Bonus chapter for Allison.
Thank you for the kofi.

On the day of the wedding banquet, Qiao Yuan got up before dawn.
Making flower buns was a delicate and time-consuming task, so he had to prepare in advance.
Yu Dameng heard the noise and also got up to help him.

For the wedding banquet, of course he had to make buns shaped like mandarin ducks playing in the water, with red, green, and yellow as the main colors.

He used red yeast rice for the red color, which could be bought at the seasoning shop in the city.
It was often used in Da Chu to dye eggs for festive occasions.
He chose spinach for the green color, and mashed it with some water to get the green juice.
He used pumpkin for the yellow color, steaming it first and then mashing it with flour.

Soon, the other members of the Yu family also got up.
Meng Qiu helped knead the dough, Lin Cuifen prepared the batter for making steamed cakes, Old Man Yu helped out on the side, Yu Xiangxue took Liu Ge’er to help remove the pits from the red dates, and Yu Shanwen and Yu Shanwu each tended to a stove to start the fire.

The whole family worked together, chatting and laughing.
Qiao Yuan felt warm in his heart.

After all the different colored doughs were ready, Qiao Yuan used scissors, a small wooden comb and a spoon to pinch out a flower for decoration in a few minutes, which amazed everyone else.

“How is this so lifelike?”

Yu Xiangxue also leaned forward to study it and praised, “Brother-in-law, you are really ingenious.”

Meng Qiu looked at him with admiration on his face.

Qiao Yuan felt embarrassed by all the praise.

Lin Cuifen and Meng Qiu followed him and learned for a while, but the result was a mess.
They made the Yu family laugh out loud.

When the wedding feast buns were completely finished, everyone else was speechless.

The base was in the shape of a lace, decorated with many red and yellow flowers and the words “May you be happy and harmonious forever”.
On top of the base were a pair of lifelike mandarin ducks, and in front of them were a pair of newlyweds bowing to each other.
There were also auspicious characters “囍”, tree leaves and vivid little fish embellishing the scene.
The colors were very beautiful.

After a while, Lin Cuifen said, “I shouldn’t have given it to her for free if I had known.”

Qiao Yuan smiled and said, “Mom, we’re just doing some promotion.”

Lin Cuifen said with a pity, “Oh, this is too beautiful, I can’t bear to part with it.”

Liu Ge’er also nodded heavily to show his agreement.

Qiao Yuan pinched his little face and casually pinched a little rabbit for him, teasing him.
“I’ll give you this for breakfast later.”

Liu Ge’er held the little rabbit in his arms and couldn’t bear to let go.
Upon hearing the suggestion, he immediately shook his head and opposed, “We can’t eat the bunny!”

Qiao Yuan: “……”

Was it because the bunny was so cute?

The Yu family had many members, and it didn’t take long to pack up the steamed cakes after they were steamed.
Old Man Yu took Yu Dameng and Yu Xiangxue to deliver them to the village chief’s house and help out there.
The others started to wash up and dress up.

Qiao Yuan wore a moon-white robe, which made him look very elegant and chic.
Lin Cuifen wore the new crimson-purple dress that Qiao Yuan bought for her.
Qiao Yuan praised her several times for looking good, and Meng Qiu also shyly agreed.

Lin Cuifen was so happy that she couldn’t stop smiling.
Her son was filial, and her son-in-law was also filial.
She felt that life couldn’t be more comfortable than now.

If she hadn’t seen Xu Xiuhua and her daughter as soon as she entered the gate of Zhao’s house.

She didn’t know what was wrong with this mother and daughter.
They looked arrogant as soon as they saw Qiao Yuan and them.
And they deliberately brought up the most unpleasant topic: “Yo, Yu family, how come I don’t see your second daughter-in-law?”

Lin Cuifen was so angry that she wanted to hit them with a broom again.

Meng Qiu was confused.
He hadn’t spent much time in the village and didn’t know who this person was.
However, the fact that she could say such things made it clear that she was looking for trouble.

Qiao Yuan saw that she was wearing the purplish-blue dress that he had bought for Qiao Wangshi before.
He almost laughed at her stupidity.
He stepped forward and said with a smile: “Aunt, I find your dress a bit familiar.”

Xu Xiuhua’s face changed slightly, but she still stubbornly said, “I bought this at a ready-to-wear clothing store in the county town!”

Qiao Yuan smiled.
“That’s really a coincidence.
On the day I returned home, I also bought a similar one for Grandma.
Aunt Zhou, Aunt Wang, Aunt Qian and others in the village saw this robe when they helped me look at it under the big tree at the entrance of the village.”

Xu Xiuhua didn’t expect that there were other people in the village who knew that Qiao Yuan had bought clothes for Qiao Wangshi, and had even seen it.
That day, after Qiao Yuan and Yu Dameng left, she went to the east wing where Qiao Wangshi lived to see what gifts Qiao Yuan had brought.
She saw that there were only two sets of clothes for Qiao Wangshi and a bag of steamed cakes.
She was so angry that she stomped her feet.
This little bitch didn’t want her to benefit from it!

But when she looked closely at the fabric and style of the clothes, she immediately fell in love with them.
Qiao Guangzhi was away from home all year round in the county town, and her younger son had to go to school.
She hadn’t bought a new robe for a long time.
This robe was a bit old-fashioned in color, but it was new after all, and the style was popular nowadays.
She didn’t even look at Qiao Wangshi’s face and took this indigo one for herself.

She thought that even if Qiao Yuan could recognize it today, he wouldn’t dare to say anything with his soft personality.
And who would believe it if he did? Qiao Wangshi would also deny it for the sake of her son and grandson’s face.

But she didn’t expect this to happen, and she felt like she was struck by lightning.

There were many people watching the excitement today, and the curious ones asked the three women that Qiao Yuan had just named.

Qiao Yuan just targeted these three women, and he knew what he was doing.
Qiao Guangzhi worked as a small supervisor at the dock in town, and usually invited men from the village to work there and earn money.
But these three families didn’t rely on him, and they had also had conflicts with Xu Xiuhua because of her behavior.

As he expected, Aunt Zhou immediately stood up and said: “It’s true.
Yuan Ge’er bought two robes that day, one dark blue and the other one I saw was exactly the same as the one worn by Qiao’s family today.”

Aunt Wang and Aunt Qian also stood up and confirmed.

Xu Xiuhua’s face turned red and she wished there was a crack in the ground for her to hide in.

Qiao Yingying on the side also felt very embarrassed.
She glared at Qiao Yuan fiercely and pulled Xu Xiuhua to run away in a dejected manner.

Qiao Yuan was speechless.
This Qiao Yingying was a typical case of “blaming the bed for not sleeping well”1“睡不着觉怨床歪” (shuì bù zháo jué yuàn chuáng wāi) is a Chinese idiom that describes someone who blames external factors for their own problems or shortcomings.
He hadn’t settled accounts with her for scolding Yu Dameng last time, and now she dared to glare at him.

Yang Guizhi, Zhang Wensheng’s mother who was in the crowd, also felt ashamed and embarrassed.
She decided to break off this marriage sooner or later.

Zhao Gensheng’s wedding banquet was a big event for the union of two villages.
The village chiefs of Xianhe Village and Wangjiawan Village were both well-liked.
Today, more than a dozen village chiefs from nearby villages came, and even some gentry landlords2乡绅地主 (xiāngshēn dìzhǔ) – This term refers to wealthy landowners in rural areas who hold significant social and political power..

Lin Cuifen took Qiao Yuan and Meng Qiu to greet many people in the village.
Soon Zhao Gensheng came back with his bride.

In such a lively scene, Qiao Yuan still spotted Yu Dameng who had also helped with the welcoming party.
Yu Dameng’s tall and burly figure made outsiders feel intimidated and unable to look directly at him, but Qiao Yuan always felt that he was dull and dazed.
As long as he saw him, his mood would unconsciously improve.

As the groom got off the sedan chair, Yu Dameng finally found the opportunity to approach Qiao Yuan and say a few words.

Qiao Yuan’s eyes were curved, looking happy and relaxed3眉间清清亮亮 (méi jiān qīng qīng liàng liàng) – clear and bright brow, can be interpreted as having a clear and intelligent expression.
It can also mean that he looked happy and relaxed, without any worries or troubles on his face.
He only asked him softly: “Are you tired?”

Very pleasing.

Yu Dameng’s ears turned slightly red, and he couldn’t help but lean closer to Qiao Yuan’s side.
“Not tired.”

Taking advantage of the gap when everyone’s attention was focused on the newlyweds who were bowing to each other, Qiao Yuan quietly pulled Yu Dameng’s hand and smiled at him.

When Yu Dameng went to deliver the steamed cakes to the village chief’s house earlier, he also brought the wedding flower bun with the design of mandarin ducks playing in water.
The village chief Zhao Deshun was more and more amazed as he looked at them.
He couldn’t wait to bring out the wedding flower buns at the banquet, helping his son gain face in front of his father-in-law.

Several elderly clan leaders, who had seen a lot of things, stroked their beards and examined the flower buns for a long time, repeatedly exclaiming, “Wonderful! Wonderful!”

The other village chiefs and landlords were also curious and asked Zhao Deshun one after another.
“Where did you get this from?”

Yu Xiangxue, who was accompanying them on the side, answered with a bow, “It was made by my third brother’s husband.”

As soon as he said this, the villagers looked at Qiao Yuan.
They saw that he was wearing a moon-white robe today, which was very elegant and chic.
He looked very different from usual, not only in his clothes, but also in his demeanor and attitude.

Qiao Yuan smiled lightly, not afraid of their gazes.
He walked forward and bowed: “It was indeed made by me.”

“What did you use to make it?” Someone asked curiously.

The key point of these flower-shaped buns was the molding skill.
The ingredients were nothing to hide.
They could taste them anyway.
Qiao Yuan answered, “I used red yeast rice, spinach and pumpkin for coloring.
They are all edible.”

The person thought for a while and praised, “Young brother has a good idea.
These buns are also very suitable for the occasion.”

Qiao Yuan continued, “Today is a wedding banquet, so we chose this mandarin duck playing in the water.
If it’s a birthday banquet, we can use the big longevity peach.
For children’s full moon or birthday, we can make fierce tigers to ward off evil.
In short, there is always a suitable pattern for every happy occasion.”

Someone asked eagerly, “Do you mean you can make other patterns as well?”

Qiao nodded, “As long as the colors are not too complex, I can paint according to the specifications.
I can’t guarantee a perfect reproduction, but I am confident that I can make it look about eight or nine points similar.”

The others heard this and praised him more, “Wonderful, wonderful.”

Then they turned their heads and joked with Zhao Deshun to cut it open and let them taste it.
Zhao Deshun refused to do so, saying, “This is such a beautiful scene.
How can you bear to destroy it?”

This made everyone laugh out loud.
The atmosphere of the wedding banquet became even more lively.
Aunt Zhao on the side was very happy.
The more she looked at Qiao Yuan, the more she felt he was good.

Old Man Yu and Yu Xiangxue were called to drink with others, but poor Yu Dameng, who couldn’t drink and was also not good at talking, could only help serve the dishes.
He couldn’t eat or drink.

Qiao Yuan felt that the food in his mouth was not tasty at all.
His eyes followed Yu Dameng’s figure as he served dishes around the place.
When Yu Dameng finally came to his table, Qiao Yuan whispered to him, “I’ll make you something delicious when we go back.”

Yu Dameng nodded shyly, making Qiao Yuan want to tease him again.
But it was inappropriate here after all.
Qiao Yuan barely held back, but he secretly scratched his palm when he took the dish from him.

On the other side, Zhang Wensheng, who had been watching Qiao Yuan for a long time, was now full of unwillingness and jealousy in his eyes.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
If you want to show your support, you can buy me a coffee.
It would make my day! For every five coffees I get, I will release a bonus chapter.

1“睡不着觉怨床歪” (shuì bù zháo jué yuàn chuáng wāi) is a Chinese idiom that describes someone who blames external factors for their own problems or shortcomings.
2乡绅地主 (xiāngshēn dìzhǔ) – This term refers to wealthy landowners in rural areas who hold significant social and political power.3眉间清清亮亮 (méi jiān qīng qīng liàng liàng) – clear and bright brow, can be interpreted as having a clear and intelligent expression.
It can also mean that he looked happy and relaxed, without any worries or troubles on his face.

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