'It’s Obviously a Young Married Couple Bantering Flirtatiously.'

After the duo successfully obtained the dual cultivation method, it was one day closer to New Year’s Eve, so they were not in a rush to return.

The two rented a small courtyard in the village at the foot of Junyun Mountain. They purchased simple festive merchandise on the twenty-ninth day of the twelfth lunar month, the day before New Year’s Eve, and also the final day before the market was closed for the holiday. They prepared to spend New Year’s Eve together before returning to House of Jade.

On the last day of the lunar year, Su Yang and Gu Feidi didn’t go out. They planned to decorate the uninhabited courtyard with some festive decorations. 

For example, antithetical couplets對聯 Two phrases or sentences written as calligraphy on vertical red banners, typically placed on either side of a door or in a large hall. and the character ‘Fu福 means ‘fortune’ or ‘good luck’. You must post it upward so it means the fortune is ‘here’ instead of the fortune ‘fell down’. Also, if you break down the word, the word on the side (礻) it means praying to god, and the (田) square like word means a family (typically of four) will have enough to eat (口 is mouth, that means four mouths), will have employment, and have education. ’ must be pasted on the door and wall.

Su Yang hadn’t perfected stylish calligraphy art, but at least his words wouldn't be illegible, clustering into a lump of ink, it was enough for a third-party to barely recognise what character was written. Therefore, the person tasked with writing the Spring Festival couplets and the blessing character was obviously Gu Feidi.

These tasks weren’t difficult for Gu Feidi. He quickly wrote out the same couplet his family used in previous years and called Su Yang to help him post it. But to the younger man’s surprise, Su Yang wasn’t accustomed to the paste brush. The couplet stuck together as soon as he brushed a layer of paste, so he had to use his hand to press it down to straighten it. As a result, a pair of couplets were wrinkled. The paste overflowed out from the corners and was dyed red by the red paper, which was also all over his hands.

Gu Feidi wasn’t helping much either. He was standing on the side and chuckling. 

After Su Yang smeared the paste on a couplet with great difficulty, Gu Feidi picked it up to paste it on the door. As Su Yang looked at his hand, thinking where to wash the red glue off of his hands, he heard the other man calling for him. 

“Xiao Xiao, do you think this position is right?”

“It will look better, higher.”

Su Yang walked closer with two steps and studied Gu Feidi, who was carefully pasting the Spring Festival couplets. He suddenly narrowed his eyes and babbled, “Yes, you got it. It looks great. Perfect...now you’re done, come help me with something.”

Gu Feidi smoothed the wrinkles, turned back and closed the distance between them, asking, “What do you need help on?”

Su Yang suddenly raised his hand, wiped the bright red glue on his fingers on Gu Feidi’s cheek, and quickly drew out three cat whiskers on one side of the cheek.

“This is for not helping me earlier!” He bared his teeth to forge his anger. “And also for laughing at me!”

Gu Feidi let the other tease him. He wasn’t angry at all, he just said with a smile, “Let’s not play around. Paste the second couplet and the blessing character before you wash your hands.”

Su Yang: “...”

Puffing up his cheeks, he raised his hand and poked a little red dot in the center of Gu Feidi’s eyebrows.

After they had a short playful session, they finally posted both couplets and the Fu character.

At this time, there were two old women from a peasant family walking by the roadside. When they saw the duo fighting at the gate of the courtyard, they couldn’t resist their laughter. 

“Oh! Although they are guests of our village, the two must have a very good relationship.” One of the women whispered. 

The other women examined Su Yang and lightly clicked her tongue. “What are you talking about? From what I see, that xiao-geLittle older brother. with a fair and clear face is so good-looking, I highly doubt that’s a man, it must be a woman disguised as man...so they are obviously a young married couple bantering flirtatiously!”

“Oh, I think you're right...your eyes are very sharp!”

Su Yang: “...”

Gu Feidi: “...”

The ‘young married couple’ with very perceptive five senses took in the whispering, glanced at each other, and were unable to restrain a smile. 

They packed up the paste and the brush and went back into the house. Gu Feidi drew water and washed his hands and face along with Su Yang. After that, they began to stress over what to eat for the New Year’s Eve dinner.

Su Yang lived alone for a long time and could cook simple meals. However, he couldn’t use this ancient earthen stove for a peasant family at all. Moreover, the clay pot was embedded on the stove. It was integrated with the stove and not fit for dry-braising干燒 refers to a Chinese cooking method that uses only a small amount of braising liquid at the start and reduces most of it toward the end of cooking.. Stir-fry was definitely impossible as well. At most...it could be used for steaming and boiling.

“You should know how to use this stove, right?” Su Yang squatted down at the mouth of the stove that was used to feed the fire, he turned to ask Gu Feidi.

“No.” Gu Feidi answered at the speed of light.

“Doesn’t your home use an earthen stove like this? That’s impossible!” Su Yang didn’t believe the other.

Gu Feidi squatted down beside Su Yang, studied the stove with the other and explained casually, “I never entered the kitchen at home...But I guess they all should look the same.”

After a moment of silence, Su Yang murmured, “...Oh right, I almost forgot that you used to be a young master of the house.”

Gu Feidi smiled, got up, carried some firewood from the firewood pile and tossed it into the furnace. Afterward, he added a few small branches, blew to light a flame stick and ignited the furnace.

Su Yang quickly poured some water into the pot to avoid the clay pot cracking from the burning fire. He asked on the side, “Aren’t you using the stove right now?”

Gu Feidi replied, “I’m just assuming how to use it.”

After pondering over what dishes to make, Su Yang finally decided on making dumplingsThis translator also wanted to know the reason behind eating dumplings in the New Year. One of the most popular reasons is that dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (boat-shaped), and the more one ate, the more money one will make in the upcoming new year. according to the holiday.

Gu Feidi was ordered by Su Yang to chop up the stuffing, and Su Yang himself took the heavy responsibility of making the wrapping. Fortunately, although Gu Feidi had never been in contact with culinary arts, he had great experience in using weapons. He had sufficient arm and wrist strength to chop the stuffing evenly. Su Yang blended the seasoning for the stuffing, and the dough was about done as well.

Su Yang rolled out several dumpling wrappers and taught the other man how to make dumplings. Gu Feidi was a quick learner. He could make dumplings just as well as Su Yang after watching his demonstration twice. 

Seeing the other’s insane hand movement, he lamented the extremely short period of joy in being the teacher. He couldn’t resist the urge to curl his lips and mutter, “...The protagonist’s halo is overpowering.”

Gu Feidi smiled and asked, “What? What do you mean?”

Su Yang quickly grinned at Gu Feidi instead of answering.

Between the two of them, one rolled out the skins and the other stuffed the stuffing. They worked well with each other, and soon they used up the large pot of stuffing.

Su Yang rolled out the remaining dough and cut it into long strips of noodles. He shared, smiling, “Every time I have dumplings, I actually like to eat the noodles made from remaining dough the most...I don’t even know the reason why, but I found it tastes different from dough specifically made for noodles. It’s a mystery.” 

Gu Feidi replied, “Then when the dumplings are done cooking, you can eat the noodles and I’ll eat all the dumplings.”

Su Yang chirped, “Oh, you’re becoming more and more mean to me now!”

Gu Feidi returned with a smile.

Seeing that Su Yang boiled the dumpling skillfully, he questioned, “From what you said, you could at least eat dumplings in the past. Your past life wasn’t bitterly hard?”

This was the first time Gu Feidi took the initiative to ask about the original life of Su Yang’s soul.

Su Yang pondered carefully and replied, “I considered it decently good. At least I had my own house, with no worries over the basic necessities. The people around me had treated me well since I was a child. I had never met bad people or encountered genuine setbacks. I could do whatever I wanted to do...Now I think about it, I had a very fortunate life.”

“Then, how old were you…?” Gu Feidi asked a new question.

“I was twenty-one when I first arrived here.” Su Yang replied. “If I used the age of my soul as a basis, I’m almost twenty-four now.”

“Twenty one, that means you’re past coming of age…” Gu Feidi murmured for a moment. Then, he hesitated and asked, “Were you...married?”

Hearing this question, Su Yang had a bright smile on his face.

“What’s wrong? Why ask now?” He questioned with a smile. “Don’t you think it’s a little too late to ask?”

Gu Feidi replied, “I didn’t have the courage to ask before.”

“What other questions do you not have the courage to ask?” Su Yang said. “I’ll answer them as long as you ask.”

Gu Feidi gazed at Su Yang and repeated the question, “Were you married?”

“Never.” Su Yang answered with a smile. “From where I’m from, we marry late, and many people would get married in their thirties...The majority of people graduated from school at the age of twenty-one, how would they get married that soon. And...I also never met anyone I liked.”

Hearing such an answer, Gu Feidi looked at Su Yang. The younger man’s eyes were filled with happiness.

For a moment, as if he remembered something and asked in puzzlement, “Listening to you, the setting of your hometown is different from that of the Central Plains...Where is your hometown?”

Su Yang beamed.

“Where I’m from, is a very strange place.”

He opened the pot lid, used the ladle to push the dumplings together, and continued, pretending to be mysterious, “For example, where I’m from, fire would be ignited with a turn of a button. It’s very convenient. There are even stoves and pots that can cook without starting a fire. Doesn’t it sound amazing?”

Hearing such unimaginable things, Gu Feidi was actually not surprised. Instead, he recalled something and brought up with a smile, “No wonder you can make dumplings, but you can’t start a fire.”

After that, before Su Yang could follow up, Gu Feidi chuckled again and asked, “Let me guess, the light in your hometown doesn’t need a flame stick to light?”

Su Yang was startled. “Yes? How did you know?”

Gu Feidi recalled, “I remember when we first entered the House of Jade, you couldn’t start a flame stick.”

Su Yang: “...”

Su Yang sighed exaggeratedly. “My dearest Shidi, do you really believe all those things I said?”

Gu Feidi confirmed, “As long as they are your answers, I’ll believe it.”

Su yang was speechless for a while.

He stared into Gu Feidi’s bright, starry eyes, and saw no trace of mockery and perfunctoriness.

Suddenly, Su Yang had an impulse to share with Gu Feidi everything about his world, and then...

...And then what?

He didn’t know whether he could go back to his own world. Even if he could, he didn’t know if he could take back Gu Feidi with him.

—A burst of white foam followed by knocking of the lid pulled Su Yang out of his trance. 

He stretched out to lift the lid of the pot, but Gu Feidi was a step faster and picked up the lid.

The pot full of foam came into contact with the cold air outside and gradually dissipated. Su Yang picked up the bowl, added about half a bowl of cold water into the pot to calm the boiling dumpling pot down. 

He would just tell Gu Feidi his origin after his body’s coming of age. 

That was what Su Yang decided. 

Although he didn’t often make dumplings himself, this batch he made wasn’t as bad as he thought. The texture of the skin was just right, and the saltiness of the stuffing was also just right. Even the portion they made was perfect to fill both of their stomachs.

Once they finished the dumplings, they divided the soup noodles evenly.

Su Yang asked, “What do you think? Don’t these noodles taste better than normal?”

Gu Feidi replied with a smile, “I’m not sure.”

“Huh? How could you not tell?”

“How about next time, you make me some normal noodles. Then I can tell because there would be a comparison.”

Su Yang was not buying it. “Why do I have to make them? Have you not eaten noodles before?”

Gu Feidi soothed, “The noodles you made naturally taste different from others.”

Su Yang was shocked, and didn’t understand what the other meant for a moment.

Gu Feidi added, “I want the noodles you make so I can compare it with your dumpling dough noodles. No matter how others made their noodles, it would never taste better than yours.”

This compliment made Su Yang’s heart fill with warm and fuzzy happiness. It was a feeling of unparalleled pleasure. But he had to put on a disdainful appearance and huffed, “Your string of honeyed words sure are sweet…” 

Gu Feidi smiled and enjoyed his bowl of soup without answering.

That night, they warmed some rice wine and sat out in the courtyard chatting. 

The moon couldn’t be seen in the night sky on New Year’s Eve, making the scattered stars in the sky even brighter.

“Although we have known each other for several years, this is our first New Year’s Eve together.” Gu Feidi said. “During our years in the House of Jade, I entered the Hidden Pearl Pavilion too early and didn’t spend the evening of New Year’s Eve with you. Such a pity now that I think about it.”

Su Yang was already slightly tipsy. He leaned on Gu Feidi’s shoulder with a wine cup in his hand and replied while chuckling, “If there’s a first New Year’s Eve together, then there will be a second, and many more in the future. How is there any pity about it?”

Gu Feidi turned towards Su Yang, and the stars in the sky were reflected in those dark eyes, as if countless wandering lights.

“You said so yourself; you can’t back out on your words.” He smiled affectionately.

Instead of answering, Su Yang returned the smile, wrapped his arms around Gu Feidi’s neck and gave the other a kiss on the lips.

Translator's Corner

Translator has something to add:

Teo: I hate how I know I translated a specific word before but I forgot what I translated it to and it isn’t on my translator’s note log. Now I have to hunt down other projects…Found it, it was TRF. Now that I think about it, Chinese New Year appeared in almost all of my projects.

I searched ‘浆糊刷子 古代’ in baidu because I was curious what an ancient brush looks like. Idk, they look like miniature floor sweeper. 

To see how people use an earthen stove, check out Liziqi’s video on Youtube!


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