“Who are you?!”
That night, Song Yuan couldn’t sleep.
The last time she’d had insomnia, it had been because she was afraid. She turned on all the lights in the house and talked on the phone with Xie Ya until two or three in the morning.
She grabbed the tablet from the nightstand and once again searched up Rong Ting’s name, as well as the Great Ye Dynasty1 that Rong Ting spoke of, but she found nothing. Moreover, based on her knowledge of history, there was no such dynasty by that name.
What was going on? But it wasn’t impossible that there were some dynasties that were not included in historical records.
There was no relevant information on the Internet; it was quite worrying.
Even as a natural-born optimist, in the face of the current situation, Song Yuan felt like she was going to go bald from stress.
Song Yuan woke up at 6:30 in the morning. Yawning as she fried eggs, she couldn’t help but laugh to herself; she truly did have the potential to be a good mom ah. In order to make a simple breakfast for Rong Ting, she even got up half an hour early today. It should be written in the history books as something that moved China and inspired all of Asia.
Since a homemade breakfast should be neat and not take too much energy, it could only be as simple as possible. A bowl of millet porridge with some fried egg, bacon, and pickled vegetables should be just right for eating.
“If I don’t leave I’m going to be late, and my pay will get docked.” Although Song Yuan wasn’t lacking in money, she also didn’t want to perform too poorly at the company. Stopping at the door, she repeatedly gave reminders to Rong Ting.
Gugu the child felt as though his ears were going to grow calluses. “Gu knows, gu understands. Gu will not open the door for strangers, nor jump off the building, nor turn on the gas or gas stove! Empress Mother, if you don’t leave, you really will be late.”
Song Yuan angrily pinched his ear, “You’re starting to resent me for nagging now? How can I not worry ma? I’m saying this again, no matter who knocks on the door, don’t open it!”
“En! Gu really knows!”
“The millet porridge is in the rice cooker. I pushed the warming button; if you’re hungry then you can eat that. There’s also fried eggs and bacon in the lunchbox. There is Yakult in the fridge, but don’t drink too much. If you don’t want to eat that, there’s yesterday’s pork floss xiaobei on the coffee table, and the fruit bowl has bananas and oranges.”
Rong Ting was completely helpless; Empress Mother had said this sentence a great many times. He handed her the bag placed on the shoe cabinet.
“Ungrateful,” Song Yuan complained as she left the house.
Having a child at home was truly very worrying.
Yesterday she had been quite careless; she had ordered a children’s smart watch2 last night, and it would only arrive today.
She didn’t have a home phone, either. Since she had to go to work, it would be very difficult to know how Gugu was doing at home; she should have thought of it during breakfast.
At first, she had said to Rong Ting that she would return as soon as she got off work at five thirty in the afternoon, but at twelve, she grabbed her bag and was the first to rush out. Her uncle’s company was not very far from her house; she could get there in about twenty minutes.
When she unlocked the door, Rong Ting, who was sitting on the sofa reading a book, jumped in surprise and vigilantly looked in the direction of the door.
Seeing that the person who came in was her, Rong Ting let out a sigh of relief and put down his book. “Empress Mother, did you not say that you would return at youshi3?
Song Yuan, finding that nothing had happened to Rong Ting, and was safe and sound at home4, her heart was much more at ease. “I missed you ah.”
When Rong Ting heard her, he was inwardly very excited, as well as a little shy.
The happy outcome was that Song Yuan brought back two meals. He also didn’t have a “such humble food, gu would not eat it even if he was starving to death” expression on his face. On the contrary, he was quite happy.
Rong Ting was no different from other children. He liked to drink Yakult, he liked to eat gummy candies, and he also liked to eat the ham sausages in this meal.
Halfway through the meal, Rong Ting thought of what he had seen this morning. Breaking his rule of eating without speaking and sleeping without talking, he removed his jade pendant with unusual solemnity and handed it to Song Yuan.
Song Yuan looked at him, puzzled.
Rong Ting pursed his lips. He raised a small, clenched fist to his lips and coughed.
Such an action being done by a five or six year old truly was strange.
“Empress Mother, although gu does not know this jade pendant’s value, it’s unlikely to be cheap.”
“Where is it not cheap, it definitely is very expensive ah. It’s an antique. What about it?”
“Empress Mother should find a trustworthy pawnshop and pawn it.”
Song Yuan’s eyes widened. She didn’t understand what Rong Ting wanted to do.
“Once Empress Mother receives the silver, change to a good residence ba.”
“Is this place not good?” Song Yuan put down her chopsticks, bewildered.
This community was one that her father daren had carefully selected. When she was eighteen, it was still the most expensive community in the city. A few years had passed, and although it could no longer be considered an upscale community, it still had all the necessary facilities. There were also elementary and junior high schools nearby, and the subway station was just a few minutes’ walk away. The orientation was good, and the layout was good; nowadays, she couldn’t buy it even if she wanted to ne.
Why make her change houses?
Song Yuan felt nervous. It was said that small children could see dirty things, and Gugu was also a person who had transmigrated from ancient times. Could it be that this house’s feng shui5 was not good?
Rong Ting was too shy to speak about what he saw this morning.
Perhaps this was a place where people from all walks of life8 converged to meet; Empress Empress could only temporarily reside here.
Rong Ting didn’t want to say it, nor was it easy to say it. He only said: “If Empress Mother is short on money, there is no need to worry. Although gu is not yet of age, gu will still think of means to protect you.”
“Although I’m extremely touched by your words, have you misunderstood something?” Song Yuan thrust the jade pendant back into his grasp. “Okay, you’re the crown prince. Your definition of poor people is different from my definition of poor people. I can’t be considered to be very rich, but I’m really not short on money. I have more than enough to support you!”
“Is this true?”
“Of course it is ah. Now, going back to the question earlier, is my place not good? Why do I need to change houses?” She was still rather curious about this point.
Rong Ting was silent for a moment, then said: “Gu thinks that this place is not worthy of Empress Mother’s status. Empress Mother is the mother of a country…”
Seeing that he had a heap of things to say, Song Yuan interrupted him. “I’m the one who’s not worthy of this place. If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be able to afford this house even if I didn’t eat or drink for my entire life.”
Rong Ting was astonished, but not about the house. “Grandfather is here?”
“Of course ah. My mom and dad are here.”
Rong Ting’s face was that of pleasant surprise. “Grandmother is also here. Gu has never heard Emperor Father mention this.”
He paused, then tentatively asked: “Is gu’s war god uncle9 here as well?”
War god uncle?
“I’m an only child, with no brothers or sisters ah. Who is this war god you’re talking about?”
As she said this, Song Yuan’s cell phone rang–it was a call from a client she was responsible for. She picked it up, and when she listened to the other party speak, she felt a headache forming. When she hung up, she didn’t even have time to eat–she stood up, packed away her lunchbox, and said to Rong Ting: “A client came to the company looking for me; I have to hurry over. I should be able to get off work on time this afternoon. You be good at home.”
Having been cut off in this way, Rong Ting forgot to ask about the matter of his war god uncle.
The war god uncle was a taboo subject in his dynasty. He had only incidentally heard his horsemanship and archery instructor mention that the god of war uncle led troops like he was a deity–extremely powerful. Of course, after he said this, he revealed an expression of regret. After that, this instructor no longer taught him–he heard that he had been sent by Emperor Father to the Ministry of Works.
Emperor Father didn’t even remember him, so how could she remember Emperor Father and other people ne?
Song Yuan returned to the company and began to busily work. The majority of the time, she did miscellaneous tasks, but she was also in charge of a few clients. The unfortunate part was that, perhaps her uncle had the intention to train her, but these few clients were the most demanding.
That afternoon, she was so busy that her head was spinning, and she didn’t even have time to drink water.
At home, Rong Ting also had a packed schedule. One shichen of practicing writing, one shichen of reading–he didn’t dare to be even slightly negligent with his studies.
At about five o’clock, Rong Ting was reading the graphic novel version of The Art of War, completely immersed10.
Meanwhile, Father Song drove to the community, wearing a Bluetooth earphone and talking on the phone. “I heard that things are about to change in the capital. It has nothing to do with me, but I want to ask, the Xie family’s matters will not affect the opening of my supermarket branch ba?
The man on the other side laughed. “Who are you ah? You have no influence in the capital. You can rest assured, the Xie Family won’t care about you. The only ones you have offended are the underlings11 that the Xie family can no longer support. Don’t worry.”
“That’s good.” Father Song parked the car. He glanced at the two cardboard boxes in the backseat through his rearview mirror. “I didn’t mention it, but I went to my daughter’s house. She hasn’t gotten off work yet.”
“President Song truly really loves his daughter to bits.”
Seriously–as soon as he returned from his business trip, daddy brought back a box of seafood and a box of cherries as treasures to present to his daughter. Such a thing, he had half a mind to say it looked like Father Song had not seen his girl in more than half a month.
Song Haiping hummed a tune as he picked up the cardboard boxes. In his pocket was the key that his daughter had given to him before. He was ready to play the part of a loving father today.
Cook the girl a dinner, and he bet this little lazy bum12 wouldn’t start a fire.
When the girl returned, and he had cooked the meal and washed the fruit, wouldn’t she be moved to tears?
At the door, Song Haiping put down the cardboard boxes. He took out the key from his pocket, opened the door, and bent down to move the boxes, only to hear a milky13 voice: “Who are you?!”
 大烨朝: the original meaning of 烨 is a bright firelight, but its extended meaning can be brilliant, magnificent, or glorious
 儿童手表: lit. children’s wrist watch, but based on context and Google, it’s probably not referring to a regular watch that just tells time, but something like this:
The context and pictures suggest that Song Yuan is saying she was careless because there’s no way for Rong Ting to contact her if there’s an accident, since the smart watch isn’t coming in until later that day
 酉时: as mentioned before, time was measured in shichen, or two hour intervals, and each shichen had its own name. Youshi is the time from 5 PM to 7 PM
 安然无恙: safe and sound; to come out unscathed
 风水: dictates how to orient buildings so that they are auspicious. The “dirty” things that Song Yuan talks about is likely referring to evil spirit or energy, rather than literal dirt/dust
 不成体统: not according to decorum; scandalous or in bad form
 不堪入目: unbearable to look at; an eyesore
 三教九流: the three religions and nine schools; people from all trades/walks of life
 战神: lit. war god
 如痴如醉: lit. as if drunk and stupefied; fig. intoxicated by/obsessed with something
 虾兵蟹将: lit. shrimp soldiers and crab generals; useless troops/numerous underlings
 小懒鬼: lit. lazy ghost; lazybones, an idle bum
 奶声奶气: milky sound and milky smell; refers to youth, as in a child who still smells like his mother’s breastmilk? Sounded weird to me when I first started reading Chinese webnovels but you get used to it LOL
Cheese: get me a son who will give me the capital to buy a house UGH I LOVE THIS BOY SO MUCH
enter rong ting’s grandpa! i cant believe we’re being introduced to the grandpa before we get to meet the husband. also who is this mysterious uncle and why is he important?? so many questions..