(edited 2020/04/18: added footnotes 14 and 15 because I can. Also changed “this prince” into gu, as I have for the past 4 chapters)
“Gu could lie to the people under the heavens, but not to Mother Empress.”
Song Yuan had been like this since childhood, always ignoring the key points. Simply put, she was rather slow when it came to important matters.
Since last night, Rong Ting had continuously called her Mother Empress, but she had subconsciously not placed this matter in her heart. Thinking about it now, she really had been broad-minded1, ah.
Of course, what was even more broad-minded was that at this critical point, she didn’t choose to have a good chat with Rong Ting about the matter of his Mother Empress, and instead pushed him out of the kitchen. “Stand a bit further away. If hot oil splashes on your cute little face2, it will leave scars.” She intentionally said this to scare away the child.
The vegetables were all cut. Any matters could wait until after they ate.
She could afford to not eat, but the child must eat.
The gas stove held two pots. In one pot was sweet and sour ribs, and in the other she was steaming the plate of bass.
After taking out the marinated ribs from the pot, Song Yuan sprinkled some white sesame on top. The steaming and fragrant sweet and sour ribs were ready, and the color was also very good.
The bass was steamed and topped with hot oil. The scrambled eggs and tomatoes dish was also not difficult to make.
From cutting the vegetables to serving the pot, Song Yuan only took about half an hour. The rice was already finished cooking, as well.
Song Yuan sat next to Rong Ting and gave him a bowl of rice. Fortunately, the child didn’t shout for someone to test it for poison again.
“Returning to the question from before, why do you think that I’m your mom?” Seeing the child getting agitated again, Song Yuan hurriedly said: “Let’s have a peaceful discussion. Think about it. I’m only 22 this year, I just graduated from university, and I don’t even have a boyfriend. And you are 5 or 6 years old this year. If I had you, then I would have been 16, 17 years old when you were born. Let me tell you, with my parents’ disposition, if I were pregnant at 15, they would have beaten me to death, then thrown me into the sea to feed the fish.”
Rong Ting listened. He didn’t understand Song Yuan’s meaning, but he was really hungry at the moment. He took a bite out of a rib to get a taste.
The initially furrowed brows smoothed out.
“If Mother Empress does not believe it, then use a blood drop test3.” Rong Ting said very calmly and coolly. Song Yuan had thought that he would make a ruckus and get angry again.
Song Yuan was silent for a long time as her brain slowly became organized.
First, assume that Rong Ting transmigrated. Of course, she already firmly believed this in her heart. He always called her Mother Empress, and used “gu” to refer to himself. If he hadn’t lost his mind and gone crazy, putting together his words and behavior, in ancient times he should be…
“You’re the crown prince?”
Rong Ting swallowed the food in his mouth before he leisurely responded: “Mother Empress, one must eat and sleep in silence, but today I will make an exception. Gu has been decreed crown prince by Father Emperor since birth. Even if the officials had objected, gu is the empress’s di son4, so it’s only natural to be crown prince.”
Song Yuan was dumbstruck.
So, the child who appeared in her house was not only a transmigrator, he also was the crown prince? How was she supposed to feel about something so incredible?
“You’re not lying to me?”
Rong Ting gave her a glance. “Gu could lie to the people under the heavens, but not to Mother Empress.”
Mother Empress, in his heart, was different from others, even Father Emperor. He would not lie to Mother Empress.
“Then the empress you’re talking about…is me?”
Song Yuan originally felt that Rong Ting’s eyes were clear5 and his IQ very high, but now she wasn’t sure.
Transmigration was already difficult for her to accept, and now she had to accept that this child’s identity as the crown prince, and…what, she was the empress?
Fine, ba, she once visited the Forbidden City, and at Kunning Palace6 she joked with Xie Ya that she felt like she was returning home, but it really was a joke!
She was very self-aware. Someone with her IQ and EQ definitely could not live in the rear palace for more than half an episode. It was definitely the life of a cannon fodder. How could she be mixed up with the role of empress? Everyone knows that the empress is the big Boss7, who was not disposed of, but rather the one who disposed of countless people. Also, she had read many romance transmigration novels, and she hated the emperor role the most, la. There was no need to fight for such a person’s favor8. She disliked emperors the most, so how could she manage the rear palace, and how could she have a child with an old cucumber9?
Song Yuan was shocked.
To be honest, if that one bizarre week hadn’t happened, she definitely wouldn’t have believed half a word of what this child was saying; after hearing him out, she would have sent him directly to the local police station. After all, mental illness, regardless of if it was in an adult or child, was not a condition that she could handle. Those who were neither relative nor friend would naturally stay away.
But that week’s events, only she knew the particulars. Sadly, her mom and dad didn’t believe that she had encountered evil.
There were a few details she hadn’t told her parents or even her best friend. When she woke up, her hair had suddenly grown very long!! It definitely couldn’t grow that much in a few weeks. It couldn’t grow that long without a few years of continuous growth. The day after she woke up, she went to the salon and changed her hairstyle. To this day, she didn’t dare to look in the bathroom mirror at night.
Also, she clearly remembered that the day before, she’d worn a white, strawberry-print nightgown to bed. When she had woken up the next day, she hadn’t been wearing anything!
What if she hadn’t run into evil, but instead had transmigrated, ne?
Song Yuan put down her chopsticks and placed her hands on Rong Ting’s shoulders. She said, serious and solemn: “How do you know that I’m your mom? Have you seen me before?”
“When gu was in swaddling clothes, you left, abandoning your husband and son.” Rong Ting looked at her accusingly. “Gu has naturally seen you before, but that was when gu was a few months old. Gu has long forgotten.”
“Abandoning my husband and son?” Song Yuan got up and paced around the living room a few times. When she was calm and collected, she returned to the living room, and continued to ask: “Ok, last question. How did you find me, and how did you know I am your Mother Empress? As far as I know, the ancient times didn’t have cameras.”
Rong Ting’s period costume was relatively complicated. There were several inner and outer layers. Fortunately it was already autumn; if he had transmigrated in summer, he would definitely be panting like a dog10.
He thought about it, then carefully took out a pouch from his inner clothes.
Song Yuan glanced at it. The pouch’s needlework was very simple. It was not the kind of delicate embroidery found in ancient times. Its shape was a bit vague, but it seemed to be her favorite brown bear.
Rong Ting opened the pouch and took out a Guanyin11 jade pendant, hesitating before he passed it over to Song Yuan.
When Song Yuan saw the Guanyin jade pendant, she tightly furrowed her brows. Taking it and repeatedly looking, her complexion was not good. “How do you have this?”
She put down the jade pendant and ran to her room, searching everywhere. When she was in university, her father once brought back two jade pendants, one of Guanyin, and another of Buddha. There was a saying that the man wore the Guanyin and the woman wore the Buddha. Her father told her that the ornaments were made of very good jade, so she should keep them safe and not lose them.
At the time, she was already an adult. Although her father didn’t say it out loud, his meaning was very clear. The Buddha jade pendant was hers, and the Guanyin jade pendant was his future son-in-law’s.
In fact, on that strange week, the day before, she saw that the jade pendant’s cord was a little frayed. It just so happened that her classmate from junior high who worked at a gold shop said that she could have the cord made for free. She took the two jade pendants and remade the cords, then smoothly placed them in her nightgown pocket.
Upon waking up, there were too many things, and she completely neglected the matter of the jade pendants.
She rummaged through everything, but could only find the Buddha jade pendant. She couldn’t find the Guanyin jade pendant at all!
Could it be that Rong Ting’s jade pendant was the one she was looking for?
Searching the room was proving to be futile. She returned to the dining table, already not as calm as before, because she discovered that there was a good chance that she had crossed through time and space that one week.
Oh my god, ah!
How could something like this happen to her! The most important thing was that she completely forgot!
The premise to prove that these things really happened was that Rong Ting’s words were true.
Song Yuan wasn’t the type to put on an air of bashfulness, and she wasn’t fearful when things happened. She was silent for a moment, then looked at the full and satiated Rong Ting, “Did you find me through this jade pendant?”
Rong Ting glanced at her. “Yes.”
“How did you come here?” Song Yuan asked again.
Crossing through time and space was not as simple as taking an airplane; it was impossible to transmigrate just by wanting to do it. There must be some sort of medium.
She wanted to understand the ins and outs of this affair, it was true, but she was genuinely curious.
“Gu once overheard a conversation between Father Emperor and the State Preceptor12 about a sorcery technique in his original country that was banned by the founding emperor. On a special day that occurs every one hundred years, at a specific shichen13, the spell caster would recite in his heart the name of the person he wished to see, and then that person would appear before him.” Rong Ting whispered, “Father Emperor didn’t know that gu heard their conversation. On that day, gu entered Father Emperor’s secret chamber without anyone’s knowledge. Gu had been thinking about Mother Empress, and had a fortuitous encounter without even opening gu‘s eyes.”
“Gu felt that this jade pendant was protecting gu. In the boundless wind and snow and the blows of the flowing stones14, gu was not even slightly harmed.”
“…Uh.” This was already beyond the scope of Song Yuan’s understanding. She was a young girl brought up under the red banner15. This kind of unscientific thing, understanding it was very difficult, and accepting it was even more difficult.
“Did I give you this jade pendant?”
After a long moment of silence, Song Yuan finally remembered to ask.
Rong Ting nodded, but as a matter of fact, it didn’t seem to be for him.
He had once seen many portraits of Mother Empress in Father Emperor’s chamber. In some paintings, Mother Empress wore a jade pendant.
He then secretly asked the old maid, who had entered the palace with Mother Empress and knew very many things about Mother Empress. The old maid told him that Mother Empress had a pair of jade pendants. The Guanyin jade was the man’s, and the Buddha jade was the woman’s. Mother Empress had given the Guanyin jade to Father Emperor.
Later, he secretly snuck into Father Emperor’s secret chamber and found some things in Father Emperor’s desk drawer, including a Guanyin jade pendant.
He knew it was Mother Empress’s.
He didn’t expect that Father Emperor didn’t cherish it to the point that he put it here instead of carrying it around on his person. He took the jade pendant away in anger, and he came here only a few days later.
Father Emperor once told him that this land beneath the heavens was all theirs, the father and son’s.
Then, since all the territory in the world belonged to the ruler, Father Emperor’s jade pendant was actually also his jade pendant. Therefore, such a response was not wrong.
 心大: to have a big or broad heart/mind; to be careless, or to not place matters in your heart. Basically, if you have a big heart/broad mind, large matters feel very small
 小白脸蛋: technically Song Yuan says he has a small, white, egg-shaped face LOL but the general meaning is that his face is cute and unblemished(?)
 滴血验亲: an archaic DNA test, in which you place a drop of blood from each of the two parties being tested in a bowl and see if they mix together (related) or not (not related). DISCLAIMER: THIS METHOD IS NEITHER ACCURATE NOR SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND. But it is a fun (sometimes fatal oops heehee) and often-used trope in webnovels where there’s no other method to test blood relations
 嫡子: son born to the legitimate/first/di wife (di sons), vs. those born to secondary/shu wives (shu sons). Di sons have a higher status than shu sons, and are the first in line to inherit the father’s deeds/titles/property/throne
 As in he’s not (figuratively) blinded (by deception, bias, etc.)
 坤宁宫: Palace of Earthly Tranquility. The north most of the three main halls in the inner court, as well as the empress’s residence
 Boss was in English in the OG text
 争风吃醋: lit. dispute + wind + eat vinegar (to be jealous)
 老黄瓜: cucumbers are, like eggplants 🍆, references to a man’s you-know-what ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) The use of “old” is sometimes used to express familiarity or affection, but given the context it’s likely a literal reference to age? It was not unheard of for very young women to be consorts to men/emperors who were much older (as in, old enough to be their father, or even older)
 热成狗: to be hot like a dog, probably a reference to dogs sticking out their tongues and panting to cool off
 观音玉佩: a wearable jade carving of the Guanyin Bodhisattva, who is associated with compassion or mercy. Sometimes portrayed as a male, sometimes as a female, and sometimes androgynous or genderless, Guanyin is nevertheless a very well-known figure in Buddhism and a common subject of art throughout Asian history
 国师: the State Preceptor is, to the best of my knowledge, the original title of what was eventually renamed the Imperial Preceptor. Most State Preceptors were Buddhist monks, and they were in charge of managing, supervising, and running religious duties and ceremonies, although some State Preceptors did have a bit of political power, as well
 A 2-hour interval. Each shichen even had a specific name, and it was said that the balance of yin and yang changed throughout the day
 漫天风雪, 流石的击打中 : the wind and snow that fills the whole sky, flowing/stream of pelting/beating stones. I’m assuming it implies great peril or a dangerous situation
 她是在红旗下长大的根正苗红的少女: literally translates into something like “she was a young lady who grew into a proper red sprout under the red flag/banner”
Cheese: May everyone stay healthy and safe during these uncertain times! Remember to practice social distancing, avoid high-traffic areas as much as you can, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands with soap!! Preventative methods are key to keeping this pandemic contained as much as possible.
For those who have jobs or circumstances that require you to be outside, try to do everything that’s within your means to keep yourself safe. Rest well, eat well, stay well. I hope that this will be over soon.