that Fourth Brother and Brother Cheng would play outside for a long time.
“Mn, go and soak your hands in hot water. The meal is almost ready to eat.” Lin Mo glanced at them, then continued to stir the meat in the pot with a wooden spoon, and then took the lotus roots and Chinese purple yams pieces set aside and put them in.
“I smell meat!” Xiaoya, who was carried into the house by Lin Xiu, turned her head and looked at the steaming pot with bright eyes.
“Mn, it’s delicious meat, let’s go to the kitchen and soak our hands.” Lin Xiu went out with Xiaoya in his arms and smiled.
When everyone was seated, the meat and other dishes in the pot were cooked. Cheng Yan sat beside Lin Mo and scooped him some pieces of cooked meat and some pieces of soft lotus root with a wooden spoon.
Inside the warm house, with a smiling family, a table of food, and his husband beside him, Lin Mo listened to their cheerful conversation, and his depression finally dissipated.
This was his home. They were his family. Everything in his last life was buried in his heart and locked away.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you want to eat these?” Cheng Yan asked in a low voice when he saw that Lin Mo was holding his chopsticks but did not move.
“No, I was just thinking about something.” Lin Mo returned to his mind and shook his head with a smile.
Cheng Yan nodded and continued to help him with other dishes while eating. Just now, it seemed that Lin Mo was in a good mood. Cheng Yan wondered if it was just his imagination.
After lunch, the children of the family pestered the others to go out to play, while father Lin, Mama Lin and sister-in-law Lin began to prepare the New Year’s dinner after lunch. In the morning, he walked along the streets with Cheng Yan and now Lin Mo didn’t want to stay out in the cold air.
Lin Mo and Cheng Yan stayed at home. Lin Mo went back to the room and lay on the bed to read a book. After Cheng Yan burned the bed coals, he went to the kitchen to help. However, it was not long before he was pushed out by Mama Lin, saying that he should accompany Lin Mo.
After Cheng Yan returned to his room, he stayed in bed with Lin Mo as he read. Finally, Cheng Yan was half lying on the bed reading, and Lin Mo was sleeping on him.
On the first day of the New Year, just as the sky turned black, the fireworks outside began to be continuously lit. In the room, it was a little dim without lighting. Cheng Yan hugged Lin Mo, who lay on his body, and closed his eyes to rest.
The fireworks that sounded outside were scattered in the air, and the bright light of the fireworks was visible through the window. Lin Mo, lying on Cheng Yan’s side, was stimulated by the flash of fireworks. He buried his whole face in Cheng Yan’s chest, trying to block the light outside.
Despite blocking out the flashes, the sound of fireworks still rang out loudly. Lin Mo, who didn’t wake up completely, frowned.
Cheng Yan opened his eyes when Lin Mo moved. He narrowed his eyes to adapt to the alternation between the darkness in the room and the light of fireworks outside. He felt the movement of Lin Mo who had awakened.
“Momo, do you want to get up? We can eat dinner. We are supposed to go out to see the ice lamps tonight.” Cheng Yan ran his fingers through Lin Mo’s hair and straightened his long hair with his hand.
“Mn…” Lin Mo rubbed his head against Cheng Yan’s palm, half opened his eyes and answered vaguely.
When Lin Mo woke up completely, Cheng Yan lit up the light. Lin Mo was sitting on the bed with the quilt covering his body. Cheng Yan was standing by the bed to comb his hair. When Lin Mo was dressed, they went out.
By the time the two of them left, everyone had already reached the venue. They found a place to sit down, and waited for Father Lin and Mama Lin to bring everything. After sitting down, all of them picked up their chopsticks and started eating dinner.
“Your Third Sister is going to give birth soon so it is not convenient for her to come here. Our family will go to her tomorrow.” Mama Lin said.
The others nodded. Sister-in-law Lin hadn’t been back to her mother’s home for the New Year for a long time because of some problems. This year was no exception. She had no opinion on going to the Yan’s home for the New Year.
“We will go to the Third Aunt’s tomorrow?” Xiaoya ladled the meat in her bowl and was about to deliver it to her mouth. Hearing grandma’s words, she looked up and asked pleasantly. She had been to the Third Aunt’s house before and it was very beautiful. There were many beautiful little sisters, many delicious cakes and many interesting things.
“Yes, if you don’t want to stay in bed tomorrow, or I will leave Xiaoya to watch the house alone.” Mama Lin laughed.
“Xiaoya gets up early every day. Fifth Uncle is the one who stays in bed. Let Fifth Uncle watch the house tomorrow!” Lin Xiaoya said.
Lin Xing, who was bending his head and gnawing at the meat, heard that and he looked up a little muddleheaded, “When did I stay in bed?”
“Today, I woke up and Fifth Uncle was still sleeping.” Lin Xiaoya said.
When Lin Xing heard that, he remembered that Xiaoya had climbed to his bed this morning to lift the quilt. “That’s you getting up early. Today, I got up first. You didn’t even wake up. Why can’t Fourth Uncle stay at home?”
Lin Mo was chewing meat. When he heard that the topic had shifted to him, he looked up in a daze. Before he could say anything, Xiaoya helped him to talk, although it made him seem like he was a scoundrel, “No, Fourth Uncle and Xiaoya are going to Third Aunt’s house!”
“What about your Second Uncle? He was the last one to wake up last time, so he should stay at home, right?”
When Lin Xiu heard this, he looked up with a smile and looked at Lin Xing gently. Lin Xing touched his eyes. His heart trembled. He forgot that there were two brothers in his family who he should not bother.
“Okay, Xiaoya can go.” Mama Lin laughed.
With the laughter of the family, the dinner time for the first night of the New Year was over. After Cheng Yan and Lin Mo got dressed, they went out to see the ice lamps at night. In the evening, the ice lamps lit with the candles were more dazzling. There were white and red candles and a few other colors. The ice lamp also reflected the different colors of light as a result.
Lin Mo pulled Cheng Yan to the place where they put their ice lamps in the morning. As Lin Mo had imagined, the red candle was lit in the gorgeous ice palace lamp, and the candle light that seeped out of the hollowed place made the ice lamp more exquisite.
After visiting other places with Cheng Yan, Lin Mo returned to the original place and asked Cheng Yan to take their ice lamp and leave, while he also carried his own carved lotus lamp.
Lin Mo didn’t plan to drop by again tomorrow to take it away because they would be going to the Yan’s house to pay a New Year’s visit. Maybe they would come back at night. Lin Mo was worried that the ice lamp that Cheng Yan carved for him would be moved away after they came back.