“Your father’s a no-good, dog thing!”
In the education that Rong Ting had received, Father Emperor was a ruler. Even to him, he was a ruler first, then a father. The thunder, rain, and dew were all due to the ruler’s grace. Even if Grandfather was Mother Empress’s father, he should not be so daring. Fortunately, no other people were present. If he had been heard by someone with other intentions, perhaps even Mother Empress would be implicated.
Song Haiping, a middle-aged man older than forty, was shocked by the imposing manner of the five- or six-year-old Rong Ting.
“This child, how can you talk like this!”
This “the king is superior”… what was all this!
Rong Ting’s expression didn’t change as he said sharply: “Grandfather, Mother Empress is the mother of a nation, but she still walks on thin ice in the court and rear palace. Asking Grandfather to watch his words and actions, and take care not to implicate Mother Empress!”
As a matter of fact, Rong Ting was a person with pride in his bones. Having never met his grandfather before, he truly couldn’t say he had any sentiment for him. He liked Grandfather simply because he was Mother Empress’s father.
Having lived in the palace since he was young, Rong Ting was a person who was above ten thousand people and below one. With the exception of Father Emperor, all the people he saw were servants, and the education he had received was that imperial power reigned supreme. So now, when there were people challenging imperial authority and insulting the sovereign in front of him, he found it unacceptable.
What he found even more unacceptable was that Grandfather’s words and actions would affect Mother Empress.
Song Yuan had already gotten used to Rong Ting’s manner of speaking. But Song Haiping had only just met Rong Ting, so he was naturally stunned by Rong Ting’s scholarly rhetoric.
“What is he saying? Why can’t I understand a word he says?” Song Haiping looked in Song Yuan’s direction, a dumbfounded and doubtful expression on his face. After this outburst, he lost all the rage that made him itch to take out a knife and butcher the beast.
Song Yuan sighed. She pulled Rong Ting over and said to Song Haiping: “Dad, Gugu is still young; he can’t tell the difference between ancient times and modern times. He still thinks this is the ancient times, so he’s more rigid and serious, but he doesn’t have a bad heart. But it’s still best not to say to the child’s face that his dad is wrong. That’s no good.”
After saying this, she looked down at Rong Ting again. “Gugu, that is my dad. I don’t care how you were taught in ancient times, but in modern times, whether or not you are my child, you have to learn to respect your elders, understand?”
Both people were ‘educated’.
In fact, Rong Ting listened to Song Yuan very well. Just like at this moment–he didn’t speak.
The three ate a simple dinner. Song Yuan was the one who cooked; Song Haiping originally intended to show off his skills to his daughter, but after that incident, let alone cooking, he didn’t even have the heart to eat.
Song Yuan explained to Song Haiping eight hundred times, and swore to heaven eight hundred times, that she absolutely didn’t do the things that she shouldn’t do before she was an adult! She absolutely didn’t pluck and eat the forbidden fruit with a male classmate, get pregnant, and have a baby!
Rong Ting, with a wooden expression, expounded that he was definitely not a child born out of wedlock. He was the empress’s di son, and the dynasty’s crown prince.
Song Haiping’s ability to accept everything was very limited. After eating, he didn’t even have a glass of wine1 and instead washed up and returned to the guest room to sleep.
Perhaps Song Yuan’s simple-minded and carefree nature came from him. Song Haiping now reflected–it didn’t matter what was going on. The absurdity of crossing through time and space was alright. Premature love was also fine. If this child was really his baby girl’s, then their family couldn’t hide from it, ah! Even if he didn’t accept it, he had to accept it–could he toss this boy out and send him away? He’d be struck by lightning and split in two. If he was the Song Family’s child, then he would acknowledge him. If he wasn’t the Song Family’s child, not even the greatest man in the world2 would be willing to bump porcelain3.
Despite this thought, Song Haiping still stayed up all night.
As the night dragged on, he grew more clear-headed. He calculated the timeline and recalled his daughter’s growth between junior high and high school, and finally concluded that it really would have been a bit difficult if a stinky brat wanted to cheat his daughter. Not because of anything else–he knew it was very troublesome when girls hit their rebellious adolescent stage, so for three years of junior high and three years of high school, he gave no small number of gifts to his daughter’s class teacher. He also helped the class teacher’s nephew resolve his problem regarding work. With this bit of friendly exchange, she definitely would have paid close attention to his daughter.
Although he and his ex-wife couldn’t be considered particularly responsible, to not even know that their daughter was pregnant and had a child…
Song Haiping felt more upset the more he thought about it. He got up and went to the second bedroom. Rong Ting was already asleep. He was a young child and had gotten tired out during the day, so at this moment, he was sleeping especially deeply. Song Haiping stared at Rong Ting’s face under the moonlight. The more he looked the more he felt that if he said that this child had no relationship with his family’s Yuanyuan… even he couldn’t believe it, ah.
This child didn’t seem like a fool, either, so how could he speak like people from ancient times? Could it be that the crossing through time and space that his daughter spoke of really existed?
Song Haiping abruptly smacked his forehead, muttering to himself, “Insane!!”
Song Haiping, who hadn’t slept all night, didn’t seem the least bit tired as he brushed his teeth and washed his face early in the morning. After Rong Ting got up, he followed behind Rong Ting, watching the child squeeze out toothpaste and brush his teeth, then wash his face…
Seeing that Song Haiping had been following him, Rong Ting said helplessly: “What matters does Grandfather have?”
After a night of tossing and turning, the bags under Song Haiping’s eyes were more prominent. “Little kid, are you hungry?”
Rong Ting was confused by these words, but he still replied truthfully: “Not too bad.”
He was now slowly learning to speak like the people here. Otherwise, communicating would be rather complicated.
“That’s called being hungry.” Song Haiping patted his pocket. “Go, let’s go out to eat breakfast, my treat. Let Yuanyuan sleep, we can bring back breakfast for her.”
Rong Ting hesitated.
Song Haiping took it as a yes and dragged him towards the door in a manner of not accepting any refusals.
Rong Ting’s body was small and he was easily dragged away. He couldn’t help but think that Grandfather truly lived up to the name of Great General. His bravery was great, and his strength was also great.
The grandfather and grandson pair went out. The temperature in autumn mornings couldn’t be considered very high. Song Haiping turned his head to look at Rong Ting, then straightforwardly took off his coat and put it on the boy.
Rong Ting was somewhat uncomfortable. “Gu is not cold.”
“Why didn’t Yuanyuan buy you a few sets of clothes?” Song Haiping added, “You look good in those clothes. Are you comfortable and warm?”
“Gu is not cold.”
Song Haiping sighed, and put one hand in his pants pocket. He was in his forties this year, but he took good care of himself. He had thick, black hair, he had a straight posture, and he didn’t have a beer belly. He also paid attention to the way he dressed, and looked no different from young people in their thirties.
Rong Ting saw that Song Haiping didn’t speak. He had always been curious about the matters regarding this grandfather and war god uncle. Seeing the great deity4 at this moment, he seemed somewhat different from the rumors.
According to rumors, Grandfather was brave and good at fighting when he was young, and he made great contributions in war for the Da Ye dynasty. Unfortunately, he injured his leg in the battle with Dong She, and since then, he had stepped down from his position and recuperated at home. The common people were not without their speculations. They whispered that Grandfather Emperor5 feared the great hero. However, with Father Emperor’s succession and the appointment of Grandfather’s son as the Great General, these rumors slowly subsided. It was just that later, Father Emperor had probably done the same thing as Grandfather Emperor.
“Gu did not expect that Grandfather would live in seclusion here with Mother Empress.” Rong Ting took the initiative to speak first, wanting to chat with Song Haiping. He was still very interested in his heroic deeds during battle.
Song Haiping’s scalp prickled when he heard these words, because it reminded him of the four words “crossing time and space”.
But he already subconsciously believed the things his daughter said.
So many things had happened. If this child truly was his daughter’s biological son, he couldn’t have just popped out of stone, ba!
After thinking about it, the grandfather and grandson pair left the neighborhood. There was a street selling breakfast nearby, and business was booming. Song Haiping glanced at Rong Ting. He didn’t know what thoughts were in his brain when he said without thinking: “I’ve been to the Forbidden City no less than ten times, and the inside is just too big. I used to just listen to the tour guide speak, but as a matter of fact, ne, I’m very interested in the ancient times. I don’t know if this rear palace really does or doesn’t have three thousand imperial concubines. If it really had that many, I would wonder if the imperial palace could fit them all, ah.”
Rong Ting was at the age where he liked to find faults and quarrel6. Hearing Song Haiping say this, he stopped. Raising his small head to look at him, he corrected very seriously: “Grandfather, firstly, outside men cannot enter the rear palace. Secondly, Father Emperor does not have three thousand imperial concubines in the harem. Father Emperor is dedicated to political affairs, and is this generation’s ming jun; there are only a dozen imperial concubines in the rear palace.”
Song Haiping also stopped in his tracks when he heard these words. He was silent for a moment, then immediately erupted in anger. “A dozen little wives7? A dozen! Is that a small number?!!”
He was furious. As soon as he accepted the setting of this child being the son that his daughter had with the emperor after transmigrating to ancient times, he then heard Rong Ting say this. If he hadn’t wanted to maintain his composure, he really would have cursed wildly.
Rong Ting remained silent.
Of the dozen imperial concubines, practically all of them had been arranged by his Grandfather Emperor and Grandmother Empress before Father Emperor had succeeded the throne.
Compared to those of previous dynasties, the number of people in Father Emperor’s rear palace was already very small; some ministers had more concubines than Father Emperor did. As a result, there were some ministers harboring malicious intentions who had repeatedly sent memorials requesting Father Emperor draft more beauties into the harem.
Song Haiping was good-looking, and was very good at coaxing people with his mouth. Since youth until now, his luck with the opposite sex had never faltered. He was also not single-mindedly devoted–otherwise, his ex-wife would not have divorced him. But many men were hypocrites; he himself could be unfaithful8–it was the dream of many men to wave several different flags at home and outside9–but he couldn’t tolerate his wife’s infidelity, and even more so that of the man his daughter was seeing.
Song Haiping’s anger grew the more he thought about it–the daughter he had raised in the palm of his hand had possibly gone through such an ordeal. If the other party had a good family background, a good moral character, and good looks, then he could bear it, but what was all this horsesh*t? A dozen little wives!
“Your father’s a no-good, dog thing!” Song Haiping was so outraged that he had already forgotten that his daughter had told him not to speak ill of the child’s dad in front of him.
Rong Ting was stunned, but Song Haiping did not stop his storm of insults10.
Rong Ting was only one meter tall, so he couldn’t block Song Haiping’s mouth. Finally, with a flushed face and a panicked heart, he smashed the broken pot11. Of course, he didn’t forget to cover his ears. He heard nothing, he heard nothing! Can’t hear, can’t hear, he can’t hear these words of treason12
 参加酒局: to take part/to join a wine bureau?? Like a drinking party, I guess, which is common in social settings (family gatherings, workplace, etc.). I’m assuming that in this context, it’s more so referring to drinking a glass of wine rather than him actually going out to a bar or something but LMK if there’s an actual meaning to this
 天王老子: metaphor for the most noble or authoritative person. Not used as a respectful term–it’s more of a vibe like “I’m not afraid of some [insert name here]!”
 碰瓷: not sure if I’ve made a note of this in MSTP or not (maybe it was in MGCH?), but it’s in reference to a scam that con artists run to cheat people out of their money. They deliberately bump into people while holding a(n already broken) porcelain vase, then demand compensation
 本尊: seems to be a term used in Buddhism
 皇祖父: emperor + grandfather, so probably Rong Ting’s paternal grandfather
 找茬挑刺: to pick fault with/to pick a fight + nitpicking/petty criticism
 小老婆: lit. little wife. Song Haiping initially used 嫔妃 when he first brought up the topic of the harem, and this is the term that Rong Ting uses, as well. Starting from the footnote here, Song Haiping uses a more modern (?) term for a concubine or mistress. While using either word would probably be acceptable, I find it hard to really settle on either because my impression of the word in this context is that it means a bit of both? And there’s no English equivalent that I feel would appropriately convey that impression I have (see the ug-lee Venn Diagram below), so I’ve opted for just keeping it a literal translation
 花心: to be fickle or unfaithful
 家里红旗不倒、外面彩旗飘飘: lit. the red flag at home does not fall, while the colored flag flutters outside; the red flag is a metaphor for the husband/wife, and the colored flag is a lover
 国骂: an insult commonly used nationwide? Seems to refer to insults that target a person’s personality or character. Might also just mean a curse word LOL
 破罐子破摔了: to take a bad situation and make it worse instead of trying to fix it; to go for broke
 大逆不道: treason and heresy. To talk badly about the emperor was a huge no-no
Cheese: grandpa putting his coat on rong ting and rong ting saying hes not cold is like me when my grandma asks me five times in five minutes if im really truly absolutely sure i dont want any more fruit