Chapter 32 (Part 2): The Culinary Tycoon

Chang Hao scratched his head, looking constipated and distressed. He said, “Grandpa, I forgot that Master assigned three pages of homework today. I don’t think I can finish writing it when I get back. If I can’t submit it tomorrow, Master will hit me with a ruler on my palm.”

Grandpa Chang played along and said, “So you still want to go to the town?”

Chang Hao made a pained expression and said, “It’s been so long since I last went.”

“Alright, then don’t go. Go back and finish your homework properly. We can go to see the lanterns in a few days for Mid-Autumn Festival,” Grandpa Chang replied.

Chang Hao looked towards the direction of the town with a conflicted expression and said, “Okay.”

Then Grandpa Chang turned around with Chang Hao, preparing to go back. However, Chang Le saw this and followed them back.

Seeing this, Chang Hao quickly called out to his brother, “Hey, brother, I’ll go back with Grandpa. You go to the town with Brother Yu to see the lanterns. Brother Yu has never seen the lanterns here before.”

Chang Le turned back and instinctively looked at Yu Qingze.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “I do want to go and see.”

Chang Hao quickly said, “Brother, you take Brother Yu with you. It’s his first time going to the lantern festival, and he probably doesn’t know what’s fun here. He needs someone familiar to show him around.”

Chang Le became conflicted. Going to see the lanterns of the Gers’ Festival together, just the two of them, as a man and a boy… It didn’t seem quite appropriate.

Meanwhile, Grandpa Chang also spoke up and said, “Xiao Le, you take Aze with you. Keep an eye on your belongings, there are pickpockets when it’s crowded.”

With Grandpa also chiming in, Chang Le hesitated and nodded reluctantly. He felt a bit disdainful of his own thoughts about Yu Qingze. It was definitely just him who felt it was inappropriate. Yu Qingze was so open-minded and wouldn’t think too much about it.

So, the four of them went their separate ways.

When Yu Qingze and Chang Le were leaving, Chang Hao specifically reminded them to bring back some food for him.

Chang Le thought he was talking to him and nodded solemnly in agreement. Yu Qingze couldn’t help but laugh and cry at the same time.

There were many people on the main road heading to the town. Although it was the Gers’ Festival, it wasn’t only the children who went. Some families came together, some were obvious couples, and there were also men accompanying their children as protectors.

Yu Qingze and Chang Le walked at a relatively fast pace, and along the way, Yu Qingze intentionally brought up topics about what interesting and beautiful things could be found at the lantern festival. Chang Le answered him by gesturing.

After studying and practicing for so long, Yu Qingze could understand about 70-80% of Chang Le’s sign language. The two of them managed to have a smooth “conversation” without awkwardness.

Overall, the journey was quite harmonious and smooth.

When they reached the city gate, it was just getting dark, and they could already see the colorful lanterns shining on West Street. The orange lights illuminated the night.

“So beautiful!” Upon entering the city, Yu Qingze couldn’t help but exclaim.

Although modern neon lights were also beautiful, and the alternating light and shadow could create interesting patterns, Yu Qingze was already familiar with them and they didn’t pique much interest. However, in this different world, on the streets of this ancient-looking city, adorned with various lanterns, it was as bright as day. The various stalls and bustling crowds added to the lively atmosphere.

The difference between daytime and nighttime was truly significant. Although Yu Qingze was quite familiar with this street, it still felt like he was seeing it for the first time.

The bustling scene that he could only see in movies and TV suddenly appeared before Yu Qingze, and he instantly felt a sense of unreality, as if he was watching a movie.

It was only when he felt a tug on his sleeve that Yu Qingze snapped out of his daze. He looked at Chang Le and asked, “Brother Le, what’s wrong?”

Chang Le had just noticed that Yu Qingze was spacing out, so he tugged at him. Now that he asked, Chang Le extended his hand and pointed forward, indicating that they should continue exploring.

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Let’s go.”

The lantern festival mainly took place on the two main streets, North-South Avenue and East-West Avenue, which intersected in the center. Starting from the four city gates, there were many vendors along the way, and it became the most prosperous near the intersection.

The two of them walked and looked around along the way.

It was Yu Qingze’s first time experiencing such a lantern festival, so he was curious about everything and wanted to see every stall.

“Brother Le, do you think this lantern is nice? It’s a small tiger. Should we buy it for Xiao Hao?” Yu Qingze asked.

Chang Le smiled and gestured for him not to buy it. He indicated that there were even better ones ahead, and if they bought it now, they might regret it later.

“Really? Then we’ll buy it later.” Yu Qingze decisively put down the small tiger lantern in his hand and followed Chang Le further ahead.

“Brother Le, what kind of lantern do you like? Let’s buy one.”

Yu Qingze’s eyes were dazzled, and he found everything beautiful. He didn’t know what kind of lantern Chang Le liked, so he asked.

Chang Le turned his head and gestured to him.

At that moment, several gers rushed past them, and one of them accidentally bumped into Chang Le.

Chang Le stumbled forward, but Yu Qingze quickly reached out and pulled Chang Le’s shoulder, bringing him into his embrace and preventing him from falling.

The guy who bumped into them apologized awkwardly and walked away.

“Are you alright? Did he hit you anywhere?” Yu Qingze lowered his head and asked, his hand still holding onto Chang Le’s shoulder.

Chang Le half-lay in Yu Qingze’s arms, his hands pressed against Yu Qingze’s chest. The firm and warm sensation beneath his hands and the crisp scent unique to Yu Qingze filled his senses, causing his face to turn red. He quickly moved his hands away from Yu Qingze’s embrace and lowered his head, waving his hands to indicate that he was fine.

Yu Qingze looked at Chang Le’s blushing ears and smiled. He said, “Brother Le, the street is crowded, and we might get separated. How about holding onto my sleeve?”

Although he wanted to say “hold hands” directly, Yu Qingze knew that if he said it out loud, Chang Le would definitely resist. He could only suggest holding onto his sleeve.

Upon hearing this, Chang Le twisted his own hands tightly, still feeling the lingering firm and warm sensation. The heat on his face hadn’t dissipated yet and surged even more. He felt too embarrassed to face anyone. He lowered his head and glanced at the people on the street. It was indeed crowded, but he still shook his head, indicating that he would stay close to Yu Qingze.

Yu Qingze felt helpless and said, “Alright then, let’s walk close to each other. Hey, there are people performing acrobatics over there. Shall we go take a look?”

Chang Le nodded. He also enjoyed watching acrobatics.

The two walked side by side, chatting along the way. It was mainly Yu Qingze who did the talking, while Chang Le kept his head down and didn’t dare to look at him, let alone gesture with his hands.

People were coming and going on the street, and describing it as crowded wouldn’t be an exaggeration. They had to constantly dodge the oncoming crowd, so their shoulders would occasionally brush against each other.

Chang Le’s mind was still embarrassed about what happened earlier, and now even the slightest contact could create waves in his heart.

He wanted to get closer but was afraid of getting closer.

He wanted to touch but was afraid of touching.

His heart was torn between conflicting emotions, causing him great turmoil.

As for Yu Qingze, he wished for even more people, more squeezing. Ideally, it would be like the crowded buses and subways during rush hour in the bustling cities of China on Earth in the 21st century, where there was no gap between people, and naturally, they would be pressed together.

Yu Qingze chuckled and glanced at the young man beside him, wondering if his thoughts were a bit twisted. He felt like he was becoming obsessed.

Why did he want to touch and hold Chang Le so much?

Yu Qingze sighed inwardly and smiled wryly.

He must have been holding it in for too long.

Physically and emotionally.

He longed to have a beloved partner, a warm and harmonious home.

He really, really wanted it.

He had been longing for it for over twenty years.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

In the past, when he hadn’t encountered someone he liked, this desire wasn’t so obvious. Now, after finally meeting someone he liked, this craving surged like a tsunami, fiercely threatening to engulf him completely.

When they arrived at the place of the performance, there was already a crowd gathered outside.

Yu Qingze saw someone squeezing their way out, so he quickly grabbed Chang Le’s wrist and squeezed through in that direction. After a great struggle, they managed to squeeze in and stood in a spot where they could see the performers.

Inside the circle, the performance was sword swallowing.

The man tilted his head back and slowly inserted a long sword shining with a cold light into his mouth, bit by bit, until he had swallowed the entire sword, leaving only the hilt.

The onlookers couldn’t help but hold their breath as they watched the performance. As the man swallowed the sword inch by inch, everyone’s mouths were wide open, staring intently.

Yu Qingze wasn’t particularly interested in the sword swallowing act; his focus was on Chang Le beside him. Chang Le was also fascinated, his expression a mixture of concern, astonishment, and admiration. His concentration was no less than that of the performer.

When the man had swallowed the entire sword and opened his hands to show it, the surrounding people erupted into a chorus of astonishment and thunderous applause.

“Wow! Amazing!” “Incredible!”

Chang Le also applauded enthusiastically.

After a while, the performer slowly pulled the sword out. It was only then that Chang Le’s expression completely relaxed. It seemed he had been worried about the performer all along.

When the performer approached with a plate for donations, Chang Le was still staring at his throat, his face clearly expressing the question of how such a large sword could be swallowed.

In fact, Chang Le had seen this performance many times before, but he was always amazed every time.

Yu Qingze smirked, took out five coins, and tossed them into the plate. Chang Le realized what was happening and also took out two coins to contribute.

When the performance ended, the crowd dispersed.

They continued walking forward.

Yu Qingze looked up, scanning the street for other interesting things to see, preparing to go with Chang Le to take a look.

Meanwhile, Chang Le was still pondering over the performance they had just witnessed, unable to comprehend it. Lost in thought, his pace slowed down a bit. Without realizing it, the crowd separated the two of them.

By the time Chang Le noticed, he couldn’t see Yu Qingze’s figure anymore. He spun around in the same spot, standing on tiptoes and looking for a while, but he couldn’t spot him. Anxiety started to well up inside him.

He had lost Brother Yu!

Just as he was anxiously preparing to move forward, a hand reached out and grabbed his left hand.

He was startled and was about to shake it off when he turned and realized that it was Yu Qingze holding his hand.

“Brother Le, it’s too crowded. I’ll hold your hand as we walk.”


Thingyan: It’s the finals weeks, and I’ve been studying crazy. I took 3 courses per 8-week semester. Couldn’t rest during the summer. Gotta graduate. So sorry for the delays these days, my lovely readers :’)


  1. Stela says:

    All the best for the finals…
    thanks for the chapter❤️❤️

  2. sissilia says:

    Thank you for the update ❤️💯

  3. Thanks for the chapter! Wish you luck!

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