Looking at the hazy silhouette behind the water vapors, Fang Liping felt as if she had been brought ten years back to the past, to the time when she was in the prime of her youth, to the time when her high-spirited husband was still alive.
Back then, her husband was the most promising young talent in the capital — a handsome man from a major family. Back then, no one had imagined that such a bright star would die a violent death after being dispatched to Jian’an for a relatively short time.
Countless memories invaded Fang Liping’s mind, bringing her feelings of joy, heartthrobs, and sorrow…
Before she knew it, Fang Liping’s eyes had already turned hazy as tears began welling up therein. Even Qin Yanran, who was sitting next to her, could feel the sudden surge of sadness bubbling in her mother’s heart. As if their hearts had been linked, tears started falling down the mother-daughter duo’s cheeks, making Su Lin freeze on his spot.
‘This… What the heck is going? This young master merely took a bath in your bathroom! Surely, there’s no need for you two to cry all of a sudden?’
Su Lin innocently looked at the tearful mother-daughter duo, unsure of how he should comfort them.
It was just that the noodles in the kitchen refused to let this moment continue on as the water suddenly came to a boil and vigorously pushed against the lid of the pot. Upon hearing the steam’s whistling, Su Lin rushed into the kitchen and opened the lid to lessen the pot’s internal pressure. The tumbling noodles cooking inside were full of greens and sliced beef.
“Ah! It burns…”
As he was too anxious, Su Lin burnt his finger by touching the scalding edge of the lid, and now had his finger in his mouth to cool it down.
Su Lin’s sudden yelp, however, drew the attention of Fang Liping and Qin Yanran as they rushed over to his side.
“Aiya! Su Lin, what are you doing? How did you burn your hand?”
Fang Liping was the first to rush to Su Lin’s side as she took his hand in her hands and carefully examined his blistered finger. In a hurry, Fang Liping pulled out a box of burn cream from a kitchen drawer, carefully squeezed out a little, and applied it to Su Lin’s burnt finger.
“You mustn’t move around for a while. To begin with, what’s a kid like you even doing in the kitchen? Just sit over there and wait for the noodles.”
Fang Liping reprimanded Su Lin with a tone full of distress, and there was hint of doting in her eyes that even Qin Yanran felt jealous of.
“Mom, hurry up and take a shower! Leave everything here to me. By the time you are finished with your bath, there will be a pot of piping hot beer noodles waiting for you!”
Qin Yanran had already wiped away her tears, but she had failed to completely get rid of the two dried streaks on her cheeks. At the same time, she also pushed Su Lin out of the kitchen and began stirring the noodles in the pot with a pair of chopsticks, while taking a small spoonful of the soup from time to time to check the taste.
‘This pair of mother and daughter sure are weird!’
Su Lin couldn’t make sense of what the mother-daughter duo were up to. Qin Yanran was now cooking the noodles in the kitchen, while Fang Liping had went to take a shower. He, on the other hand, had to sit on the sofa in the living room all by himself. Bored, he began looking around.
Fang Liping had kept their house very tidy. Not only was it clean and bright, but it had a certain warmth to it, too. There were pink curtains, and the table covering was also pink, but no matter how Su Lin looked around, he felt as if something was missing in the house.
What Su Lin didn’t know about this family was that not a single man had entered this house over the many years they had lived here. When Su Lin had put on Qin Yanran’s father’s suit and came out of the bathroom, unbeknownst to him, Fang Liping had mistaken him for her late husband, while Qin Yanran had been reminded of her late father.
To this home and this family, tonight was particularly precious. They had really thought that they had returned to the time when the three of them lived together happily. Qin Yanran worked poured her heart into making the noodles. She couldn’t shake off the feeling that the beef wasn’t enough and Su Lin might not be full after the meal, so she took all the frozen beef from the refrigerator and put it into the pot of noodles.
On the other hand, Fang Liping, who was in the bathroom, gently removed all the clothes covering her body and looked at her reflection in the wall mirror that looked inexplicably strange to her today. Tears involuntarily kept flowing down her cheeks.
Fang Liping couldn’t remember the last time she had shed tears like today. Fang Liping had not cried once since her husband passed away, but today, she had already shed tears several times. Soon, she turned on the shower and let the water pour down on her. Under the shower, Fang Liping thought a lot and cried her heart out. In here, no one would be able to see her tears, and she could deceive herself by pretending that the tears she wiped off her face were nothing more than water.
Crying her heart out, it wasn’t long before a smile bloomed on Fang Liping’s face.
She had wept enough, and now she was happy. The joys of life and the sorrows of the past, were not they all a part of the cycle of life?
Fang Liping stopped crying and started earnestly washing herself. She didn’t know how long it had been since she took a bath so seriously. All these years, she had been busy with her official duties while bearing the burden of revenge. Today, she finally emptied her mind and could take a good rest.
Looking at herself in the blurred mirror, Fang Liping couldn’t even see her face clearly. Stretching out her hand, she lightly wiped the mirror and carefully looked at her face. Her reflection stunned her. She couldn’t understand why, but when she saw her reflection in the mirror, she felt somewhat strange?
That’s right! That once innocent and lustrous flower was no more. She had gone from a young girl to a wife, to a widow, to a single mother of a lonely daughter. The reality had forced her to put on a cold and sullen expression every day. But, if she were to be honest, how many women were there in the world who wished to live alone, strong and independent?
Getting pampered? Receiving care?
Those were words that had long disappeared from Fang Liping’s dictionary. From the time of her husband’s death, she had not experienced a trace of love that other women would receive.
Damn that Su Lin!
That’s right! It was all that damned bastard, Su Lin’s fault.
Why did he have to resemble her husband so much after wearing his suit? And to make it worse, his gestures were almost similar as well. Even a gentle movement of his arms could make her heart thump! But how was it possible? Su Lin and her late husband didn’t resemble each other at all!
What’s more! He was her daughter’s classmate, who could possibly also be her daughter’s sweetheart.
For no reason, she had suddenly thought of Su Lin. Fang Liping couldn’t tell what was wrong with her? As she thought of Su Lin, she felt both happiness and anger in her heart. As the water fell on her, Fang Liping felt as if her body was unnaturally sensitive today. The water droplets that flowed freely and converged into a stream down her body made her feel as if someone was gently caressing her.
Fang Liping felt her entire body tremble. How long had it been since she last felt such palpitations?
Fang Liping’s face burned and she couldn’t help but feel ashamed of having such dirty thoughts. She had already lived as a mother for such a long time, so how could she still have such desires? Her husband’s soul had already ascended to heaven over a decade ago, and her body and mind were emptied of such desires. But for some reason, her desire of uniting Yin with Yang was incomprehensibly intense tonight.
To make up for that loneliness she felt, she had to somehow fill the sudden void caused by desire.
Unconsciously, Fang Liping’s hands gently crawled up to her chest where the towering peeks stood upright.
Her body jerked as she gently caressed herself. She couldn’t believe the feeling of heat rising from her belly. She felt as if something was soon going to burst out! Just how long had these desires been accumulating for? And just why were all these feelings and desires suddenly erupting tonight?
Without realizing, Fang Liping lost herself in her imagination as she realized that she no longer had any idea what she would do in the future? And the fact that Liu Jianguo had already been imprisoned and waiting to be sentenced only made it worse. Her husband’s enmity had already been avenged, so what would she do with the rest of her life? What aspiration could become her support to get her through day-by-day?
She had no idea! Fang Liping was at a loss as she had never considered this issue before. Leaning against the tiled wall, Fang Liping sat on the cold, hard floor. Now it wasn’t just her body that felt empty, but her heart, too!
[TL: Post nut clarity?]
‘Dang! Not only do I get to spend the night at the Mayor’s house, but I also get to eat the noodles cooked by the Mayor’s daughter! I am afraid that in all of Jian’an, this young master Su is the first one! Hehe…’
Su Lin was no longer as formal as before, and instead leaned back on the sofa, completely relaxed. Looking as if he was taking a nap, he watched the virtuous Qin Yanran busily moving around in the kitchen through his half-open eyes. From time to time, he would also sneak a peek towards the bathroom. Although he couldn’t see anything, there was nothing to tone down his vigorous imagination. A fire burned inside Su Lin’s heart as he imagined Fang Liping taking a bath.
“Su Lin, do you have any dietary restrictions? Can you eat coriander and chopped green onions?”
Qin Yanran casually asked as the beef noodles were soon going to leave the cooking pot.
“No coriander, but I would like to have green onions.”
The smell of coriander made Su Lin feel immensely uncomfortable. Every time he smelled it, he would feel sick for a while. He really couldn’t figure out why people thought the smell of coriander was fragrant? To begin with, who the heck even named it coriander?
However, the people of the world had all sorts of tastes, and his own tastes were quiet heavy, too, so Su Lin didn’t feel like he had any real qualifications to question someone else’s tastes. His stomach had already been growling out of hunger for a while now, and he could smell the fragrance of the beef noodles all the way from the sofa. Turning over, he deftly jumped up from the sofa and lept towards the dining table like an agile monkey.
Sitting still, he swallowed his saliva and took his pair of chopsticks while looking towards the steaming beef noodles on the table that looked to be more beef than noodles. Pitifully looking towards Qin Yanran, Su Lin begged, “My great Class Leader, the embodiment of wisdom and beauty, may I dig in now?”
Contrary to his expectations, Qin Yanran’s heart of ice didn’t melt even after she saw Su Lin’s awfully hungry look as she pointed towards the bathroom with a smile, “My mother’s still taking a bath! It’s impolite to eat by yourself before her.”
“But look at me! Look how my stomach has flattened down out of hunger.”
Afraid that Qin Yanran wouldn’t believe him, Su Lin deliberately un-tucked his shirt to show Qin Yanran his hungry, flat belly.
“You won’t starve to death. You have to wait for my mother to finish her shower and come here before you can start eating! Hehe…”
Qin Yanran couldn’t help but giggle as she watched Su Lin’s tempted-yet-anxious appearance as he looked at the food she had made. Especially, when Qin Yanran saw Su Lin touch his ears and cheeks like a hyperactive child, she couldn’t help but want to laugh. In her heart, she was still reprimanding herself for mistaking Su Lin as her father just then.
In Qin Yanran’s impression, her father was a handsome and suave man who no one could compare to, let alone Su Lin. At that time, she must have been blinded by the mist. That’s right! It must be the mist. Although that’s what Qin Yanran thought in her heart, she still enjoyed all the moments and feelings. With a man in their house after a long time, she felt an inexplicable warmth that she hadn’t felt before. She felt as if their family was complete.
Whether it was Fang Liping or Qin Yanran, both of them had deep sentiments for the late Qin Zemin. It was to the point that their family had not allowed any man to take a single step inside their home over all these years. Su Lin was the only exception today! His presence had brought out their memories and lovesickness. How would Su Lin know what major honor it was for him to be allowed to stay over as a guest at their home tonight!
 The raws mentioned a Chinese ointment used to treat burns called Jing Wang Hong here, but I replaced it with “burn cream” ‘cause that makes more sense as majority of the readers probably won’t be familiar with that name. What’s more, product names don’t really matter here. Let me know if there’s a problem though, and if I should put the original there, instead of improvising.
 This is referring to Fang Liping, Qin Yanran, and Qin Zemin (Qin Yanran’s father, Fang Liping’s husband) who had passed away around a decade ago.
 The raw for coriander literally reads “Fragrant Herb” that’s why he’s wondering why it’s called fragrant herb when the smell is so bad to him.