She felt that she could still salvage the situation!1
Song Haiping stared at the person standing next to the shoe rack. It was a child, wearing a period costume and vigilantly watching him.
“Who are you?!” Rong Ting was not frightened. Although Mother Empress repeatedly warned him of the darkness in people’s hearts, he felt that he had encountered the most sinister people and the darkest matters. He brought out the dignity of a crown prince–even if he was only five or six years old, his lofty manner couldn’t help but stun others.
“Who are you?” Song Haiping returned to his senses. He frowned, asking, “Who are you, how did you get in?”
Could it be that Yuanyuan rented out the house?
But he didn’t hear Yuanyuan mention it, ah.
“Little kid, is this your house?” Song Haiping asked again.
He had looked at his daughter’s Moments page two days earlier, and the background photo was of this new home, ah. How did she rent out the apartment so quickly?
Rong Ting inspected Song Haiping from top to bottom. He didn’t feel any malicious intent from this person, but he couldn’t relax yet. He was not an adult, after all; if this man wanted to harm him, it would be extremely for him to do so.
Over the past few days, he had come to get a general grasp of how the people here talked. He didn’t dare to reveal his identity in Mother Empress’s absence. After stewing over it in his heart, he said: “Yes, my mom left for work.” Seeming to be afraid that the man would think there were only women and children2 in the house and have malicious thoughts, he added, “Fa–my dad will be home soon3.”
Song Haiping heard this and came to the conclusion that his daughter had rented out the house to a family of three.
He “oh”d and smiled. “What a coincidence. This is my daughter’s house; she must have rented it out to you. Since that’s the case, I’ll be going. But little kid, when you’re alone in the house, pay attention to your safety, ah!”
Song Haiping thought, this was his family’s daughter’s house, after all. If something happened to that girl, it wouldn’t be good, so he kindly told Rong Ting some things to take note of.
For example, don’t climb over the railing, be careful of falling, don’t haphazardly use the gas stove, be careful of carbon monoxide poisoning…and so on.
Rong Ting could accept Song Yuan nagging endlessly like this, but that didn’t mean that he would accept a random stranger acting in such a way. He furrowed his brows and ordered the guest out. “Mister, I still have to study.”
Song Haiping smiled awkwardly, and he was just about to pick up the boxes and leave when he caught a glimpse of the photo hanging on the wall. His vision wasn’t bad, and with a glance he could see that it was the photo that he took with his daughter on the island last year.
The house was rented out, but the photo hadn’t been taken down?
It was almost as though he was possessed4–Song Haiping didn’t know what came over him5. He pointed at the photo of Song Yuan and said to Rong Ting: “This is a photo of my daughter. She’s a careless person–she must have forgotten to take the photo when she rented it out to you. Little kid, can you grab it for me? I’ll take it away.”
Rong Ting looked in the direction of the finger, then looked at Song Haiping.
The furrowed brows suddenly smoothed out.
People of the imperial family were capricious, flipping their faces faster than turning the pages of a book. Rong Ting, who the second before was very on-guard and hated that Song Haiping wouldn’t leave right away, now had a rare smile on his face, and the chilliness in his voice was swept away. “So you must be Grandfather?”
Song Haiping: “???”
Rong Ting had already opened the door. “Grandfather, please come in. You must be weary from your journey. Gu will pour you a cup of tea.”
If one must know, Rong Ting did not have many elder family members who were still alive. Previously, he had only heard of his grandfather and uncle’s prestigious reputations, but he had never met them. Now that he had met them, he was especially cordial.
Song Haiping dazedly walked into the house, dazedly changed his shoes, and placed both boxes on the floor. Finally reacting, he pointed to himself and asked Rong Ting, astonished: “Little kid, what did you call me just now? Are we acquainted?”
Rong Ting’s movements were clumsy as he poured Song Haiping a cup of tea. He was not nervous; he had studied at Father Emperor’s side from a young age, and he had been exposed to many grand occasions. The only time he had been somewhat nervous was when he had met Mother Empress. The rest of the time, he had a calm and collected manner that exceeded children of his age. This was no exception; not showing any surprise that his grandfather didn’t recognize him, he smiled and replied: “Grandfather need not be distant. Gu is Mother Empress’s son, and Grandfather is Mother Empress’s biological father; gu will also be filial to Grandfather. Asking that Grandfather not be so reserved.”
At this scholarly way of speaking, Song Haiping’s face was already filled with question marks.
His ‘Grandfather’ here and ‘Grandfather’ there made Song Haiping’s temples throb painfully.
“Little kid, you’ve got the wrong person.” Song Haiping turned to leave. “I only have one daughter, and she just graduated from college, ne.”
After learning of Song Haiping’s identity, Rong Ting felt very close to him in his heart. Seeing that Song Haiping wanted to leave, he chased after him, seeming to be at a loss. “Grandfather, is gu’s etiquette lacking6?”
Song Haiping stopped and pointed to the photo7 of Song Yuan on the wall. Without a pause for breath, he said, “Little kid, you’ve really got the wrong person. This is my daughter. She should be your family’s landlord.”
Rong Ting let out a sigh of relief. “Then gu is not mistaken. Grandfather, Mother Empress will return at youshi. Please wait a bit longer.”
Song Haiping was silent.
Because he had a bold conjecture in his heart. From the moment he knocked on the door until now, everything gave off a strange feeling. It was impossible for the girl to rent the apartment to other people without giving him a heads up. She had lived here two days ago–how could the house be rented out so soon? Not to mention this child’s peculiar words. This address of ‘Grandfather sent’ a chill down his back.
Could it be that his daughter found a boyfriend who was divorced with children?
Song Haiping stared at Rong Ting as he took out his cell phone to make a phone call to Song Yuan.
The call connected very quickly. The background was noisy, filled with the sounds of phone calls and printers. “Dad, what are you doing, ne? I’m busy right now.”
“Song Yuan, you come back right now!!!”
“Why is there a child at home!!!”
“Get your ass back here8!!!”
Rong Ting was startled by this full-powered9 roar. Taking a step back, he stared at the furious Song Haiping, thinking, the former great general’s reputation was indeed true.
On the other end of the phone, Song Yuan was also ready to pe her pants10. She hadn’t expected dad to go straight to her house and meet Gugu. Thinking of the situation she would face when she returned home, she really wished she could pass out.
Song Yuan returned home with the fastest speed she could muster. When she walked into the house, she saw Rong Ting standing at the bathroom entrance, repeatedly asking with full courtesy: “Grandfather, why are you in the lavatory, are you not feeling well? Should gu call for an imperial physician?”
Inside the bathroom, Song Haiping was ready to die. Of course, before he died, he must figure out what exactly was going on.
“What happened?” Song Yuan came over to Rong Ting’s side and asked in a low voice.
Seeing Song Yuan had come back, Rong Ting instantly entered grievance mode. “Grandfather is not willing to see gu. Gu called out to him, and he didn’t respond.”
Rong Ting was very good at throwing the pot. “Grandfather resents Father Emperor, but the person who fears Grandfather and Uncle is Father Emperor. Gu is not afraid; it is proper that every injustice has a head, and every debt has its debtor11. If Grandfather insists on putting this debt on gu’s head…” he pursed his lips, a pitifully weak and innocent look on his face, “then gu will accept it. The father’s debt, the son’s recompense.”
Song Yuan rubbed his head. “You think too much. The grandfather you’re talking about is definitely not the one inside there.”
Even if she really transmigrated to ancient times, and really slept with His Majesty the emperor and had Gugu, the grandfather that Gugu spoke of was absolutely not her biological father.
“Gugu, can you go back to your room to read?” Song Yuan knew that there would be a tough battle between her and her dad. Rong Ting was still a child; it wasn’t appropriate to let him watch. “I still have some grown-up things to talk about with my dad. It’s not convenient for children to listen. Go to your room and read–I’ll call you later to eat dinner, okay?”
Rong Ting gave Song Yuan a worried glance, then nodded. “Grandfather is still angry. Mother Empress must be careful.”
Song Yuan felt that she truly was simple-minded12; even in this moment, she was amused by his words. “Relax, he can’t bear to hit me.”
Rong Ting’s eyes widened. “Grandfather dares to hit Mother Empress? Mother Empress is the mother of a nation…”
Seeing that he wanted to blabber on again, Song Yuan resolutely pushed him back to his room and shut the door. Then, she mustered up the courage to walk up to the bathroom door, stretch out a hand, and knock. “Dad, I’m home.”
The next second, the bathroom door opened. Song Haiping’s face was livid. “Song Yuan, don’t tell this father of yours13 that you’re someone’s stepmother?”
“This father of mine?” Song Yuan was surprised.
Song Haiping thought to himself, he must have been led astray by that kid. To even pick up the way that people spoke in historical dramas.
“Don’t tell dad that you’re someone’s stepmom!”
Song Haiping didn’t wait for Song Yuan to answer. When he was young, he had had a very short temper. He wanted to scold Song Yuan, but then he thought about the child in the house. In any case, children were innocent in matters between adults. He shouldn’t involve the child, nor should he upset him, so he lowered his voice and glowered like the Black Cat Detective14. “Tell dad what’s going on. Let me tell you, even if I agree, your mom will not agree. Don’t you know what sort of temperament your mom has, ah? If she finds out you found a divorced15 man with kids and you’re still rushing to be a stepmom, she’ll kill you! I’m not bluffing!”
Song Yuan naturally knew that her father wasn’t bluffing…
It was just that she felt she could still salvage the situation!
“So what if…” Song Yuan imitated him and lowered her voice. She seemed very mysterious. “And I mean what if, what if the child is mine, ne?”
She had thought about it. If Gugu really was her son, then she couldn’t avoid her parents. She also didn’t want to hide it from her mom and dad. In this world, the only ones who she could trust to put their whole heart into helping her raise Gugu were her parents!
Song Yuan immediately went to support Song Haiping. As expected, the next moment, Song Haiping reacted and stumbled. If it weren’t for Song Yuan supporting him, he really would have fainted in the bathroom.
 This chapter had (捉虫) in parentheses following the title. Literally, it says to catch bugs/insects; in this context, it means that the chapter was revised or fixed for typos (which is where “bugs” come from). I think it’s cute and clever, and also I don’t know what was changed from the original, so here’s a heads up
 老幼妇孺: the elderly, women, and children? I’m not 100% sure if this is supposed to mean old and young women + children or the old + young women + children, but the second definition makes more sense to me
 I hope I made it kinda noticeable up until now through my word choice, but Rong Ting normally uses more archaic or formal words when he speaks. Here, he “talks modern”–no “Mother Empress” and no gu, and with only a slight slip-up at the end there (I think he almost says Father Emperor but catches it at the last moment) σ(≧ε≦σ) ♡ OOOOOHHH my clever boy!!
 鬼使神差: lit. demons and gods at work; fig. a curious coincidence, or an unexplained event that requires a supernatural explanation
 搭错了一根筋: found an interesting explanation for this phrase. Literally it means something along the lines of “something went wrong with the connections of his tendons/nerves“ (like connections in the brain). Figuratively it means “don’t know what I/he/she was thinking,” and it’s something you say when you or someone else does something stupid LOL
 礼数不周: In some (many?) Asian societies, your manners change depending on your social status in relation to the other party’s. The Chinese term for this is 礼数 (lit. ceremony/courtesy/manner + number). I’m assuming Rong Ting is asking whether he wasn’t being polite enough to his grandpa, and if that’s why his grandpa wants to leave
 艺术照: art photo? From what I can tell, these are the kind of photos you take in photoshoots, or the kinds you see in magazines (or Instagram)
 In the first sentence, Song Haiping says 马上回来 (immediately/right away + come back), but in the third, he says 快点滚回来 (hurry up + roll + come back). 滚 is a very strong way of saying to go; you’ve probably seen it translated as scram, roll, beat it, or some other variation (fuck off is my personal favorite)
 中气十足: an idiom for being full of spirit or energy
 屁滚尿流: to piss one’s pants in terror; scared witless
 冤有头债有主: for every grievance someone is responsible, for every debt there is a debtor. When settling disputes, one should not involve third parties
 没心没肺: lit. no heart, no lungs; can either be to be heartless/vicious/cruel, or to have no brains or no scheming
 为父: an old way of referring to a father figure. I say father figure because the 为 in 为父 means “acting as/to act in the capacity of”. You can see this term pop up in several phrases, such as (don’t quote me on this for accuracy) “the eldest son is a second father”, “a teacher a day, a father for life”, “to recognize a thief as a father”, etc. It’s not used in modern language, which is why Song Yuan is surprised that he uses it here
 黑猫警长: a character from a 1980s Chinese animated show that goes by the same name
 二婚: second marriage, as in a man who has already married once and would be marrying a second time
Cheese: how does one break it to their parents that they might be grandparents to a 5-6 year-old?
┐(‘～`;)┌ asking for a friend