Chapter 287: Happy Birthday!
"Yunfei, it's already very late; what did you want from me?"
The door to Bai Yunfei's room opened up, revealing Tang Xinyun. Upon opening the door, she realized that it was very dark since there was no lights on. By borrowing the moonlight, she was able to just barely make out something within.
From the side, Bai Yunfei beckoned Tang Xinyun in, "Haha, come on in first. It's chilly outside."
She was suspicious, but she entered the room anyway. "Where's Xiao Rui? Didn't she come here earlier?"
Though she looked around the room, Tang Xinyun saw no one around. Confused, she turned-
-right into Bai Yunfei's face.
Startled, Tang Xinyun took a step back. In her haste, her foot slipped on the ground, causing her to fall backwards.
Noticing her slip, Bai Yunfei hurriedly moved to grab hold of her. He successfully grabbed her hand and pulled her back onto her feet.
"Yu-Yunfei... what's going on?" Somewhat panicked, Tang Xinyun tried to press an answer out of Bai Yunfei. By now, she had noticed that something was amiss, so she said, "If it's nothing then... I'll be going back..."
"Ah, no. I didn't mean to do that..." Bai Yunfei scratched his head in embarrassment.
Afraid that she might think he was up to no good if he kept delaying, Bai Yunfei said, "Xinyun, I called you here because I wanted to give you something."
"Eh?" She didn't know how to respond to that, "Give me something? Why?"
"Well... you'll find out in a second." He answered with a mysterious wink. "Xinyun, close your eyes for a moment." He requested after thinking that Tang Xinyun had probably not yet adjusted to the darkness of the room.
"Eeeeh??" Again, Tang Xinyun didn't know how to respond to him other than to blush. "Yunfei, you, what are you planning to do?"
A drop of sweat formed on Bai Yunfei's forehead. "No no, don't misunderstand me. I... look, just close your eyes. You'll know what I mean in a second."
Tang Xinyun stared balefully at him for a moment.
"If you say so..." She nodded.
Then, she closed her eyes.
Perhaps by coincidence, a ray of moonlight made its way through a crack in the clouds and sprinkled over the young woman's tender, white features. They were illuminated in the moonlight, and Bai Yunfei saw her trembling eyelashes covering her closed eyes.
But her most noticeable feature was the slight red hue on her cheeks.
He was breathless for that one moment until he saw movement from Tang Xinyun's eyes. Perhaps she was wondering when she'd be allowed to open them.
Coughing, he said, "Well then. Keep them closed for now, Xinyun. Just one... minute..."
One full minute went by with Tang Xinyun in complete suspense. As a testament to her trust in Bai Yunfei, she didn't move a single inch from her spot.
If not for that trust, she would've assumed that Bai Yunfei was up to no good.
"Alright, open your eyes now, Xinyun."
She opened her eyes upon command.
A small cry of surprise came forth from her mouth. Right in front of her was a large circular object covered in some sort of substance that was as white as snow. All over the snowy-white layer was a variety of fruit slices and candles that were mixtures of colors.
The candles had been lit, and in the gentle breeze, they danced in the moonlight. At the very center of the object was a large character, 'Yun.'
When it was brought out, a never-before-smelled aroma wafted into Tang Xinyun's nose, causing her to remain where she was.
What Bai Yunfei had in his hands was a large cake. Smiling in response to Tang Xinyun's shock, Bai Yunfei said, "Happy birthday, Xinyun."
"Ahh?" Again, it took her a moment to respond, "Yunfei, how did you find out abo-"
It was then that a cacophony of sounds erupted in the room, scaring Tang Xinyun so much that she leaped. Under the illumination of the multi-colored candles, she could see a new group of people surrounding her in the room.
"Heehee, sis Yun, happy birthday!!"
Huangfu Rui's hug snapped Tang Xinyun out of her stupor.
"Yo-you guys..." Tang Xinyun didn't know how to react.
Right by her side, Ling Yiyi laughed and pulled her hand. "Junior Tang, we know it's your birthday, and we are here to celebrate it."
"Yeah yeah! I was the one who told brother strawhat! He said he wanted to surprise sis Yun, so we got all this ready!" Huangfu Rui pumped a fist into the air, "Dai Dai cut all of the paper ribbons here!"
Lian Lingmin strode forward as well, "Haha, happy birthday, Xinyun."
Ye Zhiqiu nodded his head, "Happy birthday."
"Happy birthday, sis Tang!" Mo Xiaoxuan laughed.
"Happy birthday, junior Tang." Song Lin commented.
"You guys..." Amid the cheers of happy birthdays, Tang Xinyun's eyes grew teary as she started to understand the situation. "Thank... thank you all..."
Not once in her life did she experience something like this. Every birthday she had ever had had been spent with her mother and aunty Zhao where they celebrated within their icy home. Not once did anyone else ever wish her a happy birthday.
"Haha, thanking us would be a bit too much. To be honest, you should thank Yunfei. He planned everything, in fact, I've never seen a birthday celebration like this before!" Ling Yiyi laughed as she winked at the cake-holding Bai Yunfei.
Pausing only briefly before turning to Bai Yunfei, Tang Xinyun smiled. "Thank you, Yunfei..."
"Haha, don't thank me," He laughed, "As long as you're happy. How about you blow out the candles now?"
"Blow out the candles?" Came the reply. Staring at the large cake in front of her, another question came to Tang Xinyun. "Yunfei, what is this, actually?"
"Yea, I wanted to ask that too. Yunfei, what is it?" Ling Yiyi repeated.
"Right right! Brother strawhat, what is it? What is it?"
A drop of sweat slid down Bai Yunfei's face; this was the surprise!! Look at how he was showing it off!!
"It's... it's called a 'birthday cake.' It's er... a specialty from my hometown. Every time it's someone's birthday, we make a birthday cake to eat. First, you make a wish, and then you blow out the candles to make the wish come true."
"Eh? Was there something like that? What place has a custom like that? It's really strange. I've never heard of it before, at the very least." Ling Yiyi questioned.
"Haha, it's a custom from a very remote village."
"Brother strawhat, you said we can eat this right?" Huangfu Rui asked; she was focused on this particular piece of information.
"Once Xinyun blows out the candles you can."
"Oh, okay! Let's hurry up then! Sis Yun, blow out the candles, I want to eat the birthday cake!!"
"....." Tang Xinyun didn't know how to feel about Huangfu Rui. She gave everyone a grateful look-Bai Yunfei in particular-before she closed her eyes and thought for a long time.
When she opened them again, she immediately blew out the candles.
Huangfu Rui was curious, "Sis Yun, what did you wish for?"
But Bai Yunfei hurried to stop Tang Xinyun from answering, "Don't say it! Saying it out loud prevents it from coming true. Come on, let's eat, everyone."
"Okay! I want to eat! I want to eat!" At the drop of a coin, Huangfu Rui's attention was completely captivated by the desire to eat. Running to Bai Yunfei, she already had her mouth wide open.
With a plate in hand, everyone took a slice of cake and sat around the table to eat it. The cake itself was very large, but with all the people there, the cake soon found itself all gone.
Since their curiosity was piqued by this strange food, everyone had to have a slice. When they bit into it, they were all surprised by the taste. High praise came from their mouths as they ate, and Huangfu Rui had three large slices herself. So enthused was she that she had plenty of cream stuck to her face like the markings on a cat.
The Tianhun Continent had nothing like this.
The birthday cake was a remnant of the memory fragments Bai Yunfei had of the otherworldly person. With the ingredients and cooking method, Bai Yunfei was able to recreate a cake after five whole days dedicated to making it. Since some ingredients couldn't be found in this world, Bai Yunfei had to do his best with close alternatives before finally coming to a satisfactory result.
The very first thing Bai Yunfei had done with the memory he had of the otherworldly traveler had been to make Tang Xinyun a simple birthday cake...
While he was eating, Si Kongxian was suddenly hit with a question. "Oh, this reminds me! Yunfei, was this the reason why you took the kitchens over for an entire week? Were you working yourself to death in the kitchens to make this cake thing!?"
Everyone turned to look strangely at Bai Yunfei.
Their eyes flickered between him and Tang Xinyun with mischievous smiles on their faces.
"Oh my my," Ling Yiyi smiled, "Yunfei is quite the dedicated person..."
"Er..." Bai Yunfei was embarrassed. Even Tang Xinyun's face was red by this point. She was trying her best to hide by looking down at her cake, pretending to think about something.
"Hehe, Doraemon, didn't you say you wanted to perform something for Xinyun?" To redirect everyone's attention, Bai Yunfei turned the spotlight to Huangfu Rui who was trying to wipe away the cream on her face.
"Wha-oh!! Yeah, I remember now!" Putting down the plate with her cake rather reluctantly, she leaped to the center of the room.
"I will be singing a song for sis Yun's birthday. Happy birthday to you, sis Yun!
"Ah-hem!" Clearing her nose and throat, Huangfu Rui prepared to sing.
"Here's one tiger,
Here's two tigers!
They run fast!
They run fast!
One has no ears
One has no..."
This was the song Bai Yunfei had her sing. Two Tigers, a classic child folk song that would bring a smile to anyone's face.
After her performance came Mo Xiaoxuan. Volunteering to take center stage, he smiled, "Hehe, I want to perform too! I know a magic trick that's very magical..."
As the leading performer, Huangfu Rui set the stage for a very lively night. One after another, Zhong Xuhao, Si Kongxian, and several others followed after Zhong Xuhao to perform, much to the applause and the loud laughter of everyone watching...