Chapter 85 Crab Soup Dumplings (b)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
With two coolies to help her and everyone in such a cheerful and chatty mood, time passed very quickly. When most of the food was done, Shiyu had the little kids gather the special delicacies they had made, and sent them to various Lin family courtyards.
Naturally, they kept all the meatbuns for themselves. After all, as a rich and prosperous family, the Lin Clan has access to all sorts of buns and would not be impressed by their hearty meatbuns. Therefore, only the unique Fresh Shrimp Soup Dumplings, which Shiyu had especially made for Patriarch Lin to show her gratefulness, was sent out. Along with other small steamed snacks that were not yet available in Qing Shan City. Each of them was very delicately made and could be enjoyed by the young, old, men and women alike. She wanted to express her gratitude to the whole of Lin Clan, not just Lin Fan’s father.
Of course, while making these delicacies, quite a few were eaten by the little fellows. Especially that Xiao Wu, who later cried, “Oh no, I’m fat again!” but stuffed another snack into his mouth, causing everyone around him to laugh.
Lin Fan had been gone for a long time. Therefore, it was inevitable that the Xue Sisters eventually tracked him down in his estate.
The courtyard was experiencing a lull in activity now.  Everyone was lying about, enjoying some hot fragrant tea and digesting their food when a sudden knock disturbed their peace. All heads popped up. Shiyu looked over at Lin Fan and Feng Luo, “Please tell me it’s not-”
 “Young Miss Xue and Second Young Miss Xue is here for a visit, please open the door.”
 “…. never mind,” she looked around. In a low voice she said, “Alright, everyone get up, come with me.” She hustled the little kids up from their resting place and shooed them into Grandpa’s room. Somehow, Wen Xian was also herded along with the kids. “Remember, unless you hear me call you, don’t come out. Don’t make any noise either.” She shut the door resolutely in their face.
Everyone has their weaknesses. Shiyu’s current major weakness was her little family. Grandpa was already struggling with his health, the children were all too little to defend themselves. Xiao Qi’s talent was promising, but she was still too young. If the Xue Sisters decided to make trouble for her, she would not be able to fight against their strength and connections. There was no telling how the future might unfold, what if they decided that Shiyu was an enemy? It’s better to keep one’s soft underbelly hidden for now.
The children were especially obedient to this clever and resourceful Elder Sister of theirs who had single-handedly dragged them all out of poverty. They had absolute trust in her and hid in the darkened room without a single protest. Wen Xian sat with them quietly, he too was a benefactor of Shiyu’s largess. All of them behaved as though a fierce tigress was about to enter the courtyard.
When Lin Fan and Feng Luo saw this, they exchanged a look. An immediate understanding flashed between them.
There was more knocking on the door. It was even more insistent this time. Shiyu walked over and wrenched the door open. Well, it was violently wrenched opened up to only a 6 inches gap.
“What’s all that knocking? What do you want?” Shiyu snapped, glaring at the manservant. Behind him were the Xue Sisters.
When Xue Qingruo saw her, her eyes almost stood out in stalks. “Why is it you? Why are you here?”
Shiyu looked past her at Xue Qingge.
The elder sister also looked surprised, but she quickly gathered herself and said, “Is this not Lin Fan’s personal estate?”
Shiyu suddenly understood, “Oh, so you’re here for Lin Fan?” she turned and yelled into the courtyard, “Lin Fan, someone to see you.”
When Lin Fan appeared, Shiyu pushed him through the now 12-inch gap Xue Qingge. “Go take care of your guest.”
-and shut the door behind him.
On the verge of collapsing with mirth, Feng Luo pretended to scold Shiyu, “Aren’t you too disloyal to your friends?”
“What’s do you mean? Young Miss Xue is a great young woman whose beauty could shake the nations. I’m just sending our Brother Lin over to enjoy the ‘Happy Fate of the Man from Qi .’”
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That evening, when the Lin Clan prepared a banquet to entertain the Xue Sisters, they also extended an invitation to Shiyu. Who declined with the excuse that she has to look after her very poorly Grandpa.
When it was time to sleep, Shiyu and Xiao Qi went to their room in the West Wing. As Xiao Qi lay beside her Elder Sister, her thoughts turned to Lin Fan and she asked,  “What is Brother Lin Fan like at the College? Is he the strongest there?”
Shiyu’s non-existent balls hurt. Looks like not even Wen Xian bro or Feng Luo bro was able to distract her from thinking about this great and amazing Lin Fan bro. Nevertheless, Shiyu decided to bite the bullet and addressed the most headache-inducing issue at hand, “Xiao Qi, do you like Brother Lin Fan?”
“Yes! He rescued me before, ah! He also treats me very well. I will remember him forever.” Was Xiao Qi’s very sincere announcement. Grandpa had said this before, ‘One must keep all grudges and gratitude in mind’. As long as someone treats her well, she must treat them well too. Since Brother Lin Fan had rescued her life, she owed him a life. This was her debt to him.
Aiya, tis’ finished!
Shiyu rubbed her forehead in distress. Is this child doomed to not marry if it’s not Lin Fan? No, she must probe further!
“Ahem, what if your Brother Lin Fan has someone in his heart? What would you do?”
In the dark, Shiyu’s voice was close to a whisper, but it rang loudly in Xiao Qi’s ears.
Does Brother Lin Fan have a girl he likes? Could it be that Sister Lu Yan? But she didn’t like Sister Lu Yan, ah. That sister is too difficult to get along with…
Xiao Qi frowned as she contemplated this matter. Then she asked, “Who is the person in Brother Lin Fan’s heart?”
“Er…” there are too many to name, a few dozen if not a hundred. Shiyu seriously did not want to go into this. “That is… difficult to say, ah.”
“Oh…” Xiao Qi pursed her lips, wondering just what it was that made it ‘difficult to say’.
But, perhaps this was all fate, ba.
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The next day, since there was still some flour left, Shiyu decided to make some noodles for their breakfast. When Feng Luo heard that there would be good things to eat, his eyes brightened and he hurried over to help. This way, he would not feel shy about eating a bit more of Shiyu’s food.
While he was busy mixing flour with his hands, a strong wind blew across the courtyard and shook the trees. A single leaf was shaken loose and darted about cheekily in the air before it slowly and gently floated down and perched naughtily on Feng Luo’s hair. The young man was too intent on his work and did not notice the leaf, but Lin Fan, who was just passing by, happened to notice it.
Since they were of similar height, Lin Fan thought nothing about reaching out and plucking the leaf out of Feng Luo’s hair, before simultaneously smoothing back a loose strand of hair that had escaped its tie and caught against Feng Luo’s eyelash. 
Intent on his work and not wanting flour on his face, Feng Luo had ignored the hair in his eye. When Lin Fan smoothed it out of his eye, he simply said, “Thank you,” and went on with his work. 
Everything happened right in front of impressionable Xiao Qi.
Under the crisped morning sunlight and the faint breeze that teased at the hem of their clothes. Two handsome young men appeared surprisingly harmonious and gorgeous together.
Just then, Shiyu called from the inner kitchen, “Feng Luo, I forgot to ask, where did you sleep last night?”
“In Lin Fan’s bed,” Feng Luo said absently.
Shiyu,  the evil person responsible for certain evil rumours at the College, poked her head out and narrowed her eyes at these two. Suddenly, she smirked, “Yo~ so eager to share pillows ♂, ah? Tsk, tsk,”
“What are you thinking!” Feng Luo pinched off a bit of dough and pitched it towards Shiyu’s face. “I slept on the bed while he slept on the day bed!”
Shiyu caught the piece of dough and made a face at him, “Aiya, what a pity, ah.”
This time, two pinches of dough came flying at her face.
Xiao Qi looked at the bright, laughing faces of her brothers and sister. Just… what is this feeling in her chest?
She had no idea what it meant to share a pillow, but… could it be that the person in Brother Lin Fan’s heart that Elder Sister found ‘difficult to say’ was… Brother Feng Luo?
Quite suddenly, Xiao Qi’s worldview expanded.
Shiyu had no idea what was going on in her little sister’s no longer pure head. Otherwise, she would have gone to the tree, whose leaf had so fortuitously fallen onto Feng Luo’s head, and gave it a big smacking kiss. To be honest, as a woman from the modern world, she could not accept men having three wives and four concubines. Not just for herself, but for the women around her as well. It was too bitter to have to fight other women for the affections of one man. This was why she did not want Xiao Qi to fall in love with Lin Fan.
However, everyone was different. If Xiao Qi had insisted on going down this path, she knew that she would try to support this little sister of hers even as she privately scratched the walls of her rooms in despair. After all, how could she bear to hurt her own family member by being overly critical about their personal choices?
Last night, her vague remarks were meant to mentally fortify Xiao Qi’s heart. Creating the expectation that Lin Fan was already taken and set her down the road of recovery from this infatuation. That way, wouldn’t Xiao Qi do her best to not look at Lin Fan with those shiny eyes?
However, no matter how good she was at planning, the heavens still have the last laugh. Who knows, were it not for her little advice last night, perhaps Xiao Qi would not have gone down this crooked path…
[Gumihou: Xiao Qi, welcome to the world of fujoshi. Ufufufufu]
 Added More Details for Logistic Purpose: Like, how did Shiyu know it was the Xue Sisters at the door, haaah?
 Happy Fate of the Man from Qi – The joy of having several wives and concubines
 Structural Change: Change a passive sentence to dialogue
 Added More Details: To slow down the narrative and make the scene more gorgeous.
 Missed Opportunity for jokes: Surely you don’t think that Gumihou would let this opportunity to make fujoshi jokes pass her by, do you? Oh, but the ♂ symbol is from the author
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