Being picked up by parents after school was one of the things that Tao Xi yearned for the most since he was a child, especially when it rained suddenly and he did not bring an umbrella. He watched his classmates being picked up one by one by their parents, with a colorful umbrella holding up the chatter of children and the chatter of parents on one side.
At first, he would wait to see if Guo Ping would come to pick him up, but after failing again and again, he stopped waiting and rushed into the rain with his head covered, running home along the muddy mountain road, changing clothes, washing clothes, and boiling hot water for the family to take a bath at night. After everything was done, he started to do his homework, and when he grew up he had to cook for himself.
So when Tao Xi finished his painting and saw Lin Qinhe appear in the Qiao family living room, the joy that came over him was like a slice of dried lemon being thrown into warm sugar water, no matter how sour, the mood would bubble up sweetly.
Although Lin Qinhe just happened to come here, and then picked him up on his way.
In the evening, the magnificent twilight dyed the red roof of the bungalow into crimson. Tao Xi followed Lin Qinhe all the way to the Lin family car and he recognized the driver as Chen Ting at a glance. Leaning on the back of the driver’s seat, he tilted his head and smiled and greeted Chen Ting:
“Uncle Chen, good evening!”
If he was in a bad mood, he would beat up anyone he saw, but when he was in a good mood, he would be kind and pleasant to everyone.
Chen Ting was stunned, his eyes flashed by the “sweet” smile, and he smiled politely, “Hello, I’m seeing you again.”
He was a little surprised. The last time he took Tao Xi to the hospital, he saw a pale and beautiful boy with gloomy eyes. He kept his head down and said nothing all the way. How could he be so…brilliant today?
Lin Qinhe glanced at Chen Ting, his voice was a bit cold: “Why didn’t you greet someone just now?”
Tao Xi looked at Lin Qinhe in a daze, and subconsciously asked, “Greet who?”
Lin Qinhe turned his face and glanced at him. The long, slightly drooping eyelashes tinged with the twilight outside the window, and his amber pupils deepened in color by a few points.
Tao Xi thought about it. Lin Qinhe should have meant that he saw him in Qiao’s living room just now but didn’t greet him, but that was because he was so happy and silly at the time, just watching him in a daze.
Unexpectedly, Lin Qinhe would care about this kind of etiquette. Tao Xi moved towards Lin Qinhe, twisted his head to look at Lin Qinhe and asked, “Then how about I make up one for you?”
Lin Qinhe ignored him and only gave him a haughty and cold profile.
Tao Xi pulled Lin Qinhe’s sleeve before Lin Qinhe looked at him and raised his eyebrows.
Tao Xi bent his eyes, the thin upper and lower eyelashes intertwined. Like shouting ‘Uncle Chen, good evening’ just now, he whispered:
“Qinhe gege, good evening.”
This was his careful thought, and it sounded closer than the Qinhe ge that Yang Duole shouted.
Lin Qinhe looked at Tao Xi’s eyes, his eyes flickered before he quickly turned his face to look out of the window and let out a cold hum.
Tao Xi was a little disappointed by Lin Qinhe’s reaction. His eyes fell unconsciously on Lin Qinhe’s Adam’s apple and saw it roll up and down.
Although Lin Qinhe looked indifferent, he was still excited. He began to pester Lin Qinhe about his painting lesson in the afternoon, saying how he worshipped a master by planting vegetables, how good Qiao Henian was, he was still far from being good, and so on. Lin Qinhe didn’t say a word most of the time, just occasionally responded with a few words.
But Tao Xi still enjoyed this, like a primary school student returning home from school, chatting about interesting things that happened in the school.
When he finally stopped, Lin Qinhe looked at him and asked, “Finished reporting?”
Tao Xi froze and saw that the corners of Lin Qinhe’s mouth lifted slightly, and under his eyes was a bright smile. He immediately understood that he was being laughed at. He tried to light two clusters of fire in his eyes and glared at Lin Qinhe and said, “I’m not speaking anymore.”
Lin Qinhe ignored the unintimidating anger in Tao Xi’s eyes, unscrewed a bottle of mineral water and handed it to him while saying lightly:
“If you haven’t finished speaking, you can tell me later at dinner.”
Tao Xi blankly accepted the water and drank a few mouthfuls, his brain stuck: “What dinner?”
At this time the car stopped just in time, he looked out the window and suddenly realized that he was not sent to Wenhua No.1 High School at all, but to an underground parking lot that he didn’t know where.
Tao Xi was puzzled and asked Lin Qinhe, “Where is this?”
Lin Qinhe took the water bottle from his hand, closed the lid, and said, “Last time you invited me to dinner,I couldn’t come. I said that I will invite you next time.” After speaking, he pushed the door and got out of the car.
Tao Xi was in a daze. He once again recalled the Sunday night spent at the hospital, as if a glass of wine mixed with all the unspeakable emotions, there were sour and bitter, but also very lightly sweet, like the sweetness after a bit of bitterness, indescribable.
He did not expect Lin Qinhe’s words on the phone at that time to be true, and he really wanted to treat him to a meal.
The door to the side of the car was opened. Lin Qinhe stood outside the car, bent down slightly and asked him, “Don’t want to eat?”
Tao Xi recovered, jumped out of the car and shook his head, “Of course I want to eat.”
Seeing Chen Ting still in the car, he asked, “Uncle Chen doesn’t eat with us?”
Chen Ting was taken aback, and noticed Lin Qinhe’s gaze looking at him, so he hurriedly said politely: “No, no, no, I’ll go home to eat.”
He had been working as a driver for the Lin family for so many years, and his point of insight was still there.
Tao Xi followed Lin Qinhe out of the parking lot, only to find that this is a very large crab cuisine restaurant. The independent green wall courtyard was full of bamboo shadows and was very quiet and peaceful.
It was very expensive at the first glance.
Tao Xi followed Lin Qinhe and said after a moment of hesitation: “Actually, the restaurant where I planned to treat you last time cost less than 100 yuan per person.”
He found that every time he wanted to give something for Lin Qinhe, Lin Qinhe would end up giving back more.
At that time he did not know that Lin Qinhe had done more than this for him.
Lin Qinhe handed a card of some kind to the waiter who came to lead the way and asked, “So?”
Tao Xi whispered: “If you feel that you have lost, it’s not too late to regret it.”
Lin Qinhe led Tao Xi towards the private room and asked, “Then it’s a loss now, how can you compensate for it?”
Tao Xi thought for a while and joked: “I can go sell arts, sell a few paintings to the boss to cover the meal money, if not enough, I will have to sell my body.”
Lin Qinhe lifted the corner of his mouth and smiled. He casually whispered in a low voice: “Then you might as well sell it to me.”
Tao Xi was stunned, not knowing whether Lin Qinhe was talking about selling his paintings or selling his body. He felt that his heartbeat was suddenly irregular, so he hurriedly shut his mouth to stop joking around.
The waiter was followed in silence to a quiet private room with candles burning in the corner candlesticks, and a small bridge with flowing water outside the bamboo window. It was the first time Tao Xi came to such a place to eat, his hands and feet were a little nervous.
After sitting down, Lin Qinhe handed him the menu and said, “Order whatever you want.”
Tao Xi nodded nervously and opened the menu to take a look at the pictures and names of the dishes without remembering to read them, he was scared to death by the prices at the back.
Even if you sell yourself, this was not worth the money, ba!
Lin Qinhe’s eyes fell on his face, and he understood his thoughts: “Don’t worry, you won’t be sold.”
Tao Xi lowered his head in embarrassment. Pushing the menu to Lin Qinhe’s side, he said, “I can’t order it. You order, ba.”
He felt that it was painful to order any dish, and he kept memorizing “crimson gates reek with meat and ale”1it’s from ancient poem: 朱門酒肉臭，路有凍死骨。(eng. Crimson gates reek with meat and ale, while on the streets are bones of the frozen dead) it means that while the rich people wine and dine, the poor people die of cold by the roadside. in his mind.
Lin Qinhe didn’t say anything, but directly told the waiter a list of dishes, obviously familiar with it.
October was a good time to eat crabs. Tao Xi had never eaten it, but it did not prevent him from coveting it for a long time
However, when the crab was served, he was dumbfounded again.
Tao Xi raised his head to look at Lin Qinhe and blinked, his tone was frank and innocent: “I can’t do it.”
The waiter on the side was ready to walk over to provide crab peeling service, but Lin Qinhe glanced faintly, and then his eyes went down extremely well.
Tao Xi saw Lin Qinhe wash his hands and opened the whole set of crab peeling tools on the side. There were sticks, tweezers, small hammers… it was very professional at first sight. He used his white and slender fingers with a tool to cut off the crab legs one by one, knocked open the crab shell, and slowly removed the crab stomach, crab heart and other unwanted parts, then used a long-handled spoon to scrape off the cream of the crab.
Tao Xi first stared at the movements of Lin Qinhe’s hand intently, only to feel that he was worthy of playing the piano, even the crabs were so beautifully peeled.
But then his attention was drawn to the shiny crab roe on the metal spoon, and he couldn’t help but swallow his saliva.
Tao Xi shifted his gaze from the crab to Lin Qinhe’s face, fluttered his eyelashes up and down a few times, gave a wow, and complimented: “You are amazing!”
His eyes were shining, and there was an undisguised “I want to eat” in his eyes.
Lin Qinhe was not complimented. He handed the long-handled spoon containing the crab roe to the other side, placed it directly in front of Tao Xi and said, “Try it.”
At that moment Tao Xi wanted to directly grab the spoon that Lin Qinhe handed over and eat the crab roe, but he was afraid that Lin Qinhe would mind. At last, he reached out and took the spoon from Lin Qinhe, smiling and saying “thank you” before eating the crab roe into his mouth.
Lin Qinhe retracted his hand and curled his fingers on the table.
Tao Xi tasted the taste on the tip of his tongue before swallowing it, squinting his eyes in satisfaction and exclaiming, “It’s delicious!”
Then he saw Lin Qinhe start peeling a second crab.
Tao Xi then followed Lin Qinhe’s example and peeled the crab. When he was halfway through, Lin Qinhe had already put the scraped off crab paste on a plate and handed it to him, then started picking the crab leg meat again, not eating any at all.
He was stunned and asked: “Aren’t you going to eat it?”
Lin Qinhe said flatly: “I’m allergic to crabs.”
Why invited him to eat crabs here if he was allergic?
Tao Xi lowered his gaze, lowered his head and ate the crab paste that Lin Qinhe had made for him, and the heart inside his chest was getting more and more agitated and restless.
The feeling was indescribable. Startled and ambiguous, love had already taken root and plucked, there was a problem, but it was like burying the seeds of a winter, never daring to break through the ground
Perhaps he could try to see.
After Tao Xi talked about a few things about school, he naturally talked about another thing: “A few days ago, a girl in another class asked me to send you a love letter. I refused for you. You won’t blame me, ba?”
Lin Qinhe paused when peeling the crab, and said indifferently: “Don’t blame you, I wouldn’t have accepted it.”
Tao Xi firmly held the chopsticks, his palms were a little sweaty, and he calmly said the next sentence: “I think so too, and then she asked me if you have someone you like, I said there should be none, Lin Qinhe doesn’t seem like he has someone he likes.”
He lowered his head and ate some of the crab legs that Lin Qinhe had picked for him, and the fresh and sweet taste filled his tongue.
Lin Qinhe was silent for a while, then suddenly whispered: “Not necessarily.”
At that moment Tao Xi heard the sound of a machine turning softly in his brain, like the hands of a clock pointing to a new node, but he didn’t know what the next second meant.
He bit the tip of his tongue, the slight pain concealed the sweetness of the crab legs, and asked, as if unintentionally: “What does ‘not necessarily’ mean?? You don’t really have someone you like, right?”
Then he raised the corner of his mouth and smiled, asking with a hint of gossip Bi Chengfei: “It’s not a girl from our class, is it?”
He regretted it after asking. His heart seemed to be pinched by a hand, neither light nor heavy, neither up nor down, neither left nor right.
Even Lin Qinhe’s action of peeling crabs on his hands made him feel frightened, so he had to bow his head to eat.
Lin Qinhe once again stopped the movement of his hands, lifted his eyes to look at Tao Xi who was lowering his head and poking the crab leg meat with chopsticks one by one, and said, “That’s not what I meant.”
Then, what did it mean?
Tao Xi said “Oh”, and stopped poking his chopsticks. He picked up a crab leg, dipped it in a vinegar dish and ate it in his mouth, letting the sour taste fill the entire mouth, and his sour eyes were also blurred.
It was just a false alarm, but his chest still couldn’t stop getting sour.
The atmosphere was subtly quiet for a few seconds, with only the sound of crab shells being pried open with a click, unobtrusively revealing the softest place under the light.
Tao Xi was ready to say something else to change the subject, but suddenly he heard Lin Qinhe ask, “What about you?”
His heart tightened and for some reason he instantly understood what Lin Qinhe was asking. He smiled and said, “Didn’t you say I can’t fall in love early? Grandpa Qiao also said that to me today, so of course I won’t have any ideas.”
Lin Qinhe put the crab leg meat on a plate and said flatly, “So you had an idea?”
Tao Xi was silent for a few seconds, then replied with Lin Qinhe’s original sentence: “I didn’t mean that.”
Since you didn’t tell me, then I wouldn’t tell you either.
He was a little wronged.
Lin Qinhe put down the crab peeling tool in his hand, his gaze slightly sunken as he looked at Tao Xi across the table, his voice lowered: “Huang Qing?”
Tao Xi was taken aback and looked at Lin Qinhe blankly with his eyes wide open, and his two eyelashes trembled.
However, his expression seemed to make Lin Qinhe’s eyes darker, and he didn’t even pass the peeled crab legs to him.
Tao Xi reacted suddenly, shook his head like a rattle, couldn’t say anything: “How is it possible?! Huang Qing only likes to study, okay?”
Lin Qinhe’s face still doesn’t look good and his voice becomes a little deeper: “You seem to know her very well.”
Tao Xi squinted his eyes, remembering Lin Qinhe’s usual hostility towards Huang Qing, he couldn’t help but say: “Lin Qinhe, are you a little nervous now that midterm exam is approaching? In fact, you don’t need to be nervous, you must be better than Huang Qing in the exam. Sit firmly in the first place, I believe you!”
However, his encouragement seemed to have no effect. Lin Qinhe still didn’t give him the crab legs. He pulled the corners of his mouth and smiled, before he said coldly, “Isn’t it you who should be nervous?”
The tone was extremely sarcastic.
Tao Xi was discouraged, his shoulders shrunk, and he complained discontentedly: “Why are you talking about mid-term exams during dinner? I’m so nervous that I’m not in the mood to eat crabs anymore.”
It was the wicked who complained first.2a thief cries thief / the guilty party files the suit
Lin Qinhe furrowed his brows deeper. Picking up the dish of crab legs and buckling it in front of Tao Xi with a slight force, he commanded, “You must eat it for me.”
The subtle atmosphere instantly ran clean.
T/N: hey guys, so I moved this here since I’ve another project on this site and it’s more easier for more to post it on one site. also, the footnote is also more convenient for you to use (no more click the number then click back!).
anyway, the another book I’m currently translating is yet another abandoned (and abused and bullied) mc. it’s quite heartwarming and angsty too, at least for me. tho, it touches some heavy topics (just a little, just mc back story). ml is older than mc, mc is in the third year of high school while ml is in the senior year in university. it’s one of my favourites and ig if you like this, you might like that one too! the book is Reverse Approach by the way and it’s on this site too. thank you!
- 1it’s from ancient poem: 朱門酒肉臭，路有凍死骨。(eng. Crimson gates reek with meat and ale, while on the streets are bones of the frozen dead) it means that while the rich people wine and dine, the poor people die of cold by the roadside.
- 2a thief cries thief / the guilty party files the suit