Chapter 27 Vinegar

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The next day, Yan Mu had just finished washing up when she found Yu Yuan already reading.

The morning sunlight shone upon his face.
Against the sunlight, his perfect side profile was as handsome as a celestial being that had descended from the world of immortals.
Yan Mu could even see the tiny fine golden hairs on Yu Yuan’s face.

As a result of the nourishment of these past few days, the teenager’s complexion had improved and his body wasn’t so weak and thin anymore. He was lowering his head and reading while his hands were weaving something.

“So early, what time did you wake up?” Yan Mu asked.

“Just woke up.” Yu Yuan was like a frightened rabbit as he abruptly looked up from the book and quickly hid the item in his hand into his sleeve.

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Yu Yuan hid it so fast that Yan Mu could only see a vague afterimage of something colorful.

He delicately wrapped the book with cloth, placed it in a high place, then poured a cup of water for Yan Mu. 

She took the cup and said, “You don’t have to do that.
If you accidentally ruin it, we can just buy a new one.”

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Zw Zwyd pbssj bkp blye yde zssjle plakswpzu yv Zyd Yw, “Rv oswzed’v cl vbl pyxl.”

Tkp shlazu nbyaxkdt qynl oyp lmvalxlzu bydepsxl obld plakswp, yde clkdt oyvnble cu kv, Zyd Yw’p blyav pjkrrle y clyv.

“Tso kp kv ekqqlaldv?” Fbl ralvldele vs eakdj oyvla vs bkel bla lxcyaayppxldv.

“……Jlnywpl usw’al vbl sdl obs tyhl kv vs xl,” Zw Zwyd prsjl kd yd lmvalxlzu psqv hsknl yp bl zsolale bkp lulp.

“Ebyv?” Zyd Yw nswzed’v blya nzlyazu yde oyp ycswv vs ypj kd elvykz, cwv pyo Wyvbla Zyd nsxkdt shla okvb y rkzl sq zlyhlp qsa oayrrkdt ewxrzkdtp.

“Mkxl vs oayr ewxrzkdtp!” Zlpvlaeyu, Wyvbla Zyd cswtbv rzldvu sq tzwvkdswp aknl yde qalpb xlyv, ps bl oyp hlau byrru vseyu.

Mbl xydwpnakrv qllp bye talyvzu kxrashle vbl zkql sq vbl qyxkzu sq vball.
Gv zlypv, vblu ds zsdtla bye vs lyv hltlvyczl xkzzlv ewxrzkdtp qsa lhlau xlyz dso.
Fllkdt vbl obkvl tzwvkdswp aknl yde pxlzzkdt vbl pollv aknl qaytaydnl, Zyd Yw nswzed’v blzr bla xswvb qasx oyvlakdt.

Fbl byed’v lyvld aknl qsa y zsdt vkxl lhla pkdnl pbl vaydpxktayvle shla.
Fbl yde Zw Zwyd oldv qsaoyae vstlvbla vs blzr, yde dsv zsdt yqvla, lhlauvbkdt dllele vs oayr ewxrzkdtp oyp alyeu.

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As she was busy, Yan Mu forgot about what had happened just now.

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Yan Mu had clumsy hands, and rice always leaked out when she was wrapping dumplings.
Father Yan said that she was wasting the good stuff, so he chased her to the side to watch.

Yan Mu propped up her cheeks and looked at Yu Yuan’s concentrated appearance as he wrapped the dumplings.

She and Yu Yuan were two completely different extremes.
The teenager looked focused as the fresh dumpling leaf in his hands turned into a small bowl shape with just a twist and a fold.

Then, he spooned a scoop of the glutinous rice mixture into it, added a piece of fresh meat, then took a rice straw to bundle and tied it all up.
A tiny delicate dumpling was done just like that. 

It clearly looked simple, but Yan Mu just couldn’t get it right.
She gloomily watched as the pile of dumplings grew higher and higher, and enviously said to Yu Yuan, “You’re skillful with your hands.”

Father Yan even added salt to her wounds1, “With such clumsy hands, what if you can’t get married in the future?” Yan Mu had never thought about this, so her expression looked uncomfortable.

At his words, Yu Yuan’s hand movement paused too.

He lowered his head, his bangs hanging down, hiding the obscure look in his eyes.

Marry someone…… 

Even though Yu Yuan didn’t want to admit it, Yan Mu was already sixteen.

There were many ladies in the village who got married at the age of sixteen.
It was only because Yan Mu wasn’t in good health that no one had ever come to the door to propose.

But there would still be a day where Yan Mu would marry someone.
She would become someone else’s bride and show such a warm smile to others.

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Unconsciously, his fingertips exerted force and his nails accidentally poked through the dumpling leaf, leaking glutinous rice all over the table.

“Ah.”

Yan Mu didn’t notice that the glutinous rice had leaked out, and thinking that she’d touched some kind of little worm she almost jumped up in fear.

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“I’m sorry.” Yu Yuan expressionlessly put down the dumpling.
He silently picked up a cloth and gathered up the glutinous rice that was scattered on the table.

Yu Yuan seems somewhat unhappy? Yan Mu was puzzled.

“Yu Yuan,” Yan Mu softly called.
Yu Yuan lifted his eyes to glance at her, then quickly lowered his head to continue wiping the table.

As expected, he’s a little unhappy, Yan Mu secretly thought.

“Yu Yuan,” She persistently continued to ask, “Are you hungry for dumplings?”

“……”

Yu Yuan put down the dumpling in his hand, pursed his lips and looked at her.

The girl’s gaze was clear and pure, and Yu Yuan suddenly felt a sense of helplessness, as if he was punching cotton2.

He sighed, then unwillingly nodded and said, “Yes, I’m hungry.”

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At his words, Yan Mu revealed an “I knew it” smile, and eagerly took the plate of dumplings to cook them.

Yu Yuan silently watched Yan Mu’s back, then pulled out what he’d been weaving just now and looked at it for a while.

He looked like he couldn’t make up his mind, or perhaps he was just too timid.
Either way, Yu Yuan silently tucked the object back into his sleeve again.

***********

Yan Mu hadn’t eaten rice for a long time, so she was greedy for it once the dumplings were served.
There was still another pot in the kitchen, so Father Yan stayed there to guard it, worried that she’d eat too much and get indigestion.
He specially instructed Yu Yuan to keep an eye on her to prevent her from sneakily eating them.

Yan Mu couldn’t stand her cravings.
She looked left and right, then tried to sneakily take a dumpling while Yu Yuan wasn’t paying attention.
Her naughty hand had just reached out when she jumped from the scalding temperature of the dumplings.

“Hot, hot, hot!” Yan Mu’s body was extremely afraid of pain, so just like that, she was actually brought to tears from the burn.

Yu Yuan was shocked and he hurriedly examined Yan Mu’s injury.
She was in pain and instinctively put her finger in her mouth.

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“Let me have a look.” Yu Yuan frowned.

The girl was looking at Yu Yuan with tearful eyes but she obediently extended her hand over.

Yan Mu’s fingers were slender and her skin was pale.
The pink nails on her fingers were like flower petals, cute and delicate.

But only her index finger, as it had just been taken out of her mouth, was coated with a sheen of moisture.
Yu Yuan’s eyes darkened and his hand that held Yan Mu’s slightly tightened.

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“Yu Yuan?” The girl’s eyes were hazy with tears.

Yu Yuan looked up and his gaze swept over the girl’s slightly parted red lips.
His heartbeat inexplicably quickened.

Yu Yuan lowered his eyes, calmed his state of mind, then smoothly pulled Yan Mu’s hand over.

Before Yan Mu could react, Yu Yuan’s fingers had domineeringly occupied the gaps between her fingers, interlocking in a manner that didn’t allow rejection.
The teenager’s hand was covered in a thin layer of calluses, a little rough to touch, but that surprisingly gave her a sense of security.

Yan Mu inexplicably felt like her son had grown up.
She felt extremely relieved.

“There isn’t a blister, it’s just slightly red from the burn.
Let me fetch you a basin of well water for you to soak your finger in,” Yu Yuan nonchalantly said.

“Alright.” Yan Mu obediently nodded and let him pull her hand to soak her finger in the water.

Seeing that the girl didn’t show any obvious signs of rejection, Yu Yuan secretly sighed in relief.

***************

When Father Yan brought out the second plate of dumplings, the first plate had almost cooled down.

“Yu Yuan, Yan Mu didn’t secretly eat them, right?” Father Yan casually asked.

At his words, Yan Mu froze, and she looked at Yu Yuan pleadingly.
Yu Yuan pretended to think back while his hands were unwrapping the dumpling, acting like he didn’t see her gaze.

After sensing that Yan Mu’s gaze was getting hotter and hotter, Yu Yuan then slowly said, “She didn’t.”

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Yan Mu sighed in relief and glared at Yu Yuan.
An unnoticeably slight curve appeared on his lips and he placed the freshly unwrapped dumpling into her bowl.

Seeing Yu Yuan’s attentive service, Yan Mu’s anger suddenly dissipated.
She picked up her chopsticks and started to eat in small bites.

Father Yan nodded in satisfaction and said, “I’ve placed a salted egg yolk in one of the dumplings, let’s see who gets to eat it.”

“I heard whoever gets to eat it will have a lucky year ahead,” Father Yan added.
Just as he finished speaking, Yan Mu let out an “Eh.”

She held up her chopsticks to reveal a yellow salted egg yolk stuck on the tip.

Father Yan didn’t seem to expect that it would be found so quickly, as he looked a little confused.
Conversely, Yu Yuan only raised his eyelids and continued to unwrap another dumpling.

This next unwrapped dumpling he gave to Father Yan, only then did he start to unwrap his own.
Father Yan scratched his head and thanked him.

“Daughter, hurry up and eat the egg yolk for a good omen,” Father Yan said as he ate the dumpling.

Yan Mu thought for a while, then used her chopsticks to divide the egg yolk into three.
Then, she gave one piece each to Yu Yuan and Father Yan.

“Let’s eat together.” The girl’s smiling eyes were curved.

“Silly girl.” Father Yan happily ate the egg yolk in one bite.

Yu Yuan couldn’t help but touch the item in his sleeve.
Seeing Yan Mu eat her egg yolk, he followed and started to eat.

Although Yan Mu was greedy, her digestive system wasn’t good and she couldn’t eat much, so she only ate one.
After she finished hers, she could only watch Yu Yuan and Father Yan eat.

Yu Yuan couldn’t stand her stare, and while Father Yan wasn’t paying attention, he placed a piece of lean meat into Yan Mu’s bowl which she hurriedly ate.

She ate happily, and Yu Yuan felt his mood improve as he watched from the side.

Seeing Yan Mu finish her food, Yu Yuan touched the item in his sleeve.
He hesitated repeatedly before he finally whispered, “……I want to give you something.”

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The author has something to say:

Yan Mu’s brain circuit is never on the same wavelength as Yu Yuan……orz3

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